Max urges annual FIA reports after Abu Dhabi findings

Jamie Woodhouse
Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull, smiling on the podium. Saudi Arabia March 2022.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, smiling as he stands on the top step of the podium. Saudi Arabia March 2022.

Max Verstappen believes creating a report, like the FIA did following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, should be an annual activity.

The epic 2021 title battle between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton concluded in controversial fashion at Yas Marina Circuit, prompting the FIA to conduct a review of the event.

Their report was released publicly during the 2022 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, while major changes were made to the structure and personnel forming Race Control.

Verstappen was pleased to see this report put out in the open, although he is not sure why it was a one-off to address the controversy.

Instead, he believes it is standard practice for all organisations to conduct a yearly review, so is not sure why Formula 1 has not been doing the same.

Therefore, he thinks they should start doing so.

Max Verstappen with the number 1. Bahrain March 2022

“I think it’s good they (the FIA) showed it to the world, what they had been investigating,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.

“For me, this kind of investigation should happen every single year. I think, as an organisation or as a team, you always want to try and improve and try to do things better.

“For me, it’s quite a natural process you have to do anyway.”

The contentious moments of 2021 were certainly not limited to Abu Dhabi though.

At various stages across the season, the enforcement of track limits was another source of great debate and frustration, many believing the policing and enforcement lacked consistency.

A new-look Race Control is now in place with Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich rotating the role of race director, supported by Charlie Whiting’s former deputy Herbie Blash and Colin Haywood, the latter coming out of retirement to serve as deputy race director in Bahrain and will do the same at four other races this season.

A Virtual Race Control room is also now active.

As of the season-opener in Bahrain, track limits were clearly defined as the white line on the outside, meaning a driver has to keep part of their car in contact with them at all times.

This is a ruling Verstappen supports, the Dutchman explaining it has made it much clearer for the drivers what will be considered to be driving out of bounds as they head into a race weekend.


“I think for this year anyway, we want to be a bit more clear before we go into a weekend about what is allowed and what isn’t,” the Red Bull driver explained.

“Even when you talk about track limits. I think what worked really well in Bahrain was the white line. That’s it – no discussion.

“Drivers always like to explore more of the track but if it’s the white line, it’s the white line – you can’t get around it.”


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