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Just two laps behind the Safety Car at Spa as heavy rain wreaks havoc; race was due to start at 2pm, before the last red flag just before 6pm | Max Verstappen cuts Lewis Hamilton’s title lead to five points, with half points awarded to top-10

Last Updated: 29/08/21 6:12pm


Race control have called the drivers back to the pits due to the continuing wet conditions on track.

Race control have called the drivers back to the pits due to the continuing wet conditions on track.

Race control have called the drivers back to the pits due to the continuing wet conditions on track.

The Belgian GP had to be red-flagged after just two laps behind the Safety Car due to continuous rainfall and poor conditions at Spa-Francorchamps, with Max Verstappen finishing as the official winner in the classification and cutting Lewis Hamilton’s title lead.

Any hopes of a race, heavily delayed through the afternoon, officially ended almost four hours after the scheduled start time of 2pm BST, but critically – as enough laps were completed – half points were awarded for the top-10 finishers, who essentially sealed their results through qualifying.

That means pole-sitter Verstappen takes 12.5 points, while George Russell – the star of Saturday for Williams – has his first F1 podium, in bizarre circumstances, and scores nine.

Hamilton’s third place gives him 7.5 points, though his championship advantage is down to just three points ahead of Verstappen.

With torrential rain delaying the start of the race, there's been plenty of time to chat, ponder and contemplate for the grid!

With torrential rain delaying the start of the race, there’s been plenty of time to chat, ponder and contemplate for the grid!

With torrential rain delaying the start of the race, there’s been plenty of time to chat, ponder and contemplate for the grid!

“It’s a win but not how you want to win,” said Verstappen, before paying tribute to the fans, with a capacity crowd staying the duration despite the conditions.

“Today a big credit goes to all the fans around the track for staying here the whole day in the rain, the cold, windy conditions. They are actually the bigger winners today.”

Russell added: “We don’t often get rewarded for a great qualifying but we absolutely did today!”

F1 stewards tried twice to get the race started – once at 2.25pm, when drivers voiced concerns about the poor visibility during a formation lap behind the Safety Car, with most insisting the race shouldn’t start.

Three hours later, there was finally a green light and the Safety Car then led the 20 drivers out of the pit-lane for two laps – crucial for the classification – but the conditions were considered even worse than before and the race was soon red-flagged again.

Sergio Perez crashed on his way to the grid at the Belgian GP.

Sergio Perez crashed on his way to the grid at the Belgian GP.

Sergio Perez crashed on his way to the grid at the Belgian GP.

Despite the little amount of track time there was still crash drama, provided by Sergio Perez as the Red Bull driver, due to start seventh, crashed on his way to the grid earlier in the day. Perez’s car – at first thought to be too damaged repair – was miraculously fixed during the long rain delay, but in the end that was inconsequential as he was sent to the back of the grid as per the F1 regulations.

His exit from the top-10 lifted Carlos Sainz into the points, along with Nicholas Latifi as Williams scored double points in consecutive races.

Belgian GP, final race results and points scored

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull – 12.5 points
2) George Russell, Williams – 9 points
3) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 7.5 points
4) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren – 6 points
5) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin – 5 points
6) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri – 4 points
7) Esteban Ocon, Alpine – 3 points
8) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 2 points
9) Nicholas Latifi, Williams, 1 points
10) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, 0.5 points

More to follow…





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