A human error, but made in good faith. On the eve of the first race of 2022, the FIA finally issued the report relating toinvestigation conducted to ascertain what went wrong in the finale of Abu Dhabi Grand Prixwhich rewarded Max Verstappen who was able to take advantage of what at the time Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had defined a ‘freestyle’ reading of the regulations by Race Director Michael Masi.
The Announcements made by the Federation following what happened in Yas Marina in view of the upcoming season have all already been made official. Michael Masi will no longer be the Clerk of the Course, instead of him Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will replace the ‘whistle’ with the help of a regular consultant, Charlie Whiting’s former shoulder Herbie Blash. A remote garage will support stewards and radio communications with the Race Director will no longer be possible or otherwise filtered.
In addition, the regulations relating to the use of the Safety Car have been revised, with the technicality exploited by Red Bull which has been eliminated. Now all the cars will have to split before the restart and not just some as happened in Abu Dhabi (the word ‘any’ has been replaced with ‘all’ since Red Bull’s thesis was “any does not mean all”). In the report made public today by the FIA it is emphasized that a human error was made – from Michael Masi – fruit of an action in good faith in an attempt to guarantee a final to the race under the green flag by making the most of the skills and tools available to fulfill a scenario that had been loudly requested as the final appointment was approaching and which saw the teams agree in trying not to finish the sampled with a neutralization. The FIA reiterated that the result of the 2021 championship is valid and cannot be changed in any way.
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