Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Yas Marina, 2021

FIA: Abu Dhabi GP row ‘tarnishing the image of F1 and celebration of Verstappen’s title’

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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The FIA believes the dispute over the final laps of Sunday’s championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is “tarnishing the image of the championship and the due celebration of the first drivers’ world championship title won by Max Verstappen.”

Its World Motor Sport Council has approved a proposal by president Jean Todt to begin a “detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all relevant parties”.

A report was made to the WMSC over the sequence of events following Latifi’s crash. This culminated in FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi’s decision to restart the race having only permitted a few of the lapped drivers to to overtake the Safety Car.

Mercedes challenged this decision in a protest in Sunday evening. This was rejected by the stewards, following which Mercedes gave notice of its intention to appeal. The team has until tomorrow evening to commit to an appeal. Until that time the result of Sunday’s race are provisional.

In a statement the WMSC noted “the circumstances surrounding the use of the Safety Car following the incident of driver Nicholas Latifi, and the related communications between the FIA race direction team and the Formula 1 teams, have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the championship and the due celebration of the first drivers’ world championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive constructors’ world championship title won by Mercedes.”

The FIA stated: “This matter will be discussed and addressed with all the teams and drivers 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.

“It is not only Formula 1 that may benefit from this analysis, but also more generally all the other FIA circuit championships.”

The FIA intends to involve F1 drivers in the discussion around the incident and intends for “meaningful feedback and conclusions [to] be made before the beginning of the 2022 season.”

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FIA statement on Abu Dhabi Grand Prix row

On Sunday, another FIA F1 world championship season of competitive excellence has concluded, and the credit goes to the participating drivers and teams. The FIA congratulates all of them for their performances in this year. It was a hard fight, and the best competition was displayed at each Grand Prix.

The world watched every race with great anticipation, knowing that in the end, there could only be one winner. In this respect, many praised Max Verstappen for his victory, and Lewis Hamilton for his remarkable performance and sportsmanship after the closing event of the season.

The 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has prompted a large number of reactions from the F1 community and from motor sport in general, as well as in the public.

The FIA’s primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport.

The circumstances surrounding the use of the Safety Car following the incident of driver Nicholas Latifi, and the related communications between the FIA race direction team and the Formula 1 teams, have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the championship and the due celebration of the first drivers’ world championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive constructors’ world championship title won by Mercedes.

Following the presentation of a report regarding the sequence of events that took place following the incident on Lap 53 of the Grand Prix and in a constant drive for improvement, the FIA President proposed to the World Motor Sport Council that a detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all relevant parties will now take place.

This matter will be discussed and addressed with all the teams and drivers 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. It is not only Formula 1 that may benefit from this analysis, but also more generally all the other FIA circuit championships.

Following that presentation and an extensive discussion, the World Council has decided to unanimously support the President’s proposal.

The FIA will therefore do its utmost to have this in motion within the Formula 1 governance and will propose to the Formula 1 Commission to give a clear mandate for study and proposal to the Sporting Advisory Committee, with the support of Formula 1 drivers, so that any identified meaningful feedback and conclusions be made before the beginning of the 2022 season.

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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189 comments on “FIA: Abu Dhabi GP row ‘tarnishing the image of F1 and celebration of Verstappen’s title’”

  1. notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans

    Ah, sorry FIA. Yeah at the end of the day it comes down to our “misunderstanding”.

    1. It’s a sad truth that the sport has truly descended to a level akin to a self-fulfulling propaganda-driven dictatorship.

      Drivers being instructed not to publicly voice grievances about the sport. Broadcast pundits not having the guts to question the running of the sport so as to keep Liberty/FOM happy. The persistent push for sprint qualifying despite the considerable amount of negative feedback from fans and teams. And now the FIA fundamentally (albeit not explicitly) blames teams and fans for “misunderstanding” protocol and tarnishing the championship. This is Formula One everybody.

      1. Have to agree. It’s borderline insulting that the FIA have posted this. And it couldn’t be more tone-deaf.

        Now left hoping that Mercedes take the FIA to the cleaners.

        1. This smacks of the FIA doing a deal with Mercedes so they can avoid the huge embarrassment of having to announce a ‘provisional’ WDC at the FIA prize giving ceremony tomorrow evening.

          1. Mercedes should get a reprimand and radio to the race director be banned from next year on.

      2. That was my reaction, too.

        No, there has not been a misunderstanding. There has been a significant overstep, at best, by the most significant official at the pinnacle of motorsport. Stop trying to blame fans and teams for your mistake.

        This has made me really angry.

      3. Jean-Christophe
        15th December 2021, 20:42

        Not playing the devil’s advocate here but if they were to admit that they were wrong, that could be ammunition to Mercedes lawyer.

        1. Maybe so, but this statement is a complete slap in the face. Were I in Mercedes shoes, this would just throw fuel on the fire and make me more determined to press on. It certainly makes me less likely to “drop it”, personally.

        2. In which case that would paint an even dimmer view of how FIA perceives the fans of the sport they govern. Throwing fans under the bus to protect their hides. Surely there were other ways to not weaponise Mercedes’ lawyers without dragging the fans into this.

        3. The alternative – and wisest – thing to do would be just to keep their mouth shut. Keep the *provisional caveat where they have to, pretend it’s all fine at the Gala tomorrow, and save talking about this until the get to the courtroom.

          Tone deaf and silly from the FIA. Exactly what I’ve come to expect.

          1. If they just keep quiet, the time limit will pass and the matter will be dropped. They need to file their appeal, and AFAIK the presentation will not take place if they have because the results are still provisional.

          2. @drmouse he meant, FIA should stay quiet, not Merc should let their timeframe expire

          3. Ah, apologies. Frustration and anger are doing odd things to my brain right now. I’m not used to getting this angry at things. I’m not far off being as upset as when my first wife left me.

          4. @drmous @romtrain

            You are both correct – I was referring to the FIA and this condescending rubbish they’ve put out.

            Totally agree with you on the frustration and anger. I had hoped F1 was past things like this, but I was sadly mistaken. If the result is allowed to stand, I won’t be following F1 any longer.

      4. They’re doing exactly what Hollywood et al have been doing for a number of years now, haven’t you noticed? No need for invoking a dictatorship.

      5. This. I have been disgusted by the lack of backbone by pundits and some drivers. Will buxton put it best when Jolyon Palmer made a joke about Michael Masi saying words to the effect of ” I dont wanna lose my job” when it was mentioned. Sky, drivers, even some in the media have skirted around the issue, heck even jolyon Palmers analysis on the incident felt on F1 TV like something produced by the media in Iran, China, Saudi… clearly unable to speak freely.

