The FIA has outlined the steps it will take as part of its detailed analysis of the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that decided the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship.
Race director Michael Masi chose to only un-lap the cars between race leader Lewis Hamilton and second-placed Max Verstappen during a late Safety Car period, and then immediately called the Safety Car into the pits to allow one racing lap. On fresh tires, Verstappen overtook Hamilton to become world champion, leaving Mercedes livid at how the situation was handled.
Last month, the FIA committed to carrying out an investigation into the events surrounding the use of the Safety Car, and it has now given a rough timeline as to what will take place and when.
“Following the decision of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 15 December 2021, the FIA administration, under the leadership of Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has started the detailed analysis of the events of the last Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” an FIA statement read.
“The FIA President launched a consultation with all F1 teams on various issues, including this one.
“On January 19, an item on the agenda of the Sporting Advisory Committee will be dedicated to the use of the Safety Car.
“The following stage will be a shared discussion with all F1 drivers.
“The outcome for the detailed analysis will be presented to the F1 Commission in February and final decisions will be announced at the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on 18 March.
“FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has asked Secretary General Sport and recently appointed Single-Seater Director Peter Bayer for proposals to review and optimize the organization of the FIA F1 structure for the 2022 season.”
The 2022 season begins on 20 March in Bahrain.