F1 needs structure to correct FIA errors, says McLaren

Formula 1 should create a system to ensure that the consequences of mistakes made by the FIA can be corrected more easily, reckons McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, and the rest of the field at the start

With the controversy over the FIA’s handling of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix safety car restart showing no signs of calming down, there is an intense focus on the outcome of a meeting of the F1 Commission on Monday.

There, the FIA is due to present to teams its findings from its investigation into the events surrounding the F1 season finale, as well as map out what it plans to do to ensure there is no repeat of the controversy in the future.

But McLaren boss Seidl believes changes need to go far beyond looking just at what happened in Abu Dhabi, as he thinks there should be a wider overhaul of the way F1 races are run.

And, in particular, he thinks some new processes should be introduced to make sure that, in the event the FIA or its stewards do make errors in the future, then there is an agreed system in place for them to correct any negative consequences.

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“One of the beauties of the sport, not just on the team side but also the FIA side when it comes to the execution of races, is that it is a human sport,” explained Seidl.

“So we need to accept mistakes can happen on the team side, but also on the FIA side – and mistakes can happen again.

“For me it is very important that we also discuss that if you are in the position that mistakes happen, you actually raise your hand, admit them, and have a mechanism in place in order to correct the consequences that such mistakes or controversies could have.

“That is as important as trying to avoid similar controversies in the first place.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

As well as the Abu Dhabi issue, one of the season-long talking points was an apparent lack of consistency in the application of the racing rules, which left teams, drivers and fans confused.

McLaren was, in particular, quite baffled why Lando Norris was handed a penalty for pushing Sergio Perez wide at the Austrian Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen got away without any sanction for a similar move in Brazil.

Seidl hopes that the FIA delivers a comprehensive response on Monday, but he thinks more needs to be done to improve the way that F1 races are run.

“Hopefully we can close this topic with a good analysis from the FIA side and some, let's say, concepts in place also how we can improve for the future,” he said.

“Going away from Abu Dhabi, if you look at the whole season last year, a lot of controversial things happened, which were not good for the sport.

“We need to invest time and energy on the team side, together with the FIA, to make sure we understand what happened throughout the season and see how we can help.

“[It could be] by making the regulations less complex, giving more support to the race director, and giving more support also to the stewards to avoid these controversies, and by making it easier in terms of policing or the application of rules.”

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