Charles Leclerc believes that there should be no complaints from any drivers or fans if the FIA opts to cancel sessions this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps due to rain.
Wet conditions are forecast across the weekend of the Belgian Grand Prix, with Thursday’s media day also proving to be a highly wet affair.
The topic of visibility and driver safety has been a prominent talking point in the paddock, as earlier this month, FRECA driver Dilano van ’t Hoff lost his life in wet conditions at Spa-Francorchamps.
Van ’t Hoff was the second death at Spa in the last five years, with Anthoine Hubert passing away following a violent accident at the 2019 Formula 2 Feature Race.
The two tragic incidents have prompted questions over Spa’s safety, with Leclerc highlighting that there are measures the track can take to improve the circumstance.
“I think there are some changes that could make a difference,” he said. “First of all, the walls on the straight after Eau Rouge, we should have a bit more space on the left and right.
“If you lose control of the car, the way it is done at the moment you are bouncing on the walls and you have a very high chance of finding yourself in the way.
“Again, and I think this is probably a change we should consider in the future.
“Then to change the layout of Eau Rouge, for example, we find ourselves in the season in those particular conditions, being fast in a straight, we have that everywhere and that is going to be difficult to do anything else other than that.
“You can always change the layout, but I don’t think it is fair to say this is what should be done.”
Drivers’ lack of vision in wet conditions has been brought to attention in recent times, including following a close call between Pierre Gasly and an on-track recovery vehicle in Japan last year.
Two years ago at Spa, the Belgian Grand Prix saw just two laps of running behind a Safety Car before the race was called amid torrential conditions.
But Leclerc says that the FIA should receive no complaints if it opts to make a similar decision this weekend when considering the on-track conditions.
“Visibility is really difficult to put into words what we are saying, apart from saying we are seeing nothing,” Leclerc said.
“We are not exaggerating when we say we don’t see anything, we really don’t see anything when it’s raining.
“This is a really big problem for Formula 1, for motorsport in general. Any single seaters, we have quite a bit of downforce and there is quite a lot of spray and then this causes quite a lot of incidents because we cannot react to what is in front.
“Easy to say that, much more difficult to find a solution to that, but I know that the FIA is on it and trying to do the best on that.
“Then the last thing is when is it safe to start a race? This is another topic for the FIA to look closely, especially on a weekend like this where it seems we will have quite a lot of rain throughout the weekend, to not feel the pressure of starting a race just because we didn’t have any running.
“We could be in that situation this weekend. It’s obvious to say, but safety should come first and this needs to be the priority.
“People, and first of all us drivers, shouldn’t complain if we don’t have any laps because it is not safe to do so, with everything that has happened.”