The 2022 Formula One Singapore GP proved to be an eventful race with 5 safety cars following a fairly processional first half of the 61 laps. The FIA race control could be forgiven for failing to keep up with events at times as they were coming thick and fast. Yet ex F1 team boss Flavio Briatore believes the FIA ‘cheated’ in their handling of the Sergio Perez safety car infringement.
Following the final safety car, Perez and LeClerc were battling for the lead of the race when race control issued a notification stating Sergio was under investigation for safety car procedure infringements.
The bizarre element of this was there was over 20 minutes of racing yet to come and at the time the stewards had no other decisions pending. Yet they stated they would investigate the issue after the chequered flag.
Perez crime was he had dropped more than 10 car lengths behind the safety car as leader of the train of F1 cars.
The Sky commentary team verbally raised their eyebrows over race control deferring the decision. Dropping 10 lengths behind the safety car is a fairly black and white decision, as is pit lane speeding infringements.
Slam dunk penalty.
Of course this led to Perez doing the race winners interview, standing on the top step of the podium and being celebrated as the winner by the fans at the circuit, when in fact his win was not guaranteed.
At 2am local time the stewards finally decided the penalty they would award did not effect the race result.
F1 Race stewards cheated
Flavio Briatore reveals to La Press if he were on the Ferrari pit wall it would have been difficult to contain his fury.
“If I were at Ferrari I would have broken my computer” said Flavio.
“Everyone has their way of governance, but what I can say is that what we saw on Sunday isn’t good for the sport or the show. They even had the podium ceremony, but let’s say there was more than a five-second penalty, Ferrari would have won the race two hours later. That can’t happen.
Briatore then suggests the FIA were hedging their bets by deferring the decision – in effect cheating – by not applying the rules in the moment as they should.
“Was it easier for the FIA to make their ruling given Leclerc finished seven seconds behind Perez? Absolutely, but if they had made a decision right away then perhaps Leclerc would have driven a different race.”
F1 needs professional officials
Flavio is unimpressed with the FIA’s performance this season as are many F1 teams, drivers, pundits and fans.
“At FIA there are inadequate people. Every race we have a problem, even Singapore was the same.
“It’s not F1’s fault, it’s FIA’s fault, you absolutely have to change. You can ruin a race, the show and affect the world championship.” The FIA is a company and as such to move forward it needs to employ the right and suitable people.
“It has almost 200 employees and companies of this kind need to be run by capable managers and every sector needs to have them. Right now there is not this kind of quality. FIA has to be run by professionals, this is fundamental. The president must decide.
“What is important is that there is a federation that is up to F1. Why didn’t that happen before? Because there were precisely professionals, simple as that.”
FIA lack of F1 experience
The problem the FIA have under new president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is for the first time in living memory, the FIA is now not run by a Formula One man.
Ben Sulayem was a very successful rally driver and won middle eastern championships, but the exact nature of running a Formula One event requires experience and in depth knowledge.
The two F1 race directors appointed to replace Michael Massi have no F1 experience and Niels Wittich is merely a former DTM race director and Eduardo Freitas a WEC race director.
Another under reported error from the FIA officials was concerning George Russell. He clouted Alfa Romeo’s Valterri Bottas sending him off the circuit then drove Schumacher off the road banging wheels.
The latter incident resulted in punctures for both drivers.
Singapore stewards fail to reprimand Russell
Yet despite Nicholas Latifi getting a reprimemand and penalty points for a similar incident, Russell got off Scott free for his two misdemeanours.
Flavio is right. The FIA needs to be more professional.
There should be one race director and the stewards should not be appointed as a grace and favour exercise by the FIA where each race different amateurs turn up to adjudicate F1 matters.
As Wirth Premier League football there should be a professional panel of stewards/referees whose performance is consistently rated after each race they adjudicate and training offered when poor or inconsistent decisions have been made.
READ MORE: Brundle: Perez should have forfeited the Singapore GP
Russell and Bottas tangle at Marina Bay 👀#SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/HTlQ98r2G6
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 4, 2022
The new hashtags #WWMD (what would Mikey do) and #bringbackmichael
Another forgetful race around a farcical track, bring back the fast flowing tracks like spa and Silverstone, monza ,I’m fed up with stupid follow the leader boring street circuits and the fia payed to support them, these countries with the money should be told to build decent circuits, so boring 😴 I’ve only watched the highlights?? in the past 2 years far too political, and clowns like old Bernard sticking his nose we’re it’s not wanted
Both cheating and mistakes must be carefully considered and prevented, in compliance with well known quality standards (seek the following acronyms: ICH CAPAs).
Would you ever appoint any unreliable staff to operate a Nuclear Power Plant?! 😱
Briatore can keep his opinions on cheating to himself
Briatore complaining about cheating in Singapore. Very ironic…..
It takes one to know one.
Red bull racing series not f1
Is the FIA afraid of Red Bull they never seem to make a decision against them