Persistent heavy rain and poor visibility at Spa-Francorchamps meant the Belgian GP had to be abandoned after two attempts to get racing underway following more than three hours of delays and confusion.

After the stewards temporarily stopped the Belgian GP in an unprecedented move on the grounds of force majeure, the field was led back out by the safety car at 1817 for two laps before a second and final red flag was flown.

That meant a final classification could be declared, with half-points awarded to the top-10 finishes. The controversial outcome was questioned by several drivers, who argued that conditions were no better than when the race was originally meant to get underway three hours before.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton criticised F1’s handing of the rain-hit race and claimed the sport had made a “bad choice” to even attempt to stage the event, telling Sky: “Money talks.”

But F1 CEO and president Domenicali denied suggestions the drivers were sent out for two laps solely to secure an official result.

“No, at the end of the day, that’s covered,” he replied when asked if having no race would have had a commercial impact on F1’s deal with Spa.

“That’s why when I hear that there was some commercial discussion behind that, it’s totally not true.

“Because when we’re talking about racing, there is responsibility, that is a clear process, and those things are not connected at all.”

FIA race director Michael Masi also stressed that commercial factors did not influence any decision taken.

“No, none, zero, never,” said Masi. “And that would never become part of my consideration. Not at all.”

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Domenicali expressed sympathy with the fans but said he stands by the decisions taken by race control.

“For the people, of course, it’s a shame, because it’s something that everyone wants to see, a proper race,” he said. “But I think that the decisions taken by race control are absolutely correct.

“There was the wish and the will to do the race. And as soon as there was information, I was following what was the situation there, there was a window of possible weather improvement to try to do the race.

“Then as soon as they restarted, the comments were pretty clear, and on the another side another weather forecast received, not possible. Despite the disappointment for everyone, I think in terms of management, it was the right thing to do.”

Asked what message he had for the fans who witnessed two laps behind the safety car, Domenicali replied: “The message is clear, that unfortunately we don’t control the time. Two laps or no laps, the spend was there.

“So, it’s not a problem of laps. It was the point of trying to do the race. I think on that, race control tried to do the maximum to do it. So as I said, it’s not a problem of laps or no laps, it’s really unfortunate conditions.

“You need to consider safety for everyone, and that’s very very important. As I said, the first to be disappointed is me, because I love racing, but there are always conditions where you cannot do it.”

And Domenicali suggested that F1 will discuss what to do for the spectators in attendance with race organisers, following Hamilton’s call for fans to be issued a refund after labelling the Belgian GP a “farce”.

“It’s something [we can discuss] together with the organiser,” he explained. “Because we are not the ones selling the tickets. So it’s something that as a gesture of attention, in terms of what will be the right reward in this condition.

“Unfortunately the race is not there and you can pay the ticket and it is what it is. At the end of the day, for sure, the organiser, together with us, will consider the maximum attention to the fans. That’s for sure.”