- Lap-by-lap updates as Max Verstappen starts on pole
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Right then. With the rain continuing to tumble from the skies above Spa, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a race anytime soon. Some ludicrously, there seems to be disagreement over whether or not the race has started. The bizarre technicality at play is that the occurrence of the formation laps means that, officially speaking, the race – which has a three-hour time limit – has started, and therefore points must be given out. There appears to have been no definitive ruling on this from the organisers. There’s very little precedent for this, but here are the options are we understand it:
- The cars go out for two laps behind a safety car. This would deliver a classification, and half points, but leave the fans and competitors underwhelmed to say the least.
- The race goes ahead in truncated form. Exactly how truncated, we don’t know: it could be a four-lap dash, for example. This depends on rain, which shows no sign of abating.
- The race is postponed until tomorrow. The most ostensibly sensible option, but one that throws up various logistical problems: as well as broadcasting schedules and staffing at the circuit (the marshals for instance tend to be volunteers), the teams are all working on tight schedules ahead of next weekend’s race, with their garages ready to be broken down and packed off into lorries this evening.
Perez has been reinstated! “Good news – Sergio will be in a pit lane start,” is the word from the Red Bull team radio. So he would, in theory, rejoin the race a lap down, without having completed a formation lap. Weird.
Whether or not he will have a race to rejoin is another matter. Toto Wolff says: “It is not going to get better for the next 45 minutes. And we are limited by the [race duration of] three hours.” Michael Masi has confirmed that the race started at 2pm, so would have to be finished by 5pm. So this race will definitely finish in just over an hour and a half … but will it start?