FIA admits Michael Masi’s error but Abu Dhabi’s result “valid, final and cannot be changed”

FIA admits Michael Masi’s error but Abu Dhabi’s result “valid, final and cannot be changed”


FIA has released its report on the events that unfolded in the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi. The governing authority launched a detailed analysis into the race and the then race director Michael Masi‘s decision, which resulted in Red Bull’s Max Verstappen becoming the 2021 F1 world champion. The most prominent highlight includes that the results of the race/title “are valid, final and cannot now be changed” and the report admits there was “human error” and that Michael Masi “was acting in good faith and to the best of his knowledge.”

The investigating committee met in February and declared no decision had been taken till then. Then the views of other stakeholders, including the racers were taken in and presented in the World Motor Sports Council meeting held today. Earlier, it was rumored that the FIA might not release the details of the report. 

However, even before this report and meeting, FIA had already made some decisions for the sport. They announced the removal of Michael Masi as the race director and the appointment of Fiitich and Freitas as alternating race directors. Additionally, the race director will have more resources at hand in order, including a virtual racing room like that of football’s VAR, to prevent races like Abu Dhabi in the future.

Other key points in FIA’s report

Michael Masi
Michael Masi

The report is extensive and was presented in a high-level meeting. The report took nearly two months to complete and covers various sections. Read the full report here.

Some of the prominent points of the report, quoted from GP Fans, include, :

  • The race director called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula 1 sporting regulations (Article 48.12).
  •  In combination with the objective to finish under green-flag racing conditions applied throughout the 2021 season, the report finds that the race director was acting in good faith and to the best of his knowledge given the difficult circumstances, particularly acknowledging the significant time constraints for decisions to be made and the immense pressure being applied by the teams.
  • The results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the FIA Formula One World Championship are valid, final, and cannot now be changed.
  • The process of identifying lapped cars has up until now been a manual one and human error led to the fact that not all cars were allowed to un-lap themselves.
  • In addition, the 2022 Formula 1 sporting regulations have been recently updated to clarify that “all” and not “any” cars must be permitted to un-lap themselves.

The report comes at the time when the qualifying will be underway in Bahrain soon. Thus comments from drivers and race principals will be coming in soon, possibly with plenty of feedback.

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