Williams team principal Jost Capito has admitted that his team was “absolutely happy” with the FIA’s decision to cancel the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix after just a couple of laps had been completed behind the Safety Car.
Unrelenting rain led to very tricky conditions for the drivers, with aquaplaning and poor visibility being their chief concerns.
The race initially got underway around 20 minutes later than scheduled behind the Safety Car, but it was quickly called off after all drivers, with the exception of leader Max Verstappen, complained about poor visibility.
And, after a three-hour wait, the grand prix eventually got underway behind the Safety Car, only for it to be red-flagged again after enough laps had been completed for the teams and drivers to be eligible for half points.
Speaking after the race, Capito admitted that Williams were happy with the result, as it allowed George Russell, who had qualified in P2, to score the team’s first podium since the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Commenting on the FIA’s decision to call off the race, he said: “It was not foreseeable how it would develop but I think the weather conditions were so bad and for the safety of the drivers it was impossible to do a normal race.
“So I think FOM and the FIA did exactly what was needed to do to be safe for the drivers and still having a race, if you call it a race, but having a result.
“Of course, in the position we were in we are absolutely happy that it was like this and having the first podium after many years is absolutely outstanding and is fantastic.
“It is a bit of a strange feeling having a podium after this but finally a podium is a podium and I think it was a great job yesterday so it is well deserved.
“The team did a fantastic job and I would have been so sad for the team if Sunday would have been no race and you do this great job on Saturday and then do not get rewarded at all for that,” added Capito.
“I think that would have been also not really nice to the team.
“I’m really happy for the team. They worked so hard all year, improving from race to race and we’ve got just a good spirit now and atmosphere and I think it comes at the right time,” he added.
The podium came hot on the heels of Williams scoring their first points of the season in Hungary, with both Russell and Nicholas Latifi finishing in the points in Budapest.
Latifi finished the Belgian GP in ninth position to earn William’s first consecutive double points finishes in around five years.