Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Yas Marina, 2021

Masi made “right decision” with Abu Dhabi restart call – Grosjean

2021 F1 season

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IndyCar driver Romain Grosjean says FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi “made the right decision” when he restarted the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with one lap remaining.

The decision prompted controversy and has led the FIA to conduct an inquiry into whether the restart was handled correctly. It outraged Mercedes as Max Verstappen was able to use fresh soft tyres to overtake Lewis Hamilton, who remained on old hard tyres, after the lapped cars between them were moved out of the way.

However Grosjean believes the decision to ensure the race restarted with a final lap of green flag racing was correct. Asked about the incident today, the former F1 driver said he “loved” Masi’s decision to allow the race to restart on the final lap, having only allowed the five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves.

“I loved it. It was exciting. I mean, my heart was going, it was pumping like hell,” said Grosjean.

“There’s a few ways of seeing it. It would have been very strange to not unlap those cars and have Lewis first and then Max four cars behind over one lap for the world championship. And, on the other hand, for Lewis it was definitely not a great call. But as a TV fan, as a spectator, as for the sport, I think Michael Masi made the right decision.

“I don’t think the championship would have been nice to finish under the Safety Car. It would not have been nice to finish with the guys first and second being separated by a few cars. I was more Lewis’s side than Max – so I was kind of like ‘oh, Lewis lost it!’. Over the last part of the season, Mercedes made an incredible job. But I thought it was so cool to get those two guys going together.”

Grosjean says that while he believes Hamilton deserved to win the championship with his performance in the final round, he feels Verstappen showed throughout the season that he was a worthy winner of the title.

“I think the wrong conception is to think that the world championship went on one lap,” Grosjean explained. “It was 22 grands prix.

“If we look at the full season, you know, Max had a puncture in Baku, Valtteri Bottas crashed into Verstappen in Hungary, there was the Silverstone race. So at the end, I think if we look at how many points were lost by Verstappen – not necessarily by his fault – he was the one that deserved the championship more. On the Abu Dhabi race, Lewis deserved the championship more – he got unlucky over the last lap. But as a race fan, I loved that last lap and it was super exciting to watch.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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156 comments on “Masi made “right decision” with Abu Dhabi restart call – Grosjean”

  1. Romain chooses violence. You love to see it.

    1. He says the right DECISION to restart the race but did not say the CORRECT procedure to restart the race.
      Of course it is desirable to finish under racing condition but according to sporting regulations.
      Do not get distracted.
      Only the 2nd person to agree after Paul Resta.

      1. The main issue was not Masi’s decision, it was Mercedes’ tyre condition

        1. The main issue is that Masi didnt follow the rules and thereby cheated Merc / Ham and gifted the WDC to Max.

          1. Incorrect. The Race Director has the right to override in the interest of the ‘race’.

            He did so in the first lap by leaving Lewis ahead of Max, when Lewis left the circuit and gain an advantage coming back on track.
            He did it again when allowing only 5 cars to unlap, to ensure racing for one more lap, and to get back to racing one lap earlier than what the standard procedure is.

            But again; he has the right to do so.

          2. The Race Director has overriding authority over the clerk of the course, as long as the regulations are followed. Otherwise, why bother having the regulations?

        2. Correct.
          If you do the Root Cause Analysis,’”the choice to leave Lewis out on old tires was the most significant contributing factor to the loss.’’

          1. The lack of critical thinking here is almost painful. Follow through what would have happened here if Lewis had pitted. It was simply not a viable option for Mercedes, especially so close to the end of the race which – if the rules had been followed – would have ended under the safety car.

      2. How can I trust the judgement of a driver who never agreed with any stewards decision against him even when he was clearly in the wrong.
        Now your take on right vs correct just got too arbitrary. Going by your reasoning, there were several right decisions for Masi to make and he chose the wrong one.

        1. The right decision was to remove all cars that were lapped as what’s the reason to race for them as they wouldn’t make all race laps anyway. They should stop right after the leaders cross the final lap.

          Lapped cars must not hinder leaders that is why the decision was totally correct! Lapped cars should be at least one minute behind leaders that was done by Masi. Logical decision.

      3. If someone insists that the last restart procedure is not correct why they didn’t said what was incorrect during previous 21 races??? How many times it was to Lewis’s turn not Max??? That was correct?

        Why Merc didn’t change the tyres? Everybody gambling and Merc didn’t make the right choice, so they lost.

    2. I must say that I felt exactly the same when they announce that they were going to restart @red-andy.

      At the same time, it WAS messy, and somewhat of a leap to adopt this way of achieving the “let them race” target the FIA, Liberty and the teams as well as the drivers have clearly stated should the be the target for race control.

      As Brown mentions (in the McLaren statement yesterday), the whole process of the rules and inconsistency in stewarding as well as the contractionary and complicated rules DO badly need an overhaul to make all sorts of things far more logical, transparent and easier to understand by everyone.

  2. Romain still carrying feelings for when Lewis riducled his need for mental therapy, and he will be smiling at the thought of Lewis seeking help to cope now so I’m not surprised at Romain’s comments.

    1. Did you even bother to read the whole article?? Or you just missed that part: “I was more Lewis’s side than Max”

    2. Bravo Grosjean I being saying this since,
      Talent won, over luck, Max was cheated whole season,
      Love it,

      1. @lina niko dirty driving and race-fixing won

      2. You’ve got an extra “was” in there.

    3. Merc gave Grosjean a test drive.

  3. Let’s be honest, he was put in a ridiculously difficult position with a stopwatch counting down the laps. Any decision would have been criticised.

    What he chose to do no-doubt shafted Lewis. To end the championship with 5 laps behind the safety car would have reminded any new fan tuning in why they shouldn’t bother watching F1 at all. To red-flag the race immediately would have been ‘fair’ unless Max overtook Lewis into T1, then it would have looked marginally less daft than it does now.

    1. He made his position difficult as he didn’t need to do what he did to get the race running again.

      1. agreed. he couldve done what he did in baku and allow them to have a fair duke out in the final lap.
        but instead he handed max the win on a silver platter

        1. Agreed, I don’t know anyone who thought the race would have restarted when Latifi crashed. Should have red flagged immediately.

        2. Baku was stopped on safety grounds so every driver could change their tyres. Remember Lance and Max both had blow outs on the main straight and it could have been disaster had it happened at the wrong moment going 340 kph.
          There was no such safety need in Abu Dhabi to justify doing it. So what Masi ended up doing was a compromise to get the race restarted. Short of un lapping the cars a lap sooner (if that was even possible), any decision he made was going to upset someone.

          1. any decision he made was going to upset someone.

