Rob Dylan wrote:
There's so many hats in this ring, why not throw yours in too Stefano...F1 CEO Domenicali resists calls for refunds as Hamilton brands Belgian GP a “farce”
If what happened today doesn't constitute a refund for people who went to the circuit, no F1 fan will ever get a refund for anything ever. In fact, as someone looking to go to Silverstone next year, I'm now thinking of not going simply out of principle.
Under the terms of sale, the circuit has explicitly stated that "No refunds or exchanges are available in respect of tickets unless the Event is cancelled." https://www.spagrandprix.com/en/customer-notice
Now, I would not be surprised if the magnitude of the public backlash guarantees that there will have to be some sort of recompense - but, as it is, because a race officially took place, those fans who were there are not entitled to a refund.
I do agree with the points made above that the FIA did kind of find itself backed into a corner, not least because of the reaction to the W Series crashes and with Norris's accident in qualifying, and the low hanging spray was causing a lot of problems with visibility for the marshals, not just the drivers - it seems the marshal posts were complaining that the visibility was so poor that a car could have broken down between marshal posts and the marshals wouldn't have been able to see that there was a stationary car on track.
I do feel, though, that there really should have been more of an effort by race control to explain the situation - whilst the fans might still have been frustrated and angry, the anger might not have been so great if the fans felt they were at least being kept properly informed about what was happening, rather than the confused mess that they were being presented with.
Now, the cynicism of the response by Domenicali has really aggravated what was, for many, an event already seen as surpassing the Indianapolis 2005 debacle in terms of being tone deaf towards the fans - at least Indy 2005, farcical as it was, actually did have some cars take to the track and run a full race.
It's especially the case that many feel that Domenicali is effectively leaving the circuit to be hung out to dry, as they'll probably be the one that has to take the hit on any refunds - there's no sign that Liberty Media are prepared to forgo their fee for the race.