Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has explained why half points were awarded to drivers who finished inside the top ten at the Belgian Grand Prix, despite the final results being taken from the order at the end of lap one.
Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps saw torrential rainfall, with the race delayed before a handful of formation laps were completed behind the safety car.
A lengthy red-flag period followed, after which three laps were completed behind a safety car to ensure enough laps were completed to allow for the distribution of half points.
However, as the race was red-flagged, the finishing order was taken two laps prior to their deployment.
With the final classification taken from lap one, which appears to contradict the regulations regarding the number of laps that must be completed before points are deemed eligible, the FIA has explained why it awarded points.
“There’s been three laps completed, so the third lap was completed as the cars crossed the control line in the fast lane, and then the classification for points is taken on the penultimate lap before the lap when the signal was given, so there’s two separate points,” Masi said.
“One is what’s done to complete a race, one is what’s done on the basis of championship points.”
Max Verstappen took the race victory and 12.5 championship points, helping him narrow the gap to Lewis Hamilton, who continues to lead the drivers’ standings.
George Russell was second, picking up his maiden podium in F1 ahead of Hamilton in third.
The FIA has clarified that it could not postpone the race to Monday, or indeed, another weekend, due to several reasons, which include logistical challenges.
F1 returns to action once again next weekend, as the Dutch Grand Prix makes its return to the calendar for the first time since 1985.