It’s qualifying day at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but as F1 drivers get ready to set the fastest lap they can, Martin Brundle has given his opinion on potential “legal ramifications” from the FIA’s report on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2021.
The fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen came to an end after Michael Masi manipulated the race regulations, clearing the track of lapped cars between the two championship contenders. With Hamilton on withered tyres and Verstappen on new, it was only a matter of time before he overtook the 7-time world champion and took the 2021 world championship.
Following this, Masi lost his job as race director and the FIA launched an investigation into what happened. Today, that was revealed, but former F1 driver Martin Brundle is worrying about what this means for the FIA.
“I think there’s fear in the paddock among some people with a vested interest,” he said to Sky Sports F1.
“They don’t want it to be seen that a mistake was made, therefore there’s any type of question mark over Verstappen’s World Championship. That’s inevitable in some quarters.
“But I suspect it’s more about any kind of legal ramifications, I don’t know, so I’m suspecting, with Michael Masi or something like that.”
While the FIA has only released a summary of the report, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali is looking for a result that allows F1 to “move forward” following a dramatic 2021.
He told Sky Sports the following:
“In the next days, the FIA will formally discuss that at the World Motor Sport Council, because I think what we need to avoid is a personal discussion.
“We are all human beings, you may say that you are performing well as a driver, as a team, as a referee, but this is not relevant to the credibility of the sport, if the sport will take all the lessons in order to improve that.
“The credibility is passing through this kind of action, and this is what we’re expecting the FIA to take on board in their preparation of next year.
“I will attend the World Council, and we will see. That is the aim, to have a step forward to move forward from Abu Dhabi.
“We are already in Bahrain. So there is no need to talk about a different approach other than to say what we learned as regulator from that last race.”
He also assures fans that the race was not fixed:
“I have not for a single second in my mind thought that was something built on purpose,” he said. “As a sportsman, if I thought that was the case, I would not be there.
“And I can guarantee that from Formula 1’s perspective, that is not the case.