The race in Belgium was abandoned after heavy rain stopped the grand prix from running under normal conditions.

The initial standing start at Spa was stopped because the visibility was too poor for the drivers on their formation laps, leaving everyone in the pits for over three hours.

At one point it looked like the FIA would run out of time to run the race with a three-hour limit set from when the race started.

The FIA exercised its rights to stop the clock, citing “force majeure” in a bid to get the race underway before sunset. 

At 1817 local time, the Safety Car led the pack out of the pits for two laps in treacherous conditions.

This was done as the rules state: “No points will be awarded if the leader has completed two laps or less”.

As the race was red-flagged after just two laps behind the Safety Car, in accordance with the sporting regulations, the result for the 2021 Belgian GP was taken from just one lap of running as when the red flag is deployed in F1, the results usually are taken from the last full lap prior to it.

Explaining why the top 10 were handed half points, race director Michael Masi said: “There have been three laps completed, so 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 when the signal was given, so there are two separate points

“One is what’s done to complete a race, one is what’s done on the basis of championship points.”

Additionally, the stewards’ noted: “Results have been calculated in accordance with Article 51.14 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, namely at the end of lap 1 being the penultimate lap before the lap during which the signal to suspend the race was given.

“However, for the determination of points, Article 6.5 is applicable, the leader having crossed the Control Line 3 times, therefore complying with the requirement for the leader to have completed more than 2 laps in order for half points to be awarded.”

Max Verstappen claimed his sixth victory of the season to reduce Lewis Hamilton’s lead to just three points at the top, with the Mercedes driver finishing third.

Williams’ George Russell scored his maiden podium and the team’s first since 2017.