Motorsport: The plot intensifies when Formula 1 initiates investigations after the controversial victory of Max Verstappen


Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the F1 World Championship but Lewis Hamilton has appealed a controversial ruling. Video / spark sports

The F1 governing body has launched an investigation into the closing stages of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after Max Verstappen controversially won the world title.

The FIA ​​has announced that it will conduct a “detailed analysis and clarification exercise” in the season finale, which sparked outrage when F1 fans accused race director Michael Masi of ignoring the rules and giving Verstappen victory over Lewis Hamilton.

Masi caused a stir when he let five cars overtake the safety car late in the race between leading Hamilton and Verstappen after Nicolas Latifi’s accident.

Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Formula 1 drivers' championship.  Photo / photo sports
Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Formula 1 drivers’ championship. Photo / photo sports

Equipped with fresher tires, the call allowed Verstappen to catch up with Hamilton before the Duke overtook the 36-year-old to win his first championship.

Angry, Mercedes started two protests – which were eventually dismissed by the stewards – and appealed at the same time. At the time, Silberpfeil boss Toto Wolff argued with Masi over the radio and told the race director that the call was “incorrect”.

After a meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Paris this week, it was decided to review the handling of the last race of the season to see if there are any procedural changes to be made in 2022.

“The circumstances surrounding the use of the safety car after the incident involving driver Nicholas Latifi and the associated communication between the FIA ​​Race Direction team and the Formula 1 teams have led to considerable misunderstandings and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and in particular Fans led. “Said the FIA ​​in a statement.

“(It is) an argument that currently tarnishes the image of the championship and the fitting celebration of the first driver’s world title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth constructors’ world title in a row for Mercedes.

“This matter is being discussed and addressed with all teams and drivers to learn lessons from this situation and to provide participants, media and fans with clarity about the current regulations in order to maintain the competitive nature of our sport while ensuring safety.” the driver and officials.

“Not only Formula 1 can benefit from this analysis, but all other FIA circuit championships in general.”

Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen.  Photo / Getty
Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen. Photo / Getty

BBC F1 reporter Andrew Benson said the F1A switch was “an effective admission that mistakes were made in Abu Dhabi, and it feels like an olive branch – or maybe even something in return – for Mercedes who have been in talks with the FIA – in the last few days, as their deadline for appeal is emerging “.

Motorsport writer Jon Noble added, “The FIA ​​blames fans, teams and the media for the consequences of the ‘misunderstandings’ from fans, teams and media.”

Mercedes has until Friday morning to decide whether the stewards’ decision to reject the team’s post-race protests will be a full appeal.

In an interview with reporters on Thursday, Red Bull defended Masi. Verstappen said the official “is doing his best and it’s very unfair to hate him now because it’s a very tough job,” while team principal Christian Horner added: “Michael has been under massive pressure from all sides.

“I think it’s a little unfair that… he’s up there alone. He has no support whatsoever.

“I think the level at which the teams are now working, all the data and information they have at their disposal, is immense and I think the lesson from this season – not just from Abu Dhabi – is: how can we do better Do job? ? How can the FIA ​​do a better job? “

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