The FIA has published its report on the controversial conclusion to the 2021 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi.Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton to win the world championship.
“The race director called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations,” the FIA noted in a statement.
“The process of identifying lapped cars has up until now been a manual one and human error lead to the fact that not all cars were allowed to unlap themselves,” it added. The FIA is introducing an automated system for identifying which cars should be allowed to unlap themselves.
However despite acknowledging its official had failed to follow its rules correctly, the FIA noted there was no possibility of the outcome of the race, and the championship, being altered.
The report “finds that the race director was acting in good faith and to the best of his knowledge given the difficult circumstances”, the FIA added, “particularly acknowledging the significant time constraints for decisions to be made and the immense pressure being applied by the teams.”
“The results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the FIA Formula One World Championship are valid, final and cannot now be changed,” it stated.
“In accordance with the rules, Mercedes made a protest to the stewards after the race, seeking to change the race classification. The stewards dismissed the protest and Mercedes then had an opportunity to appeal that decision to the FIA International Court of Appeal, but did not do so. There are no other available mechanisms in the rules for amending the race classification.”
The investigation into the incident was originally announced by former FIA president Jean Todt following the race at Yas Marina in December. Masi was widely criticised by those within the sport, fans and sporting figures beyond motorsport over his handling of a Safety Car period in the final laps of the race.
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His decision to only allow five lapped cars between race leader Hamilton and his championship rival Verstappen to unlap themselves, and withdraw the Safety Car immediately afterwards, appeared to contradict the regulations and broke with previous convention.
After the restart on the final lap, Hamilton was immediately passed by Verstappen, securing victory for the Red Bull driver in the race and the world championship.
Mercedes immediately protested the outcome of the race on two counts, both of which were rejected by the stewards of the race. After announcing they would appeal to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal, Mercedes later backed down three days after the race, confirming Verstappen as champion.
The FIA’s Secretary General of Sport, Peter Bayer, was tasked with investigating the incident. He began his inquiry in January.
Prior to the report’s release, it was confirmed that Masi would not continue as F1 race director for the 2022, with the role now being shared between Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas. New support systems for race control were also announced and changes were made to the regulations.
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FIA WMSC statement on 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix report
Findings of the analysis of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix presented to the World Motor Sport Council
A report was presented to the World Council in relation to the detailed analysis and clarification exercise that has been conducted in response to the events that took place at the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The purpose of the detailed analysis and clarification exercise was to identify any lessons that can be learned from the events that took place and consider how best to provide clarity regarding the Formula 1 rules and regulations in order to preserve the competitive nature of the sport while ensuring the safety of both drivers and officials.
As part of the exercise, the Formula 1 Sporting Advisory Committee was instructed to consider the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and key stakeholders were interviewed and consulted, including the Teams and Drivers, the Race Direction team, and the FIA staff supporting the race management team. The report sets out the findings, conclusions and recommendations arising from the detailed analysis and clarification exercise.
The report focused solely on the facts surrounding these events, and determined the following key points:
The safety car procedure was a central topic of discussion during the detailed analysis and clarification exercise, stemming from the application of this procedure at the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, pursuant to Articles 48.12 and 48.13 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.
The Race Director called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations (Article 48.12).
It was apparent from the analysis that there could be different interpretations of Article 48.12 and Article 48.13 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, and that this likely contributed to the applied procedure.
It was also considered that the decisions regarding the Safety Car at the end of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix likely took into account previous discussions that made clear the Formula 1 Stakeholders (FIA, Formula 1, Teams and Drivers) preference to end races under green flag racing conditions, rather than behind a safety car, when safe to do so.
In combination with the objective to finish under green flag racing conditions applied throughout the 2021 season, the report finds that the Race Director was acting in good faith and to the best of his knowledge given the difficult circumstances, particularly acknowledging the significant time constraints for decisions to be made and the immense pressure being applied by the teams.
The results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the FIA Formula One World Championship are valid, final and cannot now be changed. In accordance with the rules, Mercedes made a protest to the stewards after the race, seeking to change the race classification. The stewards dismissed the protest and Mercedes then had an opportunity to appeal that decision to the FIA International Court of Appeal, but did not do so. There are no other available mechanisms in the rules for amending the race classification.
