FIA must lay out ‘what was right, what was wrong’

Michelle Foster
Safety Car and backmarkers. Abu Dhabi December 2021

F1 Safety Car, Aston Martin Vantage, # 44 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team), # 4 Lando Norris (GBR, McLaren F1 Team), F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit. Abu Dhabi December 2021

The FIA’s report into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix not only needs to state what was “right, and what was wrong” but also what action will be taken.

That’s according to McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

Formula 1 made headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons when the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the championship race were decided in controversial circumstances.

Dividing opinion, FIA race director Michael Masi made an unprecedented call to allow only the cars between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to unlap themselves behind the Safety Car.

That opened the door for Verstappen, who up until then was going to finish second, to overtake Hamilton for the race win on the very last lap, the Dutchman winning the World title.

Hamilton and Mercedes were furious which prompted the FIA to launch an investigation into the decision-making that went on behind the scenes.

Those findings will be released on the Friday of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

But while Brown believe the Abu Dhabi hasn’t hurt Formula 1, fans will move on when the new season begins, he feels the FIA has to be open and honest about its findings.

“I think with all controversies in sport, in time, as soon as the next season starts, the wounds start to heal,” he told

“But I do think the FIA needs to come out with a, here’s what happened, here’s how and why we think it happened. Here’s what was right, here’s what was wrong.

“And whatever they’re going to come out with in the report, and then show that they’ve taken action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Brown though has been quick to deny suggestions of a conspiracy against Hamilton and Mercedes.

“I don’t think this was a malicious decision,” he said. “So for those that might have a view that the sport’s corrupt, etc. I don’t agree with that.

“Do I think potentially a different decision could have been made? Yes, probably. But I want to wait to see what the FIA comes out with.

“I think we’ve all seen in sport before, referees make decisions that the people disagree with. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes they’re wrong.


“It gets pretty exciting. But then the [new] season starts and it soon becomes a thing that, while you never forget about, it was a thing of the past.”