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Formula 1

F1 to investigate controversial ending to Abu Dhabi GP

Formula 1 have announced there will be an investigation into the closing stages of the Abu Dhabi GP.

Hamilton Verstappen Abu Dhabi
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Formula 1 have announced that there will be a "detailed analysis" into the Safety Car procedure during the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, including feedback from the drivers.

Max Verstappen became World Champion on Sunday after a late Safety Car gave him the opportunity to attack Lewis Hamilton for the win, and subsequently the Drivers' title.

Verstappen benefitted from his fresh Soft tyres to overtake Hamilton at Turn 5, and fended the Mercedes driver off until the chequered flag.

However, Mercedes protested the race classification due to the Safety Car procedure.

F1 Race Director Michael Masi controversially decided to let the five cars in between the Verstappen and Hamilton unlap themselves, before giving the notice that there would be one more lap of green flag running.

But the rest of the lapped cars in the field were not allowed to unlap themselves and there is a rule which states that the Safety Car should do one more lap when lapped cars are waved by.

Mercedes lodged two protests with stewards in Abu Dhabi, with both protests dismissed in the hours following the race.

The team are yet to confirm whether they will lodge a formal appeal, and have until Thursday evening to do so.

Official FIA statement

A statement from the FIA World Motor Sport Council read: "The circumstances surrounding the use of the Safety Car following the incident of driver Nicholas Latifi, and the related communications between the FIA Race Direction team and the Formula 1 teams, have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the Championship and the due celebration of the first Drivers' World Championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive Constructors' World Championship title won by Mercedes.

"This matter will be discussed and addressed with all the teams and drivers to draw any lessons from this situation and clarity to be provided to the participants, media, and fans about the current regulations to preserve the competitive nature of our sport while ensuring the safety of the drivers and officials.

"It is not only Formula 1 that may benefit from this analysis, but also more generally all the other FIA circuit championships.

"Following that presentation and an extensive discussion, the World Council has decided to unanimously support the President's proposal.

"The FIA will therefore do its utmost to have this in motion within the Formula 1 governance and will propose to the Formula 1 Commission to give a clear mandate for study and proposal to the Sporting Advisory Committee, with the support of Formula 1 drivers, so that any identified meaningful feedback and conclusions be made before the beginning of the 2022 season."

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