The process of identifying lapped cars has up until now been a manual one and human error lead to the fact that not all cars were allowed to un-lap themselves. Due to the fact that manual interventions generally carry a higher risk of human error, software has been developed that will, from now on, automate the communication of the list of cars that must un-lap themselves. In addition, the 2022 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations have been recently updated to clarify that “all” and not “any” cars must be permitted to un-lap themselves.
This process of identifying lapped cars has been reviewed as part of the recommendations previously announced by the FIA President in his statement of 17 February 2022, which also includes the creation of FIA Remote Operations Centre, the integration of a new and extended team to run trackside operations as well as a review of the interactions between teams and Race Control during track running.
The WMSC unanimously endorsed the contents of this report and the FIA will continue in its work to implement the recommendations identified as soon as possible.
FIA Executive Summary Report
To: FIA World Motor Sport Council Date: 19 March 2022
Re: Executive summary of the analysis and clarification exercise conducted by the FIA following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Introduction: This report has been drawn up to present to the WMSC members the conclusions arising from the analysis of the events that took place during the last five laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix counting towards the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The sole purpose of this report is to draw any lessons from this situation and clarity to be provided to the participants, media, and fans about the current regulations to preserve the competitive nature of our sport while ensuring the safety of the drivers and officials.
I. THE FACTS
A) On-track events
1. On 12 December 2021, on Lap 53/58 of the race of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix held at the Yas Marina circuit in the United Arab Emirates (the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix), the last competition counting towards the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, Nicholas Latifi (Williams Racing) crashed into the barrier at the exit of Turn 14 at 18:21:37 local time. Marshals were required to remove the car and debris from the track. At this point, the racing order was as follows: #1. Lewis Hamilton (HAM), Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (Mercedes); #2. Max Verstappen (VER), Red Bull Racing Honda (Red Bull) and #3. Sergio Perez, Red Bull. Marshals immediately displayed double-waved yellow flags in that sector.
2. At the time of the crash, both HAM and VER were driving on hard compound tyres, each having undertaken one previous tyre change. At 18:21:54 local time, the Safety Car was deployed by Race Control. VER pitted for new soft compound tyres. HAM remained out on track on hard compound tyres, behind the safety car Once the field was under control behind the Safety Car, the recovery of N. Latifi’s car began. The speed of the recovery was, however, slower than anticipated, due in part to the car’s brakes having caught fire. On Lap 55/58, the recovery and clean-up of the incident continued.
3. At 18:27:55 local time, with the race on Lap 56/58 and the safety car still on the track as there was still significant debris being cleared by marshals on the track, the standard message “LAPPED CARS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO OVERTAKE” was published which led to confusion amongst the teams as they were preparing for the unlapping procedure. At this point, the racing order was as follows: #1. HAM; #2. VER and #3. Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow (S. Perez having retired). Several radio exchanges took place between Red Bull and Race Control (see details on page four).
4. At 18:31:01 local time, with the race on Lap 57/58 and the safety car still on the track, the track was clear and the message “LAPPED CARS 4 (NOR) – 14 (ALO) – 31 (OCO) – 16 (LEC) – 5 (VET) TO OVERTAKE SAFETY CAR” (i.e., only the five lapped cars between HAM and VER) was published on timing page three and official message system. Three further lapped cars remained behind VER (Car 3 (Riccardo), Car 18 (Stroll) and Car 47 (Schumacher)). Those three lapped cars were not directed to, and did not, overtake VER or others. Mercedes made a remark to Race Control by radio (see details on page four).
5. Race Control subsequently notified the teams (on Lap 57/58) as follows: “SAFETY CAR IN THIS
6. At 18:32 local time, with the race entering Lap 58 (the final lap), the messages “TRACK CLEAR” and “CLEAR IN TRACK SECTOR 18” were published. This allowed for green flag racing conditions on the final lap.
7. On Lap 58/58, VER overtook HAM at turn five and took the lead in the race. At turn nine, HAM almost touched VER while trying to overtake him, but VER stayed ahead and crossed the finish line first. HAM crossed the finish line second.
