Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton: “I love racing in the rain, but today was something else”

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Credit: Jiri Krenek

Lewis Hamilton took another podium finish in his illustrious career on Sunday afternoon in the Belgian Grand Prix, but it was not the kind of race the Briton was hoping for as heavy rain prevented any green flag running.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver was unable to capitalise on Qualifying third as the race at Spa-Francorchamps was run completely behind the safety car, with only a handful of laps being run before the result was called with half points awarded.

Hamilton says he was disappointed for the fans who turned up to Spa-Francorchamps to see a race who were denied the chance to see any action, but the weather was unrelenting and the conditions too dangerous for racing to happen.

“Firstly, I’m really disappointed for the fans,” said Hamilton.  “It’s no one’s fault, you can’t control the weather, but the fans have been incredible today, sticking with us the whole time, holding out for a potential race, keeping their energy up and creating the atmosphere.

“They were robbed of a race today, unfortunately. I love racing in the rain, but today was something else. You couldn’t see the car ahead, there was aquaplaning, it was so, so tricky out there.

“It’s a shame because of course I wanted to race and I love this track as well. I think it would have been a great race if it hadn’t rained so hard, but unfortunately it just didn’t stop.”

“Being outside the top 10 on the grid meant I couldn’t fight for any points” – Valtteri Bottas

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was left without a chance of improving on his grid position thanks to the lack of green flag running, with the Finn finishing twelfth after gaining one spot thanks to Sergio Pérez’s pre-race crash.

Bottas was left to rue his five-place grid penalty carried over from causing a first lap crash in the Hungarian Grand Prix, and a relatively poor performance that saw him qualify only eighth on Saturday afternoon.

Like Hamilton, Bottas was full of disappointment for the fans in attendance for the lack of racing, but he was equally disappointed not to get the chance of moving up the order and scoring points.

“It’s a huge shame, of course, that we couldn’t race and there were many committed fans out there, waiting for us to get started but we couldn’t,” said Bottas.  “They were still smiling throughout and in good spirits, so hats off to them.

“And obviously for me, with the penalty I had and the bad qualifying, being outside the top 10 on the grid meant I couldn’t fight for any points. There was a fair amount of standing water but the main thing was the visibility, particularly on the straights. It was really poor and would have been too dangerous.

“Thankfully there isn’t long to wait for the next race, Zandvoort is a new track on the calendar, I have raced there before in Formula 3 back in the day, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Valtteri Bottas rued a poor Qualifying performance and his grid penalty from Hungary that prevented him scoring points in the extremely wet Belgian Grand Prix – Credit: LAT Images
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