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F1| Belgian GP | Wolff: “You need to take it as a freak day, where we would have all hoped to have a spectacular race that didn't happen.”

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff shares his thoughts on a rather unfortunate Belgian GP, with an eye on the team's second seat.

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F1| Belgian GP | Wolff: “You need to take it as a freak day, where we would have all hoped to have a spectacular race that didn't happen.”
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic- MotorLat

F1’s returned from the summer break under the rain of Spa. Weather conditions were tricky for the whole Belgian GP weekend, causing Lando Norris’ huge crash into the barriers at Raidillon during Q3 on Saturday. Things only got worse on Sunday, making it impossible for drivers to go out and race.

After a long and messy afternoon of waiting and trying, race director Micheal Masi finally called the race off. At that point pole-sitter Max Verstappen had crossed the control line in the fast lane three times, but drivers were awarded half points based on the classification at the end of lap one. A decision that raised a lot of controversy around the paddock.

“I think we've seen the podium so there is a result. There's plenty of regulations that you probably need to look at, but I guess when there is a podium there is a result,” commented Toto Wolff during a session with written media including MotorLat.

Regulations state that, for half points to be awarded, cars need to complete at least two laps. Laps that in Spa were completed behind the Safety car. While Masi claimed that the decision was taken only “to see what the conditions were like”, denying there was any commercial pressure, Lewis Hamilton made it clear that he believes it was money-driven.

“I think we have all reasons to be upset, half points have been awarded when probably it was expected that the weather wouldn't get any better. It is what it is and I guess you need to take this one on the chin and close the chapter for this race and move on,” commented Wolff when asked whether he agreed with his driver.

“We must really applaud the fans that have been there for 3 days in the rain, they've waited for a race to happen and so that's why. But as a team we lost some points and that's why we have to move on.”

The Team Principal went on reflecting on whether the circus could have handled things differently given the unusual circumstances.

“All this has never happened before so you need to take it as a freak day, where we would have all hoped to have a spectacular race that didn't happen.”

“Is there any learnings? I'm not sure because we are dependent on the weather. Everybody tried hard to get a race on the way and because of the rain and it didn't happen.”

The race couldn’t be postponed to the next Monday due to logistical reasons, but does Wolff believe F1 should get organised in order to make it possible if needed in the future?

“I think we had plenty of fans today that will have to go back to their jobs tomorrow and we would have tried to have the race for the local fans and therefore that wouldn't have made a great difference for them.”

In this turmoil, George Russell stepped on the podium for the first time in his F1 career, thanks to an incredible Q3 lap that put his Williams on the front row alongside Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

The young talent is expected to take Valtteri Bottas’ seat at Mercedes next season. Regarding this swap Wolff commented:

“It's not only our call, but there are other parts involved. You have to always proceed with respect and with diligence. And about the question I was asked yesterday about whether I have made up my mind, I do, but I'm not the only one that is involved in this decision.”

Rumours have been around for a while now, but Mercedes appears rather cautious. 

“[It] has nothing to do with the learnings from the Esteban situation [Ocon] because we deal with people that I can trust and respect, it's only a question of having everybody aligned and having contracts signed.”

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