The FIA, motorsport’s governing body, has released a series of recommendations for how races in its top-tier, prestigious Formula 1 series should be regulated this season in the wake of the controversial decisions made during the last Grand Prix of the 2021 campaign by race director Michael Masi.

The governing body issued the findings and recommendations arising ahead of qualifying for the first race of the 2022 campaign in Bahrain on Sunday (March 20). It released them in the form of an executive summary from a report it has been drawing up since the now-infamous final race of the 2021 campaign in Abu Dhabi, in which several decisions by Masi heavily impacted the Drivers’ Championship title race.

In terms of Masi’s culpability for the decisions that were taken – which revolved around the use of the safety car during the final few laps of that race and ended in Red Bull’s Max Verstappen securing a famous final-lap victory over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, therefore winning the title – the report found that Masi’s unreasonable workload was behind a series of poor decisions.

Masi was removed from his role last month, with the FIA indicating at that time that it intends to move him to a new position. It is also in the process of recruiting an F1 sporting director.

The governing body said: “The race director’s responsibilities should be divided and assigned to other persons to reduce the workload of the race director and allow them to focus on their key functions, including managing and controlling the race”.

It also said that, in the future, team principals and managing directors should have restricted levels of communication with the race director. In Abu Dhabi, Masi was frequently having to answer queries from the team principals of both Mercedes and Red Bull, with no restrictions being placed on the levels of radio traffic between Masi and the 10 teams.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The FIA has said, on this front: “Communications between F1 teams and the race director during a race ought to be restricted so that the race director would be free to perform his/her crucial role without unnecessary disruption and distractions.”

In addition, the executive summary makes several recommendations, both in terms of technical procedures for how the safety car should operate and also on how races this year should be regulated.

The FIA has recommended that a virtual control room should be created to act in a similar way to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) at soccer matches. It will “be, in real-time, connected with the race director, and help to apply the sporting regulations using the most modern technological tools", the FIA has said.

The new race management team for the 22-race 2022 campaign, meanwhile, comprises Niels Wittich (former race director of German car racing’s DTM), Eduardo Freitas (former World Endurance Championship race director), and Herbie Blash, who will be the permanent senior advisor to them.

The FIA said that the World Motor Sport Council “unanimously endorsed the contents of this report, and the FIA will continue in its work to implement the recommendations identified as soon as possible.”

An “additional senior regulatory legal counsel” will also be recruited, the body has said.

in December, the FIA elected Mohammed Ben Sulayem as its new president, replacing long-time incumbent Jean Todt, to serve a four-year term.

In confirming last month that Masi would move to a separate role within the FIA, Ben Sulayem said that Masi had "accomplished a very challenging job for three years."