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Hamilton: Belgian GP Safety Car call ‘a bit like NASCAR’

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Lewis Hamilton criticized the decision to deploy the Safety Car during Sunday’s Formula 1 race in Belgium, believing it was done in the interests of creating a closer battle at the front of the field.

The Safety Car was called for on Lap 30 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after contact between Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon left debris strewn across the circuit.

The bunching of the field saw Hamilton’s lead over title rival Sebastian Vettel evaporate, with the Briton calling the decision “BS” over team radio at the time.

“I felt it was a bit like NASCAR, where they keep pulling out the safety cars for no reason,” Hamilton said after the race, referring to the ‘caution clock’ concept that looks to aid the on-track action.

“The wing was cleared. After we’d slowed down they could have done a Virtual Safety Car but I guess they wanted to see a race.

“That’s for sure the reason they did they, because there was hardly any debris, if at all, they cleaned it so well.”

Despite coming under pressure from Vettel immediately after the race returned to green, Hamilton was able to kick on and secure his fifth victory of the season, cutting the Ferrari driver’s championship lead down to just seven points.

“It’s an amazing feeling to come back into the season and start off on the right foot, being that the Ferraris obviously finished on the right foot going into the break,” Hamilton said.

“They’ve really put in a fantastic fight today. The speed and pace they had was very strong. There was not a single point at which I would say that I could be comfortable.”

Hamilton and Vettel will write the latest chapter of their rivalry this weekend at the Italian Grand Prix.

Montreal Mayor cancels Formula E’s planned season four finale

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New Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has cancelled the FIA Formula E Championship’s planned season four finale, which was set for two races on July 28 and 29, 2018, citing what was termed a “financial fiasco.”

Plante was elected to replace Denis Coderre in the role, and didn’t follow Coderre’s support of the event.

She announced the news today citing financial and logistical challenges she didn’t feel the city could overcome.

Via a report in the CBC, Plante’s administration estimated a potential cost of up to $35 million would needed to be paid by the city’s taxpayers for the event’s second running. Additionally, a nonprofit organization reportedly owes creditors some $9.5 million.

Plante revealed details today in a series of messages posted on Twitter, which you can see in order below.

A Formula E spokesperson supplied a statement of the surprise news to e-racing365.com:

Formula E’s fourth season underwent one calendar change with a return to Punta Del Este, Uruguay replacing a cancelled race in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Whether a replacement can be sourced for this race weekend will now remain to be seen.