Formula One leaders have launched an investigation into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and “final decisions” will be revealed on March 18


The governing body of Formula One announced on Thursday that on March, on the eve of the opening race in Bahrain, it will announce the outcome of the investigation into last year’s controversial final in Abu Dhabi.

The 2021 title was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after changing the normal procedure of a safety car, it allowed him to overtake Lewis Hamilton in the last lap and the Mercedes driver gave up a record eighth title.

The FIA ​​acknowledged last month that the excitement is tarnishing the image of the championship, and said it will conduct a thorough analysis with all the teams and drivers it will consult.

Lewis Hamilton (left) was turned down for the F1 title when Max Verstappen put him in line at a key race in Abu Dhabi following a controversial call from F1 race director Michael Masi.

Hamilton was denied a hard-earned victory and a record eighth championship when the race was restarted after the safety car phase and the Red Bulls Verstappen he took advantage of the new tires on which he was – a strategic choice – for strength to win in the final lap.

Since then, the 37-year-old Hamilton has been reluctant to commit to seeing the remainder of his two-year contract with Mercedes.

If the FIA ​​ruling rules in Hamilton’s favor, the existing authorities could award the Mercedes star his record eighth title, given how he led the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the final round before the controversy began.

Although it is accepted that Hamilton would probably have won the race if Massi had not changed the rules, it would have been highly controversial to deprive Verstappen of his first racing championship in history – especially if the Dutchman did not take part in Massi’s last-minute decision. .

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff will meet with new Formula One driver on Friday to discuss Michael Masi

Mohammed Ben Sulayem is the new leader of F1 and must first face the controversy in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff (left) will hold talks with new F1 ruler Mohammed Ben Sulay (right) to discuss the farcical conclusion of last season

Criticisms of the seemingly slow pace of the investigation have surfaced on social media, with suggestions that Hamilton’s future in sports could depend on the outcome.

The Briton has been silent since Abu Dhabi, not commenting on the events.

The FIA, which has also been largely silent on the process in recent weeks, announced its schedule on Thursday, saying the sports advisory committee will meet on Jan. 19 to consider the use of a safety car.

“The next phase will be a joint discussion with all F1 drivers,” they wrote.

“The outcome of the detailed analysis will be presented to the F1 Commission in February, and the final decisions will be announced at the World Motorsport Council in Bahrain on March 18.”

It is said that the newly elected president of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, asked Peter Bayer, Secretary General for Sport, for “proposals to review and optimize the organization of the FIA ​​F1 structure for the 2022 season.”

Mercedes will demand that Masi (above) be fired for a car call in Abu Dhabi

Mercedes will demand that Masi (above) be fired for a car call in Abu Dhabi

Mercedes has withdrawn its lawsuit against the FIA, saying it has no chance of winning the appeal on the grounds that the FIA ​​should revoke its supervisors due to further major damage to the sport, but has called for a thorough investigation, which is currently underway. to repair the integrity of F1.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff will meet with Ben Sulay, a 61-year-old rally driver from Dubai, on Friday to discuss the farcical conclusion of last season in a meeting that will greatly contribute to the decision. Hamiltonfuture.

For now, 42-year-old race director Michael Masi remains in office. His position will be a key point when Wolff meets Ben Sulay.

Sources state that Masi’s dismissal is a key demand for Mercedes, although they deny that his departure is a quid pro quo for Hamilton to stay. They are looking for broader reforms.

Mercedes star Hamilton is likely to continue, but the outcome of this new meeting will be crucial

Mercedes star Hamilton is likely to continue, but the outcome of this new meeting will be crucial

The source said Sports mail: ‘The Abu Dhabi case is the first issue on the new president’s agenda. He wants to give an answer. The deadline is the meeting of the World Motorsport Council on February 3 – but there may be news before that, such is the urgency. ‘

The FIA ​​seems to be torn apart by Masi’s fate. His head is expected to turn, but one of Ben Sulayem’s main fans, former F1 supremacist Bernie Ecclestone, whose Brazilian wife Fabiana is the first woman to be elected vice president of sports in South America, told Sportsmail: ” I see no reason why Michael should not continue his work.

‘He did what he thought was best. You can say he would do this or that or the other. But it would be awful if the last race ended under a safety car. Michael would also have problems. He is a good man and the FIA ​​should persevere. ‘

It seems likely that Hamilton will race on. He will receive at least £ 30 million a year and apparently has unfinished business. It is telling that Mercedes has not put together a serious list of replacements.



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