Formula 1 warned against ‘scaring fans away’

The world of Formula 1 has been a confusing one of late.

Formula 1 has been told it risks turning fans away from the sport if the shambles of the last week continues.

In reality, the last 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride for the FIA, who came under intense scrutiny after the controversial Safety Car restart that cost Sir Lewis Hamilton his eighth world title.

Michael Masi has left his pose at the FIA since then, but Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich have themselves proven unpopular figures at times, never more so than at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.

On Freitas’ watch, a recovery vehicle was sent out onto a live racetrack, with poor visibility and a slippery racetrack proving incredible hazardous even at a controlled speed.

READ: Will Max Verstappen lose his 2021 championship to Lewis Hamilton?

Pierre Gasly was almost hit by it in what could easily have been a horrible repeat of what happened to Jules Bianchi eight years prior.

The long suspension after Carlos Sainz’s crash on Sunday led to a time-limited race, and because only 50 percent of the race could ultimately be completed, it was anticipated that race winner, Max Verstappen, would be receiving 19 points.

However, the regulations indicate that a reduced points system is only imposed if a race is stopped by a red flag, in reference to what happened at the Belgian Grand Prix last year.

Because the event ended under racing conditions, the Dutchman was awarded full points, but that was only decided while he was doing his post-race interview.

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Charles Leclerc was given a penalty at the same time for an incident with Sergio Perez on the final lap, giving Verstappen the points gap he needed to be crowned champion.

After several minutes of utter chaos and confusion, the Red Bull driver was eventually crowned champion in absolutely bizarre fashion.

A day later, the FIA confirmed that the Austrian side had committed a minor breach of last year’s financial regulations, in a verdict that was described as “vague” by a member of the team.

That came after a largely unexplained delay in giving the verdict, so fans that were already suspicious of the governing body are even more so now.

READ: Revealed: Surprising reason for Red Bull cost cap breach

Just as quickly as the pinnacle of motorsport attracted a new global audience through the introduction of Drive to Survive, they lose them again through the nonsense we have seen lately, warns the Bild Newspaper.

“Formula 1 must be careful not to scare the fans away with their confusing rules,” they said.

The FIA are currently deciding on a punishment for Red Bull after they overspent on last year’s budget cap by less than five percent, but no clear information has yet been given as to the nature of the offence.