        The drivers know it, the media knows it, the fans know it… what has happened is rotten and stinks bad. Theyve clearly alluded to it without being able to say it clearly. its insulting when they push they are both worthy champions narrative and dont address the core issue… in a sport that is meant to be fair, one man had the power to unilatterally decide who won the championship. Thats the bad part and the fact that the FIA then backed him up by rejecting the protest and likely any appeal going forward is the actual scary part.

        Whether the motivation is exciting Tv or bias against one team or another, in a fair sport based on rules, no one man should have such power to affect the outcome of an entire championship in such a way, where there are clear rules and guidelines that could and should have been applied correctly.

        What makes sport engaging and beautiful, its that competitors play to the same rules. When that goes out the window in favour of exciting tv at best or the need for a particular team or driver to win for financial reasons, all within the hands of one man, then something is fundementally wrong with the sport.

        Im upset because, they have brought the sport I love into disrepute and shattered the credibility of it in front of everyone. I am royally upset.

        1. You won’t get independent opinion from people on FOM’s payroll. As good as Buxton is, he is no longer an independent voice in the paddock.

        2. Well said yloops.

          I’m still peeved… well this will be an interesting 24 hours. My gut tells me that Mercs won’t proceed.

        3. Well said yloops. I’m so disgusted with this, it’s bye bye F1. I’ll stick with other sports from now on. If I were an F1 sponsor, I’d pull the plug immediately.

      6. When they came for the integrity of pole in sprints,I did nothing
        When they came for real race fans at spa I did nothing

      7. Didn’t think the FIA could disrespect the fans any further, but they found a way. Unreal.

    2. Ninjenius
      15th December 2021, 20:04
      notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans
      Ah, sorry FIA. Yeah at the end of the day it comes down to our “misunderstanding”.

      FIA could not be more cynical. It is so disgusting!

    3. They will be sorry “if anyone was offended.”

      1. Of course they will be.
        I expect the report to contain nothing less than the following data or it will be unacceptable.

        1. Wind speed.
        2. Track temperature.
        3. Race control room temp.
        4. Promimity of race control to start finish line.
        5. Lighting conditions.
        6. Picture of Grosjean’s burnt glove.

        9. Current sizes of carpets and respective price.
        10. BROOM.

    4. Coventry Climax
      16th December 2021, 16:46

      Basically, they lack the ability to communicate unambigous too:
      “The FIA’s primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport.”
      So which is it? Because it’s no different to “my primary responsability is making you happy and having my bank account grow beyond dreams.”

      And this:
      “Commission to give a clear mandate for study and proposal to the Sporting Advisory Committee, with the support of Formula 1 drivers, so that any identified meaningful feedback and conclusions be made before the beginning of the 2022 season.”
      To me, it’s either a mandate or not, ‘clear’ has nothing to do with it.
      A mandate for proposal? Nice, but who will write the proposal, who will decide over it and do we get to know the contents of it?
      Identified meaningful feedback? And who, you think, decides whether the feedback is meaningful? The same club that decided that the half races on saturday were unanimously declared a succes?

      It’s just blah, and nothing will change.

  2. Sounds like something Vince McMahon would say!

  3. FIA has finally has woke up….Masi should have been fired until now..

  4. So a drop of the appeal is imminent.

    Can’t see the FIA release such a statement before they know if MB will drop the appeal. This would be fuel for their barristers.

    1. That would make sense, yeah @hannesch

    2. Yup. I jope MB don’t but it seems so.

    3. I think you are probably right, but if the FIA have managed to calm the waters with Mercedes, at the same time they have fanned the flames with fans because apparently we misunderstood the point of this sport.

    4. This could be also what Mercedes demanded to drop the charges/Appeal……

  5. It wasn’t a misunderstanding.Horner asked Masi to change his mind and this stupid Race Director did what Horner said,.It’s quite simple..

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      15th December 2021, 20:25

      Ah yes, just like when Wolff asked Masi not to bring in the safety car for the first incident

      :clown:

      1. wasn’t a great Moment for sure. didn’t lead to the race director throwing the rulebook out of the window though.

      2. Because Mercedes knew what Masi was capable of.

    2. You do know the demands Toto made do you?
      And i do not mean the petulant yelling and screaming to the race director totally lacking any respect.
      It was nice to see how Toto like a toddler was corrected and silenced.

      But his demands during the race are really unbelievable. Not asking like Horner did, but demanding. i.e. the vsc situation with Giovinacci. https://racingnews365.com/f1-boss-wants-to-stop-teams-hassling-masi-during-races

      1. Toto was bang out of order (akin to Horner’s rogue marshal comment), and of course Horner is going to try his best to pursudae Masi to have lapped cars overtake so I have no problem with that. Masi has allowed this to happen through weak management though.

        Personally though I found that comment by Masi completely unprofessional and the worst part about this whole situation, regardless of what side you’re on. The race director should be above that Netflix soundbite and avoid taking the centre stage.

        1. Masi did not want all the wanted the lapped cars to overtake. Onl the ones in between Hamilton and Verstappen. If all the lapped cars were allowed to overtake as the rules state the hamilton would have won.

      2. The telling versus asking was out of order, but calling the race director mikey was unbelievable.

        It should cost Toto a race ban. He was so out of order there.

        Try to do that in other sports, like say rugby and you wouldn’t be allowed in the field for a long time.

        1. Fact is that all team managers have been allowed to lobby and cajole the race director over the radio. Only Christian Horner got the rules rewritten on the fly by the race director at his request though.

        2. Absolutely right. Merc should get a reprimand and communication to the race director banned in the future

      3. the problem isn’t though what either team said, of course, if allowed, all the teams will lobby for the decisions they want, like a manager will appeal a foul in football etc, problem is that in football the manager shouts on from the side or rows with a 4th official, not making the decisions, but in F1 they have a line direct line to the referees ear. Horner is getting undeserved flack because we all would lobby the ref for our teams benefit, the ref should not have to argue his decisions during the race, and should be indifferent to the teams requests, also teams shouldn’t be allowed to lobby the race director for decisions, especially regarding track safety decisions. of course the teams will and we only get to hear the messages the TV director plays out, I’m sure teams up and down the pit lane also lobby the race director for the decisions that help their race. It needs to stop completely!!

    3. I agree, Horner pressurised Masi who then duly caved in to the request without a squeak – wonder why ? Masi must go. As for Horner my thought are neither polite or printable

  6. that’s all? tomorrow is deadline day, i don’t think it will be enough… where are the sentences like “we were wrong”, “we’re sorry”, “this will never happen again” etc…

  7. that’s all? tomorrow is deadline day, i don’t think it will be enough… where are the sentences like “we were wrong”, “we’re sorry”, “this will never happen again” etc…

    1. You expect the FIA to say “we’re sorry, we were wrong” the day before the deadline to appeal?

    2. But, according to this statement, they weren’t wrong, we’ve just misunderstood.

      😡

      1. @drmouse Yes, it’s all our fault for not understanding what happened.

