Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Hamilton pleased FIA’s Abu Dhabi report acknowledges errors in title-decider

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton welcomed the FIA’s admission that errors were made in the handling of last year’s championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The governing body today released a seven-page executive summary of its findings after it examined the controversial circumstances in which Hamilton lost the championship to Max Verstappen last year.

It determined FIA F1 race director Michael Masi failed to comply with F1’s rules by bringing the Safety Car immediately after ordering lapped cars to unlap themselves. The FIA also said a “human error” led to only five of the eight lapped cars – the five which separated Hamilton from his championship rival Verstappen – being allowed to rejoin the lead lap.

The report was released minutes after final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Speaking after qualifying, Hamilton said he had not had a chance to read it. “I’ll read it maybe after the weekend or something like that,” he said.

Having been informed of its key findings, Hamilton said he was pleased its authors acknowledged errors were made by race direction in their handling of the final restart.

“I wasn’t expecting an apology, and it’s not really something I’m really focussed on,” said Hamilton. “We know that’s the way it is and that wasn’t going to probably happen.

“But the fact is that at least there is that transparency, I mean it’s a human error, I think that’s a positive step.”

The report stated explicitly that no mechanism exists for altering the outcome of the race or Verstappen’s championship triumph.

“We can’t go back, unfortunately, and change the past,” said Hamilton. “And so I just look at focussing on doing what I can do now and trying to shape the future, working with this team, trying to get this car into a window, we’ve got a bit of work to do.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he’s “not been thinking about Abu Dhabi any more since our car has proven to be not competitive on the track for this year.”

However he praised the FIA for taking the step of publishing the report’s findings. “I think it’s a massive step change to what we’ve seen before.

“Whether the report is complete or not, or weak or hard, I think to release it is a good step forward in terms of governance. And you can read it either way.

“For us there is the words that say ‘human error’. Human error and the acknowledgement of is, I think, very important and now we close the chapter.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “Hamilton pleased FIA’s Abu Dhabi report acknowledges errors in title-decider”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    19th March 2022, 20:01

    Can’t wait for him to retire after not being in the fight this season. These shots for an open goal are getting old.

    1. Jeffrey Powell
      19th March 2022, 20:35

      Let us hope for your sake that Mercedes do not work their magic and get the porpoise to stop porposing , I do not like to think of a fellow humane suffering mental torment.

      1. Listening to a constant moaning Lewis shows under stress he is a serious case of suffering mental torment.
        So I can relate to your worries there.

        1. Can you please just go to another site – your utter lack of understanding or ability to acknowledge talent is exhausting.

        2. CheeseBucket
          19th March 2022, 22:17

          Listening to your constant moaning is boring.

          1. Simple, do not read it.
            But I guess that’s to hard for you.
            It’s hard to ignore the truth…

        3. Please get back on your meds! At least for the beginning of the season.

          1. erikje defiant even in public acknowledgement of your sham championship*

            The most deluded “fan” in F1’s history.

            You should be crawling back into your troll lair now that your championship* has been proven to be nothing more than a mistake.


    2. That is not necessary.
      The report does not comment on why Masi told unlapped cars were not going to be allowed to overtake.
      His team should have pitted him, instead they made Masi call that no cars would be allowed to overtake only for Masi to correct his initial call with the mess we are all bored about.

      1. So– the report is about Abu Dhabi, and the mistakes made. What race are you going on about?

        Because what you’re describing only happened in your mind.

      2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        20th March 2022, 11:08

        @peartree if Masi had done his job correctly there wouldn’t have been a lap left to race as the SC would have come in at the end of the following lap.

        If Merc had pitted, Red Bull would have stayed out and Verstappen would have won under safety car.

        There is no way Merc can box when it looks very likely that the race will end under SC.

        1. @fullcoursecaution the accident should have been cleared in a couple of laps. Everyone expected as much. When the call that no cars would be able to unlap, which was made straight away everyone was perplexed as it was way too soon for that call to come out.