8. At 18:33 local time, the message “CHEQUERED FLAG” was published.
B) Protests, hearings and Stewards’ decisions
9. At 19:01 local time, Mercedes filed two notices of protest pursuant to Article 17 of the 2021 Formula One Sporting Regulations (F1 Sporting Regulations) and Articles 13.1 to 13.5 of the 2021 International Sporting Code (Code). The first protest alleged a breach of Article 48.8 of the F1 Sporting Regulations on the basis that VER overtook HAM during the safety car period. The second protest alleged that there had been a breach of Article 48.12 of the F1 Sporting Regulations during the Race, and sought an amendment to the Race Classification as a result (the Protest).
10. At 19:45 local time, the Team representatives of Mercedes and Red Bull were summoned by the Stewards for the following reason: “Protest by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team against Car 33, alleged breach of Article 48.8 of the 2021 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations” (i.e. Car 33 (VER) would have overtaken Car 44 (HAM) during the Safety Car period at 18:32).
11. At 20:45 local time, the Team representatives of Mercedes and Red Bull were summoned by the Stewards for the following reason: “Protest by Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team against the classification established at the end of the Competition, alleged breach of Article 48.12 of the 2021 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations”.
12. At 22:14 local time, after having heard the representatives of both F1 Teams concerned, the Stewards issued document 57 whereby they determined that “although Car 33 did at one stage, for a very short period of time, move slightly in front of Car 44, at a time when both cars where accelerating and braking, it moved back behind Car 44 and it was not in front when the Safety Car period ended (i.e. at the line). Accordingly, the protest is dismissed.”
13. At 23:03 local time, after having heard the representatives of Mercedes and those of Red Bull (as an “interested party”) and the Race Director, the Stewards issued document 58 (the decision) whereby they determined that “Article 15.3 allows the race director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal. That although Article 48.12 may not have been applied fully, in relation to the safety car returning to the pits at the end of the following lap, Article 48.13 overrides that and once the message “Safety Car in this lap” has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap. That notwithstanding Mercedes’ request that the stewards remediate the matter by amending the classification to reflect the positions at the end of the penultimate lap, this is a step that the Stewards believe is effectively shortening the race retrospectively, and hence not appropriate. Accordingly, the protest is dismissed.”
14. At 23:22 local time, within one hour of the publication of the decision (see article 15 of the International Sporting Code and article 10.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules), Mercedes notified the Stewards in writing of its intention to appeal in respect of the stewards’ decision regarding the article 48.12 protest. The deadline for lodging this appeal before the FIA International Court of Appeal (ICA) was 16 December 2021, 8.22 p.m. CET.
15. Mercedes did not submit a notification of appeal by the deadline (or at any time thereafter), but rather confirmed publicly on 16 December 2021 that it was withdrawing its appeal.
II. KEY ISSUES AND FINDINGS
As confirmed by the WMSC in its statement of 15 December 2021, the purpose of the detailed analysis and clarification exercise was to identify any lessons that could be learned from the events that took place at the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP and consider how best to provide clarity to F1 participants, fans, and media regarding the Formula 1 rules and regulations going forward.
1. Multiple roles and responsibilities of the race director
16. The role of the race director is by nature demanding and high-pressured. However, a recurrent theme in the detailed analysis and clarification exercise was a concern that the number of roles and responsibilities of the race director that have accumulated over the years might be adding additional pressure to the role.
17. From 1997 to 2019, the role of race director was held by Charlie Whiting. In addition to the position of race director, Mr Whiting simultaneously held the positions of FIA Safety Delegate, Permanent Starter, and Single Seater Sporting Director. Following Mr Whiting’s death in March 2019, Michael Masi was appointed as the new Race Director. Mr Masi had previously held the role of Deputy Race Director for F1, F2 and F3 from 2018. Mr Masi also took over Mr Whiting’s roles of Safety Delegate and (from 2021) Single Seater Sporting Director.
18. Suggestions made by the F1 Commission, and those interviewed included that some of the Race Director’s responsibilities should be divided and assigned to other persons to reduce the workload of the Race Director and allow them to focus on their key functions, including managing and controlling the race.
2. Radio communications between F1 teams and the Race Director
19. Radio communications between F1 teams and the Race Director were identified as another key issue during the analysis.
20. Direct radio communications between the F1 Teams and Race Control were made public from early on the 2021 season as part of a broader media strategy. It should be noted that only part of the exchanges was made public.
