Vettel: Awarding points for Belgian GP ‘a joke’

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said it was a joke that points were awarded for the rain-affected Belgian Grand Prix, which was limited to just three laps behind a safety car.

The race, which was scheduled to run for 44 laps, was initially delayed for over three hours by a rainstorm before it was finally called off when it became clear the cars could not race safely in the conditions.

With the exception of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who crashed on his way to the grid, the finishing order was determined by the drivers’ grid positions.

Although no racing took place, the drivers completed enough laps behind the safety car (more than two) for half points to be awarded. Full points are only awarded when more than 75 percent of the race distance has been completed.

Vettel, who qualified and finished fifth for Aston Martin, was awarded five points.

When asked if that was a fair reward for his qualifying performance on Saturday, he said: “But that’s a joke. If you want to get a reward for qualifying you should get points for qualifying.

“What did we do today? I don’t know. I thought you had to do 25 percent of the race to get points?”

Vettel, who was vocal about race control’s decision not to suspend qualifying earlier on Saturday due to rain, said it was not possible to race on Sunday afternoon.

“I think the priority is always we are safe,” Vettel added. “Tough decisions today, not easy hanging in there, making the people wait. But as I said, probably the right decision. It doesn’t get any better and it was getting dark.”

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, who finished tenth and got half a point, agreed the right decision had been taken but that points should not have been awarded for the shortened race.

“If it was done just with the intention of awarding points, then I think it’s absolute nonsense, I don’t think we should do any laps just to alter the final result of a race,” Sainz said.

“If it was done with the intention of actually running and re-starting the race, then yes, which brings me to the next point, which is how far into the race you call it a race, and if there were actually no race laps, no competition, why should points be given and any result be given, because there was basically no race, I didn’t race, so I didn’t deserve the half a point I got, so I don’t know why I got it.

“The conditions were not good enough for 20 Formula One cars to drive around this circuit in a race. If we would have been out one by one, I think a Formula One car can go around in these conditions, but on a line of 20 cars, at the start, basically I couldn’t see even this far [the two metres between himself and the journalist].

“Imagine doing 300 km/h, someone spinning in front of you and you take him with you. Too risky, too dangerous, unfortunately this just happens very often, but today that was the case. Hopefully we can forget this soon and go back to racing at some point.”

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