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2021 F1

F1 drivers reveals confused by ‘weird’ Michael Masi decision on final lap of Abu Dhabi GP

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FIA ‘manipulated’ last lap showdown in radio message

Formula One drivers have admitted that they were confused by ‘weird’ Race Director Michael Masi’s controversial call on final impressive lap of championship decider Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

On final stint of the race Williams F1 driver Nicholas Latifi crashed into the barrier and the safety car sprung into action. Final SC run allowed Max Verstappen to close the gap to his title rival and give him one last chance to secure his first crown – race director has permitted one more racing lap for title battle with controversial decision.

The strange safety car procedure, which was the question of a post-race protest and intention to appeal by the Mercedes, came as a surprise to the other F1 drivers as well.

“I didn’t actually know it was only like the first three or four [five] up to Max,” said McLaren youngster Lando Norris, who kept his seventh place at the flag ahead of Fernando Alonso.

“So it was obviously made to be a fight, it was for the TV of course, it was for the result. Whether or not it was fair is not up to me to decide.

“Sometimes they let you go, sometimes they don’t, it’s just 50/50 half the time.

“But they said that they’re not gonna let us pass. So I’m guessing that was a message to say, they were just not going to let us pass at all.

“But then to suddenly do it just for the final lap, and for a one lap shootout, then I’m a bit surprised.”

it was a little bit confusing – Alonso

“When the safety car was out I thought we were able to overtake quickly, because normally it is what happens,” said the double time F1 world champion Alonso.

“You see the green light of the safety car, and then you are unlapping yourself until they remove the car.

“But we didn’t have that green signal, and then two laps after the engineer told me that you will not be able to unlap yourself, and the positions would stay like this.

“One corner later the green light came on and I said, ‘But we have a green light?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, yeah, you can do it now, follow Norris.’ And I followed Norris. So it was a little bit confusing.” The Spaniard added.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said he got the message late: “Very late, but I think too late, they should let us pass straight away like other times.

“And obviously, you have the guys fighting in the front. So you’ve just got to clear the path. I don’t know what it was. For us it was a shame because we didn’t have a race then, because everything was spread out.”

McLaren veteran Daniel Ricciardo was one of those who missed out on the opportunity to move past the safety car early, and said afterwards that he was confused as to why Masi had made the “weird” call.

“I don’t want you to ask me – I want to ask you. Tell me, tell me what happened,” Ricciardo joked after the race, describing it as a “crazy, crazy, crazy final”.

The Australian continued: “At the end it was kind of weird, they said cars can’t pass, the lapped cars, then some of them did, but then I wasn’t allowed to.

“We did a one-lap restart, I’m sitting right behind Lewis and Max, like, why am I here? I don’t know. It was very interesting.”‘

“For me it was a bit weird because I was a bit in the middle of nowhere,” said Leclerc.

“We could overtake the leaders I think for just like a lap before restarting, and we were in the middle of nowhere.

“I was just fighting for the ninth place with Esteban, I think, just in front. But first I was told I would not be able to unlap myself, at the end at the last moment we actually had the opportunity to unlap ourselves.

“So yeah, it was a bit of a strange one.”

Ferrari ace Carlos Sainz finished third, advancing Norris and team-mate Leclerc in the standings to finish fifth in the points, but only just held on from Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri.

“It was certainly a very strange situation for me,” said Sainz.

“Because I was obviously battling for a podium with Valtteri [Bottas] and some AlphaTauris behind with a medium tyre, while I was on a very used hard.

“At the beginning I was told they were not going to be allowed to unlap themselves, the people in front of me.

“Then it was decided to unlap themselves, and some people unlapped themselves, but there was still, I think it was an Aston Martin [Stroll] and a McLaren of [Daniel] Ricciardo, between the two leaders and myself.

“And this I’ve never had before, having to restart the race with these two guys in front of me, and while fighting for a P3.

“I do believe it was a strange one, and maybe something to look at because it was very strange to see, and it nearly cost me my podium, to be honest.”

2021 F1

Masi out of organisation chart, FIA ‘set deadline for Abu Dhabi investigation’

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2022 F1 organisation chart

FIA Formula 1 Race Director Michael Masi has been utterly criticised following his 2021 F1 final lap decisions, which was decided the driver’s championship. Masi’s strange safety car call benefitted to Max Verstappen who beaten Lewis Hamilton to F1 title.

Meanwhile, the new FIA Organisation Chart has been released for the month of January 2022, and Masi is absent on the list under the single-seater section, this is first organisation chart after newly elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who replaced Jean Todt.

Initially Mercedes protested the results following the 2021 F1 season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Silver Arrows withdrew its appeal after the FIA dedicated to launching an “analysis and clarification exercise”.

Also, a ‘senior source’ said that Mercedes had a deal agreeing to drop their appeal as long as Masi and Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single-seater technical matters, were fired.

