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Alonso: Top ten got ‘early Christmas’ at Belgian GP

Fernando Alonso labelled F1’s decision to award the top ten finishers of the Belgian Grand Prix half points “shocking” and likened it to them receiving early Christmas presents.

The Belgian Grand Prix was declared an official race despite just three laps being completed behind the Safety Car. It meant Max Verstappen won F1’s shortest ever race without a single racing lap being completed.

Verstappen and the next nine finishers were awarded half the usual points given to the top ten.

Alonso, who finished 11th, said that was an absurd outcome.

“It was a terrible day to be honest, for everyone,” Alonso said. “Well for some of them it was probably a little bit of an early Christmas because there were some gifts given to some people because we didn’t race but they still get the position and they still get the points. So, it’s a little bit shocking.

“I was P11, I was one place from the points. I was never allowed to fight for those points, but they still give the points, so it’s shocking in a way, but it’s the way it is.”

Fellow ex-champion Sebastian Vettel was outspoken about half points being awarded, despite the fact he received five for finishing in fifth position.

When asked if that was a fair reward for his qualifying performance on Saturday, he said: “But that’s a joke. If you want to get a reward for qualifying you should get points for qualifying.

“What did we do today? I don’t know.”

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was also critical, suggesting F1 had only completed the two laps behind the Safety Car in order to fulfil commercial obligations. F1 and the FIA, the sport’s governing body, has emphatically denied that suggestion.

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