    3. Isn’t tomorrow also the awards ceremony?

      1. @blueruck What a coincidence!

  8. Good try FIA, seems to make sense. But then it does mean that we, and especially Mercedes, have to accept that this really is the result of the race and the championship.

    I do think it is badly needed. And I am unsure Mercedes can achieve much good for themselves or F1s future with appealing. but we’ll see what happens.

    1. @bascb more than that, it means that all of us need to accept that the race director can literally just make up new rules whenever he wants. Next year be prepared for a safety car every time the leader gets more than 15s ahead, and only cars which have sent Masi flowers being allowed to unlap themselves after a safety car.

      1. I would think (hope?) that is exactly the part they want to get that “meaningful feedback and conclusions” on, to put that cat firmly back into it’s box @drmouse.

        Otherwise, as you mention, this could become a huge mess.

        1. @bascb but if it’s the fans and drivers who have misunderstood and need clarification, that strongly implies (at the very least) that the FIA believes the race director should have absolute and unrestricted power to make up any rules he wants with regard the safety car (and start procedure). It points towards them clarifying that power to the fans, not restricting that power.

          1. Nah, that is just the FIA trying to admit things went wrong and need changing without actually wanting to admit out in the open that it was on them @drmouse.

            Things have been “clarified” in the past where it more or less completely contradicted what happened in a race right/ruling on an incident that happened right before that.

          2. @bascb if that’s what happens, then I will accept it. I currently cannot see it happening. It may just be that this statement, which is badly worded and insensitive at a bare minimum, is as you say, but to me it’s a blatant insult to all the fans and drivers to tell us that we just misunderstood the rules.

            I’m still livid about it and won’t believe it till I see it.

          3. There really is no good reason to put out such a statement unless they were going to adress at least something @drmouse. I agree that we need to be very sceptical because they are almost certainly not going to want to make a lot of change if they don’t have to.

            Then again, how many days until Todt signs off as FIA president? He will not want to leave this completely out in the open, so will want to get some kind of conclusion soon.

          4. @bascb I do expect them to do something: “Clarify” that the race director can do whatever the heck he wants, possibly even strengthening that article in the rules, and put out comms to the fans to ensure they “understand”.

            I’m aware that I may be reading this in the worst possible light because of how angry I still am over all this. I truly hope that this does turn out to be a catalyst for change, but right now I cannot see it. I’m going to have to see strong evidence that such change is going to happen before I change my mind.

          5. That wouldn’t need any clarification though @drmouse. It seems to already what we are at after the verdict of the stewards in Abu Dhabi on Mercedes appeal.
            In that case it would have been far easier to just thank the stewards for settling the issue and annouce that you move on.

            The only reason to announce a clarification at all is to now limit or define the room to do as he likes / feels is needed at the moment.

            This also will be a NEW FIA president who will be heading the clarification part, since Todt and his team are out after this Friday, meaning that it allows the new team to actually be able to pick up with a positive not of “hey look we sat down with the teams, drivers and looked at things and as the great fresh new guys in charge we were so benevolent to make some changes to improve from 2022 onwards

          6. @bascb again, I hope so, but I will believe it when I see it.

          7. Now I have had more time to think about it, the stewards decision is them covering themselves and to be fair to them it was probably the right move for them.
            They are not legal experts, so confirmed 48.12 was only partially completed, but then said 48.13 and 15.3 could override 48.12. Basically they held the status quo, defined where the issues were and kicked it upstairs to the FIA Court of Appeal if Mercedes wishes to take in further. There all the lawyers for both sides can sort it out and a proper judge can resolve the issue.
            We all know in the past the FIA like to resolve things to their benefit, but need to be very careful because the European court is waiting in the wings and they would be more than happy to get involved if it appears the FIA and FOM have influenced each other.
            Having an FIA created court, rule on if the FIA officials themselves have broken the rules is the last thing the FIA want or need. Unless they find in favour of Mercedes if the appeal goes ahead, then the accusations of bias and the FIA fixing the court case will be talked about for ever. Actually whatever they decide the accusations of bias will go on for ever.
            They could also be forced in change their charter to allow an independent court to have final jurisdiction over all cases such as CAS. Remember the FIA twenty years ago was forced to split the FIA and FOM into two independent bodies by the European Commission
            Press Release from The European Commission below :
            IP/01/1523
            Brussels, 30 October 2001
            Commission closes its investigation into Formula One and other four-wheel motor sports
            The competition department of the European Commission has informed the four-wheel motor sports regulator, the Fédération Internationale d’Automobile (FIA), and the Formula One companies that it has closed the various anti-trust investigations into certain regulations and commercial arrangements involving that sport. This action was made possible after the parties agreed to make changes which limit the FIA to a regulatory role, so as to prevent any conflict of interests, and remove certain commercial restrictions put on circuit owners and TV broadcasters. Developments in the sector will be kept under scrutiny to ensure that the changes work in practice.
            The Commission’s investigation of the FIA regulations and commercial agreements relating to the FIA Formula One Championship came about following voluntary notifications in 1994 and 1997 requesting clearance from European competition rules. The Commission objected to certain of the rules in 1999 on the grounds that FIA had abused its power by putting unnecessary restrictions on promoters, circuit owners, vehicle manufacturers and drivers as well as to certain provisions in the commercial agreements with television broadcasters.
            The Commission fully recognises the need for organisations such as the FIA to regulate the organisation of its sport, its sporting rules and its competitions. However, the spectacular transformation of sports such as football and motor racing into ‘big business’ has inevitably led to third party challenges of certain rules and commercial agreements under the European Union competition rules.
            Following discussions with Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, the FIA agreed to modify its rules to bring them into line with EU law. After consulting interested third parties and the Member States, the Commission is now ready to close the file. The modifications introduced by FIA will ensure that :
            • The role of FIA will be limited to that of a sports regulator, with no commercial conflicts of interest;
            • The FIA rules are not used to prevent or impede new competitions unless justified on grounds related to the safe, fair or orderly conduct of motor sport;
            • Internal and external appeals procedures against FIA decisions are strengthened.
            To prevent conflicts of interest, FIA has sold all its rights in the FIA Formula One World Championship and will allow the creation of potential inter- and intra-brand competition between Formula One and similar races and series.
            The FIA will, therefore, have no influence over the commercial exploitation of the Formula One Championship.
            In addition, FIA and SLEC/FOA, the companies in charge of the commercial exploitation of Formula One, agreed to various changes in the commercial agreements for Formula One designed to lower or remove barriers to entry for the creation and operation of other motor sport series, in particular those that might compete with Formula One. This was achieved, for example, by removing restrictions in circuit contracts about the hosting of other motor sports events.
            Aside from the Commission’s concern to ensure that FIA’s role is limited to that of sports regulator, the Commission has also taken into account the effect that valuable TV sports rights can have on national broadcasting markets. To this end, FOA agreed to modify the current agreements and offered certain commitments for their future conduct. In particular, broadcasters in the various countries will be invited to tender for the TV rights on the expiry of the current (and any future) contracts.
            The parties have also agreed to reduce the length of new free to air broadcasting contracts to a maximum of three years (except for contracts where specific investments justify a length of up to five years).
            Background
            The Commission issued a Statement of Objections in the above case in 1999.
            The parties proposed a number of changes to the notified arrangements, which led to the Commission publishing a Notice pursuant to Article 19(3) of Regulation 17 on 13 June 2001. The Notice indicated that the Commission took a positive view of the changes and invited third parties to comment on the changes before the Commission reached a final position. No new information was brought to the Commission’s attention in this public consultation process.
            The agreement between the FIA and FOA for the sale of any rights that the FIA may have in Formula One has been concluded for a period of 100 years. On the expiry of this period, the rights will revert to the FIA. The effective separation of the FIA’s commercial and regulatory roles will during this time be ensured by the fact that FIA’s interests will be represented by an independent third party. The role of this third party will be solely to safeguard this reversionary interest, and the third party will not be involved in the commercial exploitation of Formula One.

