The FIA Have Reportedly Started Their Investigation Into That Final Lap F1 Drama In Abu Dhabi – WTF1

The FIA Have Reportedly Started Their Investigation Into That Final Lap F1 Drama In Abu Dhabi

A month has now passed since the 2021 F1 season had one of the craziest final laps EVER SEEN in the championship. Not only was it a winner takes all season finale, but the calls made by the FIA regarding lapped cars passing under the Safety Car ultimately helped decide the championship.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, Max Verstappen was able to pass Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to win his first Drivers’ Championship in dramatic style. The controversy was that the standard rules for unlapping behind a safety car were twisted to ensure for “green flag” racing between the top two on the last lap.

With Nicholas Latifi crashing just laps before the chequered flag, the FIA brought out a standard safety car to ensure the Williams and Latifi were suitably and safely removed from the scene.

As can happen later on in races, lapped cars found themselves between race leader Hamilton and second place Max Verstappen, who was running over 11 seconds behind the seven-time champ on Lap 53 of 58 when yellow flags were issued for the Latifi incident.

At first, it was stated that “lapped cars can’t overtake”, which would mean that if racing was allowed again, Max would have to pass five cars to get behind Hamilton for a chance to overtake. “Yeah, of course, typical decision,” Verstappen said on his team radio.

Then just a lap later, the decision was reversed, but only the five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen were allowed to pass the safety car and get out of the way. This closed up the gap with green flags being waved for the last lap of the race and meant that Verstappen – on fresher tyres – could pass Hamilton for the lead of the race and take the championship crown.

The final lap of racing resulted in us not being sure whether to hide behind a cushion or yell at the television, but one thing was certain: some serious questions needed to be answered.

With Mercedes outraged that Hamilton had brutally lost a record-breaking eighth championship, they protested the result immediately after the race.

The FIA threw it out, with Red Bull bringing to Mercedes’ attention that “Article 15.3 gives the Race Director “overriding authority” over “the use of the safety car”.

The decision document also highlighted that “the Race Director also stated that it had long been agreed by all the Teams that where possible it was highly desirable for the race to end in a “green” condition (i.e. not under a Safety Car).”

With so much backlash from fans, drivers and the media, the FIA confirmed they would be investigating the situation, and according to Sky Sports, that’s now underway.

Apparently, starting yesterday, Monday 11th January, the investigation will be aiming to interview everyone involved, including Masi, the other stewards, drivers and team representatives. Basically, hearing everyone’s side of the story.

It’s hoped that the findings will be shared by at least the next World Motor Sport Council meeting, which is being held in early February. There’s also some speculation that Hamilton is waiting to make a decision on his future in F1 based on the findings and the actions taken from this investigation.

What do you think the outcome of the investigation will be? Let us know in the comments below. 

34 thoughts on “The FIA Have Reportedly Started Their Investigation Into That Final Lap F1 Drama In Abu Dhabi

  • so, your notice is based on Sky sport information.. except that they don’t have more than what was told by the new FiA president in 2021 … … there is no more information and a lot of speculation. Not from FiA, not from Mercede and not from Hamilton. nothing new …
    it’s distressing …

  • Fernando Rocha says:

    More time pass, more it seems like a scandal to me. Even the “this is called a motor race” phrase that Masi uses on Toto has been said minutes later to him by Horner. What a weak figure.

      • A foolish person will die of thirst beside a flowing river…go have a drink my thirsty friend, as you will not be able to speak nonsense as you quench your thirst.

    • Yes it’s the biggest scandal ever in F1 history.

      Before we’ve had many scandals with teams cheating, dirty drivers etc etc.

      But here we have the governing body breaking its own rules.

      Masi’s inconsistent and weak leadership which he excuses as “let them race”-policy has actually got us less nice wheel-to-wheel racing.

      Instead we’ve got more crashes, inconsistency and races being decided in the judges office.

      Masi must go!

  • There was one driver deservedly performed well throughout the season for the championship and the other reigning world champion who showed what a champion is made of by coming back strong in the last few races. The last race was a deciding factor to crown the champion and as the race went it was evident who will be the one. What the race director did was make a decision that unfair to one side and benefit the other which is totally unacceptable, the entire group sitting in race control were absolutely blunt in accepting to finish the race in a manner that it was decided without following the rules. How would it have impacted the racer who worked hard all season and end up in a manner we all witnessed. As a race fan without prejudice on any drivers it was complete failure of the race officials in the manner the handled it. That was not a fair decision taken by them.

    • I totally agree. I wanted Max to take the championship after years of Merc dominance, but at the end of the season Lewis was the man on form. Masi wanted the race to end under “green.” Yes, “let them race” but Masi could have achieved that by sticking with his original decision that no cars unlapped themselves so the racing could get going. If Max had managed to clear the five lapped cars and catch and pass Hamilton (which he might given the tyre disparity) that would have been a fair result. If he hadn’t been able to and Lewis had won, that too would have been a fair result. It would genuinely have been decided on track.

      Throughout the season Masi and the stewards made questionable decisions – some favoured Max and some favoured Lewis. Masi has now lost credibility, though the team bosses also have to take some of the blame: Toto and Christian shouldn’t have been telling Masi what to do.

      The problem is what to do now. For the good of the sport all we can do is learn from the mistakes and move on.

