The controversial management of the resumption of the safety car at last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the last laps caused the FIA to open an investigation process that led to the dismissal of the previous Formula 1 race director, Michael Masi , and a restructuring of the organization chart at the Great Circus.
With the Australian out of the top-flight grand prix management, the international federation appointed Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas as new people in charge and, from the first race in Bahrain, they were adamant about the Code of Sporting Regulations .
At the third round of the Formula 1 calendar, the FIA held its usual meeting with the drivers before the traffic lights go out on Sunday, and it discussed various topics that were the focus of attention in the paddock.
On Friday, the race director, who in Melbourne is Wittich , published notes saying that all members of the grid were not allowed to get into the car during a session with any jewelery or piercings on their body, in addition to that the FIA would investigate if the requirements of the underwear are met when wearing the competition suit.
Lewis Hamilton was one of the most critical of these discussions prior to the race at the renovated Albert Park track, and after qualifying on Saturday he complained about the length of the briefing, talking about things of little importance to the Briton.
“It was the longest drivers’ meeting of my life, I’ve been racing for a long time and it’s never been this long,” said the seven-time world champion. “Also, nobody in the briefing was wearing a mask, some drivers were, but most of the FIA were not, which made me uncomfortable, and I don’t really understand the little things they are doing, like the underwear thing.
The Mercedes driver has been a great defender of social rights and causes, in addition to being one of those who has most supported the use of the mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is not surprising that he made this statement regarding the management of the members of the governing body.
During the Netflix series dedicated to Formula 1, ‘ Drive to Survive ‘, a scene could be seen in which he appeared on the Silverstone circuit while greeting thousands of fans in what was one of the first public races after two seasons, and on the recording, Hamilton was overwhelmed by being surrounded by so many people without wearing a mask.
“Are we really talking about this kind of thing? But we’re moving forward. This year doesn’t seem to me to be stricter,” said the Englishman, clearly critical of the new direction of the FIA .