The FIA announced that they would launch a full-scale investigation after the controversial title decider between RedBull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi. The motor racing's governing body published their conclusion last Saturday during the 2022 season-opening weekend.




After months of anticipation, a full report was finally presented to the public regarding the dramatic events that led to Max Verstappen snatching the title off Lewis Hamilton last December on Saturday, hours before qualifying for the 2022 season-opening Bahrain GP. The key findings show that the fault was prompted by poor regulations and procedural errors rather than any deliberate malice from Masi. In the report, the FIA pointed out that Michael Masi, who has since been replaced as race director, breached F1 regulations with how he handled the late safety car and his allowing of one final racing lap between Verstappen and Hamilton.



The FIA mentioned that the race director "called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations (Article 48.12)".

The final report also mentioned the fact only five cars were able to unlap themselves under the safety car, and not the rest of the unlapped cars as per the regulations.

"The process of identifying lapped cars has up until now been a manual one and human error led to the fact that not all cars were allowed to unlap themselves."

They say they have developed software in response that will "automate the communication of the list of cars that must unlap themselves".

However, they also defended Masi, stating:

"The report finds that the race director was acting in good faith and to the best of his knowledge given the difficult circumstances, particularly acknowledging the significant time constraints for decisions to be made and the immense pressure being applied by the teams."



The report mentioned that many changes have been made as a result of last year's drama, most of which have already been implemented. They include forbidding team bosses being able to radio into the race director and a virtual race control room to assist in officiating, which is similar to VAR in football. There is also, of course, a new refereeing structure for 2022, with Masi replaced by two race directors, Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich.

There have, meanwhile, been changes to the sporting regulations, which now state that "all" cars must be permitted to unlap themselves. There is finally an admission in the report that other rules would "benefit from clarification", with it accepted there were "different interpretations" of the rules and "that this likely contributed to the applied procedure" by Masi.


"The results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the FIA Formula One World Championship are valid, final and cannot now be changed."



Read the full report here:

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