A 3-week timeframe has been revealed for the FIA to investigate the closing laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and then to deliver their findings.
The 2022 off-season is being dominated, perhaps expectedly, by events in the final throes of the 2021 campaign, with Max Verstappen taking the championship away from Lewis Hamilton in the final corners of the Abu Dhabi GP.
Indeed, it all stemmed from a controversial release of the field behind the Safety Car that only saw lapped runners between the championship contenders let go, and that has caused quite the furore ever since the chequered flag in the Middle Eastern nation.
Indeed, it was soon revealed that the FIA would be conducting a thorough investigation into what led to the dramatic final lap of the Grand Prix, and this week Sky Sports’ Craig Slater has delivered the news that a 3-week timeframe has now been targeted to complete the investigation and deliver the findings and results from it.
“Three weeks is how long the FIA have set themselves to deal with this matter,” Slater told Sky Sports.
“Work only began in earnest on it on Monday.
“Remember, one of the controversies was that five cars, the ones between Hamilton and Verstappen, unlapped themselves behind the safety car, but others did not.
“So this is going to go on. The FIA have told me that they will not be dragging this out, the investigation will be thorough, objective and transparent.
“This should be done by February 3, at which point the FIA have a motorsport council meeting, and they expect to announce those findings by then.”
Few are going to envy the people that are going to be carrying out this investigation as it is going to be hard to really make everyone happy.
Ultimately, though, it’s good that they are taking the opportunity now to really delve into what happened in Abu Dhabi, and hopefully some positive lessons are taken from it.
That might not be much solace for Lewis Hamilton who saw his 8th Drivers’ crown snatched away from him in cruel fashion, but his Mercedes team have called for this investigation and so they will at least be intrigued to see what comes of it.
Mohammed bin Sulayem is the newly-elected FIA president and is expected to be involved in the investigation process, so it’s certainly a baptism of fire for the new man who succeeded Jean Todt.