F1 bosses are ‘apoplectic’ at Lewis Hamilton as they accuse the sport of greed after demanding refunds for fans after two rounds of Belgian Grand Prix farce and believe the British star should have talked privately
- Formula 1 bosses are said to be furious with Lewis Hamilton for his comments
- The current champion accused the sport of greed after the Belgian GP
- A source told Sports post that Hamilton should have spoken behind the scenes
Formula 1 bosses are ‘apoplectic’ with Lewis Hamilton as he accuses the sport of putting money above all else in the farce of the rain-sabotaged Belgian Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion accused the sport that made him a fortune of more than £250million on greed by running a ridiculous ‘race’ just two laps behind the safety car on Sunday.
He said the 75,000 fans who were soaked to the bone will have to be refunded their ticket price, worth between £107 and £505.
The Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix descended into a farce on Sunday as only two laps took place
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton (R) and supremo Bernie Eccleston have since spoken out
Hamilton made a worthy point by acknowledging that some form of compensation is required, an argument Formula 1 bosses admitted yesterday they were investigating, but the Briton’s caustic comments that the non-event was a commercial failure. charade has landed badly in the sport’s hierarchy.
A source told Sports post: ‘There is absolute anger internally at the naivety of Lewis’ comments. He talks about giving back millions of pounds to fans, even though he makes millions from Formula 1, and it guarantees his team’s job, and he gives little or nothing in return.
“He could have expressed his opinion privately instead of the way he did, which makes no sense.
Formula 1 as a sport did not even benefit financially from performing as it should on Sunday. It was about trying to get as much track run as possible in difficult conditions. The window to run a race was kept open for as long as possible.
“People are wondering if Lewis would have moaned if he’d been on pole and won the race.”
Coincidentally, Hamilton started and finished third, while his title rival Max Verstappen won from pole to cut his deficit from eight to three points before the next race at home in the Netherlands.
But Formula 1 bosses would be fuming with the British star for his comments
It is clear that Jean Todt, the FIA president, was particularly hurt by Hamilton’s allegations, and he will make a statement today defending the governing body’s appeals on that day.
In all fairness, race director Michael Masi, the Australian who took control after the sudden death of the respected Charlie Whiting in 2019, was doomed if he let the racing go on and doomed if he didn’t.
Former supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Sportsmail he would prefer the grand prix to continue as normally as possible.
The 90-year-old said: “I would have said at 3pm when the race was to start let’s try again at 4pm or 4.30pm. It doesn’t look like conditions will improve, but I don’t know. But whatever happens, it starts there.
“If you want to race, fine; if not, fine. No one could put a gun to someone’s head. It was up to them. If I was at the back of the grid I might decide it’s not worth the risk because it’s damn dangerous there. If I wanted to score points for the team and for myself, maybe I would think I wanted to continue.
“We raced in worse conditions and didn’t cancel the race.
The fiasco culminated in the coronation of Max Verstappen as the winner of the bizarre showpiece
“I remember 1976 at Fuji when James (Hunt) went for the World Championship and Niki (Lauda) decided he would not continue racing. He pulled out. James won the title. They should have done the same on Sunday – a choice.
“People yelled at me that the race in Japan had to be canceled, but I said it had to be done.”
John Watson, who drove that dangerous year at Fuji and finds Spa an unnecessarily treacherous track, said: “I agree with Bernie. I think the FIA was paranoid.
“In the previous days they had seen a near-fatal accident in the W Series and with Lando Norris in F1 qualifying where he was overconfident and speeding, and that was taken into account.”