Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was declared the winner of a Belgian Grand Prix that lasted two laps behind the safety car.

The race at Spa-Francorchamps was abandoned after the field, circulating behind the safety car, completed the two laps which are necessary for half points to be awarded.

On the other hand, the seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton on Sunday said that the fans should get a refund after rain hit the Belgian Grand Prix and curtailed the race to the shortest in history.

“Money talks and the two laps to start the race is all a money scenario,” Hamilton, who finished third for Mercedes, told Sky Sports after the podium ceremonies.

“So everyone gets their money and I think the fans should get theirs back too. Because unfortunately, they didn’t get to see what they paid for.”

The British racer said he is gutted for the fans who came here but the weather was too bad for a race.

“Obviously we can’t control the weather, and I love racing in the rain, but today was something else,” he added. “You really couldn’t see the car ahead, there was aquaplaning, it was unfortunately just a disaster on track.

“But the fans stayed out in the rain. They still had energy, they still created the atmosphere but they were robbed of a race today. I think they deserve their money back.”

Hamilton continued to vent on Sunday evening, posting a message to Instagram saying: “Today was a farce and the only people to lose out are the fans who have paid good money to watch us race.

“Of course you can’t do anything about the weather but we have sophisticated equipment to tell us what’s going on and it was clear the weather wasn’t going to let up.

“We were sent out for one reason and one reason only. Two laps behind a safety car where there is no possibility to gain or lose a place or provide entertainment to fans isn’t racing. We should have just called it quits, not risked the drivers and most importantly refunded the fans who are the heart of our sport.”

However, both F1 and the FIA claimed commercial agreements were not a factor in deciding how many laps were run behind the safety car.

“Two laps or zero laps, it doesn’t make a difference in that respect,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

“That’s why when I hear there were commercial discussions behind [the scenes], that’s totally not true. When we are talking about racing there is a responsibility and a clear process.

“These things are not connected at all.”

Domenicali added that the fans who attended the Belgian Grand Prix, who bought their tickets through the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and not F1, would be a “matter of attention” in the coming weeks.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said everyone had reasons to be upset.

“It is what it is. I guess you need to take this one on the chin and close the chapter on this race and move on,” said the Austrian.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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