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F1 2021 Round 12: Belgian Grand Prix



  • That’s true! I’d love to see a comparison to see how much of a difference is made! Surely it’s something the FIA have already looked at tho

  • It’s not the first time this season Masi has looked out of his depth. Is there a reason they can’t start the races earlier in the day? Especially if it looks like loads of rain is on the cards.

  • TV schedules probably main big one. Sky has a dedicated TV channel but others are scheduling it alongside other programmes and sports events. Moving it at short notice is bound to affect viewing figures and ad revenue. Plus loads of people who would tune in an hour into the race would be miffed.

    This weekend was unfortunate but it was just a freak of nature that prevented the race going ahead. Knee jerk reactions aren't the solution either and chopping and changing the start time with little notice would make anyone happier (apart from the fans in attendance). I just chalk this weekend up to one of those rare things. Hopefully they can find come up with some sensible contingency plans for the future.

  • what a farce, though not exactly unexpected with F1 these days

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  • Yeah and it's easy to call it a farce, but what should they have done on the day apart from changing the weather?

    It was just an extraordinary situation and it was very disappointing. But that's about it.

  • It is remarkable that this is the first time in more than 10 years we have lost any racing, and the first time in a long long time we have lost all the racing!

    I personally enjoy changeable conditions more than dry warm races. So I am happy to accept cancellation once a decade in return for generally more exciting racing!

  • Obviously TV scheduling is a big one. The races used to start earlier in the day years back. Maybe a midday start would be better for every race. It’ll be early for some audiences but might still be worth it to give more of a window for the race.

  • They could have made an honest attempt at running the race.

    F1 has raced in far far worse conditions many times before. F3 raced in those same conditions on that same track on that day. The race leader said grip levels were totally fine, which nobody really disputed. The most experienced driver on the grid said visibility levels were no worse than any other wet race. A lot of the comments coming from other teams and drivers were entirely partisan - people like Russell not even pretending they wanted anything other than a short procession that guaranteed a podium, while those who were in position to lose ground on their championship rivals wanted the entire race nulled out, so a lot of those comments really have to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

    They could have done what they've done for every other very wet race in the last couple of decades and stayed behind the safety car for 10-15 laps to see if a dry line formed, and to be ready to immediately start racing when the rain eased (because there were times when it eased, just not long for enough for the whole 15 minute notice that's needed to get the cars running again), or they could have showed some initiative and ran double yellows on the wettest part of the circuit and allowed them to race on the other 95% of the track.

    They also could have known what their own rules were rather than looking like complete idiots when it came to the simplest of questions like whether the race had started, how many laps were left or how much time was left.

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  • For me, the farce was in the outcome. I was really frustrated on Sunday, but wasn't one of those saying they should race. It was far to risky and I agree we just have to accept that it simply wasn't safe to race. It is just one of those things.

    The farce was calling it a race, when they completed a handful of laps behind the safety car and then hand out points, just to fulfill contractual obligations. It was a slap in the face to fans, especially that had sat there all day, and de meaning to the sport in general. There was also farcical elements to how the situation was handled, the confusion over how many laps were done/not done/formation laps etc plus the Perez thing. So weather couldn't be helped and we have to live with it but in general it was poorly managed in a lot of ways.

  • The ridiculous things were indeed that at some point nobody seemed to know if the race had started, nobody seemed to know how many laps there were to go and nobody seemed to know how much time was left. There ARE indeed some regulatory takeaways from this one:

    • there needs to be a minimum amount of racing laps completed (not behind SC, VSC and whatnot) to assign points
    • The "3 hours continuous time from race start" limit is absolutely idiotic and needs to be gone; Besides weather, it's not uncommon for barrier repairs
    • The rulebook needs to be rewritten in daily English and not "Legalese"; The concept of interpretation of the rule will always exist but there should be a limit.

    The main contention points will be around...well, the points. If Verstappen goes on to win it by less than 5 points at the end of the season, there'll be quite the controversy; At the same time, teams like Alfa Romeo and HAAS have a reason to get quite a bit annoyed by the lucky break Williams had. These are all points coming out of a non-race.

    Finally, the whole debate "it was not too bad / they raced in worse conditions / they should've tried" is moot, as the issue was the track and the precedent. The Raidillion has this issue where a crashed car will most likely be bounced right in the middle of the track, due to how the barriers are shaped - they pretty much create a "funnel". After Hubert in 2019, Aitken, the W Series...there was never a chance in hell they'd even try. Had it been a different track, with wider spaces, they probably would've at least tried to green flag the race for a few laps.

  • One thing this has highlighted is the the lack of progression for all weather conditions or any weather condition in F1 outside of warm and dry.

    I think at this point its worth exploring for them and has great possibilities and would make the race calendar easier plan as the weather wouldn't be an issue ! but its never going to happen really !

  • The lack of clarity over the rules was silly. It's a very rare occurrence, but they should have known the rules or at least been able to figure them out very quickly on the fly. That was silly.

  • Not the first time Masi has said the wrong thing this year.

    He told Wolfe to head up to the Stewards recently and then the FIA had to issue a statement saying you can't enter unless you are invited by the stewards.

    He got lucky that he was COC in Australia when Charlie passed away and got asked to join the circus but you can tell he is out of his depth. Time for a new director to join after this year I think.

  • Yeah, they should be looking to pry Beaux Barfield from IMSA or Eduardo Freitas (current Le Mans 24 Hours, FIA WEC, ELMS and Asian LMS Race Director).

  • I've seen better Grand Prix.

  • That's very harsh. It's a relatively new series and all the Women in it have raced in other series so they all had experience of racing behind them. What makes you so qualified that you can say none of them deserve to be in it?

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  • Comments from the drivers. The only"go" comments I heard was Max after his initial comments and then Kimi who was not on track as pitlane starter.

  • run the race. If any driver thinks its too dangerous they are welcome to withdraw

  • Race distance reduced for delayed starts is sporting reg 40.1.

    If the Race Director decides the start should be delayed, the following procedures shall apply:

    a) If the race has not been started, the abort lights will be switched on, a board saying “DELAYED START” will be displayed, engines should be stopped and all Competitors will be informed of the likely delay using the official messaging system. Once the start time is known at least five minutes warning will be given. Tyre changing on the grid is not permitted during such a delay. Every time this happens the sprint qualifying session or the race will be shortened by one (1) lap.

    Each time they delayed the start, the abort lights were indeed switched on at the gantry.

    Perez never fell a lap down to the field, because they performed two formation laps (extra laps permitted per sporting reg 39.2).

    The race being 2 hours in a 4 hour period was correct after Canada 2011, but at the end of last year they reduced it to three hours. I guess it's to ensure that a race will definitely finish within international TV broadcast windows, and not require too much overrun.

  • Ya I figured I might be out of date on the 4 hour thing but it seemed to work at 4 hours.

    With the delayed start, it appears you are correct but only makes sense in the case of where cars have been waved off for another formation lap. Reducing laps when you simply notify a delay is silly but appears to satisfy that rule

    The Perez thing makes no sense.