Hamilton trusts in FIA over Belgian GP safety
- Web Desk
- Jul 27, 2023
BELGIUM, (Reuters): Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday he trusted Formula One’s governing body to ensure drivers were safe if bad weather disrupts this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The race comes after 18-year-old Dutch racer Dilano van’t Hoff died in a wet race at Spa in early July, his crash carrying echoes of French F2 driver Anthoine Hubert’s fatal accident in 2019.
Mercedes’ seven-time world champion told reporters at Spa-Francorchamps when asked about any safety concerns: “It is not something I ever think of. I think as a driver it’s not something you can ever really let into your mind.
“I don’t think we would be here if they (the FIA) didn’t think we would be safe.
“I trust in them as they have done such incredible work over the last couple of decades, I trust in them to make the right decisions moving forward.”
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas said the drivers were in the hands of the FIA’s race director in bad weather.
“Visibility is a big one here if its raining but that’s when someone else needs to control the drivers, can they start the race or not, and to make sure that nothing happens,” said Bottas.
The spectacular track is a favourite for drivers, with its challenging features and the sweep of Eau Rouge being one of the sport’s great landmarks.
Hamilton said he loved the track the way it was and it was not his job to decide what needed changing or how to do it.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc said there were some areas that could be improved, however.
“First of all, the walls in the straights after Eau Rouge I think we should have a bit more space on the left and right,” said the Monegasque.
“If you lose control of the car I think the way it is done at the moment you are bouncing on the walls and you have very high chances of finding yourself in the way (of others).”
Leclerc said drivers were not exaggerating when they said they could see nothing in heavy rain and spray, and deciding when it was safe to start a race in bad weather was another big topic.
Thursday was wet and rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday, with the grand prix being held as a sprint event for the first time.
Leclerc said safety had to be the priority.
“Us drivers, we shouldn’t complain if we don’t have any laps because it is not safe to do so with everything that has happened,” he said.