Belgian sprint safe as FIA opt for alternative method if qualifying a washout

Sam Cooper

The Belgian sprint race will go ahead as planned after initial fears it could be called off and replaced by qualifying.

Wet weather continues to pour in the Spa-Francorchamps region and is looking increasingly likely to impact this weekend’s running.

With a sprint race scheduled, qualifying has been moved to Friday afternoon but weather forecasts predict that may not be possible.

In a preemptive move, the FIA initially suggested the sprint race could be at risk as other sessions may be “cancelled or rescheduled” in order for qualifying to take place but appear to have changed their minds.

According to Sky Sports F1, should qualifying be unable to take place on Friday, the order for Sunday’s grid will instead be set by the championship standings.

The original FIA statement said: “We can confirm that the teams have been informed that Free Practice will not be used to set the grid for either the Sprint or the Grand Prix this weekend.

“This has been done to ensure that teams do not treat the first session of the weekend as a competitive session.

“While the situation regarding the weather is constantly evolving, the priority will be to run a qualifying session for the Grand Prix.

“Other sessions may be cancelled or rescheduled to facilitate this, and if it is impossible to run a qualifying then the grid will be set by championship order.”

Williams team boss James Vowles told Sky they were looking to get the most out of FP1 ahead of a “bleak” forecast. recommends

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“We have to learn and understand how to get the most out of this car in these conditions,” Vowles said.

“Because you look at the forecast and I’m afraid it’s bleak, certainly for the remainder of today, if not, certainly tomorrow.

“Sunday doesn’t look too bad.”

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