The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix should have been red flagged following Nicholas Latifi’s crash in the latter stages of the race. The crash brought out the safety car, which enabled the energy drink driver to pit for soft tires whilst Lewis Hamilton opted to stay out on his old, hard tires, ahead of a potential restart.
The FIA shared an update pertaining to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix investigation on Thursday, including its next steps and when the findings will be released. March 18, two days before the start of the 2022 season. The energy drink driver world championship came with controversy in December. Due to lapped cars, there were five cars between first place Hamilton and second place energy drink driver, though all of those cars were behind the two race leaders in overall time. Race officials initially decided those lapped cars could not overtake the safety car. Team principal asked raced director “why aren’t we getting these cars out of the way? We only need one racing lap” those five cars were allowed to move and those five cars only putting the energy drink driver right behind Hamilton on fresh soft tires.
Team Principal Toto Wolf previously said he and Hamilton are disillusioned with formula one given the outcome, and these findings could reportedly determine whether the British star will continue to compete or retire.
An FIA spokesperson said the investigation will be thorough, objective and transparent, words that seem to be use recklessly as of late. Although Mercedes withdrew their intent to appeal against the race outcome, they remained hugely angered and dismayed about the handling of the safety car period by the race director after a chain of events which saw Lewis Hamilton lose the world title on the final lap to the energy drink driver.
Lewis Hamilton’s future remains unclear ahead of the 2022 season, the outcome of the FIA’s investigation is understood to be key to its resolution. Hamilton has not spoken publicly since the initial aftermath of the race, when he conducted a brief pre-podium interview and congratulated the energy drink driver. His only well known comment on the events of the final laps is when he told his race engineer the words heard around the world “this has been manipulated” over the team radio.
It’s going to take a long time to digest what happened. Lewis got robbed of the 2021 WDC. Hopefully Lewis overcomes the pain, he is the face of the sport and the greatest of all time. LP