McLaren chief Andreas Seidl has revealed exactly how he felt about the end to the 2021 F1 season. Pressure to continues to mount on Michael Masi following his hand in the controversial title decider
McLaren chief Andreas Seidl has shared his thoughts on the controversial ending to the 2021 season.
Pressure continues to heat up on race director Michael Masi following his role in the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
It was the Australian’s decision that denied Lewis Hamilton a record eighth F1 world title, while Max Verstappen went on to claim his maiden championship.
The Mercedes driver was on his way to another race win when Williams driver Nicholas Latifi crashed several laps before the end of 2021’s final race.
Masi initially instructed that lapped cars could not overtake the safety vehicle until it left the track, meaning there would not have been time for Verstappen to get behind his rival.
Formula 1 via Getty Images)
However, Masi later controversially changed his mind, allowing the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves before ordering the safety car off the track.
Therefore, the 24-year-old could get on the British driver’s tail before overtaking him in a one-lap shootout, benefiting from driving on far newer tyres.
There were still more cars that should have been able to unlap themselves, according to the rules.
Seidl disagreed with the controversial nature of Masi’s call at such a crucial time in the race, which he believes has had a negative impact on the sport.
“It is clear that what happened in Abu Dhabi was very controversial and not good for the sport,” the German said, quoted by BBC Sport.
“If you look at the entire season, a lot of controversial things happened that were overall not good for the sport.
“We need to invest time and energy to understand what happened in the season and see how we can help by making the regulations less complex [and] by giving more support to the race director and to the stewards to avoid the mistakes happening.
“It is still a human sport and that we shouldn’t forget. And we need to accept mistakes can happen on the team side and on the FIA side.
“And it’s important we create an environment where if mistakes happen, you raise your hand and admit them. That is as important as trying to avoid similar controversies in the first place.”
The FIA have been conducting multiple investigations into the decisions at the Yas Marina Circuit on December 12, with a report on their findings due at the World Motorsport Council Meeting on March 18, two days before the start of the 2022 season.