Monday, 30 August 2021 16:27

Staff Reporter.

Formula 1 is to make rule changes to prevent a recurrence of the events surrounding the controversial abandoment of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was declared the winner of a race that lasted two laps behind the safety car.

Heavy rain had prevented any competitive racing at the Spa-Francorchamps track.

Lewis Hamilton called the event a "farce", saying drivers were sent out solely to secure an official result.

Bosses accept the situation needs to be addressed and teams will meet for talks with governing body the FIA and F1.

A number of other leading drivers have criticised events surrounding the race.

And on Monday, Alfa Romeo said the event should have been abandoned without trying to make the result of the race official.

"The decision not to race in the conditions was the right one, in the interests of protecting the safety of the drivers, the marshals and the spectators themselves.," Alfa Romeo said,

"However, the situation would have been dealt with a lot more appropriately by not having at all the 'race' we witnessed.

"This outcome hurts us all, but in particular it hurts the fans of the sport, who didn't get the show they came to see.

"We hope lessons were learnt, lessons that will improve the way we operate in the future and that put the supporters of our sport in the position they deserve to be."

The event dragged on for three and a half hours as the FIA sought to find a window in which a race could be run in the heavy rain, but poor visibility meant conditions were deemed too dangerous to let the cars loose.

F1's rules dictate two racing laps is the minimum for points to be awarded. These were completed behind the safety car at 18.17 local time.

F1 is understood to be in discussions with the promoter of the race to evaluate what can be done for the fans who stood for hours in the rain and did not see a grand prix.

McLaren Racing chief executive officer Zak Brown has called for a change of the rules that govern this type of situation.

The FIA rejected the claim that the final two laps were a cynical move to make the event official.

Race director Michael Masi said officials thought there could be a weather window in which some racing could take place, and the cars were sent out to assess conditions.

F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali also denied claims commercial factors were involved in sending the cars out for the final time.

A number of drivers, including multiple world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, said it was wrong to award points when there had been no actual competition.