Masi has served as the race director for F1 since March 2019 when predecessor Charlie Whiting died just days before that year’s F1 season was due to start.

Recently Sky sports reported that, FIA confirms that Abu Dhabi Grand Prix investigation will complete in early February. Even as Mercedes still claiming that Masi contravened FIA regulations in doing so. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff expressed that Hamilton being “disillusioned” after he was “robbed” of a record-breaking eighth title. The Seven-time F1 world champion has not communicated publicly or on social media in a month.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Slater said that: “They (Mercedes) want to find out what the FIA decide should be the fall-out from what went on over those final laps in Abu Dhabi where, as far as they are concerned, Lewis Hamilton lost an eighth World title because of a misreading of the rules, chiefly by race director Michael Masi.

2021 F1 organisation chart

“I can report that three weeks is how long the FIA have set themselves to deal with this matter. Work only began in earnest on it on Monday [January 10], that’s to say this FIA commission started to interview those involved.

“This is going to go on. The FIA have told me they will not be dragging this out. It was a concern of Mercedes that it would take so long that it would jeopardise Lewis Hamilton’s pre-season, if he didn’t have these findings well in advance and could take a decision about 2022.

“They also say to me that the [internal] investigation will be thorough, objective and transparent as well. This should be done by February 3rd, at which point the FIA have a [World] Motor Sport Council meeting and hopefully they expect to announce those findings by then.”

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2021 F1

Revealed: Top 10 drivers of 2021 F1 voted by team bosses

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leader Lewis Hamilton overtaken by Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen beaten Lewis Hamilton to clinch 2021 Formula 1 world title in the much-debated Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Also, the Dutchman has been elected as the best driver in the 2021 F1 by team principals.

The same F1 championship points system applied in this voting procedure, 25 for the top driver down to one for 10th in each list.

Verstappen who was made 10 race victory and 18 total podiums in this 23-race long season, awarded as best driver position – 21 points clear of Hamilton.

McLaren youngster Lando Norris received 110 points, who made 10 successive points finish. The Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc received fourth and fifth position respectively.

Double-time F1 world champion, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was voted the sixth best driver of 2021, with Pierre Gasly a fine seventh for AlphaTauri.

Top 10 drivers of 2021 F1

POSITION
DRIVER
SCORE
1Max Verstappen213
2Lewis Hamilton192
3Lando Norris110
4Carlos Sainz85
5Charles Leclerc70
6Fernando Alonso69
7Pierre Gasly64
8George Russell44
9Valtteri Bottas43
10Esteban Ocon41

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2021 F1

Revealed: F1 2021 driver crash damage costs list

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TOB-F1-Mick-Schumacher-v2-1

2021 Formula One world championship witnessed most existing title battle in the sports history between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Also, the battle concluded with huge controversy and Verstappen cliched his first F1 world title.

F1 team’s spending huge amount of money for championship points, while the crash damage cost is a biggest challenge for every team.

Hass F1 is the only team completing 2021 Championship with zero point, also their speedy Mick Schumacher in top of the list of the crash damage cost during the 2021 season. The report Schumacher’s crashes have cost Team Haas 4,212,500 Euros.

The Sun Research confirm that Mick took eight new front wings and nine new sets of suspension following F1 crash damage across the season which had 22-races in total.

Ferrari ace Charles LeClerc who cost his car 4,046,000 Euros during the entire season. 2021 F1 World Champion Max Verstappen is third on the list costing his team 3,889,000 euros.

F1 2021 driver crash costs in Euros (Source: Sky Germany)

PosDriverTeamCosts in Euros
1Mick SchumacherHaas4,212,500
2Charles LeclercFerrari4,046,000
3Max VerstappenRed Bull3,889,000
4Nicholas Latifi Williams3,116,500
5Valtteri BottasMercedes2,713,500
6Lance Stroll Aston Martin2,686,000
7Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri2,606,500
8Nikita Mazepin Haas2,468,000
9Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo1,950,000
10George Russell Williams1,845,000
11Carlos SainzFerrari1,756,000
12Lando NorrisMcLaren1,453,000
13Lewis HamiltonMercedes1,235,000
14Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1,113,000
15Sergio PerezRed Bull939,000
16Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo854,000
17Daniel RicciardoMcLaren713,000
18Sebastian VettelAston Martin660,000
19Fernando AlonsoAlpine315,000
20Esteban Ocon
Alpine280,000

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SAUDI GRAND PRIX

Date Session Time
FRI DEC 03 FP1 16:30 - 17:30
FRI DEC 03 FP2 20:00 - 21:00
SAT DEC 04 FP3 17:00 - 18:00
SAT DEC 04 QUALI 20:00 - 21:00
SUN DEC 05 RACE 20:30 - 23:30

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