          8. Yes, it IS very reasonable to wait and see what they actually do change, since they will surely want to change as little as they can get away with.

            Given the last statement by Mercedes, it is obvious that Mercedes has told the FIA in no uncertain manner, that they MUST change things or see the company change their mind on F1 as a sport @drmouse.

            We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced. Thus, we welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1. We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.

    2. @bascb What Todt is trying in my opinion is to make Mercedes look like the villain. By starting this process Mercedes can’t claim they are doing the appeal for clarity and the ‘good of F1’.

      Regardless of what was possible should have happened red flag, send lapped cars earlier, or just end behind the safety car, etc. Mercedes are right to be furious and should absolutely protest but for their driver, not for the ‘good of F1’ which nobody from the teams cares anyway, let’s be real.

      Now if after the appeal Max keeps the crown or Hamilton wins the championship by the appeal everybody should make peace with it.

      1. I actually think there might be a bit of “ok Mercedes we will address this for the future but do it without admitting it was us making the mess and without influencing the result of the 2021 championship” @cobray.

        Could well be there was some coordination or at least contact on this with Mercedes to see if they would “bite”

      2. The question I ask is why is it Mercedes keep suspecting Masi is up to no good. How come Masi keeps confirming their suspicions.
        If the claim is true that Mercedes came to the race with a barrister and have never done that previously, it certainly implies that they suspected a cooked up ending which we all knew was coming.

        The good of the sport is more important than that of the driver because the driver will benifit from what is good for the sport. We must also agree that what is good for the sport may not always be good for TV or Netflix people and all those with an entitlement mentality.

  9. And there it is. Now for MGP to come out from their sulk, confirm they won’t be appealing, and F1 life goes on. Hopefully some good will come of this: Masi gets a few more team members to help with the procedures, and one focal point to handle the team principals for example.

    1. Nothing significant will change, because we’ve misunderstood, the FIA and Masi haven’t done anything wrong…

      If I was in Mercedes shoes, I wouldn’t be dropping it, and this statement just tells me they plan to keep on doing the same. The officials will be allowed to ignore the rules whenever they want and we can like it or lump it.

      1. As others have noted I don’t think the FIA would have put out this statement if MGP were going to launch their appeal. I suspect words have been exchanged behind the scenes.

        1. If so, I cannot see my patronage of F1 continuing. From this statement, nothing is going to change, and I cannot watch the only sport I love become a game show where the officials can make up rules on a whim with impunity.

          I still hold out hope, but the only way anything will improve its if someone powerful enough, or enough powerful-enough people, stand up to them and tell them no.

          1. See my post above, this is an incredibly dangerous moment for the FIA and its current structure, if the Mercedes appeal goes ahead. The European Commission and courts could investigate the FIA as they are a sports regulator only. If commercial interests have influenced the decisions of the FIA and their officials or if the FIA Court of Appeal is deemed to not be independent, then EU law has been broken then all bets are off.

        2. Unless this is just the FIA puffing their chest out to try and get Mercedes to back down.

        3. This statement was clearly released in the hope of persuading Mercedes to withdraw their appeal. It’s a day late and a dollar short. It’s basically insulting all of us by saying we misunderstood what happened and they don’t want it to spoil there very glitzy award show. Boo hoo.

          1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            16th December 2021, 8:40

            @scbriml That’s how I read it too. If a deal had been done they would have jointly agreed the wording, something along the lines of: “Mercedes accepts the result of the championship, the FIA promises to conduct a review of stewarding”.

            Instead, what we got was frankly insulting: “Pundits, teams, drivers and fans appear confused. The FIA will try to explain it simply to you simpletons”. I’ve no idea why the FIA would issue such a statement, it is just digging its heels in.

      2. I really really hope Mercedes appeal this to the hills now.

      3. This could open the door for a better process. I should think Merc didn’t want to bring in Lewis as they would lose track position on both the VSC and SC, and the last time they did bring in Lewis and Valterri shortly after losing track position, they red flagged the race so Max got not only track position but also fresh tires. I think you say a crash with less than 10 laps, red flag, let everyone put on fresh tires and sprint to the finish. or retain track position and time delta to the car behind

  10. Sooo…it’s everyone else’s misunderstanding of the FIA? Frankly this is just condescending to the fans.

  11. The FIA’s primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport.

    Apprently not

    1. + 1. On integrity exactly what they failed to do.

    2. it is their responsibility, i can agree to this statement.

      the statement does not rate whether they fulfilled this responsibility in the WDC decision.

      the statement can even be understood as they acknowledge integrity stands above the show, feeling the need to assure this, as they know their doing was badly wrong.

    3. @valandil “at any event”. So not all events then?

    4. @valandil Clearly, that integrity doesn’t go as far as them actually releasing the report on which this word-salad is based. That would be far too transparent.

  12. Bit rich.

  13. As I thought, a quick review of the conduct of the FIA, by the FIA, found the FIA acted appropriately.

    1. Rinse and repeat.

      I wonder who the FIA has decided will win the 2022 WDC?

  14. Could they really hit any low, as if that was not the nadir!! This all goes to show how the FIA really messed up that last lap. I am very sure if rules were followed to the letter, all stakeholders would’ve accepted the results with no feeling of injustice.