    3. This wasn’t human error, it was human cheating by Masi on behalf of Red Bull. Either way, error or cheating, Max is a plastic champion. Everyone knows that now.

  2. A report should be made about Mercedes error as well not to pit Lewis.

    1. Stupid. If rules were followed he would have won. One cant discredit the strategy, cause it didnt work when the RD broke the rules and manipulated the result.

      1. If rules were followed, cars would have had the chance of unlapping a full lap earlier.

        1. No, cause unlapping cannot start when the track is not yet safe enough for the unlapping cars to run at full speed. This is just the orange narrative

      2. What’s stupid is you can’t recoginise the bs that happened att Silverstone, Jeddah and other tracks where stupid things happened. You’re so blind and living on your own brittish little world where somehow Lewis shall never be treated like other drivers. Sickening.

        1. Your stupid assumption that every fan of fair sports is british is such a nonsense. I f.e. am not, like most others who disagree with the manipulation of Abu Dhabi.

          But continue to live in your orange paper champ world.

      3. That’s blatently untruthful. If the rules had been followed the call to NOT let the lapped cars through would have never existed and Lewis would have lost. If they had red flagged and restarted then he might have won. In most other scenarios they made the wrong call not to pit Hamilton and therefore the teams decision cost him a win.

        1. orange narrative trying to legitimate the paper champ. Whether no unlapping call was there would not have made any difference.

        2. Nope, the strategic decision to not pit Lewis was made the moment latifi crashed. At that time a race restart was very well possible under every normal rule situation. When the brakes cought fire it took an extra lap to clear.
          But at that time merc already screwed up.
          You know very well this is the reality.
          Masi is just the scapegoat.

          1. lets agree to disagree

    2. There was no need to pit Lewis. Mercedes didn’t know that Michael Masi will cheat.

      1. If Mercedes had pitted Hamilton, Verstappen would have stayed out to gain track position, and you can bet the race would have ended behind the safety car.

        Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t. I can just hear Horner arguing to keep the back markers in place and arguing for the race to end under the safety.

        1. everyone can be 100000% sure that if ham pitted, max would not pit. and have the track position. and it is 100000% guaranteed that horner would be chanting for race to end following correct rules! and if rd do the same, it is also guaranteed 1000000000% that marko would employ putin to revert the results, and horner would be visiting every court in the world to revert the result, not only that, they would threaten and possibly do it to pull out of f1 for this big a cheat/race fixing decision! it would almost akin to a decision in football that someone fouls in mid field, and refree decides penalty shoot, and keeper is almost goal area is extended to double its size.

          1. “keeper’s goal area is almost extended to double its size.

          2. exactly ..thats whyy the whole safety car scenario after alleged crash on lap 55 caused by a so called loosing it into the turn by latifi is entirely suspect.
            They knew Mercedes would pit.. but they did not…so vesterpen was pitted on lap57 and REDBULL told massi we only need one lap.
            if this is not corruption. tell me what it is.

          3. +1
            this is obvious to everyone with at least 2 working brain cells.

        2. By pitting Ham had a 75% of winning. Both pitting means Ham wins regardless of whether the race restarts or not. Ham pitting and Max not, ends up with Ham overtaking for the win. There were too many laps for the race not to restart, cleaning up the accident took way too long, who would have predicted that, even so the race did restart.

          1. “By pitting Ham had a 75% of winning.” on hind sight, ham won the race fair and square! there was 0 % chance race would start normally unless it was red flagged! under proper SC start, it would be min 2 laps start race, there was no way race would start with that accident, it never happened, unless red flagged race, which would be fair for all, and we would have a real race that was fair to all and not a ridiculous mess and pure racing fixing ending! any other sports this is called race fixing! so many silly and bad decisions made by race director that the race didnt even start properly, ham would have never let max close in like that at the start, they tell sc in this lap at the start of the lap not at the end, they let all lapped cars and not selective some, they let the sc go after a lap later than allowed cars… there was 0 proper protocol/procedure was followed. there are not ifs or buts about it, it was disgusting mess, and horner/redbull/max should be ashamed of themselves to cover this up, if the roles were changed, everyone knows redbul would quit or ask putin to revert the decision, and they would use every camera angle and mic they could find to prove it was a fixed race!

