Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff are more or less happy with the transparent FIA Report on 2021 Abu Dhabi GP which closes out the chapter.

It’s been three months since the flag dropped to signify the end of the World Championship in 2021 and Max Verstappen won the title in what must be deemed to have been the most controversial title finish in the Sports history.

Now, the 2022 season is upon us and 14 weeks on from Abu Dhabi, the report of “that” race and “that” last lap “moment” has been finally published. The timing to publish will be seen with rolling eyes, but nonetheless two of the chief protagonists of that weekend; Wolff and Hamilton have kinda moved on.

Hamilton hadn’t read the full report at the time of speaking, but he was happy with the FIA releasing the report and bringing in the changes after noting of human error. He wasn’t expecting any apologies as his fans were demanding.

“Honestly, I haven’t seen the report,” said Hamilton to written media. “I saw it from a distance, but I’ve not read it. I’ve been focused on getting the job done [on track]. I will read it, maybe after the weekend or something like that. Look, I wasn’t expecting an apology, and it’s not really something I’m really focused on.

“We know that’s the way it is, and that wasn’t going to probably happen. The fact is that at least there is that transparency admitting it’s a human error. That’s a positive step. We can’t go back, unfortunately, and change the past. So, I just work at focusing on doing what I can do now, and trying to shape the future, working with this team, trying to get this car into a window. We’ve got a bit of work to do with Mercedes engineers,” summed up Hamilton.

Regarding the team of two FIA Race Directors of Neil Wittich and Eduardo Freitas this year and the different approach he is expecting, Hamilton reckoned that being in the sport for so long, he can only expect that they keep learning. On Wittich’s approach thus far in Bahrain GP, the Brit felt it was straightforward and sensible.

“Look, I’ve been racing for 29 years,” started Hamilton. “Stewards, they’re very much often quite similar I would say. They do the job, and there’s learnings from the past, and they apply it year on year. I think the best race director I ever had was Charlie.

“Obviously, we miss him. But we welcome our new one. His approach seemed very straightforward, very sensible. I look forward to hopefully seeing him apply rules fairly moving forwards. Hopefully a clean year,” summed up Hamilton.

From Wolff’s side, he has moved on as well and if anything is satisfied with the end result of same and that is positive to see. Coupled with the fact that Mercedes as a team have had their gremlins to contend with as they adjust to the new rules for 2022 and are going about channelling their energies into that.

“It’s a massive step change to what we have seen before and whether the report is complete or not, weak or hard,” said Wolff to written media. “To release it is a good step forward in terms of governance.  And you can read it either way. I think for us there is the sentence of the words that say human error and human error is the acknowledgment of this and I think it is very important and now we close the chapter.

“You know I’d come out today and I’d not been thinking about Abu Dhabi any since our car has proved to not be competitive on the track for this year,” summed up Wolff. When pressed on to talk about if the report has enough in place for the FIA to rectify its own mistakes like that seen in Abu Dhabi.

Wolff added: “We need to see the step change that has been made by releasing the report line by line. Now if you say we can look at this application or exact wording, I’m happy that the report shows transparency. I know from my conversations with Mohammed that he’s very resolute in putting in a system that is prone to less mistakes.

“Is good and clever that there is a virtual race room back in the FIA offices and I think this is what counts because dwelling about Abu Dhabi doesn’t make my or our life any easier at all, it happened.  The trophy is in somebody else’s trophy cabinet and that’s it, chapter closed and I think the FIA will have learnt how things should not be handled.”

It was a challenging situation three months ago. With new rules and new cars and hopefully closer and more open racing, the hope is for a fresh start and less controversies. In fact, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayam spoke on the report and the future. Regarding, Michael Masi, he noted that they are in talks to keep him within the governing body.


Here’s what the FIA Report and conclusions stated

Here’s F1 2022 social media numbers

Here’s all the details of teams and drivers ahead of 2022

Here’s the latest update to FIA Sporting Regs for 2022

Here’s F1 2022 sponsor list