  15. Last i checked the FIA Was the Party responsible for any tarnishing going on. not sure i’d feel soothed by being attacked for having been wronged but hey

    1. @mrboerns Exactly, quite amazing that FIA are accusing unknown entities for ‘tarnishing’ F1’s image when Mercedes have been completely silent since the race ended. Or perhaps all the current drivers, former drivers, pundits and public who are tarnishing Formula 1 by objecting to their fiasco of a show?

  16. You know it is getting hot in the kitchen when the FIA had to say something. This is the political side of this issue playing out.

    My thoughts for Merc, don’t buy it and press on. Make the FIA really talk about 2021 and the multiple issues created by the Race Director and Stewards. Main 2 issues being consistently inconsistent and the final 2 laps of the season.

  17. I think RIC said it best as he finished the race and told his engineer something like “I’m glad I wasn’t part of that, it was fd up.”

  18. “the FIA thanks all fans for their misunderstanding and our brown envelope passed to Mercedes under the table will ensure we can all enjoy our drinks in Paris tomorrow with no appeal”

    1. I wonder if Wolff has calmed down enough to accept a brown envelope?

  19. Next time I make a mistake I’ll just call everyone stupid and make it seem like it was their misunderstanding all along. Please take them to the cleaners Mercedes!! How insulting.

    1. Is that Putin running the show? Maybe Nikitas money is working, just can’t quite fix the racing enough yet to let a haas win. But with enough practice who knows…

  20. FIA
    “we investigated ourselves and declared that we are innocent, so what if we screwed Lewis out of a 8th WDC go pound sand”

    What a stupid bizarre statement, It looks like the appeal is going ahead as this looks like a pre-emptive legal salad statement from the FIAs legal team trying to spin this as it looks like a typical crisis management tactical move .

    Merc now has everything to gain and nothing to lose going all the way being scorched earth now against the FIA because they are clearly panicking and closing ranks in attempt to cover up their wrong doing.
    Also the token meetings to clarify the rules are about as pointless as rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. No clarifications are needed apart from actions to correct the screwups of race control clearly breaking the rules and inventing new ones on the fly to benefit one competitor.
    So the ONLY real option that will have real impact is reversing the race results to give lewis his 8th WDC as that will act as a big enough deterrent to prevent the FIA appointed officials from meddling in races in the future.

    Again I don’t think masi made the call, someone high up in the food chain with lots of power forced him to make the call to suddenly order the unlapping of the cars only in max’s way as he made perfectly clear before that the race would restart with lapped cars in place before making the sudden last minute change to meddle in the race . If he was responsible for the farcical sc ending chaos he would’ve already be made to publicly step down by now, the fact he hasn’t done this is a sign he didn’t make the call himself and he was ordered to.

    1. You’re delusional. Never attribute to malice what can be equally attributed to incompetence. this is especially true of contest officials.

      1. You cant deny it smells fishy.
        – HAM was aware “this gets manipulated, man”
        – Merc was aware, even bringing a lawyer to the course, to maybe convince someone to not perform something
        – rewatch the communication between Masi and RB vs. Masi and Merc since Brazil.
        – the happenings around Perez (withdraw a car from P3 in the last laps, which maybe was prepared to cause a prealigned red-flag)

        When things smell fishy, taste fishy and eventually look fishy, then its very much possible, they are fishy. I would not bet against this being a conspiracy, although there are (currently) no reliable facts to say it is.

        Of course I understand that owners of F1 wanted to have a new champion. Its good from marketing perspectives, good for the whole series, good to satisfy all the great Max fans (the orange army is pretty incredible, as long as they dont just boo HAM). But the never can legitimate unfair influencing of a race result.

        Not to be misunderstood: I sincerely hope there is no such conspiracy, but I fear there is.

        1. If they wanted a new champion, rest assured hamilton would’ve been black flagged at silverstone, he took out his competitor, he should’ve got 0 points too. They’ve been too lenient to these things across the season for them to be fixing the championship.

          1. In silverstone there was hardly a reason for a penalty of HAM. He backed out of several collisions in the first half of the lap, and he was alongside on the straight. Yeah, he missed the apex (not on purpose), and the crash was nasty, but thats it. Max could easily have avoided the crash. A black flag for HAM would have been nowhere near a meaningful reaction.

            If you are so biased that you cant follow my reasoning, then you may try to reverse their roles and ask yourself, whether a black flag for Max would then be an option.

            Rgd. influencing the championship I think this becomes much more attractive near the end of the season, when you can better judge the need and the outcome of your actions. Why expose yourself with strongly questionable actions in the early season, when eventually you may not need them.

        2. If there was any conspiracy it was Garry Connolly realising Max raced fair in the end and Garry himself costed max the championship by going for the wrong decisions al along.

          Garry had Masi’s back over the chosen course.

          Why make Max life miserable in the first place and handing him the championship in the second place. Makes no sense, huh.

          If it were a conspiracy max wasn’t handed al those penalties the last races.

          1. You mean all the penalties after the race ended, which amounted to nothing?

          2. Sorry, in my opinion its a very biased opinion, that decision throughout the season primarily went against Max. He was not penalized for Monza f.e., which was a Schumi-style deliberate crash. And 10 seconds for a brake-test under green on a fast straight is far beyond everything. Reverse the roles of HAM and VER and you would probably demand the racing license should be revoked.

            And dont come along with Hungary, this was a pure racing incident (ofc caused by a misjudgement of Bottas). And silverstone I just explained in my comment above.

          3. @romtrain

            Monza was clearly an overtake attempt, where the crash happened because the curb made the Red Bull jump up.

            You can’t have it both ways anyway, where you see Monza as an obvious deliberate crash and Silverstone as an accident, unless your reasoning us purely based on bias.

        3. @ RomTrain : yo check out an interview masi did a couple ofmonths ago, he said he dont want lewis to win the title because he xont want shumi’s record to stay intact, and he actually said he wants max to win cause he likes him.

          1. @bigmula Do you have a source or link? Thanks.

          2. RomTrain Brake testing another driver carries a blackflag or atleast a 10sec stop and go penalty

          3. sorry bro, somehow I cant find it but it was on april 2021 im sure it was on the official f1 page check the archive and also it was on
            https://sportstar.thehindu.com/magazine/f1-australian-grand-prix-max-verstappen-red-bull-schumacher-bottas-lewis-hamilton/article34421988.ece
            but it shows a blank page.