          2. Watching max supporters spin already twisted permutations to try to match the same result we get from FIA’s formally acknowledged failure compounded by ‘human error’ was boring the day of the race.

          3. 5 laps to go, damaged car on track between the guardrails with some debries on track – not the situation where I would bet on unlapping and a final green lap. And reality proofed it was only possible with the manipulations of the RD.

        3. Ahaha, indeed, I can just hear now, remember when he said “for me it’s all about let them race”? I can just imagine him saying “for me it’s all about safety!”

    3. If the regulations had been followed correctly staying out would have been the right choice as the race would have ended behind the safety car.

      Imagine this. If they had pitted Lewis Max would have stayed out as his only real shot at winning was to do something different. Under that scenario had procedures been followed and the race ended under hhe SC the talk would be about Mercedes making a mistake by pitting.
      And if they pitted and things had played out as they did with procedures not been followed but with roles reversed Max/Red Bull would be screaming about the race been manipulated due to procedures not been followed just as Mercedes did.

      The whole thing boils down to procedures not been followed as they should have been. Not just by only 5 cars been allowed by the SC (Something the report claims was as a result of human error) but also as the regulations state the race should have restarted at the end of the following lap. Had that last regulation been followed the race ends under the SC. The fact that regulation/procedure wasn’t followed is what swung the result. Nothing will ever change that fact.

      1. Agreed.

        Mercedes made a strategy call based on the rules are they had previously been demonstrated. The weren’t to know of Latifi and his race engineer, or Masi and his baiting by Christian ‘race Gods’ Horner.

    4. Only for people who are clueless about F1 strategy.

    5. @Initially – Troll bait

    6. I would rather investigate wing gate and changing tyres mid season or the misuse of the intended engine use cap rule.

      1. Wing gate was investigated and RB had to change their flex rear wing after letting them win couple of races using them. As for the misuse of engines, Honda are no longer abusing this rule so things are fine now

        1. Wingate was about the proven illegal wing used by Mercedes in at least Brazil. That was the moment they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
          And of course the very flexible front wing that never was tested.

          1. I believe you mean the “damaged” illegal wing.

            But you’ve never let reality interfere in your constant whinging.

          2. @grat, the “damaged” part was Mercedes spinning the illegal wing as being a mistake.
            As Hamilton stated “my team does not make mistakes”.

      2. The use of the right to change a engine with the consequence of a grid penalty, perfectly in accordance with the rules, is a misuse?
        Poor you

  3. What about asterisk (*) in every F1 book and webpage, that Max’s title is gifted by the Michael Masi errors? It’s a must if FIA wants any credibility!

    1. What about an asterisk on Ham Silverstone win? Or Hungary perhaps? Or Abu Dhabi lap 1 cut?

      1. Or Monza, or Spa, or Jeddah. No the * goed to our paper champ, who was gifted the title by rule-break of the RD.

    2. As long as an asterisk is then applied for 1994, 1990, 1988 and so on also…

      1. FIA may admit their errors in 1994, 1990, 1988, but so far they admitted only 2021 Abu Dhabi error, so asterisk besides Max Verstappen title is absolutely necessary.

      2. Asterisk for 1994? Why, cause schumacher won despite being excluded from 25% of the races?

        1. Hahaha. You are also a fan of Schummel-Schumi?

    3. You clearly didn’t read the report (but rather blindly follow the skewed narrative here).

      The report does NOT find that calling the SC in earlier was a mistake (the RD had every right to do so). Thus Hamilton is formally and officially not disadvantaged (maybe an asterisk next to his name could explain that).

