Yesterday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps never got going as two laps behind Safety Car on a terrible day of weather saw the top 10 drivers get awarded with half points.
Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso joined Lewis Hamilton in feeling puzzled by the decision to award points by running behind the Safety Car for those two laps.
Four-time World Champion Vettel, who finished P5, was perplexed that points were awarded with no racing completed.
“It’s a bit of a joke, no? That’s a joke,” Vettel said.
“If you want to get a reward for qualifying, you should get points for qualifying.
“What did we do today [to earn the points]? I don’t know.”
Nonetheless, Vettel did agree with the fact that the race never went ahead due to the awful visibility caused by the unrelenting rain at the Belgian venue yesterday.
“I was in P5 and I struggled to see,” Vettel continued.
“I had to really make sure I don’t miss where Daniel [Ricciardo in P4] was.
“You see the [rain] light very late, a lot of spray. I presume further back it just got worse.
“There was more rain coming when we went out, could feel that as well.
“I think the priority is always that we’re safe, tough decisions today, not easy hanging in there for that long and letting the people wait. But probably the right decision, it was getting darker.”
Pierre Gasly was awarded points for P6 but didn’t feel he deserved them after what happened on Sunday. He was also surprised those laps behind the Safety Car were done when the track conditions were at their worst.
“I don’t feel like I deserved any points today for what I’ve done,” Gasly said.
“I just followed the safety car. I didn’t crash in the laps to the grid, but that’s the only thing I’ve done today.
“But at the end of the day this is not really the point – I feel really bad for all the people that came here, travelled, waited hours under the rain to watch an F1 race, and the only thing they got to see is a couple of laps from the safety car and F1 cars following.
“Really sorry for all those people and yeah, unfortunately, I don’t think there was any other option possible because the visibility was so bad in the pack.
“We know the consequences if a car gets t-boned. Unfortunately, I don’t think there was any other option.
“I’m a bit surprised, to be fair, because I just feel they just put us out on track in the worst conditions just to allow these points to happen.”
Fernando Alonso believes it was shocking that points were awarded and feels drivers who bagged points despite no racing got a Christmas gift four months early.
“It was a terrible day to be honest for everyone,” Alonso said.
“Well for some of them it was probably a little bit of an early Christmas because there were some gifts given to some people because we didn’t race but they still get the position and they still get the points. So, it’s a little bit shocking.”
Alonso was full of praise for fans who stayed in horrendous conditions throughout Sunday at the iconic Belgian track.
“It’s a sad feeling because I think the spectators were amazing all weekend, facing some bad weather but they were always supportive,” added Alonso.
“It’s good to see the fans back after the pandemic, et cetera. They didn’t deserve this weather. It was no fault from anyone but we could not do any laps today.”
While Alonso agreed with the race not going ahead, he echoed Vettel and Gasly’s thoughts that points should not have been awarded for doing two laps behind the Safety Car.
“The only thing that I don’t agree with is why they do two laps and they give the points. Because we didn’t race.
“We didn’t have the chance to score points, many people. I’m P11, I didn’t have any green light lap to score a point and we didn’t score so that’s shocking. But it’s their decision,” Alonso continued.
“[There] was no way we could race today as we showed. It was only red flag situation or behind Safety Car situation, as we did. So how you can give points to a non-race?”
“They did the three laps just to give the points because the conditions were the same as before. So it was a strange show for sure.”