FIA holds ‘sporting standards’ summit amid resurfaced Abu Dhabi uproar

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has invited race officials and F1 team managers to a meeting where ‘sporting standards’ in Formula 1 will be discussed.

The meeting has been announced ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, and scheduled for Monday, but it now comes after the FIA’s ‘sporting standards’ have again been questioned following several situations that happened at Monza over the weekend.

First there was a controversial Formula 3 finale, after which champion Victor Martens said he was fearful that a championship title win would be ‘stolen’ from him, like it was from Lewis Hamilton in the 2021 F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

“What went through my head was like please, I don’t want the same thing that happened to Lewis Hamilton last year,” the Frenchman said.

Then the 2022 Italian Grand Prix finished behind the Safety Car, but contrary to what happened in Abu Dhabi, this time the FIA followed the full Safety Car procedure, which means all lapped cars had to be allowed to unlap themselves, and the race could then be restarted only after one additional lap under the Safety Car. Since there was no time for that, the race ended under the SC.

This led many fans and observers to once again point to how Hamilton unjustly lost the 2021 title in Abu Dhabi, after the race director only allowed lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves, and restarted the race immediately on the following lap.

Well, a bit awkwardly, after all this the FIA is set to discuss ‘sporting standards’.

“FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem is convening a meeting with race officials and Formula 1 Team Managers on the Monday following the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix to discuss a range of sporting matters,” read a statement from the FIA.

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“It follows a round of separate meetings held in Monza between the FIA President and a number of Formula 1 drivers.

“It is the first meeting of this type since 2013 and is part of the President’s ongoing mission to improve the standards of the sport, bringing together drivers, teams, stewards, officials in a collaborative way.”

At the meeting, Ben Sulayem will also give an update on FIA’s new Remote Operations Centre, which is being introduced as a result of the controversial Abu Dhabi finale.

This centre will serve as a form of football’s Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR), and will be used to provide support to on-track race control.

“The ROC provides an additional resource for the FIA to thoroughly replay and review aspects of the Competition and the decisions made in order to refine and improve procedures for the future,” the FIA continued.

“It does not have any regulatory power and cannot be used to reassess or alter past decisions.

“This meeting will form part of a series of consultations that will continue to shape the future direction of the sport under the guidance of the FIA President,” the FIA’s statement concluded.

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