Max Verstappen is pleased that the FIA published their report into last season’s controversial championship ending, and the Dutchman has called for annual reviews to be introduced.
Verstappen sealed his maiden Formula 1 world championship last season after a highly controversial Safety Car restart by now former race director Michael Masi, leaving Mercedes and Sir Leis Hamilton “disillusioned” with the sport having been so cruelly denied on the final lap of the race.
The FIA therefore carried out a “detailed” analysis into the contentious events, and many Hamilton fans called for a report to be published to maintain transparency in the sport.
Before the analysis was concluded in March, Masi was removed as race director and replaced by a combination of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, who are receiving support from Herbie Blash and a VAR-style virtual control room.
The published report then found that a “misunderstanding” of the regulations took place in race control in Abu Dhabi, causing “confusion” which lead to such a polarising finish.
Verstappen believes that the motorsport governing body should constantly be trying to improve their work, and therefore posits that conducting a report every year might be a prudent step.
“I think it’s good they (the FIA) showed it to the world, what they had been investigating,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“For me, this kind of investigation should happen every single year. I think, as an organisation or as a team, you always want to try and improve and try to do things better.
“For me, it’s quite a natural process you have to do anyway.”
Inconsistency from the stewards has long been a focal point in F1. For instance, Verstappen was denied a podium in Mexico in 2016 for leaving the track while defending from Sebastian Vettel, but both Nico Rosberg and Hamilton were let off the hook for the same transgression on the opening lap of the race.
He was then penalised a year later in the United States Grand Prix after overtaking Kimi Raikkonen off the circuit on the final lap but, having seen multiple other drivers receive leniency for exceeding track limits all weekend, he called for “more consistency” after the race.
Wittch was eloquent in his ruling ahead of the opening round of the season in Bahrain that the white lines define the racetrack, and the 24-year-old is a fan of that direct approach.
“I think for this year anyway, we want to be a bit more clear before we go into a weekend about what is allowed and what isn’t,” he added.
“Even when you talk about track limits. I think what worked really well in Bahrain was the white line. That’s it – no discussion.
“Drivers always like to explore more of the track but if it’s the white line, it’s the white line – you can’t get around it.”
Verstappen sits third in the Drivers’ Standings behind the Ferrari pair of Chares Leclerc and Carlos Sainz after his win in Saudi Arabia and his DNF in the season opener in Bahrain.