Followers had been eagerly awaiting this info, and if it didn’t give a concrete reply, it at the least gave a top level view of the present scenario and attainable deadlines for any determination and above all for any measure.
The brand new FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has already talked about this month the should be “proactive, not reactive” when coping with rules, and fixing the issues brought on by the Abu Dhabi GP is one among his priorities. He additionally revealed he was ready to talk with Lewis Hamilton, who hasn’t spoken in public since his transient interview on the parc fermé moments after his loss to Max Verstappen, and who’s contemplating his future .
However the large problem the FIA faces with this investigation is to revive the arrogance of drivers, groups and followers dismayed by what they noticed in Abu Dhabi and the dealing with of different incidents in 2021.
Thursday’s assertion confirmed that the investigation was ongoing and that groups and drivers can be consulted to cowl “varied matters, together with this one”. The primary date talked about is January 19: it’s then that the Sporting Committee – which discusses and proposes regulatory modifications – will dedicate a part of the agenda to “use of the protection automobile”.
Lewis Hamilton within the lead behind the protection automobile
Michael Masi getting the protection automobile into the pits was a serious facet of Mercedes’ declare on Sunday evening in Abu Dhabi. The crew claimed that it had twice failed to use Article 48.12 of the rules, first by permitting solely 5 automobiles to renew their late lap, then by not restarting the race “on the finish of the subsequent flip” as soon as the stragglers had break up.
Though the stewards acknowledged that Masi didn’t essentially “totally utilized” the rules, the protest was rejected on the grounds that Article 48.13 – making it obligatory to restart the race on the finish of the lap throughout which the message “Security Automobile on this lap” is displayed – and Article 15.three – which supplies the clerk of the course the facility to override the rules relating to the usage of the protection automobile – prevailed.
Clearly the principles should be clarified to make sure that what occurred in Abu Dhabi can’t occur once more and to make it clear how the principles are utilized.
The truth that the protection automobile has been cited as a serious topic for the Sporting Committee is encouraging. Clearly the principles should be clarified to make sure that what occurred in Abu Dhabi can’t occur once more and to make it clear how the principles are utilized.
Groups and drivers ought to play an vital and energetic position on this course of, which is one other optimistic signal. Some observers nervous, after the announcement of the investigation, of a attainable lack of out of doors involvement which might have allowed the FIA, in brief, to mark its personal duties. However it is going to be an open discussion board with drivers and groups, who will have the ability to air their grievances – and never simply these associated to Abu Dhabi.
Admittedly, that is already the case at every Grand Prix through the driver briefing, however it is going to be simpler to focus the discussions on the issues that should be solved. The incident between Verstappen and Hamilton at Flip four on the Brazilian Grand Prix had led to a protracted debate over what’s or isn’t allowed in on-track battles, and drivers had been divided on whether or not the principles had been clear.
Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen
Masi might have asserted that the principles had been typically defined to the pilots, with an asterisk to say that every incident was judged on a case-by-case foundation, there was clearly not unanimity. These discussions will give the FIA the chance to actually take heed to the drivers’ criticism on varied matters to be able to make clear issues, and even modify them, for the approaching season.
It isn’t solely the FIA rules that can be scrutinized on this investigation. Thursday’s assertion revealed that Ben Sulayem had instructed Peter Bayer, Normal Secretary of Sport and the federation’s new single-seater director, to supply “proposals to research and optimize the group of the FIA F1 construction for the 2022 season”.
The identification of F1 officers on the FIA has inevitably been the topic of a lot dialogue because the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, notably in relation to Masi’s place. No matter its future, a change may assist to steadiness the workload the place obligatory and create a extra environment friendly construction for these accountable, whether or not in relation to selections made throughout occasions, marshals or exterior affairs exterior of the race path.
However one of many large questions that arises from Thursday’s assertion is that of timing. A month has already handed, and it could be greater than two extra months earlier than any potential modifications are authorized.
Following the varied discussions with the drivers and the groups, the FIA acknowledged that the results of the evaluation can be “introduced to the F1 Fee in February” earlier than the World Motor Sport Council proclaims the ultimate selections on March 18 – the day of free follow for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Followers have usually requested why the FIA took so lengthy to launch its investigation, and that frustration is shared by many within the paddock. Whether it is essential to be exhaustive, this radio silence for a month did nothing to alleviate the considerations: they solely grew.
By the beginning of pre-season testing in Barcelona on February 23, it’s essential that the FIA outlines the measures it can take. For the sake of F1, this matter must be promptly addressed with genuinely significant responses, so that focus is concentrated on the joy across the new season and new rules. Let’s hope that when the World Council meets on March 18, it can merely be a query of validating what has already been determined.
The top of the FIA’s radio silence might solely be a small step ahead within the Abu Dhabi saga, however this glimmer of change, particularly with the involvement of drivers and groups, is encouraging.
The results of Abu Dhabi have, the FIA itself stated so on December 15, “tarnished the picture of the championship”. But the anger rightly expressed may nicely function a catalyst to alter F1’s rules for the higher and enhance the championship, making certain accountability is delivered and the difficulty isn’t swept underneath the rug.