Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Lewis Hamilton has hit out at F1 race organisers for their handling of the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa on Sunday. The Mercedes driver claimed the decision to drive two laps of the track was a financial decision, leaving him just seven points ahead of rival Max Verstappen in the F1 Drivers’ Championship.
The Belgium Grand Prix was eventually abandoned after a three-hour delay, owing to heavy rain.
Two attempts were made to start the race, with the drivers following the safety car shortly after 5.15pm UK time.
Conditions were deemed to be too dangerous for full racing, however, and the red flag was flown after two laps behind the safety car.
Seeing as the drivers managed to ‘race’ two laps, the result was declared using the grid order – albeit with half points all around.
Hamilton subsequently finished third, after posting the third-best qualifying time, behind Verstappen and George Russell.
The Mercedes driver was left fuming with the decision to take the cars out onto the track for two laps, which ultimately meant that his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship was cut down to seven points.
Hamilton demanded that fans received refunds for their tickets at the race.
The financial repercussions of completely abandoning the race was behind the F1 chiefs’ decision-making, he claimed.
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“Money talks, and literally the two laps to start the race was all a money scenario,” Hamilton told Sky Sports after the race.
“Everyone gets their money – and I think the fans should get theirs back too. Unfortunately they didn’t get to see what they paid for.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t do the race tomorrow. I love this track as well, so sad we couldn’t do this.
“Today wasn’t a race. I think the sport made a bad choice today.
“Of course we wanted to race but this minimum of two laps you need to do to count as a race, between the gap [between the race stopping and resuming] it rained consistently.
“There was only one reason why they sent us out. That’s why I feel more bad for the fans.”
Hamilton said he was disappointing for the fans, but admitted the driving conditions were extremely difficult.
The spray from cars ahead, as well as water on the track, meant it was near-impossible for the race to go ahead.
“I’m really disappointed for the fans,” added Hamilton.
“Obviously we can’t control the weather and I love racing in the rain – but today was something else.
“You really couldn’t see the car ahead, it was aquaplaning. It was unfortunately just a disaster on track.
“The fans stayed out, they still had energy, they still created the atmosphere but they were robbed of a race today and I think deserve their money back.”
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