Formula 1 and the FIA’s decision to keep their findings after last year’s controversial Abu Dhabi final under wraps has led to large-scale disappointment and disbelief.
It could be argued that the single most important task befalling the FIA in recent years has been that of dealing with the enormous fallout that came from an intervention by race director Michael Masi – an intervention that ultimately led directly to Max Verstappen stealing away a record 8th world title from Lewis Hamilton. What’s more, it’s also possibly the biggest test now facing newly appointed FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
But recently, the FIA released a report that can only be described as lacking and indecisive.
Integrity Just A Word
While FIA boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem on Monday leaned heavily on the notion of F1 valuing integrity and fairness in motorsport, F1 failed dismally at putting words into action.
The general consensus now is that if integrity and fairness are indeed at the heart of the organisation, then surely there should be no hindrance keeping the sport’s governing body from owning up to its past failures. Angry fans and disgruntled drivers deserve at least some transparency in the face of the FIA’s insistence that it had, in fact, not “marked its own homework”.
But according to several senior persons within Formula One racing, the FIA’s findings will not be made public at any point. Instead, the FIA seems to be circling the real issue at hand by insisting that the “structure” of future races will be adapted so as to ensure a fair and acceptable outcome.
The scapegoat right now seems to be promises of a change in direction opening up more employment opportunities in future – and with a particular focus on racial equality.
No More Trust In F1 Or FIA
The FIA’s investigation has been ongoing ever since the controversial 2021 season finale. Not helping the organisation’s cause either is the fact that at no point during that time did the FIA give any indication of its plans to keep the outcome of its investigation under wraps. It’s become way more of a gamble than the Roulette Canada offers and for the drivers, constructors and everyone else involved in the sport it’s far less fun.
According to a senior official who has requested to remain unnamed, the situation is nothing short of a mess, with the FIA simply not able to deal with the controversy.
The message is clear: trust in the FIA’s ability to govern the sport is no more. If anything, fans and drivers alike believe the organisation has something to hide, which means nothing good for the believability of the sport.
The only way to finally draw a clear line under Abu Dhabi would be for the FIA to step up to the plate in a bold and error-owning manner.