FIA delays F1 restructure plans following Abu Dhabi controversy

The FIA will delay revelations of its planned response to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy for a few more days, following discussions with Formula 1 teams on Monday.

FIA delays F1 restructure plans following Abu Dhabi controversy

Following the completion of its investigation into the handling of the safety car restart at last year’s world championship decider, which allowed Max Verstappen to snatch the title away from main rival Lewis Hamilton, newly-elected FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem unveiled its findings at a meeting of the F1 Commission in London.

But rather than taking the moment to propose the changes that the FIA will make, the governing body has elected to wait a little longer before confirming what it wants to do.

A statement from the FIA said that ben Sulayem wanted to incorporate feedback from the teams at the F1 Commission into the FIA’s action plan, to ensure that any changes it did make were as robust as possible.

“The FIA President led detailed discussions of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” said the statement.

“Feedback from the Commission on matters raised will be incorporated into the President’s analysis and he will publicly present news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days.”

The issue of drawing a line under the events of Abu Dhabi is a critical moment for ben Sulayem, as it is his first major action since he took over the FIA presidency from Jean Todt at the end of last year.

PLUS: Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

No further details about what the FIA found in its investigation, or plans to do, have been forthcoming, but it is anticipated that the governing body will make structural tweaks to the way race control is run in F1.

It wants to ensure that the F1 race director is given more support, amid a widespread feeling that Michael Masi was overburdened and put under too much pressure during last season.

Michael Masi, Race Director, FIA

Michael Masi, Race Director, FIA

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The fate of Masi remains unclear however, with senior FIA official Peter Bayer admitting that there is a possibility he could be replaced for the 2022 season.

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Masi’s future, as well as the plans for race control and the new structure for running F1 events, are all likely to form part of the proposal that the FIA will announce soon.

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