21. Following the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, there was a significant amount of media attention and public debate directed towards the communications between the race director and the Red Bull Racing Team Principal on the one hand, and the race director and the Mercedes team principal on the other hand, especially the conversations which took place during the final laps of the race
22. On Lap 56/58, after the message “LAPPED CARS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO OVERTAKE” was published, the conversation’ between Red Bull’s Team Principal (Christian Horner) / Team Manager (Jonathan Wheatley) and Race Control (Michael Masi) was as follows: –
Team Principal: Christian to Michael. –
Race Director: Yes, go ahead Christian. –
Team Principal: Why aren’t we getting these lapped cars out of the way? –
Race Director: Just give me… because Christian… just give me a second… OK, my main, big one is to get this incident clear. –
Team Principal: You only need one racing lap. –
Race Director: Yeah. –
Team Manager: Obviously, those lapped cars, you don’t need to let them go… right away round and catch up with the back of the pack. –
Race Director: Understood. –
Team Manager: You need to let them go…. –
Race Director: Understood. Just give us a second. –
Team Manager: … and then we’ve got a motor race on our hands. –
Race Director: Understood.
23. On Lap 57/58, after the message “LAPPED CARS 4 (NOR) – 14 (ALO) – 31 (OCO) – 16 (LEC) – 5 (VET) TO OVERTAKE SAFETY CAR” was published, Mercedes’ Team Principal (Toto Wolff) radioed Race Control:
Team Principal: Michael… Michael, this isn’t right. Michael, that is so not right. That is so not right. [later] Team principal incorrectly stated: He [VER] just overtook under safety car
24. Thus, much of the debate centred around the purpose and appropriateness of those communications and whether in-race communications between the F1 teams and the race director should be broadcasted or even permitted at all.
25. The consensus of those involved in the detailed analysis and clarification exercise was that the respective communications to the Race Director by the Red Bull Racing and Mercedes Team Principals during the final laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP had a negative impact on the smooth running of the final laps because they were distracting when the race director needed to focus on making difficult and time-pressured decisions.
26. Indeed, when the safety car is deployed, the race director must in particular monitor the cars on track, the order in which they are placed, the deployment of the appropriate flags, the progress of the marshals’ intervention and then, if the clerk of the course considers that conditions so permit, order the safety car to leave the track.
27. The race director must therefore manage both the cars on the track, the intervention of the safety car and what happens at the scene of the incident, i.e. a considerable number of tasks to be accomplished in a minimum of time to allow the race to resume safely and as soon as possible, while at the same time responding to the demands of the team principals. This requires immense concentration.
28. Hence, it was found that these communications were neither necessary nor helpful to the smooth running of the race. Rather, the consensus was that they add pressure to the race director at a critical time (i.e. at a time when the race director must simultaneously monitor the cars on the track, the deployment of the appropriate flags, and the progress of the marshals in clearing the track, and also liaise with the Clerk of the Course in relation to the end of the safety car period) and might seek to influence (whether directly or indirectly, or intentionally or unintentionally) the decisions made by the race director.
29. With the foregoing in mind, the consensus of those involved in the detailed analysis and clarification exercise was that communications between (on one hand) F1 teams and (on the other hand) the race director during a race ought to be restricted so that the race director would be free to perform his/her crucial role without unnecessary disruption and distractions.
3. Safety car unlapping procedure
30. The safety car unlapping procedure was a central topic of discussion during the detailed analysis and clarification exercise, stemming from the misunderstanding regarding the application of this procedure at the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, pursuant to Articles 48.12 and 48.13 of the F1 Sporting Regulations.
31. It was apparent from the analysis that there could be different interpretations of Article 48.12 and/or Article 48.13, and that this likely contributed to some of the confusion surrounding the safety car unlapping procedure. It was therefore considered that these provisions of the F1 Sporting Regulations would benefit from clarification.
32. It was also considered that the decisions regarding the safety car at the end of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP likely took into account previous discussions (including at meetings of the F1 SAC, the F1 Commission, and F1 Team Managers) that made clear the F1 teams’ preference to end races under green flag racing conditions, rather than behind a safety car, when safe to do so. The F1 drivers’ consultation confirmed that finishing a race under green flag racing conditions remains desirable, but that safety should always come first. If for safety reasons it is not possible to withdraw the safety car, the F1 teams confirmed that they would accept finishing the race under safety car conditions.
33. The process of identifying the lapped cars used to be a manual process. For 2022 season a software has been developed that will automate the communication of the list of cars that must unlap themselves.
