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Belgian GP 2021

AUGUST 29, 2021

Race Notes - Rain defeats Belgian GP running, Verstappen takes win

Grid, Belgian GP 2021
© Williams Racing

By Mark Karp

After taking pole position Saturday, rain defeated getting the Belgian GP running, and after two periods of running the field behind the safety car the race was called with finishers taking half points.

Max Verstappen in the Red Bull-Honda won, George Russell in the Williams-Mercedes took his first podium in second place, and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes GP finished third.

The win is Verstappen’s 16th career win. It is the shortest Grand Prix in Formula history.

Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren-Mercedes was fourth, followed by Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin-Mercedes in fifth, Pierre Gasly, in the AlphaTauri-Honda was sixth, Estabon Ocon in the Alpine-Renault was seventh, Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari was eighth, Nicolas Latifi in the second Williams was ninth and Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari finished in tenth place.

Out of the points Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine was 11th, Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes was 12th, Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari was 13th, Lando Norris in the second McLaren was 14th, Yuki Tsunoda in the second AlphaTauri was 15th, Mick Schumacher in the Haas-Ferrari was 16th, his team mate Nikita Mazepin was 17th, Lance Stroll in the second Aston Martin was 18th, Kimi Raikkonen in the second Alfa Romeo was 19th and Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull was in 20th.

It was wet before the start of the Belgian GP. Verstappen in on pole with Russell on row 1, Hamilton and Ricciardo on row 2, Vettel and Gasly on row 3, Perez and Ocon on row 4, Leclerc and Latifi rounding out the top 10. Perez touched a barrier on the reconnaissance lap and the team works on the car in the pits, it looks unlikely that he will be able to start from the pitlane.

The race start is delayed 10 minutes because of the rain and will be a rolling start.

At 10 past the hour, the race was delayed a further ten minutes, then a further 5 minutes, to 25 minutes after the hour.

With a 25 minute delay, the cars start rolling behind the safety car with limited visibility.

All the drivers, except Verstappen, complaining about visibility, Russell saying he can’t even see Verstappen’s rear light. Race control decides to suspend the start procedure and the field pulls into the pitlane with a red flag.

Another half hour goes by, and no word from race control - the rain continuing to fall.

After a 2h52m delay, they field returns to the track behind the safety car and start doing laps with 1 hour on a countdown clock remaining. There is much spray for the drivers.

After two laps completed, the red flag is shown, and it is now an official race. The cars pull back into the pits, with 49 minutes left on the countdown clock.

A few minutes later race control calls the race with half points. Verstappen is declared the winner over Russell and Hamilton.