The grand finale of Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi will be the most impressive in the 71-year history of the racing series.
Not only did title rivals Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) start the final races of the season with equal points, the rivalry was not decided until the final lap of the year.
Despite the criticism of Masi and the FIA, Hans-Joachim Stuck does not think Verstappen is an unjust champion. In fact, he thinks the Dutchman was the “best driver”, who deserved to win.
Former Formula 1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck says race director Michael Masi didn’t follow the rules in Abu Dhabi, and without his decisions Max Verstappen “would never have been able to drive past Hamilton”.
Former March, Brabham, Shadow and ATS driver Hans-Joachim Stuck gives his opinion on the controversial ending of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, that saw Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to win the 2021 championship on the last lap, after some seriously dubious decisions by race director Michael Masi.
“It has to be said clearly that there is a need for action in the ranks of the FIA. This mess is not worthy of a world championship fight in Formula 1,” Stuck told Eurosport.
“The fact that Mr. Masi allows the lapped cars to un-lap themselves on the last lap is nice for the fans and for Max Verstappen, who was given another chance, but the regulations state that lapped cars must first reconnect to the rear before the race can be restarted.
“These are all decisions that nobody can understand anymore, for me there is no stringency in them.”
Stuck was then asked if he thinks Masi made the decisions that he did because he didn’t want the season to end under the Safety Car?
“That would be all well and good – but then he should have done it right,” the German explained.
“Verstappen owes the title to Masi. Without the race director’s decision, he would never have been able to drive past Hamilton. You have to see it that way.
“Still, it was good to restart the race again – only it should have happened earlier. Just like the last race in Saudi Arabia, in Abu Dhabi ad hoc decisions have been made, that are just insane.
“The rule interpretation is a joke. That will not do. You have to make sure that there are reasonable decisions that comply with the rules and are then used exactly as they are,” Stuck concluded.
Verstappen owes the title to Masi Verstappen owes the title to Masi
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HIGHLIGHTS EPRIX 1 – DE VRIES WINS WET VALENCIA
|F1 PRE-SEASON TESTING 2023|
|Date||Morning Session||Afternoon Session|
|Day 1||23rd February||8:00am – 12:00pm||1:00pm – 5:00pm|
|Day 2||24th February||8:00am – 12:00pm||1:00pm – 5:00pm|
|Day 3||25th February||8:00am – 12:00pm||1:00pm – 5:00pm|
|2023 F1 Car Launches|
|Red Bull||RB19||03 February|
|Alfa Romeo||C43||07 February|
|Aston Martin||AMR23||13 February|
|Bahrain 2023||05 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|
|2023 F1 Calendar|
|3||Australian||Albert P||2nd Apr.|
|4||Azerbaijan||Baku City||30th Apr.|
|5||Miami||Baku City||7th May|
|Drivers Standings 2023|