F1 journalist Chris Medland says he’s all for “competitor v competitor controversy”, but doesn’t want to see “competitor v regulator” ever again.
Writing about what he wants to see in the 2022 Formula 1 season, F1 journalist Chris Medland touched on what he doesn’t want to see, and that’s a controversy similar to the one that happened at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Specifically, he doesn’t want to see a situation where the FIA influences the result of a race by not sticking to the rules or changing them on the fly, like they did in Abu Dhabi, which led to Lewis Hamilton losing the championship.
“F1 is a sport (honestly, it’s not scripted entertainment), so we are never going to hit a point where there aren’t controversial incidents,” Medland wrote in his RACER column.
“And who would want to? Controversy gets people talking, it promotes different opinions and debates and highlights passion for the sport, even if it means those chats over dinner where you spend hours going over the same ground and nobody changing their opinion.
“I want more of that when it’s between teams and between drivers, and it’s a competitor v competitor controversy, because having winners and losers, good and bad, heroes and villains is great.
“But when it’s competitor v regulator? Less of that, please. What happened in Abu Dhabi can’t happen again.
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“What happened at other races is acceptable because you don’t get absolute consistency in officiating decisions in any sport, so we’ll argue over what is and isn’t a penalty for the rest of time, but I don’t want to be talking about regulations being questionably adapted ever again.”
Medland also added he wants to see the promised FIA “analysis” of the incident not turn out to be just a “delaying tactic”.
“And to that end, I really hope the FIA comes out with a clear, firm response to 2021.
“The ‘detailed analysis’ of the final laps in Abu Dhabi that is ongoing cannot be allowed to be used as a delaying tactic to let time be the healer. The FIA created the situation, and it alone has to resolve it.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean firing Michael Masi, but identifying and explaining exactly how and why he made the decision he did, who had input, and specific action that will prevent a repeat.
“I know that’s a big ask, but it’s an incredible opportunity for new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem to make his mark early in his tenure,” Medland concluded.