            True, but not allowing any cars to unlap would:
            1. Follow the written rules and procedures laid out in the regulations
            2. Follow precedents set in other races
            3. Not require a ridiculous interpretation of the rules which basically makes all parts of the rules related to safety cars and race starts completely redundant, because the race director can completely ignore them on a whim
            4. Probably have provided a more exciting final lap, because Lewis would actually have had a reasonable chance, whereas he had practically none as soon as Masi made this call

          2. Davethechicken
            18th January 2022, 12:33

            Baku was stopped under the PRETENCE of safety grounds.
            There was no time to clear the debris. There was more safety risk in a red flag restart than following the safety car at slow speeds for the final 3 laps.
            Also they didn’t red flag strolls crash which was in a much more difficult part of the track.

    2. It wasn’t difficult at all, as the rules described very precisely what he had to do. Instead he threw the rulebook out and made it up his own rules on the spot, thus changing the outcome of the WDC. “Incompetent” doesn’t quite describe what a big fail that was.

      1. He only had to unlap cars sooner and we would have the same result, with Max as champion. It wasn’t a red flag incident.

        1. If the track had been safe to do so then that would have been perfectly acceptable. I’d have been upset that my preferred driver hadn’t won, but it would just be the luck of the draw.

          However, he didn’t unlap cars sooner. By many reports because it wasn’t safe to do so earlier, but whether it was or not, he didn’t. The rules don’t actually say that he must allow lapped runners through as soon as the track is clear (or at all), but they do set out a very strict procedure to follow when allowing lapped cars through which wasn’t followed. Therefore, at the point of him deciding to make up a new, unprecedented procedure which flew in the face of the regulations and required use of “god powers” to give even the pretence of legality, he radically altered the probabilities at that point in favour of Max compared with all possible situations which followed written and precedented procedures. This effectively handed the race, and therefore the championship, to Max.

    3. Masi did what was required and it was well done and within reason and rules and it was fantastic. Agree with Grosjean.
      Alternatively, to see Lewis getting the championship behind the safety car or with lapped cars as a buffer would have been terrible, when overall he performed not quite as well over the season. The right champion won. It was a fitting end and really summarised the whole season in one race.
      And like Mercedes themselves, only the hard done by Hamilton fans think otherwise and are hanging on to this or that rule or article and wanting to exact revenge.
      He’s won it 7 times already and 6 of those in a superior car and they’ve had it easy until now, get over it.. its been pretty boring for everybody else.

      1. @kenny

        Masi did what was required

        The rulebook says otherwise

        1. Well no it doesn’t, but people simply refuse to accept that.

          Mercedes protest failed and they did not appeal, this means end-off, the rest is just adding irrelevant drama

          1. Mercedes protest failed and they did not appeal, this means end-off, the rest is just adding irrelevant drama

            So, if someone beats me up, but I choose not to press charges and go to court, does that make it legal and right for others to beat me up in future?

            The only section of the rules which could possibly make Masi’s actions legal is interpreting 15.3 to mean “The race director can do whatever the heck he wants with safety cars and race starts, ignoring all rules, whenever and however he wants, for any (or even no) reason”. If we are to take that as being the correct interpretation, IMHO that needs to change. This would make it completely legal for him to throw a safety car without incident to nullify a 30+s advantage and “make the race more exciting”, or tell the drivers to line up in reverse order on the grid. Whether we think he ever would or not is irrelevant: Before Abu Dhabi, I’m am pretty certain that the vast majority would have scoffed at the idea he would do as he did there, but he did it anyway.

            IMHO, the race director needs the power to deal with situations which are not covered by the rules or where applying the written rules and procedures would be unsafe (neither of which even came close to applying to Abu Dhabi). Other than that, he should be as bound by the rules as everyone else.

      2. only the hard done by Hamilton fans think otherwise and are hanging on to this or that rule or article and wanting to exact revenge

        I know of many neutral fans (those who support neither Max nor Lewis) who think that what Masi did was unacceptable, and even a few Max fans, and I know few Lewis fans (none personally) who “want to exact revenge”.

    4. @joshgeake Was the decision to finish under the safety car criticised in 2012?

  4. I mainly disagree with Romain here. He is correct about it being a very exciting final lap, and that going green was great for the show. But it should not have come at the expense of the rulebook.

    1. I thought it has already been established it was within the rulebook. just that no one likes the rulebook

      1. Eatablished by who? As most understand FIA already stated that the decisions on the final 5 laps need further investigations since the fitst ‘report’ showed some ambiguities. Masi basically made a compromis of two regultions, based on false interpretation of the rules. The following changes would confirm that Masi didn’t play by the rulebook.

        1. Ok; then its easy; WHAT rule was broken?

          as far as i know NONE were broken. Masi made a decision (one he is ALLOWED to make) & that decision was not liked.

          But rules broken? Tell me what rule..

          1. Sporting Regulations article 48.12.

          2. Nope; the decision was according to Article 15.3. 48.12 was NOT applicable.
            Its not broken; its not applicable in this case; since masi used 15.3 to ‘usurp’ the power to bypass every rule made regarding the safety car. (not native english; so sorry if its the wrong word; but you get what i mean)

            Again; Masi made a stupid decision (i agree); but it was HIS to make. Everything according to the rules & thats why mercedes had no chance in an appeal.

            We should change the power the single entity (race director) has; but no rules were broken.

            What they are going to state is that the ‘cars are not allowed to overtake’ event should have been issued 2 rounds earlier; & THAT was the mistake. Masi only tried to correct this..
            & then nothing needs to change..(according to FIA)

          3. mega:
            Whether 15.3 gives the race director the authority to override the established procedure in 48.12 has already been debated here endlessly, so I’m not going to start that debate again.

            But let’s just say that Masi himself disagreed with you in 2020, when he said he couldn’t override 48.12.

          4. @mega: 15.3e does not give him the authority to make the SC doing donuts in the pitlane, or any other things contradicting all other rules. It just gives him authority to overrule the clerk of the course.

          5. Another CLOWN; since you stress on using the capital letters. If rules weren’t broken, FIA wouldn’t have bothered to open an investigation into what happened in Abu Dhabi. CLOWN.

      2. The key question is how Article 15.3 is interpreted. The full text of the article is:

        The clerk of the course shall work in permanent consultation with the Race Director. The Race Director shall have overriding authority in the following matters and the clerk of the course may give orders in respect of them only with his express agreement:
        a) The control of practice, sprint qualifying session and the race, adherence to the timetable and, if he deems it necessary, the making of any proposal to the stewards to modify the timetable in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
        b) The stopping of any car in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
        c) The stopping of practice, suspension of a sprint qualifying session or suspension of the race in accordance with the Sporting Regulations if he deems it unsafe to continue and ensuring that the correct restart procedure is carried out.
        d) The starting procedure.
        e) The use of the safety car.

