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Verstappen wins Belgian Grand Prix, Ended by Torrential Rainfall

A driver speeds by a turn during the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix. (Photo courtesy of CaterhamF1 on Creative Commons)
By Jesus Coronel

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen won the Belgian Grand Prix despite the unsatisfactory conditions and delay.

The conditions all weekend long were very wet, as it was raining throughout qualifying as well.

For the most part, fans were disappointed that the race didn’t run the way they were hoping.

McLaren’s Lando Norris crashed and destroyed his chassis on the infamous Eau Rouge corner in the third qualifying round due to worsening track conditions Aug. 28.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was first to check if Lando was all right. He was complaining to his team that the qualifying round should have been red-flagged before the crash.

Norris was able to escape the crash without any injuries, but he went to the hospital to check up on his well-being.

After the red flag was cleared, qualifying resumed.

Williams Racing’s George Russell shocked everyone in the session, getting provisional pole position after holding off Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton by 13-thousandths of a second, but then was demoted to second after Verstappen set the fastest lap.

His second-place result tied his highest finish in qualifying when he filled in for Hamilton last year in the Sakhir Grand Prix for Mercedes. He is currently competing with Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas for the second seat at Mercedes.

As the race was scheduled to start on the next day, the track conditions were so wet that the race start was delayed for 25 minutes. The race was red-flagged due to dangerous conditions on the formation lap.

The rain got so heavy to the point that all drivers’ visibility was nonexistent. The race’s three-hour delay followed.

After attempting to resume the race, and another red flag, Michael Masi, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) director, deemed the race undrivable and ended the event.

However, two laps were completed before the end of the session. By rule, there would be a classification for results, but the points given for the championship would be cut in half.

Verstappen took the victory, but he congratulated the fans for waiting as long as they did.

“It’s a win but not how you want to win,” he said in the post-race interview. “I think the credit goes to the fans who stayed here in these rainy conditions.”

Hamilton, meanwhile, thinks the fans should get their money refunded after failing to see the experience of a Formula 1 Race.

“We should have just called it quits,” he said on Instagram. “We shouldn’t have risked the drivers and most importantly refunded the fans who are the heart of our sport.”

Although it wasn’t the way he wanted to get his first podium in F1, Russell finished in second, gaining Williams their first podium in four years.

“The whole team deserves it,” Russell said. “We haven’t always been rewarded for our hard work, but here we are on the podium.”

The lead between Hamilton and Verstappen is now three points, while the constructors championship battle between Mercedes and Red Bull is now seven points.

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