Stefano Domenicali, head of Formula 1, said Sunday’s Belgian GP should have been run normally, but apparently, the rain was not announced.
Conditions were better at the beginning of the day than in the afternoon. The F3 and Porsche Supercup races were held. Then, at noon, it started to rain and the start time at 15:00 for the F1 race had to be postponed. The GP then started at 18:17 local time and there was only driving behind the safety car. But after two laps it was over.
Actually, the GP should not have started, because after the “official” start at 15:00 there is a three-hour window where the race may be held. After consultation with the FIA stewards, the clock was paused at 1 hour remaining time.
Some observers felt that the FIA should have anticipated the rain and the associated delay. Now, however, Domenicali says that race stewards must approve any changes that want to be made on a race weekend.
“I cannot control that. It’s the stewards that control that, if you want to change the time.
“As far as the information that we had, there was, let’s say, considered to be normal rain. There was no sign that the rain would have been so bad. Otherwise, a decision could have been taken by the stewards.
“You see what the stewards decided today is really to stop also the time in order to try and gain time to see if there was a possible slot to have the race.
“You could have said in these conditions, is it like to throw the balls in the air. It could have been pouring from 11am or whatever it is. It’s really something that you cannot predict.”
The race could not have been postponed to Monday either.
“Not for logistical, for a lot of reasons, you cannot schedule the race the day after for many things, related to 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.”