      • Thank you so much bringing some common sense amongst all incurable Verstappen fans that are panicking thinking we’re trying to take away Verstappens title.

        It’s not about Verstappen, MBs strategy or the season in whole.
        It’s about the future of F1.

  • Wow. The expression “out of context” gets a true face when the author of this article writes:

    ““Article 15.3 gives the Race Director “overriding authority” over “the use of the safety car”.

    These lines makes you wonder how biased the author is.

    If you want to mislead people you should for sure put it that way.

    Yes, Article 15.3 gives the RD authority to overrule the stewards decisions and also the track manager’s calls.

    But the RD can NEVER overrule the written rules.

    No other racing director ever has broken these quite simple rules on how to conduct a SC.

    The big misconception is “the use of the safety car” which doesn’t mean the RD can use the SC as he wishes.
    It’s referring to the written alternatives in how to apply a SC.

    It’s basically four alternatives how to conduct when an incident has occurred:

    1) VSC, virtual safety car

    2) SC whereas ALL lapped cars shall overtake the SC and unlap themselves.

    3) SC whereas the positions are kept intact and NO cars can unlap themselves.

    4) Red flag

    Within these four alternatives there are certain criterias that determines which one to use.

    So, the racing director has actually not much wiggling room. He has to keep it within those alternatives.

    • In other words, the racing director can’t arbitrarily cherry pick cars as he wishes.

      In this case just the five cars infront of Verstappen solely (!)

  • One man (Masi) can’t decide the outcome of the championship. Masi broke not just one rule but four ! ! ! !

    1) First Masi called over radio that no lapped cars where allowed to overtake the SC and unlap themselves.

    According to the written rules 48.12 about how to conduct a SC it clearly says, when a call is made it is irrevocable.

    But Masi just changed his mind……


    2) The written rules 48.12 also says that if you’re going to let unlapped cars through, then it’s ALL unlapped cars.

    The racing director can’t arbitrarily hand pick cars as he wishes.
    In this case only the cars infront of Verstappen were cleared.

    Sainz didn’t get the same special treatment. He didn’t get the chance to challenge for the victory.


    3) For safety reasons the SC must do one extra lap when ALL the lapped cars has unlapped themselves. But Masi unsafely called in the SC right after the cars infront of Verstappen were cleared.


    4) The racing director shouldn’t interfere with the outcome of a race.

    Masi’s actions clearly decided not just the race but the whole world championship.


    Masi is unfit to be a racing director for a series that is seen as the pinnacle of motorsport.

    Ps. I think Verstappen is too good for having a championship handled to him like this. Masi’s action hurt Verstappen almost as much as it hurt Hamilton. Ds.

    • BlackandWhite says:

      Concerning your PS … does any true neutral fan i.e. not a Max fan, think that Max will be happy that everyone knows his only championship was gifted to him by Michael Masi, not won on his own ability?

      • Exactly what I m trying to tell Verstappen fans.

        Verstappen himself would much rather had seen him win over Hamilton on equal terms. (Redflag or a restart with the positions intact)

        Not like this!

        • as a Dutchman and Verstappen fan, I agree 100% with you. I am happy Verstappen won of course. he definitely deserved it (imo) but being handed the championship like this isn’t good for neither the fans, the drivers nor the sport. really wish it would have ended differently

          • Wow, thank very much for your honesty.

            I’ve tried to convince people I’m not a Hamilton fan. I just happens to like F1 so much that I’m really concerned about the future of F1 after Masi’s catastrophic leadership.

            In many ways I seems to have more faith in what Verstappen can achieve by his own without Masi interfering and manipulating races.

            Tell the rest of the Verstappen fans, that it’s not about if Max is worthy to be the world champion. It’s about the integrity and survival of F1.

          • Isabelle Boutillier says:

            i wouldn’t believe a word you are saying . lol. it is like you saying :
            ” as a fan of F1 , silverstone and hungary were deliberate to mess with MV”

      • Also, I’m disgusted when people say “that’s racing”

        or Masi himself excusing his rulebreaking with “let them race”

        Presenting a wounded Hamilton on 40 laps old hard tires that Verstappen on new fresh softs just easily could pass without effort.
        That’s hardly racing!

  • It was the only way to do it, alternative was a gifted win to Merc under a SC after their bad tyre strategy call opting for track position which is the true and only reason they lost.

    • Typical Verstappen fanboys always trying to distract with talk about the season and Verstappen could’ve won earlier.

      Or this nonsense that it’s about MBs strategy!

      If the rules were followed the race should’ve finished under SC.

      But Masi could’ve done so many other choices, for instance redflag. Or restart with positions kept, but no he wanted to assure F1 had a new world champion cause it’s better for the business.

      I can honestly say that I was fed up with Hamilton dominance. I would rather see Verstappen as wc, but NOT in this way!!!!

    • BlackandWhite says:

      Surely that is what happened at the Belgian GP when Vercrashen was gifted a victory in what only the FIA called a ‘race’. Points were even awarded which affected strategy for the final race. The FIA has been cheating all season to prevent an 8th title for Lewis Hamilton, possibly because Michael Schumacher’s boss, Jean Todt, was in charge of the FIA.

  • BlackandWhite says:

    The 2021 season was fixed by the FIA. In the record books there should be an asterisk against the winner and the words “the FIA broke their own rules to prevent the victory for the 8th time of Lewis Hamilton”.

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