        There are two main (albeit somewhat related) points of contention here. The first is the question of what does this article relate to? Does it relate to the Race Director’s power in general, or only the relationship between the Race Director and Clerk of the Course. Or in other words, does the Race Director’s “overriding authority” allow him to override the just Clerk of the Course, or does it allow him to overrule the regulations?

        Which brings me on to the second point, which is whether the text of article 15.3.a/b/c are materially different to 15.3.e, particularly regarding the “in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations” wording. Does the absence of this wording in article 15.3.e mean Masi can override the regulations, or is he still bound by the rest of the rulebook, i.e. does the absence of this wording allow Masi to break article 48.12, by triggering article 48.13 a lap earlier than 48.12 says he should?

        The stewards clearly decided it does. However that sets a dangerous precedent. They have essentially given the Race Director unchecked power with regards to the Safety Car. To use an extreme example, what’s now to stop a Race Director telling the lead car to not just relinquish the lead, but to go all the way to the back of the field? Because every time someone objects, they can just claim he has “overriding authority” over the SC. I don’t often like engaging in fantasy “what if?” scenarios, and obviously this is an extreme example that is extremely unlikely to happen, but this decision from the stewards risks making anything fair game.

        What I’m most annoyed about is we will likely never know the answer from a legal perspective (from some people actually legally qualified, not some stewards). As Mercedes dropped their appeal, no court will ever decide on it, and even then it would only have been an FIA court. This feels like a case the Court of Arbitration for Sport was designed for, but the FIA is not party to CAS (except for doping-related cases). It is a case that depends on the interpretation of the wording of the article, and that should be settled in a court in my opinion. Not necessarily to overturn the result, but to clarify what these regulations actually mean. That’s why the one outcome I want from this forthcoming investigation is for the FIA to become a member of CAS.

        1. FlyingLobster27
          17th January 2022, 20:00

          I expected some kind of blanket statement somewhere early in the contract, and Article 2.1, “General Undertaking”, provides that:

          All […] officials participating in the Championship undertake, on behalf of
          themselves […] to observe all the provisions as supplemented or amended of […] the present Sporting Regulations […].

          I reckon this means Masi is always bound by the Sporting Regulations. Key word here: “all” – not “any”. I personally conclude that Art.2.1 means he can’t ignore or rewrite Art.48.12 regarding unlapping behind the Safety Car.

          Difference in 15.3.a) and b) is that the Race Director may also refer to the International Sporting Code. Doesn’t explain 15.3.c) as the Code isn’t mentioned, but that’s a start.

        2. The Clerk of the Course, who is nominated by the organiser, is materially responsible for the coordination of all the officials and track marshals at the Grand Prix. It is he who gives the order to send out the safety car, for example, or to stop the race or practice session.

          I think I’ve mentioned this before, but accepting that 15.3 gives the race director carte blanche means that, for next race, Masi could invoke 15.3 d) -giving him full power over the starting procedure- and say that both Haas will be starting from the grid while the rest of the cars will have to start from the pitlane in alphabetical order, and only after both Haas have passed safety car line 1.

          1. Nonsense. The starting procedure is not the grid formation.

          2. @Asanator: Specific cars are allowed to overtake the safety car in the formation lap and thereby get a headstart.

          3. @RomTrain What? There is no safety car on the Formation lap and the race doesn’t start until the lights go green so there is no head start possibility.

          4. @asanator: yes, it is. Read article 38 of the sporting regulations, adequately titled “Race starting procedure”.

            38.10 When the cars come back to the grid at the end of the formation lap (or laps, see Articles 42.1c) and 51.12, they must stop within their respective starting grid positions, keeping their engines running.

        3. The other aspect, which I have not thought of before: Even if you can argue that 15.3e gives him complete, unlimited and absolute power over the “use of the Safety Car”, it still seems a stretch to extend that to allowing lapped cars through. That isn’t use of the SC, it’s a separate matter. Saying that allowing lapped runners through is “use of the SC” is like saying that boiling the electric kettle in the kitchen is “use of the cooker”, IMHO: it may be related, but is not actually using the cooker, like allowing lapped cars through is related to the safety car, but is not actually using the safety car.

          Therefore, to allow lapped cars through, they would still need to issue the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” to all competitors, not just to a few, select cars, which makes Masi’s actions illegal anyway.

        4. The problem with citing/singling out these articles of the sporting regulations or sporting code is that context of the execution is important. For instance: about the role of the stewards the sporting code says the following:

          Article 11.9 | Authority of the Stewards
          11.9.1 The stewards shall have supreme authority for the enforcement of the Code.
          […]
          11.9.3 Within the framework of their duties, they notably:
          […]
          11.9.3.h may amend the classifications;

          Based on this it’s easy to cry foul and say “That’s fraud! The stewards can easily change the classification as they like!”, but I can’t see that happening in any context in any FIA event – it’s only used to apply any penalties before making the official classification.
          So for the safety car case it’s rather silly to suggest that “Masi can send out the safety car whenever he wants!”. Based on this sole rule you could say so, but in implementation during an event it doesn’t make sense to explain in it that way.

          In fact, in relation to the rest of the rules I feel that Ferrari would’ve had a better chance of appealing the result because they didn’t have a fair chance at p2 – though I don’t think it was in their interest:

          1.2.3 It will never be enforced so as to prevent or impede a Competition or the participation of a Competitor, save where the FIA concludes that this is necessary for the safe, fair or orderly conduct of motor sport.

          Many people who pinpoint their anger on Masi forget that three stewards also signed off on the verdict after Mercedes’ appeal.

          1. Based on this it’s easy to cry foul and say “That’s fraud! The stewards can easily change the classification as they like!”, but I can’t see that happening in any context in any FIA event – it’s only used to apply any penalties before making the official classification.

            That regulation hasn’t been used in such a wide application and authorised as such by the stewards. 15.3 now has. The stewards have specifically authorised the race director to ignore any and all regulations around safety cars (and, by extension, race starts), because the race director did ignore the regulations around the safety car and the stewards have said that 15.3e allows him to do so.

            This isn’t “citing/singling out these articles of the sporting regulations or sporting code” out of context, it is looking at them in the context of what happened and what the stewards have ruled with regard to them.

            And I’m still not going to accept “But they would never do that” as an argument that such wide ranging powers are acceptable. I am pretty certain that the majority of fans, drivers, staff, pundits, and even stewards would have laughed at the possibility of Masi doing what he did before Abu Dhabi. It would have been ridiculous to suggest, especially given that Masi himself had stated that he was not allowed to do so. So, as ridiculous as it is to suggest that the race director may deploy the safety car without incident, that doesn’t mean it will never happen.

