The 2021 Formula 1 season ended in controversy as Lewis Hamilton lost the title to Max Verstappen on the final lap due to questionable race control decisions .
The Grand Circus’s former Race Director, Michael Masi , came under much criticism after that appointment, claiming he had misapplied the safety car rule, eventually costing him his job a few months later under pressure. Mercedes to clarify the situation.
Over the winter, the FIA tried to change some of its rules on race management, which may have meant that Sunday’s Monza test, the Italian Grand Prix, was not red-flagged in the closing laps after the stoppage. of Daniel Ricciardo ‘s car and that all the drivers finished behind the Safety Car when crossing the checkered flag.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was frustrated after the meeting and said those responsible had overslept thus ruining the weekend at Monza, but his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff remained in favor of the decision. race referring in his words to what happened in Abu Dhabi.
“Race Direction has been criticized, but this time they have followed the rules, maybe they could have done it a lap earlier or let George [Russell] pass, but they have followed the rules and accepted that the race ends under a safety car. This is how it should be,” the director of the Silver Arrows told Sky F1 .
“The situation was clear, there are written rules and you have to follow them. And from my perspective, traumatized or not from Abu Dhabi, those rules have been followed to the letter this time. There was a car on the track, there were stewards and a tow truck there.
“That’s why they didn’t allow anyone to overtake. And then there wasn’t enough time to restart the race once all the cars caught up with him. So if someone is not happy with the rules, and wants to have a great show and two laps of racing and chaos, I think I’m absolutely ready for it, but then we have to change the rules. I don’t think we should complain about anything that happened because these are the rules.”
He added: “I am really satisfied to see that there is a race director and his teammates who apply the rules despite the pressure from the media and the pressure from the fans who ask to break the rules.”
“So at least Abu Dhabi, in that sense, gave the FIA a stronger confidence to apply the rules.”
However, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner criticized the decision despite Max Verstappen taking his fifth win in a row and not having to battle with Charles Leclerc in the closing laps.
“That’s not the way we want to win a race. We’ve been talking about it for years,” he said. “There was enough time left to finish in race conditions, we had the fastest car but it shouldn’t have ended like this, we share the disappointment of the fans.”
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