Steiner confident FIA will resolve Abu Dhabi controversy


Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner says that he has full confidence in the sport's governing body to resolve the row about the controversial events at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand prix in 2021.

A series of decisions by race director Michael Masi meant that Red Bull's Max Verstappen was able to clinch a last lap victory over Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, and with it the world championship.

Mercedes protested the result on the night but lost. The team then decided against pursuing a formal appeal when the FIA promised to undertake a full in-depth review and analysis of what had happened on the night in Yas Marina.

Hamilton is reported to be waiting on the outcome of that review before deciding whether he has sufficient confidence in the way that the sport is governed before deciding if he will return to the cockpit in 2022.

But Steiner said on Friday at the launch of Haas' new livery for the forthcoming season that he was sure the sport would learn the lessons and make the right decisions.

“I know they are diligently working on it, to make it - I wouldn’t say better, which is the wrong word, [rather] to make it mainly better for whoever is race director.

“It’s a very difficult job," he said. "I’m not here to protect Michael or anything. It is very difficult. I think the sport has grown so much, and some of the things have stayed behind.

“I’m sure they will come up with some ideas when we are presented them, and then we’ll see what they are doing."

Steiner said that he hadn't made any specific suggestions himself to new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who took over from Jean Todt at the start of the year.

"I didn’t give them any recommendation what to do, a specific one," Steiner insisted. “We talked about it, and I think there are private talks, and I don’t want to go there.

“I didn’t give a lot of recommendations to President Mohammed,” he added. “We talked about the issues a little bit, and we all know them. I think the FIA is working diligently that we move in to better future.”

Reports that Masi would be moved from his role as racing director in light of the report have been adamantly denied by a statement from the FIA stated that no decisions had yet been reached.

Steiner declined to comment when asked whether he felt that Masi was still the right man for the role. "I've got enough on my plate with my company to be honest.

“I'm not trying to avoid the question," he insisted. "I honestly don't know their structure in there completely. We all know Michael Masi as the race director, but I don't know what is underlying and how to make it better.

“As I said, I'm pretty busy with what I'm doing for Haas F1," he added. "So I'm not getting involved. I've got the full confidence in the FIA, that they will fix it."

The FIA statement said that the findings of the detailed analysis would be presented at a meeting of the F1 Commission on February 14.

It would follow an open discussion with all F1 drivers, and any changes would have to be formally approved by the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Bahrain on March 18.

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