Verstappen backs Belgian GP call

Race winner Max Verstappen backed the call to not allow any racing laps at the Belgian Grand Prix, admitting he had the best conditions of the whole field.

Verstappen was starting from pole position on Sunday and during the formation laps behind the safety car — themselves delayed due to the weather — he claimed the conditions were possible to race in. However, as the lead car he did not suffer from the lack of visibility those behind him had, and after being limited to half points after only one classified lap that counted towards the race result behind the safety car, he said the right decision was made.

“What can you say? This is of course not what you like, especially not for the people at the side of the track, the fans,” Verstappen said. “They expect a race. But the conditions today were not good. It just kept raining all the time.

“I think from 3 o’clock onwards it just got worse and worse and when you already start that late in the day there is not much room to move around, even though we still waited for like three hours. Unfortunately it didn’t improve. Of course when you are the leading car the visibility is naturally a bit better, so it’s difficult on my side to judge how the others felt.

Verstappen had the best seat in the field, but even though he had better visibility, agreed the conditions didn’t allow for racing. Jerry Andre/Motorsport Images

“I think at 3.30 p.m. I said it was OK to race from my side but of course the visibility behind was very bad, and especially I think with the recent events you don’t want to risk a big shunt to happen or even you know the risk of it. It just didn’t feel right. Of course the fans won’t agree with what happened today but you also have to think about safety at the end.”

As three laps were completed by the result taken from the end of lap one, the FIA says half points are able to be awarded, and Verstappen admits closing the gap to Lewis Hamilton was a small plus even if the circumstances were not ones to celebrate.

“We had two races where we didn’t really score points, so we needed a decent result. Of course, again, it’s not how you want to have the result, but still I think the whole weekend we were very competitive, and that’s very important on a track like this with long straights.

“Now we go to Zandvoort, which is new for everyone, so there will be a bit of a question mark over how everyone will be performing and maybe some surprises as well — you never know — but I’m looking forward to it.”