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Belgian Grand Prix swamped by deluge of rains

Race stopped after three laps behind safety car
The race was halted after drivers took three laps behind the safety car.
The race was halted after drivers took three laps behind the safety car.(Haas F1 Team)
Published: Aug. 29, 2021 at 2:14 PM EDT
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Kannapolis-based Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin classified 16th and 17th, respectively, at the Belgian Grand Prix – Round 12 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday.

“A long afternoon for everybody but the weather just didn’t work out and it’s a tough decision to make, not to race. Thanks to all the fans – they are the real heroes of this race – to hang in there and wait for us to get out but the weather didn’t come our way. Thankfully we have a race next weekend, so we’ve not got long to wait,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner.

Persistent heavy rain fell throughout the course of the day in Belgium causing the formation lap to be delayed by 25 minutes. Race Control permitted two formation laps but swiftly deemed that it was not safe to race. A delay of almost three hours followed before a reduced distance 39-lap race began behind the Safety Car, with both Mazepin and Schumacher equipped with Pirelli Cinturato Blue wet tires.

However, after just three laps behind the Safety Car, Race Control brought a halt to proceedings, and the race did not restart, with the rain continuing to batter a foggy Spa-Francorchamps. As two laps were completed it was sufficient for a race classification to be issued, with Schumacher 16th and Mazepin 17th. Mazepin notionally ended with the race’s fastest lap.

“It could have gone many different ways today,” Mazepin said. “When there’s so much water on the track, the visibility – at least from where I was starting, it was very difficult to see. We weren’t going that fast behind the Safety Car, but you just weren’t sure where the car in front of you was, I just had to try and always keep my distance before the rain settled in the air. It wasn’t the best day for us, but I can imagine for the fans it was even more difficult. I could see that some of them didn’t even have umbrellas. With the amount of water falling today they must be soaking wet – but thanks to all who stayed. I had a race end prematurely in Hungary, our race today had a premature end, but at least we’re on a triple-header stint this time with Zandvoort and Monza coming our way. I’m hoping for good races.”

“It was very frustrating on the one hand, the fact we have been looking forward to the race so much and then not being able to race, but on the other hand, the fans have been out there for so long waiting for the race to go on, “Schumacher said. “They must have been freezing but they stayed out, so thank you very much and sorry that we didn’t manage to show what we had to show. Visibility was the main concern as we couldn’t see a thing. We’ll have more opportunities coming our way in the future.”

Up front Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) was declared the victor, his sixth win of the season, ahead of George Russell (Williams) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).

Uralkali Haas F1 Team will return to action at the Dutch Grand Prix, to be held at Circuit Zandvoort, from September 3 to 5.

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