  21. Now, I get it, there IS indeed a misunderstanding. Absolutely, FIA is making complete sense.

    It is us fans, who are fools to have misunderstood what happened at Abu Dhabi. We, fans who are watching the sport, think its a sport. But it is we, fans who, misunderstand it to be a sport where competitors compete fairly to decide who is the best. We, fans have failed to understand, that it is not a sport, but an entertainment show, being run by FIA for Liberty and Netflix

    1. This actually makes sense.

  22. have notably generated significant misunderstanding

    Whose misunderstanding? Because for 90%+ of those outside the FIA bunker and the Red Bull garage, it seemed to Masi who had no understanding of FIA’s own regulations.
    If this is the patronising tone FIA intends to adopt, I hope Mercedes do indeed proceed because they clearly intend to do nothing serious.

    1. yes, this is clearly the crisis management firms press release in attempt to counter Mercedes potential appeal.

      There needs to be NO clarifications!! The rules are simple, clear and the safety car procedure for over 25 years has been operated within standard protocol without controversy. the FIA appointed officials deliberately broke the rules and created new ones on the fly deviating from ‘standard protocol’ to manipulate the end of the race, that’s the problem! But obviously they cant say that because its admission of guilt.

      If Mercedes don’t appeal now after reading this nonsense whitewashing propaganda from the FIA trying to intimidate them to get in line they will just look weak and be enablers of the FIA and their appointed officials to manipulate races and inventing new rules to get juicy footage for a netflix show.

  23. With this FIA clowns in charge, no F1 for me next year. I love to see good honest racing but I am afraid I will not get that from Masi.

  24. What a statement! We just misunderstood, probably cause we thought there are rules and there is fairness in the sports, while its just a show where officials can influence the results as they like?

    May I propose the safety car could do some donuts next time? Shouldnt be a problem for the allmighty RD to order it.

    For me sports in F1 has died, unless this cheating (imho) gets rectified. Hopefully Mercedes does not withdraw their legit claim, cause its likely the only way F1 can survive being a sports.

    1. @romtrain it’s terrible – the FIA was behind it as they would have fixed this by now. They didn’t attempt to review it or question it.

      There’s very little doubt in my mind that this was intentional and I wouldn’t take Latifi out of the picture of suspects either after Crashgate. It’s hard to believe but these things happen in the sport.

      1. I disagree rgd. Latifi. He made a mistake due to his dirty tyres, in a corner where we have seen other mistakes in the begin of the weekend.

        The Perez withdrawal smells fishy, although obviously the driver himself was not aware of anything. Also one of the radio messages to him somewhen mid-race was kind of strange. But if there was something in the behind, then it will probably never be known. I dont say I believe there was something, I just say it smells fishy to me.

        1. Yes there are some rumours that Red Bull deliberately under fuelled Pérez such that he had a faster car against Hamilton. Then there’s the possibility of it running out of fuel during the race and causing a flag – I doubt Red Bull would do that as it’s too obviously suspicious.

  25. They are not going to openly admit they made a mistake but I suspect the review will clarify that this can never happen again. Thats all Merc will want.
    I hope Horner and Toto can never speak directly to the RD ever again during a race.
    Thank you Max and Lewis for an incredible season the best two drivers on the planet by a mile.

    1. Given that they are intending to “clarify the misunderstandings with drivers and fans”, this is nothing more than a whitewash. Nothing will change, and things will just get worse. I see no hope in the statement at all.

      1. @drmouse this statement just adds insult to injury. I’m not sure what the purpose of the statement is. The last thing Todt should be mentioning is Verstappen celebrating a stolen championship.

  26. I had a feeling that Todt was behind this as Masi is the FIA’s appointee.

    an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the championship and the due celebration of the first drivers’ world championship title won by Max Verstappen

    Jean, you can appoint Masi. Not the WDC!

    1. Feels a bit barefaced to specifically mention Max’s celebrations of an illegitimate championship doesn’t it.

  27. Yes, this controversy (& others) is definitely tarnishing F1’s image, so much so that simple old NASCAR’s looking good to me.

  28. So its OUR misunderstanding that has tarnished F1, I really don’t know what to say in response to that apart from screw you FIA your never getting another penny out of me and you can take your fake sport TV show and shove it.

    1. Actually, it should be included with Netflix for $14.99/month since it’s technically no longer a sport.

      I can’t believe what folks pay for Skysports for F1 plus then you have to put up with Martin Brundle which we also have to in the States.

      I miss Dave Hobbs, Bob Varsha, Steve Matchett, and Leigh Diffey as they were much more objective and would call things the right way.

      Sky Sports has some good commentators but they aren’t main commentators.

  29. I think the polling might be in from the US. F1 isn’t big in the US but is growing. The US fan doesn’t have the nationalistic fever that Europeans do. The end of this race with some drivers unlapping and others not unlapping to people that aren’t aware of the “rules”, saw it as odd, unusual, and unfair. It isn’t a good look. Also, NASCAR which sucks, finishes races with a green lap, white, checkered finish.

    1. I’m not sure Hamilton fans are nationalistic, Max has a lot of support in the UK too.
      Then again traditional F1 fans didn’t support specific drivers, I think it’s the new F1 fans that support specific drivers and I presume they’re more likely to support a driver from their own country.

  30. The worst thing that happened to Max is CH.
    If left to his own devices, Max would not accept the title as he more than anyone knows that he DID NOT WIN!
    There must be huge pressure on him to go with the programme.
    If he indeed thinks he won, then he is a lesser guy than I think he is.
    It is a paper title and a hollow victory.
    I would never want to win that way.

    1. I suspect the pressure from his father might exceed the pressures from the rest of the universe combined.

      1. @moblet Pressure from Jos usually comes at the end of his fist.

      1. When justice falls in MB side then Toto does this:

        https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/31920868/red-bull-failed-appeal-f1-war-words-hamilton-verstappen-explained

        An speech of a Peace Nobel winner …

    2. Just assume the greatness to decline the title, as you dont accept to get it like this. But that wont happen. RB, the orange army, Papa Jos – all pushes Max into the other direction. Maybe when he wins more WDC (which is not unlikely) then he may think different.

      Would the roles have been reversed, then I dont know whether HAM would take it. But it would be much easier for him, given what he already achieved.

  31. Oh, right, so it’s just us fans being thick when we point out that Masi didn’t follow the extremely clear rules?

    Well I’ve just cancelled my Sky Sports subscription.

    1. Fergus sings the blues
      15th December 2021, 23:44

      Good move. The uk sky deal provides the lion share of F1’s tv income but the uk audience is a fairly minuscule part of the global audience (can’t remember numbers) but the revenue per uk subscriber is massive.

      I think cancelling Sky subscriptions en masse is the only message that will work.

      My earliest memory of F1 was Prost winning in 1985 – I’ve been an avid fan ever since. I usually can’t wait for pre-season testing and usually shape my weekend around F1. I have genuinely loved the back to back feel of this season. Not having to wait for the next race weekend is great for us fans but taxing for F1.

