Formula 1’s Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn has accepted that the issuing of half points in Belgium was “not ideal” but believes it acted as a suitable reward for “bravery” in qualifying.
Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix was delayed by over three hours due to persistently wet and misty conditions at Spa-Francorchamps.
When it began it did so behind the Safety Car and lasted only three laps until it was terminally halted.
Those few laps allowed Formula 1 to issue a race result, taken back to just a single lap, with half points distributed to the top 10 classified finishers.
It marked only the sixth time in history, and first occurrence since 2009, that half points were awarded.
“It’s pretty rare to see a weekend where the weather has been so intense, so consistently,” said Brawn.
“Every effort was made to get the race underway safely and normally, there is a window when you can bring the Safety Car in, but that wasn’t possible.
“At the end of the day, safety comes first. And it wasn’t safe enough to continue the race.
“So the FIA did the best they could in what have been very challenging circumstances, of which we’ve not seen in decades.
“Half points were awarded. It’s not ideal but if you can’t reward someone for the race, reward them for the bravery in qualifying.
“A lap like George Russell did in qualifying in the absence of a full race should be rewarded. As I say, it’s not ideal, but it’s where we are. The weather just wasn’t in our corner on Sunday.”
Despite Sunday’s washout Brawn emphasised his view that Russell has done enough to secure a Mercedes seat for 2022.
“He doesn’t have a front row car but in those tricky conditions in qualifying, he trounced people with far better cars than he had,” he said.
“In my view, there is only one decision for Mercedes next year with regards the second seat.”