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McLaren hope F1 can 'close door' on Abu Dhabi controversy

McLaren's Andreas Seidl has outlined how he hopes F1 is able to draw a line under the controversy of last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl is hopeful that Monday's F1 Commission meeting will help to draw a line under the controversial end to the 2021 season. The events of the '21 finale, where FIA Race Director Michael Masi's control of the Safety Car in the closing stages had a direct impact on the outcome of the Drivers' Championship, have remained under the spotlight in the months since. The FIA, under new President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, embarked on an intensive investigation of the race while also carrying out consultations with the drivers and teams on how the processes of governance and race adjudication can be improved. The process is set to continue at a meeting of the F1 Commission on 14 February, before the report itself is published at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on 18 March.

"What happened in Abu Dhabi was not good for the sport"

Asked how important it is the FIA make the right steps to address what happened in Abu Dhabi, Seidl said he is hopeful the topic can be closed off following the conversations. "It's clear that what happened in Abu Dhabi was very controversial and not good for the sport," he told media, including RacingNews365.com , at the launch of the McLaren MCL36 on Friday. "Because of the analysis still ongoing, and the discussions ongoing, I don't want to go into too much detail judging what happened there exactly. "It's important now to wait for Monday (the F1 Commission meeting) and, hopefully, we can close this topic with a good analysis on the FIA side, and have some good steps in place in how to improve for the future. "Going away from Abu Dhabi, if you look at last year, a lot of controversial things happened which were overall not good for the sport. "We need to invest time and energy on the teams' side, together with the FIA, to make sure we understand what happened during the season and see how we can help by making the regulations less complex."

Seidl supportive of Masi: "F1 is a human sport"

The McLaren boss went on to say that he believes it is crucial the Race Director is given more support in his role, in order to prevent mistakes creeping in. "I think most important is the Race Director is given more support from the stewards to avoid these types of controversies and avoid mistakes happening by making life easier in terms of policy and the application of the rules," he said. "F1 is a human sport, and that we shouldn't forget. I think it's important to mention that, whatever we put in place, mistakes can happen on the teams' side, as well as on the FIA side." But Seidl suggested that mechanisms should be put in place to rectify errors of judgement that are made, and that the sport itself is able to put its hand up and admit to mistakes when they are made. "Mistakes can happen again and, for me, it's very important to discuss a race mechanism where, if mistakes happen, we can raise our hands and admit them," he added. "[It's important] to have a mechanism in place in order to correct the mistakes, or correct the consequences that such mistakes might have impacted."

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