‘Human error’ to blame at Abu Dhabi GP

Formula 1’s governing body has said “human error” was responsible for the incorrect application of rules in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

But the FIA said in its report into the controversial ending to last year’s World Championship that race director Michael Masi had acted “in good faith”.

Masi has since been removed from his post and F1 race control restructured.

The report by the FIA world motorsport council ruled the result and the World Championship “valid and final”.

The report is final confirmation that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was the 2021 F1 world champion, not that that was ever expected to be in doubt in the process.

Published by the FIA 97 days after the race, it found a number of key errors were made which led to the single final racing lap on which the destiny of the world title changed hands from Lewis Hamilton to Verstappen.

It concluded:

  • The race director “called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula 1 sporting regulations”.
  • There “could be different interpretations” of the safety-car rules in the sporting regulations.
  • The decisions made by Masi “likely took into account previous discussions that made clear the F1 stakeholders’ (FIA, F1, teams and drivers) preference to end races under green-flag racing conditions, rather than behind a safety car, when safe to do so.
  • Human error led to the fact that not all cars were allowed to un-lap themselves. From now on, the communication as to the cars that must un-lap themselves will be automated.

Due to the fact that manual interventions generally carry a higher risk of human error, software has been developed that will, from now on, automate the communication of the list of cars that must un-lap themselves.

More to follow.

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