Formula One fans were excited to get the second half of the season underway after the three-week summer break but soaking wet conditions at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps washed out all their hopes.
Everyone was itching to get back to racing after three weeks of F1’s mandatory factory shutdown. The stage was set at Spa-Francorchamps to allow the intense battle to continue between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, as the two drivers fight it out for the 2021 world drivers championship.
Mouth’s were watering at the thought of a wet Belgian GP to introduce the second half of the, already-intense, 2021 season. However, what was delievered was a torrential downpour that drenched the four-mile circuit, and provided a lengthy four-hour wait until race control eventually called the race off.
Despite the horrendous conditions, which comes part and parcel with an outdoor sport such as Formula One, the fans prevailed in miserable conditions.
While, understandably, some of the fans left due to the long wait: expecting the race to be abandoned. The majority of the fans stuck out the horrendous weather.
Consequently, as no on-track action took place – despite cars going out behind the safety car, F1 and the promoter for the event are ‘working through various options’ for ticket holders.
Driver of the weekend: George Russell
The Mercedes protégé, George Russell stole the show at Spa after the Briton secured a front row start alongside Red Bull’s title contender, Max Verstappen.
It was an incredible display of superb driving from the British driver who took his 50th grand prix start on Sunday, after joining the grid back in 2019. Despite the fact that he, and Nicholas Latifi, drives the 8th fastest car in the field, it showcases the young driver’s ability to extract every ounce of performance out of his equipment.
While he took his maiden podium of his F1 career in unusual circumstances, he still managed to obtain second on the grid and it will give the Briton a strong case with a potential promotion up to Mercedes.
Team of the weekend: Red Bull Racing
In a washed out Belgian grand prix, the biggest team to profit from these circumstances would be Verstappen and Red Bull Racing as they continue to fight Mercedes and Hamilton in both the drivers and constructors championships.
After race control allowed the cars to go out in two separate occassions, under safety car conditions, the two minimum laps were completed to allow the FIA and F1 to classify the outcome of the Belgian grand prix. As a result, only half points were awarded for those in the top 10.
While the race win, at half points, won’t be as beneficial to Red Bull and Verstappen as what full points would have been. It has cut Hamilton’s lead to three points in the drivers, while Mercedes’ lead has been slashed to seven.