Martin Brundle feels that "mistakes were made" during the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but that there was no "malice" involved on behalf of Race Control.
The closing stages of the race have continued to spark debate and scrutiny, particularly in terms of the decisions made by FIA Race Director Michael Masi and the impact this had on the outcome of the title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton has maintained radio silence since losing out on the championship at the race, and was heard saying, 'This has been manipulated, man' over team radio on the last lap of the event.
Brundle, though, disagrees with the idea that there was any "fixing".
"It was a great shame for Formula 1," Brundle said during a special episode of The F1 Show on Sky Sports F1.
"We had all eyes on us, and then it was clumsy. It confused people, it upset the fans. If you start accusing people of fixing at big events or manipulating, you need to have some very good evidence and/or some good lawyers around you.
"I don't think it was, I don't think there was time in the chaos that was the last few laps of that race to sit down and think about, 'Who do I want to win this race?'"
"Red Bull didn't do anything wrong, nor did Ferrari"
Brundle does think that errors were made, though, and cites the "avalanche of information" faced by Race Control as perhaps being a factor.
"I think it was an avalanche of information and requests and decisions coming from Race Control, and mistakes were made," the former F1 driver explained.
"I think we ended up with a hybrid, fast-track version of the regulations with a cloak over it of, 'We've kind of agreed, we don't really want races to finish under the Safety Car, or the red flag'.
"And of course, that's wrong, and mistakes were made on the evening."
Despite this, Brundle is not of the view that there was any ill will involved from Race Control.
"How [do] you then unravel that, because Red Bull didn't do anything wrong, nor did Ferrari in third place with Carlos Sainz, for example," Brundle added.
"That's the problem, but I do not believe, knowing the people, that there was malice involved from Race Control."
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