FIA single-seater head Peter Bayer opens up on the ongoing discussions regarding the future course with regards to the happening in F1.
In a rare interview, the newly appointed FIA F1 head Bayer spoke about the ongoing discussions behind the scenes regarding the future course after the happenings in 2021 Abu Dhabi GP. This follows after the meet of the Sporting Advisory Committee.
The meet had the team representatives along with Michael Masi, Bayer and other key FIA personnel. The details of those discussions are not out and will only be cleared when the governing body releases the changes by the first race of the 2022 F1 season.
Before that, F1 Commission will be alerted of the changes during their February meet. There could be a new structure in place which will ease up the work of the race director after Masi was put under immense pressure by team chiefs during the course of 2021.
Speaking to Gerhard Kuntschick for Vorarlberger Nachrichten, Bayer supported Masi as he talked through the various options he had during the grand prix. “We have some catching up to do in terms of race organisation,” he said. “Masi had several options in those seconds in which he had to decide, all according to the regulations.
“He could have finished the race under safety car, he could have stopped (Red Flag like in Baku), but Nicholas Latifi’s accident wouldn’t have justified that. Or he could have done what he did, which was to get out of there somehow,” Bayer noted. When asked about what the situation would be if Mercedes went through Court of Appeal.
As per Bayer, he reckoned the maximum outcome was that the result was declared void, which wouldn’t have changed the ultimate champion as Max Verstappen entered the finale as a leader despite being tied to Lewis Hamilton. “Had the Mercedes protest gone to the Court of Appeal after being rejected by the stewards, what would have happened?
“I think the judges would have said it’s different in the regulations he decided so, so we could just void the result. But even then – if it were canceled – Max Verstappen would have been world champion. It’s also about having respect for the race director. My report will then go to the F1 Commission and to the World Council,” summed up Bayer.
With the idea of looking at the future, Bayer revealed about the likely organisational changes that is to take place from 2022 onward. Additionally, he spoke on a Geneva support group, radio curtail as he stated that the F1 teams were still in favour to not have races end under the safety car, which was the idea behind Masi’s discretion.
“The various tasks of the race director, who is also sports director, safety and course delegate, will be divided up,” started Bayer. “That was simply too much. We also asked the teams whether their request not to finish a race under SC was still relevant, which they all answered in the affirmative.
“Third theme is the idea to create a constant connection during the race to a ‘Mission Control’ – like the one the teams maintain at their factories and which the FIA also has in the technical area – also for the area of sporting regulations. We are considering establishing a backup team in Geneva that can support race control.
“And finally the constant radio traffic: who can radio in to whom and when? We will abolish the ordeal of the race management and make massive changes. The team bosses will no longer be able to tune in on this channel. In future, the race director will be able to concentrate on his task and will no longer be distracted,” revealed Bayer.
The above topic was acknowledged by Ross Brawn after the Abu Dhabi GP. Previously, team managers were mostly speaking to FIA race director but last year, the team bosses had a direct line too which is most likely to be abolished whereby the only line open will be for team managers to speak with the governing body personnel.
The full hierarchy will be known when the 2022 Sporting Regulations is published after the updates. It is not clear if the team managers will speak to race director or they will have a deputy in the control room who will be the link in between for any in-session assistance. Not only this but the big question of ‘who will be the race director’ is to be known as well.
In what is a first admission, Bayer suggested that the Australian maybe let go if it so happens. He noted that the FIA doesn’t want to lose him, which kind of also suggested that if they are to have a new race director, Masi might given a different role.
“Michael did a super job in many ways,” Bayer. said. “We definitely don’t want to lose him. We told him that, but also that there is a possibility that there could be a new race director. I can only make suggestions to the World Council, and they will definitely include Michael.”
UPDATE: FIA released a statement regarding the ongoing deliberations whereby they revealed the date of the F1 Commission meet which will be held on February 14 of 2022. The drivers will be conveyed the same in London with the public to know it on March 18 as was said before.
— FIA (@fia) January 29, 2022
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