          2. @drmouse I didn’t mean out of context of what happened, but in context of the other regulations. You can’t say: ‘this article says the race director has absolute power, that’s ridiculous’, without adding that the stewards according to the same regulations enjoy the same absolute power.

            Meaning that if, as you say:

            “So, as ridiculous as it is to suggest that the race director may deploy the safety car without incident, that doesn’t mean it will never happen.”

            …the same applies to the stewards. Maybe it’s more of an extention to the review of the rules, rather than a contradiction to what you said.

            In the end I guess that’s what the review is going to be about anyway: how should you spread this power and over how many people vs. how much room to call the shots within a short amount of time to run an event in an efficient and safe manner.

          3. I can see your point, there. And, to be quite honest, I am not really comfortable allowing the stewards absolute power in that manner either. I agree that this should be reviewed, though, and IMHO tightened and restricted to ensure that limits are placed upon these kinds of powers to prevent abuse.

            Personally, I would allow the race director freedom to change any rules, but only in situations where there was no written rule to deal with a situation or applying the rules as written would be dangerous, and in either case would need very strong justification to be used. Stewards would need a competitor to have broken the rules, and for there to be exceptional circumstances for the strongest and/or most unusual penalties to be applied.

          4. @ruben

            Many people who pinpoint their anger on Masi forget that three stewards also signed off on the verdict after Mercedes’ appeal

            This is what I’m trying to discuss towards the end of my comment. As qualified as they are, the stewards, at the end of the day, don’t have any proper legal training. And I personally see something like this as much more of a legal case than almost all other decisions the stewards have to make, which is why I hope that in the future, the FIA join CAS.

          5. @drmouse I agree – in the end the ambiguity in the rules is of course with the ‘desire to finish under green’, a gentlemen’s agreement (if even?) between the teams, which in itself doesn’t hold any value within the rulebook. That leaves teams and the public (and I suppose in Abu Dhabi the race director and the stewards too) guessing on how to implement it in relation to the other rules.

            There should be some kind of category system for ‘in season or added agreements’ which should say something about the order of application in relation to the sporting regulations.

        5. RandomMallard post highlights the thoughts quite well of a lot of people who disagreed with what happened in the final race.

          I think the championship last year was tainted by a very poor decision made by Masi but I accept we aren’t going to change that call now and despite everything else it wasn’t Verstappen’s fault the call was made. What is important though is that when a new interpretation of a rule is made that so many people inside the sport and fans disagree with then it needs proper clarification.

          The ruling they gave to Merecedes appeal after the race did not clarify anything other than say Masi felt he had the right to call in the safety car without following the safety car procedures. I and many other people disagree that his interpretation of the rules is correct and as such we need formal clarification on what is allowed. Saying the race director can do what he likes with the safety car is frankly ridiculous and leaves the sport open to result tampering.

          At the very least I hope we put to bed the bare minimum by saying either all lapped cars are released under a safety car or none are and that is a fixed procedure that cannot be broken. Had all lapped cars been released at Abu Dhabi then Mercedes would have had no case to appeal and while it would still have felt like they gave the championship to Verstappen it would at least have been in line with the rules as they’re written.

      3. Its very much outside of the rules. Some people have tried to justify it but they needed to deliberately misunderstand rules in order to do so.

    2. Too late for blaming Masi for it. In the very first race of the year we had the same thing happening where rules were changed mid race, where Hamilton was cutting one corner every single lap for dozens of laps and Max wasn’t. When Max overtook Hamilton in the exactly same spot where Hamilton was cutting for dozens of laps Max got punished and, Hamilton never got any punishment for cutting that exactly same corner dozens of times.

      The PR from Mercedes is hypocrite sometimes, when they get the benefit it’s alright, “no problem with the rules”, when it’s the opposite suddenly the world is conspiring against them.

    3. Grosjean said a lot more than what you refer to.

      Also, your interpretation of the rulebook is different from what the stewards decided. They are the judge panel in this case and trained and paid to compare a specific situation with the rulebook.

      I also disagree with the decision in Abu Dhabi. Not because it was against the rulebook (the stewards decided it was not), not because they took the decision (races should when possible end und green flag conditions), but only because it was another (apparent) inconsistent decision this season.
      The rulebook needs to become simpler and clearer.
      The Race Director needs to become more consistent in his decisions and instructions.

  5. Grosjean who?

    1. Romain Grosjean, a champion in 6 different junior formulae including GP2, today’s Formula 2, then a former Formula 1 driver with 10 seasons of experience and current IndyCar driver.
      Who are you?

      1. someone never seen a F1 race so not bother about him.

  6. Martin Elliott
    17th January 2022, 17:13

    Grosjean votes for entertainment not rules. What a surprise.

    His lost his key record – number of F1 License Penalty Point awarded to …. Max !

    But maybe it’s still an indication of contempt for rules, safety, fairness?

  7. Grossjean bashing to start in 3, 2, 1 …., naah that doesn’t happen here – here fans are never attacked for voicing a different opinion that the British media and Lewis fans.

    He is absolutely right that there was no foul play, no deliberately stealing a win from Lewis, FIA controlled outcome etc etc. It was simply bad luck – same as Lewis won his 2008 championship due to rain intensifying, without that Massa would have been the 2008 champion not Lewis.

    All negativity could have been avoided if Masi’s first call “lapped cars may not overtake” would have been “lapped cars may now overtake”, this was during lap 56.
    Masi did what the teams agreed they wanted, avoid finishing a race behind safety car, so after the initial mistake he used the powers given to him to speed up procedures to give the fans and the audience 1 last lap of racing.

    What would the Lewis fans have found if the crash happened 1 lap earlier or if lapped cars were immediately allowed to overtake during lap 56.

    I guess they would have blamed Mercedes strategy folks for not pitting Hamilton for fresh tires, something Mercedes absolutely should be blamed for – failing to pit during VSC and SC despite knowing the Mercedes was the faster car by a healthy margin.

    1. @jelle-van-der-meer whilst I agree with this sentiment for the most part, I take objection to the 2008 narrative you’ve spun.

      There wasn’t luck there. There was a call made, that the team were confident in. They’ve since admitted that they were getting mighty nervous, and that it was incredibly tight, but it was a well documented call based on accurate weather data. Had the rain not been so heavy, and the weather data had indicated that (which we have to assume it would have, because their weather data was proven accurate) they’d have stayed on dry tyres. And beaten Glock much earlier.

