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The FIA will present the findings of the investigation into the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to the F1 Commission in February, the governing body has announced.
In a statement published on Thursday to social media, the FIA confirmed that an investigation is underway into race control’s handling of the final restart of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where only five lapped cars between Lewis Hamilton and title rival Max Verstappen – and no others – were permitted to overtake the safety car before the final lap restart.
The FIA also confirmed that they would present the findings of their report to the F1 Commission – that represents F1 teams and stakeholders within the organisation – before eventually announcing their “final decisions” at the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on Friday 18 March, the day of first practice for the 2022 season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
“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,” the statement reads. “The FIA President launched a consultation with all F1 teams on various issues, including this one.
“The outcome of 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.”
The FIA also confirmed that secretary general of motor sport, Peter Bayer, had also been appointed as director for single seaters – a role previously filled by F1 race director Michael Masi. FIA president Mohammed Ben Suyalem has asked Bayer for “proposals to review and optimize the organisation of the FIA F1 structure for the 2022 season.”
The probe into the controversial finish to the championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was originally instigated at the direction of previous FIA president, Jean Todt, in the closing days of final term in the position.
Further to the investigation, the use of the safety car will be discussed as an item on the agenda of the Sporting Advisory Committee meeting on 19 January. Following that, the FIA said there would be a “shared discussion with all F1 drivers.”
The announcement comes almost a month after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where the championship was decided after controversy over the use of the safety car, prompting protests from the Mercedes team. After their protests were dismissed by stewards, Mercedes eventually chose not to appeal the decision with the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.
Lewis Hamilton, who lost the drivers’ world championship to rival Max Verstappen after leading the vast majority of the Abu Dhabi race, has not made any public comment on the race after speaking in parc ferme immediately following the chequered flag.
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