      I have been waiting all week for news of the formal protest. I think this is the only way of stopping F1 becoming sports based entertainment rather than a genuine sport. The idea that the race director can influence and shape the season in such a way moving forward is galling.

      I have no idea how this pans out. If this turns into a behind-close-doors-face-saving-deal then I will be done.

      I have a feeling that in this rush to get more of a younger following they are going to lose genuine long term fans. Wonder if Netflix will remain interested when they experience some of the turgid crap races / seasons I’ve witnessed over the years.

  32. Much as I dislike coming out with those horrible text-on-image sayings that the most unoriginal, attention-seeking person on your Facebook friends list (we all have one) fills their feed with…

    If you create your own storm, don’t cry when it starts to rain.

    They have a bit of an excuse that someone a little higher up than Masi (and who doesn’t work for the FIA) probably pressured him into making a certain decision, but at the end of the day it was an FIA call that caused this whole mess.

    1. I think the FIA should take heed of ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’
      I feel like they have mauled it to the bone then spat it out while laughing in our faces.

  33. ‘The FIA’s primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport’ …… At any event, not at all events then???

    1. Brilliant

    2. Superb spot!

    3. Nice, that at least made me chuckle

  34. If I were to oversee the statement, I would eliminate this part: “… and the due celebration of the first drivers’ world championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive constructors’ world championship title won by Mercedes.”

    FIA in their head doesn’t have a clue that the entire controversy is about the result. So, what’s the point in saying the controversy is stopping them from “celebrate”?

    1. Agree. It means they believe in the result and everyone needs to be happy with it.

      You’ll get nothing and like it!
      – mom and dad and now Masi

    2. That part of the statement is an effort to divert attention from the FIA’s actions and focus the reader on celebrating the result. A feeble and counterproductive effort to anyone reading critically, but an effort nonetheless.

  35. Mercedes should seek justice nothing to stop robbery of lewis Hamilton 8th championship

  36. I’ve watched F1 for the last 20 years but I’m done with it now. It’s not a sport when one decision to mix & match rules determines the result. They kept saying ultimately the fastest man on track would win. That was Lewis. Max couldn’t keep up in any part of the race with him and yet thanks to Masi he won. Just a shocking outcome with seemingly no real appeal process. So I’m out.

  37. Clearly, a deal has been done with Mercedes. Probably FIA admitting to the race ending having been bungled, without legally bearing liability (or something like that), so throwing some stuff Merc’s way and sweeping everything under the carpet.
    If that comes with the dismissal of Masi, I’m ok with it!

    1. Are you sure? Judging by the defensive legal jargon tone of the letter it looks like a preemptive strike against Mercedes when they file their official appeal tomorrow..

      I don’t care about what happens to masi as he has made clownish decisions all season and the damage has already been done, I want the race order to be reversed and couldn’t care less about a random FIA appointed bureaucrats job security.
      Also I feel he has been used as a diversionary scapegoat to cover up the higher ups at the FIA who probably forced him to make the last minute on the fly illegal rule change to allow unlapped cars in front of max to get out of the way and immediately bring the safety car in on the same lap..

      Everything feels odd here, if he was 100% responsible he would already be dismissed by the FIA so this is a sign to me that he did not make the call or was forced to by an outside influence.

      1. I hear you, very valid comments. I’m now looking at the Spa farce and the Jeddah race afresh, and – with Abu Dhabi in mind – those races now assume a very sinister “fixed” or “tried to fix them” look. Spa, in particular…

    2. If a deal had been done with Mercedes, I would have expected something significantly more contrite than this.

      “We recognise that mistakes may have been made… blah, blah blah”

      Instead we have something more like “You’re too thick to understand what happened. We’ll have a look and see if there are any lessons to be learned. In the meantime, please don’t spoil our nice party tomorrow.”

      1. As I said…

  38. For the longer term I’m more concerned about another thing the FIA has done to tarnish the image of both F1 and Verstappen – normalising running up the inside with no intention of making the apex and blocking your opponent from proceeding through the corner on-track. Multiple current F1 drivers have expressed their “misunderstanding” about the legitimacy of this technique over the course of the season. If it continues, what has historically been called “motor racing” will degenerate into “motor blocking” and need a mostly new set of participants and followers. On the plus side, it will expand the pool of drivers-talented-enough-to-compete-in-F1 enormously.

    1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      16th December 2021, 8:58

      @moblet, me too, and a wider point: all through the season we’ve seen the race officials ignore the FIA’s own rules, but the FIA has done nothing, it has allowed them a free hand. After the farce of Brazil, Mercedes’ appeal was dismissed by the stewards with open hostility and contempt, still the FIA did nothing. Perhaps Todt has not wanted to make changes in his final year, but it has been blatantly clear for a long time that the system isn’t working, the officials are answerable to no-one, and the rulebook is being ignored.

      Mercedes has to pursue this appeal, otherwise the FIA will not reform.

      1. @slightlycrusty I would argue that if the goal was to have a change of WDC this year at any cost – which seems to be a widely-held perception, not least within the paddock – then the system has worked. It hasn’t worked efficiently or attractively, and the costs will now start accruing, but it has achieved what it set out to achieve.

        I agree that Mercedes appealing would have been the best hope for reform at this point. Alternatively they might use it as an excuse to leave F1, or try to exert leverage by threatening to leave. I would never underestimate the capacity of a regulatory body like the FIA to resist reform though.

        We also don’t know the extent to which this year’s shenanigans were orchestrated at the behest of Liberty for short-term commercial reasons.

  39. Well at least lots of people are talking about F1. No such thing as bad publicity right?

  40. All the anger and frustration about the decisions made by Massi last weekend are justified, but aimed at the wrong organisasion. The journalists writing these stories seem also to be barking up the wrong tree or deflecting the criticism away from the real culprits, that would be Liberty Media.

    1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      16th December 2021, 9:01

      @johnrkh the real culprits are the FIA who are legally bound to keep commercial and sporting interests separate. No matter how strongly Liberty push, the FIA has enough leverage (control of the tracks) to maintain its independence. The blame for its collusion with Liberty lies at its own doorstep.

  41. The FIA’s primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport.

    Considering there is no hint at an admission of failure I think the argument will go “we kept the SC out as long as we did to make sure the track is safe” (we have already heard that one) and “we wanted to go green for the final lap to ensure the integrity of the sport by having a final racing lap to decide the championship.”

    It’s not an infallible argument, bending the letter of the law to uphold the spirit. The clarification will come out that the race director controls the safety car full stop at his discretion regardless of the other articles and probably the other articles will be removed if anything and a simplification of the regulations with more lines about “at the race directors discretion.”

    There has already been a contigent that says F1 needs less rules and a simpler rule book with more whimsical judgement, rather than even more verbose and complicated regulation set to try to account for more edge cases. This could be the opportunity for F1 to go in that direction.

