Saturday, December 4

Verstappen wins without getting in the car



Max Verstappen won the strangest Grand Prix of his life. He did it without getting into the car and almost four hours after the scheduled start time. The heavy rain that fell on Spa-Francorchamps aborted all attempts to relaunch a race that could not be contested. In the end he ended up respecting the positions achieved in the classification, after having completed two laps behind a safety car. No real lap and a strange and unworthy podium, with Verstappen, Russell and Hamilton in the drawer and with the Dutchman recovering the first position in the world rankings. The outcome of the race generated countless comments, almost all of them controversial, and the need to review the regulations so that there are a minimum of laps to be able to crown a winner.

It was a long afternoon in Spa-Francorchamps because of the rain, which led race management to delay the start of the race. Concern among the drivers about the progressive loss of light and hope in Red Bull, racing to repair Checo Pérez’s car, which damaged his mount in the formation laps. The Mexican was ruled out to start the race but the continuous delays allowed the mechanics to try the miracle. Interesting conversation between the FIA ​​and Red Bull. The team manager of the Austrian team announced that they would have Pérez’s car ready to contest the race, as the delay allowed it, while the FIA ​​denied that it was possible, to which Red Bull replied that the race had not started and that the regulation does not say otherwise. Michael Masi he asked for time to consult with the commissioners. In the end he came out last.

All the riders wearing extreme rain tires on a start attempt thirty minutes after the scheduled time. In the training lap, Hamilton already complained, ensuring that his visibility was zero. Surprised Verstappen with the same message when he was the first driver and felt the discomfort of the spray that splashed the safety car. Worrying messages from all the pilots who had an impact on the direction of the race, that he had to make a decision putting safety before the show. Michael Masi decided to show the red flag before the start of the race and to suspend the start procedure. The risk of suspension began to fly over Spa: “I hope we can start in the next 30 minutes. I thought the sun was going to come out, that it was going to clear up, but the rain goes for long in the next half hour“Lamented Zac Brown, CEO of McLaren. “Verstappen believes that the race could have started earlier, he had visibility but was in front, so it is understood that the others behind did not see anything,” added Christian Horner, manager of Red Bull.

“I think the biggest problem is visibility. F1 cars have no protection for spray and there is a lot of risk on the straight. Unfortunately conditions are not going to improve anytime soon if we look at the radar. In these conditions you can use the rain tire and it doesn’t wear out too much. This morning we saw that the intermediates lasted more than 20 laps. It would not be a problem. Tomorrow it would be difficult to contest the race, almost impossible, because we have to go to the next circuit “, warned Mario Isola, director of Pirelli in Formula 1. And Toto Wolf, from Mercedes, added:” The medical car is there to evaluate, but in the next 45 minutes more rain is expected and we are limited to three hours. Lewis didn’t see anything so difficult. I think Pérez could run because the race hasn’t started. We would have to see the penalties but I think I could start from the pitlane ».

A running attempt was attempted but could not be carried out. The stopwatch was started but half an hour before the end it was decided to end the pantomime and distribute the points according to the classification of Saturday. A triumph that Verstappen would never have signed.

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