      1. @gongtong
        Indeed. The only reason Glock was ahead of Hamilton was because he gambled on dry tyres – and it actually paid off, since Glock was 7th before the rain. Had Hamilton also stayed on dry tyres, he would’ve beaten Glock anyway. But it made no sense for Hamilton to take a risk and it wasn’t even that close really: even though Hamilton overtook Glock in the last corner, he won Glock by over 5 seconds.

      2. If Lewis stayed on dry tyres he wouldn’t have to beat Glock as Lewis was in front before the pit stops.

        Weather data is never accurate and always changing, so it is not rock solid facts.

        Just look back at Russia or Turkey races – all teams are always trying to best asses and read the weather data but they can only read the weather data that is available when the call is made, that might not what will really happen 5, 10, 20 minutes later.

        Initially the rain was a bit less than expected and at the very end it suddenly intensified – if that would have happened 30 seconds earlier Glock would have been overtaken much earlier on last lap, if it happened just 15 seconds later Glock would not have been overtaken.

        Taken from a liveblog report:
        “Lap 69: The rain continues but is light at the moment. The track is lightly damp but as yet no spray is coming up from the tyres.”
        Lap 70: Timo Glock in fourth position is the fastest car on the track currently. The German is 45 seconds off the lead and he did not pit and remains on dry tyres.
        Lap 71: The rain is falling ever more intensely!

        1. @jelle-van-der-meer

          With hindsight, weather data is 100% accurate. So we can say with certainty that they made the correct call now. It wasn’t accidental, they predicted it would rain hard and that Glock would either pit, or lose position on track. That’s what happened.

          It wasn’t guaranteed. But it was very likely, and that’s what they strategised around. What they didn’t prepare for was Glock putting in the drive of his life to nearly throw a spanner in the works.

          1. And it’s not like it was a fluke and they’ve pretended since that it was always their plan.

            The radio transmissions were clear at the time. And I’m sure the season review showed more of them.

          2. Interesting.. i fixed the parts for this season..

            With hindsight, lap data is 100% accurate. So we can say with certainty that they made the wrong call now. It wasn’t accidental, they predicted it would end under SC and that lewis would either pit, or lose position on track. That’s what happened.”

          3. @erikje: With hindsight, they trusted in the rules being followed, but got cheated by the race director. Thereby the championship got manipulated and the sportive result got turned upside down.

        2. Regarding 2008 title, it was a great gamble from McLaren, and they fully deserved the win, even if it was really painful to see Massa being champion for 30 seconds. What usually annoys me about several Lewis fans is the fact they use some nonsense to justify Lewis defeats; example , Ham fans always insist that his 2016 title defeat against Nico Rosberg happened due to Lewis having reliability engine issues for example, where they forget to remember that at 2008 Massa lost a certain win in the last lap of Hungary gp when he was leading with a large lead due to mechanical issues; that would seal his title in the end of 2008 without the Interlagos drama. In 2008 Lewis have been lucky, but not on 2021.

    2. Comparing to 2008 makes no sense. No rules were broken.

      Most don’t dispute the outcome because of the racing, but the way the rules were applied. Never ever was the safetycar in the same lap as the unlapped cars. It is always at the end of the next lap. Furthermore, why was the decision just focused on the cahmpionship leaders instead of all the drivers. Sains didn’t get the same oppurtunity as Max to compete with Hamilton.

      Ik doesn’t matter of the crash happend a lap warmliep or later. The teams make a decision based on rules and of the rules were correctly applied.

      So while blaming British media and Hamilton fans, why are you defending these decisions so hard?

      1. No rules were broken in 2021 either – just because you believe they were broken or are unhappy with the outcome it doesn’t mean they were broken.
        This is also what the stewards decided when they rejected Mercedes protest.

        1. Then why are they Investigating the the last Race?

        2. rules stated that SC is in after another lap when unlapping takes place. rules were broken.

          1. Its the one that would take lewis to cleaners

        3. Actually, the stewards conceded that the regulations were not followed. However, they put the blame back on Masi by claiming that 15.3 allowed him to do what he wanted regarding the safety car. The reason why they did this was to avoid the PR disaster of overturning the result of the entire championship in the Stewards’ room after the race. So, they opted for the lesser of 2 evils – which just so happened to be the one which took the blame off them and put it back on Michael Masi (surprise!).

    3. If the crash had happened one lap earlier, maybe Mercedes would have pitted Hamilton as then there would have been time for the race to restart without needing to go against the rules.

    4. @jelle-van-der-meer
      dutchies oh, dutchies.
      Is there a single one of you with a double digit IQ?

      1. Actually, I’m from the Netherlands. The thing is, most are watching F1 since Verstappen started to race. Which is fine, but most are Max fans instead of F1 fans. Also, they are one of the most fanatic supporters, which is great, but also makes them irrational.

        1. @AM I’m British, and I say you are full of nonsens. We Brits are as biased as they come…so it would be nice if you don’t stereotype the Dutch.

      2. I also agree, with his statement

      3. all 9, better then your 2

      4. i guess you are the one with a double digit IQ..
        Most dutchies in this forum needs three numbers ;)

        1. Exactly! The statement looks as though it is designed to insult Dutch people, but actually it does the opposite.
          Average IQ is 100, so people with above average intelligence have triple digit IQs, and people with below average intelligence have double-digit IQs. All the statement said is that no Dutch people have double digit IQs, which means they either have one digit or three. But nobody has a single-digit IQ, so Dutch people must all have triple-digit IQs, and therefore they all have above average intelligence! (Which I believe is the opposite of what the xenophobic statement was implying).

  8. Even though I think Masi’s decision was definitely wrong, I don’t necessarily disagree with Grosjean here.

    He is only talking about how “exciting”, “cool” and “super exciting” Masi’s decision was from a fan’s perspective. It’s hard to argue against one lap showdown being more exciting than ending the race behind the SC.

    Grosjean isn’t saying Masi followed the rules or that he had the authority to override the rules. He probably doesn’t even know the details of the rulebook and therefore he is only commenting from the entertainment perspective.

    However, sport officials can’t justify their decisions solely by entertainment value. You would never hear a soccer referee justifying a penalty kick by saying it was “super exciting”.

    1. @hotbottoms +1. I think the headline is slightly misleading. Grosjean acknowledges that is was good for entertainment. He doesn’t really make much reference as to whether it was correct legally (you could argue he slightly touches it a couple of times but he doesn’t go in depth on the rules). And he’s right, it was exciting and a climax to the whole season. But as you say, that doesn’t necessarily make it the right decision legally.

      The other interesting point to be made is Grosjean has just spent a year in IndyCar, where red flagging late on to ensure a green flag finish has happened on several occasions. It’s not necessarily liked by all, but it’s generally accepted. In fact, it created more confusion when the 2020 Indy 500 wasn’t red flagged with a crash a few laps from the end, when many people were expecting it would be. In this Abu Dhabi situation, one has to wonder whether Indy would have red flagged it. I’m inclined to think they probably would have.

