George Russell says FIA shouldn’t hesitate to cancel Belgium Grand Prix

The 2023 Belgian GP is set to be affected by adverse weather conditions, potentially leading to disruption.

As the Formula 1 weekend approaches at Spa-Francorchamps, drivers are once again raising concerns about the challenging weather conditions that have led to tragic accidents in the past. 

George Russell, the one-time race winner, has called for a potential cancellation of the Belgian Grand Prix if the weather proves to be too hazardous. 

The plea comes in the wake of the recent FRECA incident that claimed the life of promising young driver Dilano van‘t Hoff, further highlighting the dangers faced on the fast-paced Eau Rouge-Raidillon section.

Spa-Francorchamps has witnessed two fatal accidents in the last four years, putting the focus on safety and measures to mitigate risks at the iconic track. 

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In 2019, Anthoine Hubert tragically lost his life during a Formula 2 race in dry conditions, prompting significant safety improvements in the Eau Rouge-Raidillon section. 

More recently, the Dutch FRECA driver, Dilano van ‘t Hoff, tragically crashed on the Kemmel straight, with torrential weather conditions being a contributing factor to the incident.

In light of these unfortunate events, George Russell spoke with ESPN about the safety concerns surrounding Spa-Francorchamps. 

He emphasised the inherent risks associated with motorsport, particularly on tracks like Spa, known for its challenges and high-speed sections such as Eau Rouge-Raidillon. 

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Russell acknowledged the significance of weather conditions, citing poor visibility as a major obstacle for drivers on the track.

“The way I describe it to try and give some perspective is driving down the motorway in pouring rain and turning your windscreen wipers off,” Russell said. 

“That’s genuinely how it feels in the cockpit. 

“There are not really any short-term solutions, I personally think Spa is safe enough. 

“We just need to find a solution for visibility,” 

This isn’t the first time the safety of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa has been questioned. 

Last year, the race lasted just two laps, both under a safety car, due to precarious weather conditions. 

While the FIA faced criticism for their decision, Russell believes it was the right call given the limited visibility and potential risks associated with a full race under such conditions.

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“For one single Formula 1 car to drive around, the conditions are safe enough and suitable enough to drive,” Russell explained.

“But it’s when you’ve got 20 cars on track at once, and anybody from third position backward literally cannot see from here to this wall, so you’re talking 20, 30, 40 meters.”  

He expressed concerns that the recent FRECA incident was an accident waiting to happen due to compromised visibility and drivers’ inability to go flat out on the straight.