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FIA to announce structural changes in response to Abu Dhabi in ‘coming days’

In the coming days, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem will outline the governing body’s response to the events of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after promising “structural changes” and an “action plan” in a press release on Monday.

Formula One team bosses met Ben Sulayem in London on Monday to discuss the fallout from the race, with issues raised at that meeting set to be incorporated into the FIA’s final response.

The closing laps of the grand prix, which saw Max Verstappen crowned champion ahead of Lewis Hamilton, were among the most controversial in the sport’s history after FIA race director Michael Masi failed to follow due process correct for a safety car restart, giving Verstappen a significant advantage on the final lap.

In December last year the FIA ​​promised to deliver an “exercise of detailed analysis and clarification” of the safety car period after admitting fan and media backlash was tarnishing the championship’s image .

The investigation only began in earnest in January this year, with the FIA ​​planning to consult teams and drivers on future changes.

Although very few details emerged from Monday’s meeting, the FIA ​​released a statement saying its recommendations from the investigation would soon be made public.

“The FIA ​​President has conducted detailed discussions on the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Grand Prix Abu Dhabi,” the statement read.

“The Commission’s comments on the issues raised will be incorporated into the President’s analysis and he will publicly present information on the structural changes and the action plan in the coming days.”

Stakes around the outcome of the investigation were raised last month when sources close to Lewis Hamilton suggested he was unwilling to commit to another season in F1 until he saw the results of investigation.

Although Hamilton has yet to confirm whether he will continue in F1 this year, in recent weeks he has returned to social media after a two-month break, posting videos of himself training and visited his Mercedes team in preparation for the new season.

One of the main questions raised by the survey is whether Masi will continue in his role as race director this year. He took over at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix following the unexpected death of former race director Charlie Whiting.

In an interview with Voralberger Nachrichten last month, Peter Bayer, the FIA’s singing seats director, who led the FIA’s investigation into the Abu Dhabi events, suggested the role of race director could be divided into different jobs, with the potential for Masi de Is handed over, replaced.

“Michael has done a great job in many ways,” Bayer said during the interview. “We absolutely don’t want to lose him.

“We told him that, but also that there is a possibility that there is a new race director.

“I can only make proposals to the World Board, and they will certainly include Michael.”

Once the action plan is made public by the FIA ​​president, it is expected to be confirmed by the FIA ​​World Motor Sport Council ahead of the F1 season-opening round on March 20 in Bahrain.


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