    I just see that being more practical for all parties rather than doubling down, having a full court case and honest forthcomings about the direction F1 has gone, and then trying to rectify that, all in a few short months when everyone wants to be having a hard earned rest.

    1. That’s the absolute end of F1 as a sport, of they go that way. The non-technical regulations in F1 really aren’t that complicated. Giving the race director more discretion will just lead to less consistency, less certainty for all participants, and more opportunities to unduly influence the result. It’s the worst possible outcome.

      1. @drmouse Exactly. For things like the safety car, the procedure needs to be set in stone. If, before the race, there had been a statement saying “In the interest of ending the race under a green flag, if a late safety car results in there not being enough time for the safety car to conduct one further lap following the passing of lapped cars, the additional lap will be forgone if safe to do so” then there wouldn’t have been a problem. Weird, but fine – everyone knows ahead of the race how the procedures work.

        This verbal agreement – which was apparently “end the race under the green flag if possible” has two problems. First, it has no power. And second, it wasn’t possible!

    2. There will have to be some articulable limit on his discretion. Masi cannot replace the safety car with an ice cream truck. He can’t go green with equipment trackside. He can’t do a lot of things. They can’t just say, race director is omnipotent and infallible.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        16th December 2021, 9:03

        +1

  42. How can F1 image be more tarnished if it is already at the very bottom?

  43. The more I read this. The more I feel like the FIA are gaslighting us…

    Misunderstanding… the sporting regulatio are as clear as day and they wernt folllowed. Pretty much admitted in the response to the protest response by the FIA.

    Michael Masi had the unilateral power to change the rules, and turn a race with all competitors able to race into one where only two were able to race, and then tell us ‘its called racing”.

    This statment… they are gaslighting us… MB dont accept this nonesense, fight this!

    1. Forgot to mention, that the reprotest effectively said, Masi had the power to do what ever he wants with the safety car… wheres the misunderstanding…. Masi could do what he wants and affect the race effectively how he likes and chose to do so in a way that was against ither asoects of the sporting regulations…. where is the misunderstanding?

      1. It’s very difficult to take the end of the final race seriously as the culmination of the Formula One season long championship. Michael Massi deliberately or mistakenly
        created an inevitable result.
        The conclusion was not fair. It was not a sporting conclusion but a bending of distortion of the rules to create an entertainment outcome.
        If MV was truly sporting he would not accept the championship win in this way but would share it with LH.
        This is not the way a great champion wins. LH by his continuing conduct is a great champion.
        MV is just a very talented and quick, aggressive and ambitious driver but he is not a great sporting champion. His win is totally devalued by what occurred on the last lap.
        Up until this final GP I mistakenly believed that this championship was a ‘competition ’ and a race’. Now I believe it’s an entertainment with a manipulated outcome to satisfy commercial gain. F1 is totally devalued.
        MV may view that he is current world champion. But any serious F1 fan knows otherwise. MV didn’t win this race…… it was given to him by Michael Massi. How sad…….for all of us.
        I have been a follower of and a fan of F1 for 60 years. Jim Clark or Stirling Moss would never have acknowledged the winning of a championship this way. MV may be quick but he is not a great champion, not yet…….
        Perhaps MV should consider in the next 70 days just what qualities a great champion has. LH has them and MV does not. Not yet……..

    2. they are gaslighting us

      Every single time there has been an incorrect call by the regulations, they do it. It’s worked every time, they just come up with reasons why they are right. And it’s not new or with Masi alone. Just do a google for “whiting hamilton reasoning” and you will see years of made up reasoning why decisions were made. Or any driver for that matter.

      Point being, this is nothing new. Years and years of it, they just change precedents and make up bad explanations for why decisions were made. It happened now at the most prominent time in F1 history. That is the only difference, their tactics for explaning it away will be the same. They know nothing else.

      1. You’re not wrong. The public and massively influential way this happened is the perfect time to fix this, but I suspect they’ll go the other way and break it further from this statement.

        We should all get ready to mourn there death of our sport. I hold out little hope now that anything positive will come from it.

  44. Hi FIA – it’s already tarnished.

  45. FIA’s statement can teach Lukashenko how to reach the very top cynicism.

  46. So we have reached the Mistakes Were Made phase of a crisis of leadership. From here we can either 1. Find a suitable scapegoat or 2. Blame vague systemic issues, in particular, those inherited from predecessors.

    Masi had one job: Apply the rules. But he decided to do Lex Masi instead. Now we have to do this needful report. Even if it’s a whitewash his days are numbered. He’s not there to make messes for the FIA have to hire outside firms to clean up with reports.

  47. have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans

    Wow, it’s almost like the FIA have been watching the comments on here…

  48. Time to move on now. It’s a clear consensus that the best driver won the drivers title and the best car won the constructors.

    Merc and RB had plenty of advantages and disadvantages over the entire year. And unfortunately some were from iffy race direction, however it all balanced out.

    The rules do need clarification and hopefully they will be reworded to stop further confusion.

    The take away should be that no team should be able to directly phone up the director during a race and give them an earful. It would be like a football manager running on to the pitch and getting in the referees face over any incident they didn’t agree with.

    So ban on communication with director during race. Give him space to direct instead of dealing with moaning man babies. Clarify the rule further and let’s look ahead to 2022!

    Happy holidays!

    1. It’s a clear consensus

      You should have stopped right there.

      1. Sorry I should have clarified, ‘a clear concensus to anyone with more than a few years watching F1’

        1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          16th December 2021, 9:09

          I’ve been watching for 3 decades and this is one of the worst outcomes I’ve ever seen. Usually when we get a controversial finish it’s because one of the drivers cheated. This time the outcome of the deciding race of the championship was rigged by the race director.

  49. Davethechicken
    16th December 2021, 7:56

    Tarnished? Not half!!!
    Was tarnished long before the farcical and “manipulated” final “” race””
    The drivers don’t know where the rules stand on overtaking. They change depending on who is involved it seems.
    As for the teams, what they thought was written in black and white in the regulations, in actual fact can be over ridden by race control to get a nice finish to the “race” !!
    So when the drivers and teams don’t understand the rules what hope for the fans!!

    1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      16th December 2021, 9:10

      +1

  50. Mercedes !!!

    Take them to CAS. Not appeal on their own ground. The accused will not rule against himself.

  51. Like others, I am appalled when the FIA says the misunderstanding lies with “teams, drivers and fans”. I though the most benevolent possible interpretation would be that the race director misunderstood that he was told the show should took precedence over the rules.

    Maybe they are using a custom meaning of “misunderstanding”, in which a misunderstanding is when people understand something they were not supposed to.

    1. *thought*

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