Mar.21 – Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 authorities did not apologise as they handed down the full report of the post-Abu Dhabi finale investigation.
The length report said the axed Michael Masi acted in “good faith” but “human error” was part of the explanation for the controversial decisions surrounding the late and decisive safety car period.
“To be honest, I didn’t look at it. I might read it after the weekend,” said the Mercedes driver.
“But I wasn’t expecting an apology – that’s not something I focus on. It is what it is and at least it says it was human error, that’s a positive step,” he added.
“Unfortunately, we cannot turn back the clock and change the past.”
New FIA president Muhammed ben Sulayem said Australian Masi was removed as race director to “take the stress of him”, with “negotiations” on a new role now taking place.
“We believe that all the duties of the race director cannot be performed by only one person,” he said in Bahrain.
“We are talking about 23 races and constant travel – all of this leads to severe fatigue, so we came up with such a solution.”
Former driver Christian Danner, however, questions that solution.
“The new dual leadership of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas is a highly complicated construct,” he told Kolner Express newspaper.
“Neither of them have had anything to do with the kind of personalities we have in Formula 1. It’s very different summoning a DTM or GT3 driver to your office compared with Verstappen and Hamilton and their bosses.
“Another problem is that if you have two race directors, the directors can soon be saying ‘It was my colleague’s turn last week and my turn to decide this week’.
“I doubt whether that is the ideal solution,” Danner added.
DTM boss Gerhard Berger, meanwhile, wonders whether the German touring car series’ former race director Wittich is really up to the job in Formula 1.
“Everyone deserves their chance,” he told Bild newspaper. “But the question is valid in so far that Formula 1 is a completely different calibre.
“It’s an insane challenge,” said the former F1 driver, team boss and co-owner.
“For Niels it’s a jump into the deep end, but everyone deserves their chance. It’s up to him to do it.”
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