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Hamilton: F1 must make sure this never happens to anyone again

Lewis Hamilton has welcomed the changes made by the FIA in the wake of the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, including confirmation of Michael Masi's departure.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has offered some more insight into his thoughts and feelings as the 2022 Formula 1 season hoves into view, following the controversial events of the 2021 title decider. Having dramatically missed out on a record-breaking eighth title after being overtaken by Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the final lap, Hamilton was left reeling from the shock as he had dominated the race up until a contentious restart call from FIA Race Director Michael Masi. Having gone into a two-month winter hibernation post-race, Hamilton recently re-emerged on social media and spoke with reporters as Mercedes launched their 2022 W13 at Silverstone on Friday. Asked whether he had watched back over the Abu Dhabi race, Hamilton admitted he had no interest in doing so. "I absolutely didn't rewatch the race," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "The experience was something that was very clear in [my] mind and, of course, it replayed in my mind quite a lot in the coming weeks after the race." Asked what he had said to Verstappen during the post-race cooldown and on the podium, Hamilton explained that he could not recall it. "I don't remember what I said to Max. It's all a bit of a blur after that," he said. "I've not revisited it. I don't particularly want to go backward, I want to look forwards."

Hamilton welcomes "everything" that the FIA have done so far

With Masi losing his position as Race Director as part of the FIA's addressing of the situation regarding race governance improvements, Hamilton welcomed the changes being made. Along with Masi's departure comes the arrival of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas as alternating Race Directors, ably backed with advice from former long-term Deputy Race Director Herbie Blash. "Whilst we can't change the past - nothing will ever really be able to change the way... how it felt at the time and how I feel about the situation - it is good to see that the FIA are taking steps to make improvements," Hamilton continued. "I think accountability is key. We have to use this moment to make sure that this never happens to anybody else in the sport ever again. "Everything that's been said by the FIA, I welcome that, but we have to make sure that we keep a close eye on it and make sure that we actually are seeing those changes, and rules are applied fairly and accurately, consistently."

Hamilton: It will take some time to rebuild trust

Having admitted to his faith in the system being shaken by the events of Abu Dhabi, Hamilton expects this to return in time. Asked whether he has trust that the FIA's changes are a step in the right direction, Hamilton says the announcements are a good first step. "I probably put faith and trust alongside each other, and so trust can be lost in a blink of an eye or click of a finger," he explained. "To earn trust is something that's built over a long, long period of time. "Whilst I didn't see that coming, this first announcement is perhaps the first step of that, but it doesn't necessarily change everything just yet. We have to see actual action and I think it'll take a bit of time. "But I'm not really focused necessarily on that area at the moment, I'm just putting absolutely every ounce of my energy and time into making sure that I'm the best you've ever seen."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying