2021-Abu-Dhabi-Grand-Prix-race-restart hamilton verstappen brown

Brown: It doesn’t take that long to do an investigation

2021-Abu-Dhabi-Grand-Prix-race-restart hamilton verstappen brown

Zak Brown laments the fact that the results of the FIA’s “detailed analysis” into the shenanigans at the 2021 season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be released so late after the fact.

In the wake of a most controversial race at Yas Marina in December, in which race direction and officiating made a mockery of the sport, an FIA task force under new president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been reliving the night with the aim of preventing it from happening ever again.

Granted the FIA was going through a transition from outgoing three-term president Jean Todt, handing his reign over to newly elected Ben Sulayem, the timing of which was coincidentally inappropriate as it occurred as the new president took office.

However, tomorrow it is sixty days since the night in question, but results of the findings will only be made public on 18 March, practice day for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix which means still another month.

Speaking to Sky F1 at the Autosport Awards this past weekend, McLaren boss Brown questioned how long it is taking to finish the investigation and the fact that last year’s misadventures will mar the start of the new season.

Let’s get it done, let’s go to the first race of the year talking about the first race of the year

Brown said: “The only thing I’m a little bit disappointed about is that we might share those results at the first race of the year. It doesn’t take that long to do an investigation. Let’s get it done, let’s go to the first race of the year talking about the first race of the year – not the last race of last year.”

F1 shot itself in the foot in Abu Dhabi, the season finale was dubbed the Race of the Century and The Clash of the Titans as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton slugged it for 22 rounds over the course of an action-packed season, with the final 10 minutes or so of the race at Yas deciding the title.

Much has been written about the decision-making process by Race Director Michael Masi and his FIA appointed stewards, as well as the ability of team principals to bully the ‘referee’ as the race degenerated into embarrassing chaos. Not a good night for the integrity of F1.

But Brown is confident the damage can be repaired: “F1 can definitely regain its credibility. It’s not the first time we’ve had an umpire or a referee make a controversial call.”

Details of the detailed analysis to be presented at World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on 18 March

Last month the FIA confirmed: “The FIA President launched a consultation with all F1 teams on various issues. On January 19, an item on the agenda of the Sporting Advisory Committee will be dedicated to the use of the Safety Car. The following stage will be a shared discussion with all F1 drivers.

“The outcome of the detailed analysis will be presented to the F1 Commission in February and final decisions will be announced at the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on 18 March.

“FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has asked Secretary-General Sport and recently appointed Single-Seater Director Peter Bayer for proposals to review and optimize the organization of the FIA F1 structure for the 2022 season.”