Verstappen on Abu Dhabi investigation: ‘I don’t think we need a full report’

Max Verstappen claimed the 2021 championship after a contentious Safety Car restart by former race director Michael Masi.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen believes that a full report into the controversial ending of the 2021 championship will not be needed, but acknowledges that analysing mistakes is important to move forward.

Verstappen clinched his first-ever championship at last year’s season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after former race director Michael Masi reneged on an earlier call by allowing just five lapped runners to pass the Safety Car ahead of the final lap of the race.

It came after intense pressure on the radio from Red Bull, and persistent nagging from themselves and Mercedes is something that arguably hindered the Australian as he attempted to juggle multiple jobs at once.

Nevertheless, the 44-year-old has since been relieved of his duties by new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem, and he has been replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas who will alternate in the role.

Mercedes promised to hold the FIA “accountable” for the enquiry they have been carrying out into the closing events of the season and, with the report set to be published on Saturday, Verstappen is not putting much emphasis on its importance.

“I don’t think we need a full report,” he said in Friday’s press conference.

However, he sees the benefits of learning from the contentious events, affirming that analysis of previous seasons is common in Formula 1.

“Of course always every year it’s good to discuss about happened in the year before. Right? You always analyse everything you do,” he explained.

“So, yeah, we’ll find out and if there’s things that can be written down in an easier way, or a way to understand it better, the wording, then for sure. But yeah let’s see.”

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was involved in the same sitting as the Dutchman, and he agreed that an explanation into the final stages of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit is crucial to the integrity of the pinnacle of motorsport.

“[It is] really important to have that transparency and for us to be able to see it,” added the 24-year-old.

“Whether I will read it – I don’t think so. It will probably be too long.

“But yeah, it’s important to at least have the big lines and know the conclusion of it is. In order to grow from it and maybe manage those situations better in the future.”

Freitas and Wittich will receive support from former deputy race director Herbie Blash as well as a virtual control room in a massive upheaval of the race control infrastructure.