The Formula 1 is awarding half-points for the red-flagged Belgian Grand Prix. This is prompting a fair deal of discussion on the internet as the cars don’t appear to have completed two laps.
The rules have been that F1 drivers need to finish at least two laps for half points being handed out. The fact that the FIA says the race have been classified with one lap people started discussing the race didn’t meet the rules for the half points.
For this discussion we need to refer to Article 6.5 of the Sporting Regulations. This article states the following:
“If a sprint qualifying session or race is suspended under Article 50, and cannot be resumed, no points will be awarded if the leader has completed two laps or less, half points will be awarded if the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 75% of the original sprint qualifying session or race distance and full points will be awarded if the leader has completed 75% or more of the original sprint qualifying session or race distance.”
The F1 cars had completed two full laps behind the safety car before the red flag came out on lap three. So lap three is the last lap of the race, fully compliant with article 6.5 since the lap after the red flag still need to be completed. The cars don’t stop right away. They return to the starting light at the start of the pit, crossing the line a 3rd time.
However the race is red flagged, and this has been done under Article 51.14 of the same Sporting Regulations. This Article says the following:
“If the sprint qualifying session or the race cannot be resumed the results will be taken at the end of the penultimate lap before the lap during which the signal to suspend the sprint qualifying session or the race was given.”
When you look at the rules separate we have have a red flag coming out on lap three, making the leader passing the starting line three times, compliant with article 6.5 for the half points. And as the red flag came out on lap three according to article 51.14 the results on lap 1 are the one that count for the classification.
After the race Michael Masi stated the following:
“There’s been three laps completed,” he said. “The third lap was completed as the cars crossed the control line in the fast lane.
“And then the classification for points is taken on the penultimate lap before the lap the signal was given. So there’s effectively two separate points.