Daniel Ricciardo has a theory on why Spa-Francorchamps’ struggled with water/spray, as Andreas Seidl adds that they can’t change much on F1 car to adapt.
The 2021 Spa race was a washout and it isn’t the first time it has happened there either. Of course, everyone remembers 1998 and the deluge there. Also, races like Adelaide 91, Monaco 84, Zeltweg 75, Malaysia 09, all of them had half points awarded. We have had rain before in Grands Prix and we will have it again.
But there was something a little different about Spa this year as the rain was incessant. McLaren’s Ricciardo had an interesting theory about it, so much so it could help the circuit in future – of course, he notes that he isn’t a professional but reckons it could be the reason, after having finished fourth to register his best result of 2021.
“That’s the worst I’ve experienced and that too behind safety cars, so it was only going to get worse when we got up to speed and the spray is obviously bigger,” said Ricciardo to TV media. “I don’t know, I mean, some tracks is worse than others, I mean this is very high speed track, so that creates a lot of the spray just through the speed we’re going, but also some tarmacs, the water sits on top and I think that creates more spray.
“I’m no professional, but I don’t know if that’s maybe another reason why it’s worse at Spa. I’m not sure but still for the fans, of course, but that were pretty awesome nonetheless. There was some Mexican waves going, there were few guys topless as well, I mean, I was cold looking at him but they were having a good time so, yeah hopefully, it’s a memory at least it’s, probably not a fun one but it’s still a memory,” summed up Ricciardo.
Joking aside though, with Spa being the fastest and most vast track on the calendar, it is an interesting theory on the part of Riccciardo. The more the people read it, the more people might say he has a point. Sticking with Spa and the weather.
McLaren team principal Seidl was asked about the cars itself if that needs any changing to adapt to different weather. Yes the tyres can be changed of course but the cars themselves really cannot be adapted to wet weather, even in this day and age. Rain is part and parcel of it.
“I think we simply have to accept it, because the only alternative to 100% guarantee that you can race is to do an indoor race,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net. “I think you have to accept that as long as we go out for racing, days like this can happen where it’s not possible to run with whatever car you race.
“First of all you have the issue of aquaplaning, plus the view of the drivers in the car with the spray. I can’t think of any car that would allow you to race safely in these conditions like we had.” In the end, we got three laps behind Bernd Maylander and only one lap counted towards a race result. Of course for some it was great, points, podiums.
And rather unfortunately, it’s the rules. For Seidl and McLaren, they benefited on Ricciardo side and in view of Lando Norris’ crash in qualifying, they got a consolation result but not all were as lucky. “First and foremost after that Sunday afternoon, my thoughts are with the fans that have been in the grandstands for many hours in this bad weather and they still stayed there until the end hoping for a race start and still cheering on for the drivers and teams,” he said.
“I think it was the right thing to try it once more because of the weather forecast we all had at this point but then unfortunately it didn’t work out. Of course, no one wants a race in the end like it played out here, but in the end there are rules in place and they have been applied. It is also clear that obviously for us we benefited from that, because we had a car in P4 and benefited from the good qualifying result we had with Daniel.
“And it is clear that all the teams that did not benefit from it, pending on their championship position, also are crying now and complaining now. That’s part of the nature of F1,” summed up Seidl. In the constructors championship, McLaren scored six points while Ferrari scored just a half, which gave advantage to the British F1 team.
The story was written by Neil Farell
Here’s Alfa Romeo on being hurt with the outcome
Here’s the F1 drivers on undeserving points