Brown urges F1 to find better solution than three-lap GP - The Race
Formula 1

Brown urges F1 to find better solution than three-lap GP

Aug 29 2021
By Scott Mitchell-Malm

McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown has called on Formula 1 to review the rule allowing the Belgian Grand Prix to award half-points and suggested even racing on Monday would be a better alternative.

A full race result was declared, podium ceremony held and half-points awarded after a controversial Sunday at Spa where the race was red-flagged for more than three hours in total and featured no racing laps.

Only three laps were completed in total, all behind the safety car, but that was enough for Article 6.5 of the sporting regulations to be satisfied and allow for 50% points to be awarded.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel, who was classified fifth, branded it a “joke” and several other drivers questioned it as well.

In a video addressed to fans on his personal Twitter account, McLaren Racing CEO Brown supported the actions taken by the FIA in how they managed the delays and the efforts to get racing going.

But he was clearly opposed to a final result being declared and said nobody should feel right “calling that a race”.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Belgian Grand Prix Race Day Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

“That was certainly a disappointing day,” he said.

“We wanted to race, the drivers wanted to race, and of course we know you wanted to see a race, and that’s not what you saw.

“The FIA did everything they could to put on the race. They can’t control the weather. They do need to put the drivers safety first, the conditions were not raceable.

“The regulations state after you do a few laps, it can be called a race. I think that needs to be reviewed.

“I don’t think there’s anyone that would argue that the weather was safe to race in. But we need a better solution as a sport.

“When that type of situation happens, the outcome should not be a race after three laps, behind a safety car.

“That is what the rules say. But I think that now needs to be reviewed, by all of us, to learn from today and realise if we are getting this type of situation, what would we do differently to make sure the outcome is that everyone gets their racing – whether that’s the following day, whether it’s coming back.

“It’s quite complicated with the schedule, but I don’t think anyone would say today it felt right calling that a race.

“So we will get to work on this and hope that something like this doesn’t happen again.”

FIA race director Michael Masi claimed after the grand prix that there was no option to explore postponing it to Monday.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Belgian Grand Prix Race Day Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

F1 is racing at Zandvoort next weekend and Monza the weekend after, while the rest of the calendar is already congested, so slotting in a return to Spa would not be feasible.

But Brown’s point is that F1 should have a contingency plan that does facilitate a potential solution as the events at Spa proved that what is currently in place is insufficient.

On the subject of how half-points are awarded, Masi was non-committal on the notion of changing the rule but said it could be changed if all parties agreed it was necessary.

“After this weekend, and at our next meetings for next year, we’ll look at a whole lot of things to see what everyone wants,” he said.

“We’re at one of those points that the FIA works with all 10 teams and F1 to develop the regulations [for next year].

“And so we’ll go through all of the various scenarios and see what everyone thinks.”

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