Only two of these events were actually races. In Belgium, for the first time in the championship’s history, points were paid out essentially on the qualifying order as the unrelenting Spa- Francorchamps rain ensured there wasn’t a single piece of racing, just a total of three laps behind the safety car. Conditions of almost zero visibility on the long straights ensured that at no stage was the track safe to race upon.
A great deal of arcane regulation was invoked to distinguish between what did and did not constitute an event having taken place. This of course had commercial implications and determined various pay-outs to F1 as well as the points. Meanwhile the thousands of spectators who had stood around in the rain for several hours were left to trudge home having not seen a race. Half-points were awarded for the order behind the safety car, meaning Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was the official ‘winner’ ahead of Williams’ George Russell, who had driven a stunning lap in wet qualifying the day before to go second-fastest, ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. This was the trio obliged to go through with the post-event podium ritual.
A notable misnomer from the qualifying order was seventh-place qualifier Sergio Pérez, who had crashed his Red Bull on his first lap out of the pits on race day but was later able to join in the formation at the back. Lando Norris had crashed his McLaren out of Q3 through the Eau Rouge/ Raidillon section, having gone fastest of all in both Q1 and Q2, and so was also at the back in his rebuilt car.