Four-time Formula 1 champion Alain Prost says it’s obvious the decisions Michael Masi made at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix were “not very correct”.
The story is now well known, in the final moments of the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, race director Michael Masi ignored the rules and protocols of the Safety Car, which allowed Max Verstappen to easily take the race win and the 2021 title.
“What happened, for sure, was not very correct, that is obvious,” Prost said.
“On the other side, we have some very, very difficult rules at the moment. There’s one thing that we have to be very careful [of], and that’s what could happen now, today.
“There is always a lot of pressure from different teams. When you’re a top team – we’re talking about Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari – you always put a lot of pressure for the rules, for the technical rules, for the clerk of the course.”
If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!
Prost goes on to say that in ‘his time’ the whole situation could have been avoided by red flagging the race.
“At the end of the day, look at what happened in my time – you could have the red flag. All the cars would go on the grid, you couldn’t touch the car, and then you started again. Maybe that would have been the best decision.
“[Now] we have a new rule that now you can touch the car, you can change the tyres or whatever, but it takes much more time.
“And then, sometimes, you have a decision to make, because of television and other things, and obviously what Michael wanted to do is what all the teams ask [for] very often – we don’t want to finish a race anymore under the Safety Car.
“So you have to be very careful about how you judge that but, for sure, on the sporting side it was not very correct.
“Now you could have some pressure from Mercedes, from Lewis, for a new [Race] Director. It would be sad also for Michael, because he has done a good job.”
Ultimately, Prost said there are other issues the FIA needs to tackle soon, especially when it comes to modern track with vast run-off areas.
“Looking at all these new tracks today. How can you have a clear rule? Almost every track, every corner has a different specificity. It is very difficult.
“We went into a position where we are going to have more and more problems. And we have more and more problems.
“[It’s] very difficult to fix everything. We have to be careful that we don’t have the same story again, that only one team are putting pressure and are getting what they want.
“That’s why the FIA has a very, very big challenge now, for the next month, to have clear rules,” concluded the Frenchman.