Stefano Domenicali, F1 CEO, said that the stewards did not take into account the commercial pressure while deciding whether to start the race or not.
The start of the GP was delayed due to a heavy thunderstorm that hit Spa. Then, the drivers did just three laps behind the safety car since the conditions were not improving and the red flag was brought out again.
Despite not completing all the laps, those three laps behind the safety car allowed the FIA to give the points to the top ten.
Some rumors suggested that Formula 1 wanted to start the race to fulfill the deal with the track of Spa. However, Domenicali denied that.
“No, no, at the end of the day,” he said. “That’s why, when I hear that there was some commercial discussion behind that, it’s not true, because when we’re talking about racing, there is a responsibility, that is a clear process, and those things are not connected at all.”
The F1 CEO also added that he agreed with every decision taken by the stewards and by Michael Masi.
“For the people, of course, it’s a shame, because it’s something that everyone wants to see, a proper race,” he said. “But I think that the decisions taken by race control are correct.
“There was the wish and the will to do the race. And as soon as there was information, I was following what was the situation there, there was a window of possible weather improvement to try to do the race.
“Then as soon as they restarted, the comments were pretty clear, and on another side, another weather forecast received, not possible. Despite the disappointment for everyone, I think in terms of management, it was the right thing to do.”
Domenicali feels sorry for the fans but he said that Formula 1 cannot control the weather.
“The message is clear, that unfortunately, we don’t control the time. Two laps or no laps, the spend was there.
“So, it’s not a problem of laps. It was the point of trying to do the race. I think on that, race control tried to do the maximum to do it. So as I said, it’s not a problem of laps or no laps, it’s really unfortunate conditions.
“You need to consider safety for everyone, and that’s very very important. As I said, the first to be disappointed is me, because I love racing, but there are always conditions where you cannot do it.”
Speaking about giving a refund to the fans, Domenicali said that that is something that can be discussed after the Belgian GP weekend since the fans did not see a real race.
“It’s something that [we can discuss] together with the organizer,” said Domenicali. “We are not the ones that are putting [out] the tickets. Some sign of attention could be done, so it’s something that as a gesture of attention, in terms of what will be the right reward in this condition.
“Unfortunately the race is not there. You can pay for the ticket and it is what it is. At the end of the day, for sure, the organizer, together with us, will consider the attention, the maximum attention to the fans, that’s for sure.”
“I think there will be ideas that they already are thinking [about], considering what has happened this year.”
Finally, just like Masi, Domenicali confirmed that running the race on Monday would be impossible due to logistic reasons.
“Not for logistical, for a lot of reasons, you cannot schedule the race the day after for many things, related to the availability of marshals, availability of other stuff.
“That was considered, of course, but it’s not possible. With the promoters, everything is very close, they followed the decision process, so they are not out of that.”