Martin Brundle lashes out at the FIA

The majority of Friday's running at the 2023 Belgian GP took place in the wet.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle was “disappointed” with the FIA before the Belgian Grand Prix even got underway last weekend, following an announcement made by the governing body.

Ahead of a wet Free Practice 1, it was confirmed by the FIA that the leaderboard after the opening practice session wouldn’t be used to set the grid for Sunday’s race, should the conditions be too dangerous for qualifying to take place.

The FIA made the announcement due to less than hopeful weather forecasts, whilst they stressed that sessions would be cancelled should the conditions be too dangerous.

Every session, thankfully, went ahead as planned; however, Brundle didn’t understand why the FIA made the announcement when they did.

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Brundle felt that the governing body robbed fans in attendance of an exciting session, as nobody really chose to push to the limits in the session due to knowing that it wouldn’t decide the grid.

He found the announcement and the opening session on Friday “frustrating”, with him believing the fans “deserved” better.

“The wet Friday opening session was frustrating in several ways,” Brundle said to Sky Sports F1.

“For the teams it meant zero running on race tyres and full fuel, so they would be obliged to take an educated guess on both those aspects along with aero levels, suspension set-up, and ride heights for what was always expected to be a drier race afternoon. Talk about jeopardy.

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“Furthermore, the FIA race control declared that it would not be a competitive session so that teams and drivers would not push too hard in the anticipation that, should qualifying be cancelled, they might well suspect that FP1 finishing order would set the grid.

“I was disappointed by that, the teams and drivers along with all the appropriate equipment are quite capable of judging such situations especially when setting lap times ideally away from other cars. The fans deserved more track action.”

Max Verstappen went on to claim pole position, although he was demoted to sixth following a five-place grid penalty for a fifth gearbox change of the season.