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Lewis Hamilton’s call for spectators at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix to be reimbursed has been backed by one of his rivals. Hamilton, 36, was scathing about the way events panned out at Spa and now Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has echoed the anger of the British driver. Torrential rain plagued the whole weekend in Belgium, and when the race did eventually get underway more than three hours behind schedule, only two laps behind a safety car were possible. But under FIA regulations, this was enough to constitute a race and half-points were awarded to drivers by virtue of their qualifying position.
It also meant that the thousands of fans who waited patiently in the rain were not elligible for ticket refunds and Sainz, 26, has offered his sympathy.
“Honestly, that’s the worst thing,” said the Spaniard.
“They got the worst of it, they were soaking for four hours and they didn’t see a race they deserved to see.
“They had paid for it and we’ve had a tough few years because of Covid-19 and this was an escape route to have fun and have a good weekend plan.
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Sainz was awarded 0.5 points for his troubles on Sunday, a result which continued his bizzare relationship with the Belgian track.
It was his seventh Grand Prix at Spa, and in four of them he has not even completed a racing lap.
“Clearly there’s something not clicking,” he said.
“Before I came to F1 it was the circuit I liked the most. I qualified very well in 2015 and I couldn’t start the race because my engine broke.
“In 2016 I got a puncture on the first lap and now I haven’t even started for three years in a row.
“It’s a very bad statistic that I hope will change soon because it’s not normal at my favourite circuit.”
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For Mercedes driver Hamilton, a frustrating day was compounded by having his Championship lead over race ‘winner’ Max Verstappen cut to three points.
George Russell was second and Hamilton himself third, but after an awkward podium presentation he said fans had been “robbed” and questioned why the race ever started.
“They stood out there for absolute hours in the rain, no covering in the grandstands – I think maybe on the pit grandstand there is – but cold and wet and particularly the kids.
”More importantly, they had to spend so much money with travelling, accommodation and then they didn’t get a race. Unfortunate, and I’m a little bit confused as to why they restarted the race because between the two hours when they stopped us the first time to the last time, there was no change in weather.
“I do feel the fans were robbed of a race today and I think they probably should get their money back.”
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