NB: On Lap 58/58, HAM radioed to Mercedes “This has been manipulated”. It is worth noting that neither the International Olympic Committee (IOC) nor Sportradar have reported any integrity concerns regarding the official betting activity on the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
34. In a recent E-Vote, the WMSC has confirmed a rule change that clarifies that in case of unlapping “all” cars rather than “any” cars have to unlap. Further investigation into the F1 timing system shall clarify whether a “virtual unlapping” procedure could bring advantages and simplification.
35. The results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the FIA Formula One World Championship are valid, final and cannot now be changed. In accordance with the rules, Mercedes made a protest to the stewards after the race, seeking to change the race classification. The stewards dismissed the protest and Mercedes then had an opportunity to appeal that decision to the FIA International Court of Appeal, but did not do so. There are no other available mechanisms in the rules for amending the race classification.
4. FIA race management team structure
36. The support available to the race management team was identified as a key issue by participants in the analysis, in the context of ensuring that the Race Director is able to perform his/her role to the best of his/her ability.
37. Responsibility for supporting the race management team lies primarily with the FIA Single Seater department. When consulted in relation to the support that they provide, department staff reported that the team was positive and worked well together. They noted the demanding nature of the race director role, particularly in light of the race director’s multiple roles and responsibilities. They also identified the need for additional support and resource in order to improve the functioning of the department and thereby provide better support to the race management team.
38. Additionally, the staff identified the need to improve communications between the FIA office in Geneva and track staff, and between the F1 sport and F1 technical departments. They also noted the complexity of the F1 regulations (in particular the F1 technical regulations, the technical directives that supplement them, and the F1 financial regulations) and the reduction of the duration of consultancy agreements from three years to one year, often resulting in higher staff turnover and so reduced familiarity with the rules.
IV. The Recommendations
39. Recommendations are set out below to address the findings and conclusions in this report. These recommendations have been presented by the FIA President to both the F1 Commission and the WMSC, and were publicly announced in a statement of the FIA President released on 17 February 2022.
Recommendation 1: To assist the Race Director in the decision-making process, a Virtual Race Control Room should be created. Like the Video Assistance Referee (VAR) in football, it will be positioned in one of the FIA Offices as a backup outside the circuit. In real-time connection with the FIA F1 race director, it will help to apply the Sporting Regulations using the most modern technological tools.
3 See www.fia.cominews/fia-president-mohammed-ben-sulayem-opens-way-new-step-forward-formula-1- refereeing.
Recommendation 2: Direct radio communications during the race, currently broadcast live by all TVs, should be removed in order to protect the Race Director from any pressure and allow him to take decisions peacefully. It will still be possible to ask questions to the Race Director, according to a well-defined and non-intrusive process.
Recommendation 3: Unlapping procedures behind safety car should be reassessed by the Fl Sporting Advisory Committee and presented to the next Fl Commission prior to the start of the season.
Recommendation 4: A new race management team has been put in place starting in Barcelona for the test session. Niels Wittich (former DTM Race Director) and Eduardo Freitas (former WEC Race Director) will act alternatively as Race Director, assisted by Herbie Blash (former right-hand man of Charlie Whiting) as permanent senior advisor.
40. Many improvements, such as recruitments and the division of the race director’s many roles and tasks, have already been made. Furthermore, the role of executive director of the FIA Single Seater department was created within the FIA in December 2021, which Peter Bayer holds in addition to his role as Secretary General for Sport.
41. However, in order to finalise the new structure: – A new F1 sporting director will be recruited (process finalised), – An additional senior regulatory legal counsel will be recruited to strengthen the legal support (i) during the F1 competitions (regardless of the time difference) and especially during the weekend and (ii) on F1 sporting matters.
42. It is suggested that all the recommendations that have not already been implemented are actioned as a matter of priority so that the benefit of the lessons learned from the detailed analysis and clarification exercise can be maximised for the for the 2022 season. The WMSC members will be kept regularly informed of the progress made.
2022 Bahrain Grand Prix
- F1 keeps same three DRS zones for first race weekend with new cars
- Will F1’s new era deliver? What’s the final verdict on Abu Dhabi? Five Bahrain GP talking points
- Imola replaces China as F1 confirms 23-race calendar for 2022 season
114 comments on “FIA publishes Abu Dhabi report, confirms Masi made errors but states result will stand”
19th March 2022, 13:23
What a long report, like a story.