      The only driver who was disadvantaged due to ‘human error’ was Sainz (and the drivers behind him).

      1. The fact that Max Verstappen didn’t have to fight with Sainz… it is as obvious advantage for Max as it can be. Don’t be a fool and don’t tell lies, jff!

        1. Don’t call me a ‘fool’!
          1) you don’t know me;
          2) I gave you a factual review of the FIA report (see the details in today’s round-up). Please argue the facts, rather than calling me names (it only make me believe that you don’t have an argument).

          And one would be foolish to think (you see how I use the word differently) that Sainz on 38lap old Hard tyres had a chance to attack Verstappen on almost new Softs :P

          1. The FIA report is neglecting even simple facts – like the fact Max had already 2 pitstops not one.
            It is foolish to think that FIA is honest and open about farcial Abu Dhabi. They haven’t even asked questions to Michael Masi during 3 months long investigation (imitation of investigation, I should say). :)))

          2. First you applaud the outcome of the report, and then when it’s pointed out that it’s actually not supporting your narrative (how didn’t you find that out yourself) you talk the report down.

            That’s not ‘foolish’ but rather ‘laughable’ or even ‘pathetic’.

    4. If one WDC does need an asterisk is 2008, decided on the 6 points your worshiped hero got from the Crashgate over the rightful champion. The Singapore results should be removed and the WDC awarded to Felipe Massa with a motive overwhelmingly more compelling than the Masi waffling at Abu Dhabi.

      You may say your God was not guilty of the crashgate, I agree, just as the present WDC was not guilty of the Abu Dhabi mess.

  4. So if they applied the rules on lapped cars as laid down in the new document. Lewis would be an eight times WDC. In fact that rule is the same as it always was, except for that one race when they only allowed five cars to unlap themselves. If all lapped cars were allowed to overtake it would have extended into the final lap and the race would have finished under the safety car.
    There should be a rule that says if there is five or less laps to the finish, a red flag should be shown. This would have been fair, allowing all cars to return to the pits and fit fresh tyres etc and have a standing start.

  5. What happened is not human error. It was deliberate. FIA and F1 wanted entertainment and Masi made sure they got what they wanted. Now they are throwing him under the bus.

    It a shame Max first championship will be forever be remembered like this.

    1. Yes it may be remembered like this. Just like Hamilton’s championship victories with Mercedes may be remembered as a Mercedes driver versus a Mercedes driver. Way too easy and next to no competition. A walk in the park you might say. These attitudes would totally ignore the efforts made by Verstappen and Hamilton to win those championships. What a mess the first hybrid era was. Just farcical. When Damon Hill commented in qualifying just passed that Verstappen had it too easy without competition I almost gagged. Then a Ferrari got pole. He said it though. He did. It was laughable after what we have seen for years now. Would he say the same about Hamilton? I doubt it.

  6. I do not agree with Human error part. It would have been human error had Masi only made 1 error. He made 3 errors.
    1) first saying no cars will be allowed to unlap and then after talking to Redbull, he changed his mind
    2) only allowed the lapped cars between Ham and Max
    3) immediately ordered safety car to come in and not waiting for the next lap as it is supposed to be

    Masi took all those decisions to make sure Max win the race. He did it on purpose.

    Case closed. Let’s move forward

    1. Even FIA’s Abu Dhabi report has errors! :)))

      Fact Number 2. At the time of the crash, both HAM and VER were driving on hard compound tyres, each having undertaken one previous tyre change.

      Verstappen was on his Second set of hards!
      How can anyone take FIA seriously anymore?!

      1. Verstappen was on his Second set of hards!

        OK, so the evidence now says that it isn’t just Masi that can’t count.
        The relevance of the number of sets of tyres used by HAM or VER is what exactly?