      1. I don’t think it was a red flag worthy incident. The driver’s could drive around it easily and they reckoned it could be removed fairly quickly at the time until issues occurred. Masi was trying to hit a moving target with the incident along with the pressure of the title fight and agreement from all the teams to finish under a green flag. Not a nice situation to be in with time running out and everyone in your ear complaining.

        1. I’m not claiming it was a red flag incident, and I don’t think F1 should have in this position, but a lot of the time Indy throw a red flag for the sole purpose of finishing under green, not because they need to in order to clear up an incident. That’s why I made the distinction, and why I think an Indy finale in a similar situation would be red flagged and run under green for the final couple of laps.

    2. Yep well said @hotbottoms, I was expecting (hm, really? Maybe not, but title suggested I was going to ;) to read Grosjean’s take on why changing procedure (ends justify the means?) was correct, but he’s saying (and maybe influenced by his time in Indy, which has a lot of stuff done, in the rules, to enhance opportunity for entertainment) it was good to finish the race not behind the SC, as apparently teams before also decided (I found it interesting to read McLaren’s Brown talk about that as an example of maybe the teams not needing to be part of rule-deciding as much in hindsight in his rather forceful start-of-year speech to the team as published today).

    3. Why don’t we just get the fans to vote for a winner so we can save fuel and all those hours of wind tunnel work.

    4. I can partially agree there.

      I still believe the final lap was less exciting than alternatives would have been, because there was an inevitability to Max’s pass. He had a full lap, starting directly behind Lewis, with a huge tyre delta and nothing to lose. No driver would have a defence in those circumstances. As soon as the call was made, everyone involved knew that it would take a miracle for Lewis to stay ahead.

      Other than finishing behind the safety car, any other option would have made the contest more even and, therefore, more exciting. So, even if excitement and entertainment were the primary goals and we were to accept the race director being able to do whatever he wants in spite of the rulebook, Masi still shot himself in the foot by choosing the second-worst option available, IMHO.

      1. @drmouse

        We’ve seen some heroic defenses in the past against faster cars, even during this race (Perez vs Lewis). I think that Max prevented Lewis from a proper defense by overtaking at a very unexpected spot, but that doesn’t mean that Lewis couldn’t have defended hard if he’d either recognized this or if Max would have tried at a more traditional overtaking spot.

        No driver would have a defense in those circumstances.

        In corner overtakes, there is often a move-countermove aspect to overtakes, where a slower car can hold back the faster car if it makes the right countermove. This is different to a DRS pass where the front car is often just a sitting duck.

        Perez showed this perfectly with the cut back against Lewis, getting the spot back, and the subsequent defense. Lewis has the talent to drive like that, he just didn’t do so against Max at the end.

        I think that it’s wrong and the result of 20/20 hindsight to interpret Lewis lack of effective defense as Lewis having no chance to defend.

        1. Perez vs Lewis

          Lewis knew he had the whole race to consider, and could afford to wait a couple of laps, where Perez had little to lose. The tyre delta also wasn’t as severe. Withy Max vs Lewis, Max knew he had only a single lap, and Lewis knew that a crash would still leave Max champion, and the tyre delta was significantly greater (especially with cold tyres from the SC, where the new softs warm up much quicker than old hards). In short, they were completely different circumstances, and it was always going to take an absolute miracle for Hamilton to be able to defend. I nearly turned off the TV when I saw what was happening, because the result was almost as much of a foregone conclusion as ending the race under SC would have been.

  9. I definitely disagree with him on lapped drivers between the top 2.
    Nothing wrong with starting the final lap having all these in the mix.

    1. nothing wrong with removing them as masi did.

      1. Lol, erikje, you are really pushing this “making a fool of yourself” thing way too far, mate :D

        1. @liko41

          You’ve just been abusive in this thread. Perhaps take a break from commenting?

          1. @aapje
            Pointing out the truth has nothing to do with abuse.
            Perhaps take a break from making a fool of yourself

      2. Nothing wrong, apart that there are rules, which should have been followed.

        1. They did follow the rules.. apart form masi the stewards, ( trained and paid for that task) agreed.
          But of course everyone trust on your judgement ( as far as hamfans go of course;)

  10. Grosjean’s Mercedes test pushed back to November 31st

    1. 2032? LOL

    2. More like brought forward to Dec 2021

    3. I think he realised mercedes lied about the test, so might as well say what he thinks!

    4. More empty Tototalk…

  11. You wonder how many current drivers also think this. They are in a difficult position to say too much now but it will be interesting in years to come to discover their thoughts on it. IMO I feel like most of them wanted Max to win it.

  12. I think Grosjean is incorrect. However, the ongoing reaction to this story still proves how emotive this is. FIA really need to have this enquiry done properly. Not suggesting they are not.

  13. Anthony Stevens
    17th January 2022, 19:41

    Grosjean’s response here is so illogical that it doesn’t warrant a response. It is even more ridiculous coming from a former F1 driver. He clearly has an agenda with these statements.

    1. And obviously you do not ;)
      LOL

  14. This will probably also be the outcome of the FIA organisation. Bad luck for Lewis, but a deserved championship for Max. Time to move on and if Toto or Lewis wants to quit over it, it’s up to them. Overall I am much more worried about decisions made earlier in the season and the shady off track antics seen.

  15. If this is the prevailing thinking amongst the majority then points should only be awarded to the winner of each race. Positions 3-20 can be completely disregarded as long as there is an exciting finish for first place. Just make a rule where positions 3-20 need to exit the track before the last lap and positions 1 and 2 must get side by side for the last lap.

    1. Shhh, you’re giving them ideas.

      1. @skipgamer
        It seems to be what a lot of people want. And you can have an exciting final lap between the top 2 drivers in every race.

  16. Poor little romy can’t stop making a fool of himself.

    1. @liko41 says the one I never caught writing a post that makes sense. You are a typical b@t h@rt Hamilton fan. Salty as they come

      1. JI
        WHat you “caught” has nothing to do with other people. It has a lot to do with your ability to “catch”, which I suspect is severely compromised.
        Oh maxiboys, always SO recognizable…

  17. I only just found out who won the championship. It was hard keeping that info out of the way until I had a chance to watch the race. Way in the back of my tiny mind, I knew Max was going to win it like that if he won. I think Masi is a lousy race director, and why don’t they have the same stewards for the whole season? That might solve the problem of inconsistent decisions. F1 racing is a great sport sullied by the FIA. That said (written) this was the best F1 season I’ve seen in many years. Max deserves his win because he was great all season. But if he has any champion DNA, he’ll be disappointed at how it went down. Lewis deserved to win because he came back like the champion he is and started winning back-to-back races, and he clearly was in complete control of the deciding one. Congrats and thanks to both for an epic season of F1 racing.