19th March 2022, 14:34
19th March 2022, 20:40
Unfortunately it does not include the part about the very unusual and premeditated decision of not allowing lapped cars to overtake.
19th March 2022, 22:05
You haven’t read the report, have you?
19th March 2022, 13:23
Fact 2 is wrong: Max had done already 2 out stops at that time
19th March 2022, 13:26
Pit stops *
19th March 2022, 13:32
I thought this too. He pitted for mediums under the VSC didn’t he?
19th March 2022, 13:39
True, that was the first thing I noticed. Took a lot of time and the first description is already wrong.
19th March 2022, 13:26
What a waste of time that was.
19th March 2022, 13:40
Agreed, and thanks for the compliment by copy cat my account here.
19th March 2022, 14:04
Why have you copied my name? You clearly don’t even have an account here. Strange. Anyway, Hamilton was still robbed and this “report” highlights that. I don’t understand how the result can stand. Thankfully most people agree and even Max knows his champions tarnished.
19th March 2022, 14:22
I don’t think the unregistered account is the one copying the name here. The unregistered “erikje” has been a well known member in these comment sections for as long as I can remember (and I’ve been regularly checking here for at least a year by now). Your profile page shows your account was created 17 hours ago at the time of writing. I’m very much not a judge who can determine what is and isn’t allowed, but I would recommend checking article 4 of the comment policy.
19th March 2022, 14:05
I thought both accounts belonged to the same person :)
19th March 2022, 14:35
Nope, a copy cat.
But its always nice if you have followers even stalkers like this one (not so sure)
But its probably one out of the realm of f1 fool and his multiple accounts here.
Mike Davies (@nanotech)
19th March 2022, 14:40
Maybe you should finally get an account yourself instead and also pay Keith for the content you clearly love to argue about incessantly
19th March 2022, 17:47
@nanotech it’s free to register an account, which makes it all the more curious why some people who come year after year haven’t done so.
20th March 2022, 12:56
20th March 2022, 8:13
It definitely can’t be the same person, or would be weird if so cause the registered one is clearly in the hamilton camp, unlike the unregistered; in case the registered erikje’s question was serious, I can also confirm the unregistered one has been around for years on here.
19th March 2022, 23:24
Yep, can we now investigate the totally inadequate penatly given to LH for Siverstone. This is a bigger sporting problem in my opinion.
19th March 2022, 13:27
As expected the report is as beige as possible.
Super Nashwan (@squeakywheel)
19th March 2022, 13:43
Yep. Here’s what happened. Doesn’t the poor race director have a hard job? Those naughty teams keep talking to him. Was the interpretation of the rules wrong? Nah we’ll just ignore that question.
Just felt like it was mitigating the FiAs involvement and not really drawing any conclusions. Not sure why we had to wait 3 months for that bum covering exercise to be finished.
19th March 2022, 18:05
A report so transparent you can see through it. Just what the drivers and teams were calling for!
19th March 2022, 13:29
Nothing on the prevailing circuit and track temperatures and at the venue.
19th March 2022, 13:30
Procedure of Recalling of safety car and ending it? Anyone?
19th March 2022, 13:33
Basically a whitewashing of events, as expected… nothing new to see here.
19th March 2022, 16:41
Well it confirms Hamilton would have won the title and made history had it not been for Masi.
It confirm Verstappen is champion in name only. HUMAN ERROR makes it abundantaly clear
Masi went against the spirit of the rules with his extreme interpretation of those rules.
There’s no way anyone can say he was just applying the rules, they way some say they
are only following orders. He could have done the right thing and chose not to.
Short of calling Masi a cheat, it doesn’t get much clearer.
19th March 2022, 19:32
EXACTLY…….the major take-away from the entire situation, besides the FACT that the results were so entirely botched that a defeated driver was promoted to the win, was the FACT that the FIA hasn’t the stomach for credibility. Could they simply have stated the obvious….the rules were NOT FOLLOWED. Thus, be go back to the nearest lap in which, THE RULES WERE BEING FOLLOWED, and take the results from that point. Simple. Equitable. Unquestionably correct.
