The FIA confirmed in the days following Max Verstappen’s final lap title win over Lewis Hamilton that it will launch a full investigation into the restart of the race, which has been the subject of protests from Mercedes.
Mercedes chose to end its pursuit of action after the FIA announced plans to analyze what happened in Abu Dhabi, but said it would “actively work with this commission to build a better Formula 1, for every team and every fan who loves this sport as much as we do ”.
The FIA had not issued any updates or communications on the review since then, but in a statement on Thursday confirmed the investigation is now fully underway and outlined next steps.
New FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem is expected to consult with F1 teams and drivers as part of the analysis of what happened in Abu Dhabi, including focusing on the use of the safety car, which will be discussed at the sports advisory committee next week. .
Discussions with the teams will focus on “various issues, including this one” before a “shared discussion with all F1 drivers” at the next stage of the investigation.
The result of the analysis from these discussions will be presented to the F1 Commission in February, before final decisions are then announced at the World Motorsport Council meeting in March – just two days before the start of the new season.
FIA Secretary General for Sport, Peter Bayer, has been instructed by Ben Sulayem to present proposals to review and “optimize the organization of the FIA F1 structure for the 2022 season”.
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The news comes at a time when Hamilton is considering his future due to the fashion of his loss to Abu Dhabi. He said on the radio after the race that he had been “manipulated”, and has not spoken publicly since his brief post-race interview in the parc fermé.
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said last month that he and Hamilton were “disillusioned” and that he hoped that didn’t make the seven-time world champion walk away.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2nd position, congratulates Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, in Parc Fermé
Photo By: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Full FIA statement
“Following the decision of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on December 15, 2021, the FIA administration, under the leadership of Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has started the detailed analysis of the events of the last Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, “said the FIA. the statement reads.
“The FIA President has launched a consultation with all F1 teams on various issues, including this one.
“On January 19, an item on the Sports Advisory Committee’s agenda will be devoted to the use of the Safety Car.
“The next step will be a discussion shared with all F1 drivers.
“The result of the detailed analysis will be presented to the F1 Commission in February and the final decisions will be announced at the World Motorsport Council in Bahrain on March 18.
“FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has asked the Secretary General of Sports and the recently appointed single-seater director Peter Bayer for proposals to review and optimize the organization of the FIA F1 structure for the 2022 season.”