Verstappen declared winner of rain-ruined Belgian GP, shortest race in history

Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) (AFP) –


Red Bull's Max Verstappen emerged as the winner of the rain-ruined Belgian Grand Prix with only a handful of laps completed behind a safety car at a drenched and dangerous Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Pole-sitter Verstappen was awarded half points, which moved him to within three points of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship.

Williams' George Russell took second with Hamilton's Mercedes in third in the shortest race in Formula One history - all 14 kilometres of it.

Organisers finally gave the go-ahead for a rolling start behind a safety car at 18h30 local time (1630), three and a half hours after the scheduled 15h00 start.

But after two laps with the spray flying the race was stopped with conditions deemed too dicy at the track where Formula 2 driver Antoine Hubert lost his life in 2019.

The signs were ominous from the start of the afternoon when Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez aquaplaned on his way to the original start at Les Combes.

In the end Saturday's qualifying proved pivotal as Verstappen acknowledged.

"Now, in hindsight, it was important to get the pole position - but it was a shame not to do proper laps," said the Belgian born Dutch driver.

"The visibility was very low. If we had started at 15:00 (local time), we would have had a better chance.

"It's a win but not really in the right way. Credit to the fans to stay here all day. In the cold and rain. They are the bigger winners today."