Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix was underwhelming. And that's putting it nicely
Max Verstappen won the rain-delayed race, though it's hard to call what transpired on Sunday a race. The race was delayed multiple times by rain and Formula 1 was never confident enough to attempt a start. Drivers ran two caution laps around the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. At around Noon ET, F1 declared the race official and Verstappen the winner.
Verstappen finished ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, though neither driver had a chance to overtake Verstappen since the four laps completed were behind the safety car. The drivers simply finished in the same order they qualified in.
Before calling it, F1 had tried to run a shortened one-hour race but drivers said that it was too wet to run. Formula 1 cars can race in the rain with rain tires, but there was simply too much precipitation to make a race viable.
Half points given
Hamilton entered the race eight points ahead of Verstappen in the points standings. A Verstappen win coupled with a Hamilton third in a regular race would have put Verstappen two points ahead of Hamilton. But F1 said that the two-lap "race" would only feature half points.
That means Hamilton will retain his points lead. Instead of getting 25 points, Verstappen will get 13 and Hamilton will get eight points instead of 15.
Why wasn't Monday an option?
Look, we're not advocating for F1 to force a race on Sunday when it clearly could not have taken place. But there had to be a better option than a two-lap "race" like what transpired, right?
Couldn't F1 have waited until Monday morning? The next race in the Netherlands is just a four-hour drive away. That's nothing for a series that traverses the world. Could the race have been scheduled for a date later in the year? Could it simply have been abandoned altogether and no points awarded?
Yes, the way the Sunday happened and was officiated within the bounds of the F1 rule book, but sometimes common sense has to take over. Either Sunday's race should have been a legitimate race with overtaking opportunities for drivers or it shouldn't have been a race at all.