A very sad day for Lewis, but a much sadder day for F1 and the FIA. History will not be confused about the proper result, the proper champion.
19th March 2022, 13:33
No mention of any change to article 15.3 is there? That’s one of the main issues isn’t it?!
19th March 2022, 14:57
@oweng From what I can tell, the report mainly deals with the actual incident itself, and doesn’t concern itself with the Mercedes protests beyond saying they were dismissed, which may explain why 15.3 is emitted. I’m equally disappointed it isn’t mentioned though.
Ivan Vinitskyy (@ivan-vinitskyy)
19th March 2022, 13:36
So, hypothetically, if Masi were to give Lewis the black flag (just because) and Lewis lost the chamionship because of it, FIA would stil stay there is nothing they can do to reverse the decision even though the black flag was completely unjustified? When have we become so brain dead that common sense is not considered and following rule book is all we can do?
19th March 2022, 14:06
But Mercedes could and would protest and the stewards would decide and then the court of appeal.
19th March 2022, 14:27
Masi cannot give a black flag, only the stewards can. Obviously, that could still be as flawed as the RD, but that’s the reason the appeal courts exist. In this case, Mercedes chose not to pursue it to the appeal courts (and for the record I still think the FIA should become party to the Court of Arbitration for Sports so a somewhat independent judge can preside)
19th March 2022, 14:55
No. That would not have been in any way under “good faith” on Masi’s part.
19th March 2022, 13:38
Interesting, so no breach of rules noticed and only recommendation points very acceptable.
It still is a pity they sacrificed Masi without any defense by him (at least not public)
Looking at the amount of flak and death threats he received from a “fanbase ” not very nice for him.
19th March 2022, 13:44
Haven’t seen anything about the amount of flak he got. I would have thought most wouldnt even know how to contact him.
So how many threats did he get, tens, hundreds, thousands?
19th March 2022, 13:45
Actually, two of them. But I guess you just refuse to see it, no matter what.
19th March 2022, 14:33
In the report, this could be seen as being the case. Rule breaking is implied, but never explicitly stated.
However, the accompanying statement from the FIA is much more to the point:
This is saying the rules were not followed. Pretty clear cut if you ask me.
19th March 2022, 14:36
Indeed, but why not in the report. There’s the place for those argumented remarks.
19th March 2022, 18:21
I think the FIA are still trying to sweep things under the proverbial carpet.
Admitting that Masi did it wrong and that he brought the safety car in a lap before the regulations allow is probably a massive step for them. Any further steps toward making the correct changes will have to be done slowly and quietly.
19th March 2022, 14:55
For reference, here is that statement from the FIA. I forgot to link it.
19th March 2022, 15:08
Ah but that’s where the rub is; Masi had the authority and indeed did order the safety car in. His authority as RD in practice overides (Article 48.12) on this specific occasion.
Just the same in footy when a ref makes a decision that stops the game at a crucial point, but then there’s no foul, changes the momentum of game but cannot be reversed.
19th March 2022, 15:15
Read carefully and you know the key finding is that Masi made errors which resulted in Max’s championship. The circumstances leading to the errors were explained. The reasons they don’t mention name or be transparent are legal ones – that does not need much speculation. They can’t change the result and that is not expected. Ignoring that there is an error made, stubbornly stating there is no breach of rules, reflect poorly on you. Remember, you can still keep your main life’s mission – defending Max’s 2021 championship as a deserving one. You know in your heart and in your mind, that no matter how much you protested, how many fake accounts you create, how annoyed you are that there are so many millions of fans who don’t acknowledge Max as deserving champion, it is now in F1 history that Max’s championship needs a really long explanation as to why is he is crowned a champion. Certainly no other world champion needs “explanation”. Moving on? Oh yes, with knowledge that Max’s championship is tainted.
19th March 2022, 16:49
Not sure to whom you are talking.
But the deserved victory in that last race was and will never be tainted for someone who looked at the race.
Of course hamfans are disappointed. I would be if this happened to max (in fact a lot of stewarding was “against” him last season). But only very frustrated fans keep on reliving the fantasy hoping in their dreams Lewis could have won.
