Following an initial 25-minute delay due to heavy rain, the Safety Car led the field away for a formation lap before the race was swiftly red-flagged after a number of drivers reported aquaplaning and visibility concerns in the treacherous conditions.

In an unprecedented move on the grounds of force majeure, the FIA “temporarily” stopped the Belgian GP in a bid to squeeze in a one-hour race.

After more than three hours after the race was originally meant to begin, and with rain failing to ease, the Belgian GP finally restarted under the Safety Car.

But with drivers reporting that conditions were even worse than before, the event was red-flagged for the second and final time after two full laps of running, the required amount needed for an official classification.

With less than 75% of the race completed, half-points were awarded for the first time in F1 since the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s sixth win of the season and first at Spa means he has reduced main rival Lewis Hamilton’s championship advantage down to three points after the Mercedes driver finished third.

Splitting the two championship protagonists was Russell, who claimed his maiden F1 podium, a deserved reward for his astonishing qualifying lap that secured Williams’ first front-row start since Italy 2017.

Hamilton completed the podium in third, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who scored his best result so far for McLaren since making the switch from Renault over the winter.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was fifth, ahead of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.

Nicholas Latifi and Carlos Sainz took the final point and half point on offer in ninth and 10th respectively for Williams and Ferrari.

Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin, who finished 17th, was officially credited with the fastest lap.

Full results from the 2021 F1 Belgian Grand Prix.