    1. Wow, that’s incredible to avoid spoilers for over a month for such a controversial ending. About hamilton coming back: car was clearly superior the last races, consider that too.

  18. I am surprised that Grosjean, a former driver’s rep would only look at a part of the Masi decision. We can all agree that it is was preferable not to finish the race under a yellow flag; but can we agree that the rules about un-lapping cars was not followed

  19. Groajean spitting flames. Saying like it is.
    Most sense I have ever heard coming out of Grosjean.
    Unfortunately le chef is going to get charred, again, over this one.

  20. I see people arguing about what exactly is bad luck, referring to 2008. If Massa’s engine hadn’t blown out in Hungary, he would have had become champion, Glock or not.
    But that’s the nature of the beast. It happened to Mansell as well. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be “in the last race” to feel a championship was decided by luck, or stolen.
    If the Crashgate had been discovered in 2008, while the season was still going on, the whole race would have probably been deleted from the points count. That would have also given Massa the championship.
    But ifs and buts don’t actually exist. And there isn’t an asterisk next to Hamilton’s first championship. The same way there isn’t one right now.
    And you can say Lewis was robbed on the last lap, but Max was robbed on the first one. And in Hungary he lost the chance of a valuable haul of points.
    Even more, I agree with LH fans that Silverstone was Lewis AND Max’s fault. Neither of them yielded. So I won’t take refuge in that race and that outcome to defend why Max is the worthy champion. But the Baku blowout though…
    What I can agree with LH fans is that Masi made lots of horrible decisions, but what I add is that those terrible decisions affected almost every driver, all year long.

    1. And you can say Lewis was robbed on the last lap, but Max was robbed on the first one.

      I agree both were robbed by Masi, so many bad calls not just in the race but the whole season; I’m glad there is an investigation.

      1. We were all robbed this season. The officiating has been woeful from start to finish. To me, the decision in the final laps of Abu Dhabi was the most egregious of them all, but there were so many bad calls throughout the year (falling both ways in the Max/Lewis battle, as well as ones which affected others and not the leaders) that a lot of the season felt like it was more affected by how the officials felt on a particular day than what actually happened on track.

      2. For the love of god! Masi is not a steward! He doesn’t dish out the penalties or decide if something is penalty worthy!

        1. I understand Masi’s capacity, he was the one who made the safety car restart call and he made the Spa “race” call, he also decided that Max/Lewis in Brazil ought not to be reviewed by the stewards. In my opinion those are three strikes in one season and he should be out. One may argue the rules are written poorly, and that may be so, but that does not absolve Masi from his poor and inconsistent interpretation of the rules.

  21. not entirely wrong derived / induced / deduced

  22. “It would have been very strange to not unlap those cars and have Lewis first and then Max four cars behind over one lap for the world championship.”

    This is the part that shows Grojean’s priority, which I think was the same as Masi’s at the time. The show. The excitement.

    The problem with that viewpoint is it makes it ok to ignore existing rules and procedures in order to get that “one lap for the championship” showdown. A very slippery slope, Romain.

    1. I think you’ve missed his point @simon999.
      He’s saying that (almost) every other time a race restarts from a SC period, the leaders are together and can race each other immediately without interference by backmarkers.
      As in: “It would have been very strange to… have Lewis first and then Max four cars behind…
      It would indeed have been very unusual – even without the context of the championship, the show or the excitement factor.

      And again, no. If the FIA says their rules weren’t broken, then they weren’t broken. And nobody but the FIA can make that call, because they have complete authority.
      People can disagree with the FIA’s choices, sure – but that is completely different.

      1. If the FIA says their rules weren’t broken, then they weren’t broken. And nobody but the FIA can make that call, because they have complete authority.

        Then why even bother having any rules written down? Just say “The cars go racing, and the race director and/or stewards can penalise anything they don’t like”. At least they’d be being more honest about it.

        1. You’ll have to ask the FIA @drmouse.

          The thing is – the rules are written down so that everyone can see them, and everyone has the same points of reference.
          In this case, what’s changing is the interpretation – specific to a particular and highly unusual set of circumstances.
          Consider that the role of the Race Director is to make decisions and judgements on the running of the event – and he’s done exactly that, within the bounds of those rules. Because the FIA say so. And the teams even agreed on it beforehand.

          I think you’ll find that the FIA have been honest with you. How have they not?
          By applying an interpretation of the rules in a way you’ve never seen before? Not dishonest, just irregular.
          And I remind you again, this is their game that you are watching.

          1. I think you’ll find that the FIA have been honest with you. How have they not?

            They have pretended that the regulations actually matter. In this case, the entirety of the safety car section (as well as the race start section) is redundant, because the race director is entitled to completely ignore it at will. If he is allowed to do that, those sections should just be removed as nobody can count on them applying.

            And I remind you again, this is their game that you are watching.

            This may be their game, but it is not one I will be watching if this interpretation is allowed to stand, nor will I be spending hundreds on TV subscriptions or thousands on going to races, or spedning money on merchandise if the race director is allowed to make up new rules whenever he feels like it. I am not the only person who feels this way.

          2. the race director is entitled to completely ignore it at will

            Not “at will” but when it is deemed necessary. Which is very rarely indeed.
            Once, that I can think of, actually. In 35+ years.
            Hardly worth getting upset about or overreacting to.

            This may be their game, but it is not one I will be watching if this interpretation is allowed to stand

            Okay.

          3. Not “at will” but when it is deemed necessary.

            Why was it necessary? There were several procedures available in the rules to cover the situation, at least one of which would have fulfilled the agreement to finish under green flags wherever possible, and it was one which the race director already knew of because he was already planning to implement it before he caved in to pressure from Red Bull.

            I do not buy the “necessary” argument whatsoever. It’s like me saying it was necessary for me to drive at 100mph to get to a family dinner on time when the cops pulled me over.

            To be completely frank, I don’t even buy that Masi was aware of any of this beforehand. No mention of the race director having this power has ever been made, that I am aware of, and there have been situations in the past which would have benefitted as much (if not more) from such power being able to be used. He has even specifically stated in the past that he has no choice but to follow the procedure laid out in the regulations. It looks much more like Masi screwed up, and then he, the stewards and Red Bull scrambled for any possible interpretation of the rules which would justify his error.

          4. Why was it necessary?

            Because the FIA said so @drmouse. The rules are their domain.

            before he caved in to pressure from Red Bull.

