The international motorsport federation FIA has finally officially started an in-depth analysis of last year’s much-discussed final race of Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the new FIA president, will consult all teams next week and tackle the most thorny subject, namely the use of the safety car. Conversations with all Formula 1 drivers are also part of the investigation.

The reason is the much-discussed denouement of the world championship, in which Max Verstappen won his first world title in the last lap of the race, at the expense of Lewis Hamilton.

final round

However, just before the final lap, the safety car had been on track for a few laps due to a crash by Nicholas Latifi. Verstappen then made a pit stop for fresher and faster tires. Hamilton stayed on track. Due to the pit stop, five stragglers were driving between Verstappen and Hamilton when the Dutchman had returned to the track after his pit stop.

Shortly before the safety car was due to leave the track – one lap before the end – the already lapped drivers were directed past the safety car by race officials, so that the battle for the world title would be decided on the last lap. With both rivals directly behind each other. Mercedes filed two protests after the race against the course of events, but was not heard. The stable decided to waive further appeal, but managed to get the FIA ​​to scrutinize the final race.


There was a lot of irritation within the teams that the FIA ​​had been silent for so long. Shortly after the race, the federation admitted that the sport had been discredited and that reputation had been damaged.

Ultimately, they want clear rules of the game, which are also observed in order to create clarity for fans and journalists. The FIA ​​wants to present the results to the Formula 1 committee in February. The decisions will be announced on March 18, on the day of the first free practice of the first grand prix of the new season.

Incidentally, Verstappen’s world title is not in danger.


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