F1 chief Jean Todt vows sport will learn lessons from Belgian Grand Prix fiasco

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Formula One chief Jean Todt has vowed his sport will learn the lessons from this weekend’s unsatisfactory conclusion to the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.

The rain-hit event was abandoned after just two laps behind the safety car, with Max Verstappen declared the winner ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, after officials deemed the track unsafe.

The move drew criticism from former Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who dismissed safety concerns, and Hamilton, who implied the decision to stage a nominal race was made due to financial reasons.

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FIA president Todt admitted in a statement issued on Tuesday that the race had presented “extraordinary challenges”, and said the current regulations will be carefully reviewed at the next meeting of the F1 Commission in October.

Todt said: “This year’s Belgian Grand Prix presented extraordinary challenges to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

“The weather windows predicted by the forecasters did not appear throughout the day, and while a small window did appear late in the day during which there was an attempt to start the race, conditions quickly worsened again.

Lewis Hamilton was among those to criticise the decision to start the Belgian Grand Prix (Francisco Seco/PA)
Lewis Hamilton was among those to criticise the decision to start the Belgian Grand Prix (Francisco Seco/PA)

“Therefore, due to the lack of visibility created by the spray behind the cars, we could not run the full race in sufficiently safe conditions for the drivers, marshals as well as the brave spectators who waited for many hours in the rain, for whom I am very sorry.

“The FIA together with Formula 1 and the teams will carefully review the regulations to see what can be learned and improved for the future.

“The findings, including the topic of points allocation, will be added to the agenda of the next F1 Commission meeting on October 5.”

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