            Proof?
            Masi made a decision for the competition and for F1 as a whole, AFAIK – not just for Red Bull’s benefit.
            Mercedes demanded the exact opposite. It was unavoidable that somebody was going to get what they wanted and somebody wasn’t. That’s racing.
            Decent sportspeople take it on the chin and move on. Most people have….

            Again – what the FIA deems necessary within the handling of their rules – is necessary. Nobody else’s opinion matters. It’s not a democratic conference – it’s called Race Control for a reason, and none of us are in there.
            If you want to be, then feel free to send them your application and CV.
            To your analogy – I’d say it’s more like the cops driving that fast, and you (an uninvolved, powerless observer) making your own private (and public) judgements about it.

            I think Masi did know it was available to him, because he wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t. The race results would certainly have been protested, and the protester would probably have won.
            I’m betting 100% that the FIA discussed internally it beforehand, just in case the ‘need’ (in their opinion) ever arose.

            It arose. In their completely authoritative and all-powerful opinion, of course.

          5. Because the FIA said so… The rules are their domain.

            If “necessary” is “whenever the FIA/Race Director think it is”, then “when deemede necessary” just the same as “at will”.

            Masi made a decision for the competition and for F1 as a whole, AFAIK

            I actually agree that he did what he believed was best for F1, at least as an entertainment show. He still caved in to pressure from Red Bull: He had stated he was going to follow a procedure laid out in the rules but then, after pressure from Red Bull, changed his mind and made up a brand new one. He was not planning to do so before Red Bull exerted pressure, as evidenced by his earlier message to the teams the lapped cars would not be allowed to overtake.

            I’d say it’s more like the cops driving that fast, and you (an uninvolved, powerless observer) making your own private (and public) judgements about it.

            That would still be illegal unless they were legally using their blues-and-twos in an emergency. If they were not, they could/should still be prosecuted for speeding. In fact, my brother took evidence to the chief inspector at our local police station of this happening at one point and, while he was not prosecuted, the officer was disciplined, demoted and banned from driving police cars for it. If the chief inspector had done nothing about it, there were further channels this could have been progressed with, including independent watchdogs.

            I think Masi did know it was available to him, because he wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t.

            I find this highly unlikely. If anyone within the sport thought that this was allowed, someone would have spoken of it after the Eiffel GP in 2020. There would have been some discussion, somewhere, about it, and it is incredibly unlikely that no word of that would have escaped. In fact, if this is the case, it makes it a massive PR disaster that nobody issued a correction after he made that statement, as they would surely know that any use of such powers would immediately call that statement to mind as contradicting its use this way. So, either it wasn’t discussed or known before it was used, or there was a massive cock-up between Eiffel 2020 and Abu Dhabi 2021 which has brought the sport into disrepute. Either option is bad for all involved!

      2. The rules are written down, so FIA cannot deny they were broken. They can ignore it like they do, but the truth was there for everyone to witness.

        If one is freak enough to read things like “any doesnt mean all” and “15.3e gives the RD all authorities regarding the safety car”, and one can really convince yourself, then one can believe the rules were followed. Just beware of chem-trails in this case…

        1. the truth was there for everyone to witness.

          The truth is subjectively different for everyone, due to their own interpretation.

          I’m getting tired of repeating it – but in terms of F1 sporting and technical control, the FIA’s interpretation is the only ‘truth’ that matters.
          No matter how many times you say otherwise, it doesn’t change.

          1. The truth, admitted by the stewards, is that 48.12 was not followed.

            Now, of course, they have said that 15.3 allows the race director to ignore section 48 whenever he feels like it, in which case why is it even there? Why are any of the multiple sections about race starts there? If the race director can just make things up as and when he wants to in these areas and doesn’t have to follow the written rules, why not just leave it at that?

          2. The FIA can say what they like – it doesn’t make it true.

          3. The FIA can say what they like – it doesn’t make it true.

            Another perfect example of the FIA’s statement that people simply don’t understand.

            The best way to describe this is to compare F1 with, say, religion. If the Bible, Tipitaka, Quran, Tanakh, Kojiki, Vedas (or other equivalent) says something is true – no matter how far from actual reality it may be – it is still the truth within that institution.
            The FIA’s truth is the truth within F1.

          4. Luckily everyone is entitled to have his own opinion. And mine is that rules were broken, and we do not have a legit WDC now. FIA can state what they like, but they cannot hinder fans of the sports to not follow their cheated reality.

          5. f the Bible, Tipitaka, Quran, Tanakh, Kojiki, Vedas (or other equivalent) says something is true – no matter how far from actual reality it may be – it is still the truth within that institution.

            So, you’re saying that F1 and the FIA are a religion who can say and do anything they like because it’s all god’s will? Got it. You’re describing something even worse (to me) than a made-for-TV reality show, where the FIA and its officials are free to ignore or change anything they want whenever they want, because the regulations only mean what they say they mean. It’s a Humpty Dumpty situation, so I will leave you with this: https://xkcd.com/1860/

          6. Knew I liked you @drmouse – another XKCD fan.

      3. I understood Grojean’s point, but the fact it would have been “unusal” doesn’t come into it. I also never said the rules were broken, since that wasn’t my point. Arguing over whether the rules were followed or not isn’t the real issue, it’s whether anything needs to be changed going forward as a result of what happened.

        The FIA/Liberty clearly chose to prioritise the show over other factors, which is where the slippery slope comes into play, and that’s been evident throughout 2021. It just came to a head in the most fantastic way possible thanks to the circumstances that unfolded in those final few laps.

      4. If the FIA says their rules weren’t broken, then they weren’t broken. And nobody but the FIA can make that call, because they have complete authority.

        Would you apply the same standard to a government?

  23. Nice to see that the comments in 2022 will be as coherent as 2021’s

  24. Perhaps they need to bring in an “Extra Time” allowance of up to 15mins or so for situations like Baku. Time added on for stoppages. That kind if thing. So everyone can have a fair shake of a few laps. Give it a funky corporate name like “the Power Zone”.

  25. Well thank you Mr 1st lap nut case

  26. Ancentdoctoralmariner
    18th January 2022, 14:35

    Masi did the job he was told to do, that is stop Hamilton winning the championship. We can’t have Hamilton breaking St Michael’s Championship record, can we? (Well Hamilton was cheated out of his first Championship win, so I guess if it wasn’t for the FIA he’d be 2 ahead of St Michael….)

  27. Every time I see someone crying and moaning about the rules whilst copying and pasting articles, I smile and think about how Max stopped the Mercedes rot. Abu Dhabi was just priceless.

  28. In general I agree with grosjean, hamilton deserved to win the last race and verstappen the title, seeing the points lost through bad luck earlier in the season.

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