        1. The relevance is that FIA is neglecting facts even in their report that was made since December (during 3 months). Imagine their attitude towards facts and rules in an ordinary GP? No wonder it’s an utter mess!

    2. Yes indeed. Human error is just a cop out.

      Also nothing about 15.3.

      Also nothing about the Stewards validating multiple blatant rules violations.

    3. If the rules had been followed the call to NOT let the lapped cars through would have never existed and Lewis would have lost. If they had red flagged and restarted then he might have won. In most other scenarios they made the wrong call not to pit Hamilton and therefore the teams decision cost him a win.

      1. Your first sentence is wrong, no matter how often you state it

  7. Case closed.
    Maybe Max will win it legitimately this year.

  8. Well this tells me they’re willing to move on so hopefully that’s enough for all fans too. Let’s focus on what should be an intriguing season ahead!

  9. According to motorsport.com, neither Masi nor his deputy in Abu Dhabi, Scot Elkins, were actually interviewed as part of the investigation. The investigation can hardly be considered to be comprehensive if the main protagonist wasn’t even asked about his take on events and why he made those decisions.

    1. Wow, just when I thought that I have seen FIA’s farce at its best, it turns out that FIA can get even more farcial! :)))

    2. Masi was used as a Mercedes scapegoat and as a result of blackmail sacrificed by fia as a demand by toto.
      The most annoying part is the report does not contains any wrongdoing by masi. That is only in the informal remarks. No official arguments to learn from.

  10. Now that it’s out. I hope the media shuts up.. if you keep asking they will say something.. RB side will say it’s no big deal.. (max said no need to make it public, obviously)

    Merc will always say I told you so..

    Same with the fans..

    2022 started , hope for a great fight between lec, mv, cs.. merc are out for 2022

  11. It’s interesting the he “welcomes” the admission on mistakes, but both he and Mercedes fail to do so. Running off the track at Imola, pressing the wrong button at Baku had more to do with him winning his title than the issues at Abu Dahbi. His statement that his team do not make mistakes, and Toto’s messages that Lewis is blame free for everything reeks strongly of hypocrisy – Blame all others while taking no blame yourself.

    1. Sorry were you talking the report, or just being nasty for the sake of it?

    2. Its about the report and the manipulated championship.

  12. The only important decision is: results will not be changed. So Verstappen is, without any doubt from the FIA, the true WDC.

    1. true paper champ he is

      1. Well. of course we all know, of the 34 drivers who were awarded with the WDC, 33 are paper ones. Your hero is the rightful winner of the 52 WDCs so far. Doesn’t matter if it had not even been born, not its fault.

  13. The new season has started. The world has moved on, bar the UK. No use in trying to grasp at straws of what could have been.

    1. as long as those articles get the most reactions / discussions / comments.

      But time will come, when only the asteriks will stay, next to the title of the paper champ. And people will ofc remember, like f.e. MSC ’94.

    2. Why can’t you just move on enjoying the trophy, and the number 1 on the car? Why are you compelled to explain how Max win? And to no avail? What are the underlying fear? Try to just sit back in your diminutive world, little Erik, and not having to explain why he is a champion.

  14. Here they all are again, day after day, giving their opinions on this subject; quite often on articles unrelated to AD, and then insisting that everybody but them should more on.
    Yesterday one such ‘time to move on’ poster gave their opinion at least a dozen times after first telling everyone they should move on, and is now doing the same today.
    And most of them seem to be the same posters who continually post on Ham articles about the number of Ham articles thereby making them the most popular on here.
    Maybe they should get their own house in order before telling others what they should or should not be posting about?

  15. So basically the FIA acknowledge that by not following the correct rules and procedures Hamilton lost the world title.

    Really need to sort it out before this descends into WWF1, if it hasn’t already.

  16. The way Silverstone and Abu Dhabi were handled was wrong, so that’s why keep breaking our heads about Max’s title is fair or not is unnecessary

Comments are closed.