Max Verstappen won a heavily rain-shortened Belgian Grand Prix that finished late into the evening amid torrential conditions at Spa-Francorchamps. Half points were awarded as more than two laps – but less than 75% of the race – were completed.
The 1500 scheduled start time came 30 minutes after Sergio Perez crashed on the way to his grid spot in the wet weather, with the rain showing no signs of relenting. After a 25 minute delay, a brace of formation laps behind the Safety Car followed, before Race Director Michael Masi threw the red flag.
After many more delays, the race finally resumed at 1817 local time – more than three hours after it was set to start – with the clock to tick down from one hour as Masi did everything in his control to try to get a race up and running.
But only a handful laps behind the Safety Car followed before another red flag, and Verstappen pulled back into the pits ahead of second-place Williams qualifier George Russell and third-place Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
Most of the field would thus finish where they had qualified, with half points their consolation on a gloomy day at Spa, as it was finally announced the race would not resume, at 1845 local time. – www.formula1.com
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 1st, Start Position: 1st
“It is always good to win and the points are important but today is not how anyone wants to do it, especially on our 50th start with Honda. In hindsight it was very important to get pole yesterday and although it’s a big shame not to do some proper racing laps, as I really love coming to this track, it was just impossible in these conditions. For me, in the lead the visibility was a lot better, even with the Safety Car ahead, but the guys behind me couldn’t see a single thing and if someone went off at Eau Rouge and bounced back onto the track they could have been T-boned at high speed which we do not want. I’m confident we have a good car and there is a long way to go so we just need to make sure we get the best performance out of it for the rest of the season.”