19th March 2022, 17:40
“Looking” at the race means ignoring how decision in the last 4 minutes of the race was managed? How? You covered your eyes, ears, and block your mind off the facts that Masi broke the rules to enable the win? As you still do now by blocking what the report said? You continued to contribute on site like this one, sprouting nonsense about Merc’s wrong strategy? It has nothing to do with Hamilton anymore or other drivers disadvantaged by Masi’s decision. So, keep the “fandomness” to your Max. As mentioned above, result will not change, nor it is expected to. So, do enjoy the trophy and the no.1 display on the car. It is you who need to fantasise that Max is a recognised un-tainted champion. And yes, do move on.
19th March 2022, 13:39
As we all knew anyway. Masi screwed up big time and handed the title to Max.
Max is not to blame for this though and does deserve the title (just as Lewis would be fully deserving had the rules been followed)
Lets move on now and get racing. This has been blead to death.
19th March 2022, 13:42
You rad a lot of things that are not in the report. Nothing new but still telling.
Your last remark I agree. But we already found out groundhog day is favorite by Keith. So expect a lot of repeats…
19th March 2022, 13:43
19th March 2022, 13:48
Go away – pest
19th March 2022, 14:37
Does that usually work in your social group?
19th March 2022, 15:10
For someone who doesn’t seem to like many of the comments, or indeed the authors content, you do seem to enjoy it here, Erikje.
19th March 2022, 16:50
I do, is that a problem for you?
20th March 2022, 12:10
Why would it be a problem for me?
It’s an observation. You complain about the articles, and about the comments, and then you continue to participate.
19th March 2022, 13:40
Lol – imagine a whole report that’s no doubt been reviewed and re-reviewed over and over prior to release only for it to confidently state that Max had made one pitstop prior to Latifi’s crash.
19th March 2022, 13:41
Also – how come there’s no mention of when the safety car was supposed to come in per the rules (end of following lap) and whether that will be changed or not?
19th March 2022, 13:44
It is referenced in the recap of the stewards’ decision but what is the status going forward?
19th March 2022, 13:57
I’ve not read the report in full yet bit keith does say: “The race director called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations,”
I cant take this as gospel but…
19th March 2022, 14:40
@sebsronnie As DeanR states, the report does kinda mangle it’s words a bit. The official statement from the FIA is a lot more clear cut in it’s analysis:
This is, at the bottom of it, an acknowledgment that rules were broken.
In terms of the future, the rule has been tweaked so the SC now comes in at the end of the following lap after the unlapping message has been sent out (previously it was after the last lapped car had passed the leader). It wouldn’t have made a difference in Abu Dhabi; what Masi did would be just as wrong under the new wording as it was under the old wording. I think it does help clarify things a little bit, as well as meaning under a few select circumstances (where the message to unlap is sent near the end of a lap) where you could theoretically restart the race one lap earlier (and still be following the regs).
19th March 2022, 16:44
Since the RD had the executive power to order the safety car in, and indeed did, how can they – or more to the point you – say a rule was broken?
Surely this is the sort of gap/conflict/loophole/oversight in the regs that allows teams to introduce things on cars that ought to be clearly not allowed. The more rules they write the more ambiguity creeps in.
19th March 2022, 16:52
The real problem is, it’s not in the report. It’s a constructed addition by fia but not part of the report.
It should be, with arguments that are missing now.
19th March 2022, 13:44
Why not ? Lance Amstrong got his titles removed too. Max is a fake champ and instigated this whole farce by relling his race engineer that the cars needs to be removed between him and Lewis, Horner and Weathley took it over from there and gave Masi orders to rigg the result to hand the title to Max.
19th March 2022, 14:01
19th March 2022, 14:06
I still don’t get why some keep bringing up Silverstone like it was some heinous intentional pre meditated collision.
I thought then & I still think now that it was nothing more than a racing incident, Perhaps more Hamilton’s fault but it’s not as if he threw it into a non-existent gap from miles back in some reckless move that was never on.
And from memory that was the view shared by most drivers both past & present both in F1 & other categories.
19th March 2022, 14:36
And it was penalised appropriately given the crime. They all act like Hamilton wasn’t even penalised.
19th March 2022, 14:52
HAM was found at fault.
HAM lost 10 seconds
VER lost 18-26 points for the race
Plus an engine penalty for the next race.
VER was favourite to win the race and would have probably pulled 7 points on HAM. Instead he lost 25-32. So he ended up in hospital and had a swing of 32-39 points.
So overall I’d say that’s quite a lenient penalty!