Formula 1 FIA race director Michael Masi’s decision at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which allowed Max Verstappen to win against Lewis Hamilton, has created a real controversy – The FIA president to make a statement on the matter after the F1 Commission meeting on Monday.
The 2021 season has come to an end. At the last Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were battling it out for the title of Formula 1 World Champion. The British driver seemed to be on his way to an eighth world title, as he had a considerable lead over the Dutchman for most of the race. But Nicholas Latifi’s accident in the last laps completely changed the picture.
Following what was for some a questionable decision by race director Michael Masi, Max Verstappen was finally able to close the gap on Lewis Hamilton before winning to become F1 world champion for the first time in his career. The Red Bull driver’s victory was controversial because of Michael Masi’s disputed decision making. Since then, an investigation has been conducted into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
And the new FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, is expected to make a statement shortly.
“The FIA President will present the action plan in the next few days”
“The FIA President has been conducting detailed discussions on the 2021 FIA Formula One Grand Prix Abu Dhabi. The F1 Commission’s comments on the issues raised by the teams will be incorporated into the president’s analysis and he will publicly present news of structural changes and the action plan in the coming days,” says the F1 Commission announced in a statement issued by the FIA.
The FIA meeting draws up plans around the Sprint race format & other issues learned from 2021
At its meeting in London, the F1 Commission drew up extremely unusual proposals for a resolution other issues, including the Sprint race format. However, the World Motor Sport Council still has to give its blessing on 18 March for them to become valid.
Analysis of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has had extensive discussions about the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, and the commission’s feedback on the issues raised – race control, safety car handling, radio exchange, etc. – will feed into the President’s analysis, and he will publicly present news of structural changes and an action plan in the coming days.
The World Motor Sport Council, which meets in mid-March, has yet to confirm whether the plan will be implemented in its entirety.
Sprint races 2022
After a review of the three sprint events in 2021 and the realisation that the format was positive for the sport, three sprints were again proposed for 2022. The Commission unanimously approved the three events and the update to the format based on feedback from fans, media and teams.
The sprint events are:
Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna at Imola
Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg
Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo
The allocation of World Championship points for the top eight has been changed: P1 – 8 points, P2 7, P3 6, P4 5, P5 4, P6 3, P7 2 and P8 1 point. However, pole position for the Grand Prix will be awarded to the fastest driver in qualifying on Friday. There will be no adjustments to the cost cap for sprint events despite Mercedes and Red Bull lobbying for an increase in their allowed budgets.
Treatment of shortened races
Following the cancellation of the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix due to weather conditions, the Commission approved the proposed updates to the sporting regulations as follows: No points will be awarded unless the leader has completed at least two laps without safety car and/or virtual safety car intervention.
If the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 25% of the scheduled race distance, the top five finishers will receive points as follows: P1- 6 points, P2 4, P3 3, P4 2 and P5 1 point.
If the leader has completed 25% but less than 50% of the scheduled race distance, points will be awarded as follows: P1 – 13 points, P2 10, P3 8, P4 6, P5 5, P6 4, P7 3, P8 2 and P9 1 point.
If the leader has completed 50% but less than 75% of the scheduled race distance, points will be awarded as follows: P1 – 19 points, P2 14, P3 12, P4 9, P5 8, P6 6, P7 5, P8 3. P9 2 and P10 1 point.