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The FIA – Mistakes not to make in 2023

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mistakes not to be made for the fia f1 2023

The FIA’s recent announcement of a restructuring of its Formula 1 operation aims to put an end to the process that started as a response to the contentious conclusion of the 2021 world championship.

This will inevitably bring attention to whether the sport’s governing body can decrease the confusion, inconsistencies, and mistakes that caused too many issues during races last year.

Three days after the 2021 season ended in controversies at Yas Marina, the FIA initiated an “analysis and clarification exercise”. The results of this exercise were presented three months later in a 3,300-word report that outlined the reasons for a series of changes in how the sport’s governing body manages the races that constitute its most prestigious championship.

Michael Masi was removed from his role for not applying the series’ rules correctly during the final lap restart that determined the outcome of the 2021 drivers’ title. Additionally, the report also suggested to decrease the responsibilities associated with the position held by Masi.

“The role of the Race Director is inherently demanding and high-pressure,” it was noted. “A recurring theme in the detailed analysis and clarification exercise was the concern that the accumulation of roles and responsibilities of the Race Director over the years may be adding extra stress to the role.”

“Recommendations made by the F1 Commission, and by those interviewed, included that some of the Race Director’s responsibilities should be divided and delegated to other individuals to decrease the workload of the Race Director and enable them to concentrate on their crucial tasks, such as managing and overseeing the race,” it was added.

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As a result, several changes were implemented for the previous season, such as the enlargement of the race management team and the establishment of a Remote Operations Center to provide additional support to it. However, other crucial recommendations from the report could not be completed before the conclusion of the 2022 championship.

Yesterday, the FIA announced that “the reorganization of the Formula 1 departments is now complete and will be in effect before the 2023 season.” A significant development is that the role of FIA F1 Sporting Director, which was announced last March, has been filled. Notably, the position has been taken by Steve Nielsen, who has four decades of experience in the series and was most recently the Sporting Director for Formula 1.

Read also : Alesi advises Vasseur to be cautious about any changes made at Ferrari

It seems unfortunate that Nielsen’s departure from F1 coincides with the exit of motorsport director Ross Brawn. However, sources indicate that F1 offered Nielsen to the FIA in order to improve the performance of its race control division. This highlights the relationship between F1’s commercial arm, led by Liberty Media, and the FIA, which governs the popular racing series. F1 is clearly keen for the FIA’s efforts to improve its administration to be successful and for the benefits to be seen in 2023.

It’s easy to understand why. Although the FIA may have had to replace Masi, it was not a solution to all the underlying issues identified in its own report. While referees’ decisions will always be subject to debate, and although there were some improvements in race administration last year, there were still too many problems.

The new race direction team that was put in place in 2022 received praise from drivers for some of its policies, particularly for clarifying the vague area of track limits by implementing a strict rule: The line is the boundary, no exceptions. This may not have eliminated arguments over track limits, as some errors were detected too late to be addressed, like in Austria, but it was a clearer system than the previous one. The team also issued clearer guidelines regarding racing incidents which were largely followed.

In other instances, the FIA quickly responded to mistakes by introducing new procedures. Drivers were upset by the decision to deploy a recovery vehicle onto the track during a Safety Car period in heavy rain at Suzuka, but the FIA promptly produced a detailed report and introduced a new warning system immediately.

Additionally, not all cases of apparent errors made by race control during 2022 were necessarily errors. Race management faced criticism for both delaying the start in Monaco due to expected heavy rain and not delaying the start in Japan despite heavy rain. They were also criticized for ending the race using a Safety Car at Monza, but the slower than expected recovery of a crashed car left them with no other option under the rules, unlike in Abu Dhabi the previous year.

However, despite good intentions, there were also many instances when races were mismanaged by those in charge, resulting in unnecessary confusion, drivers being put at a disadvantage, and even potentially exposed to additional risk.

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The confusion surrounding the race that decided the 2022 drivers championship exemplified both the FIA’s difficulties and its shortcomings. Verstappen’s second title victory was overshadowed by a poorly implemented off-season rules change.

The FIA was undoubtedly justified in changing a rule that in 2021 resulted in half-points being awarded at the Belgian Grand Prix, which officially consisted of no more than a single lap run behind the Safety Car. However, the new rules introduced did not work as intended.

When Verstappen emerged victorious in a Suzuka race shortened to 52% of its original distance, teams and the public expected that full points would not be awarded, and Verstappen would have to wait until the next round to become champion. However, when this turned out not to be the case, Verstappen was initially hesitant to accept that he had won the title. Importantly, revising F1’s Sporting Regulations will now be the responsibility of Sporting Director Nielsen instead of the Race Director.

In 2022, this was not the only instance where a small change in the rules had significant consequences. The regulations regarding the pit lane exit were modified during the off-season, and as a result, crossing the line partially no longer resulted in a penalty as it used to. Ferrari was not pleased to learn of this only after protesting Sergio Perez when he beat their driver Carlos Sainz Jr. to victory in Monaco.

Although the FIA was prompt in addressing the mistake that led to Pierre Gasly passing a recovery vehicle during a Safety Car period at Suzuka, the reason for the incident was that race control had failed to realize that the AlphaTauri driver had pitted and would therefore encounter the crane at high speed.

Gasly’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda encountered another administrative error at Interlagos, reminiscent of the Abu Dhabi incident. He was wrongly prohibited from rejoining the lead lap during a Safety Car period when the FIA system incorrectly concluded that he had already unlapped himself.

Haas was outraged by the inconsistent application of the black-and-orange flag, which Kevin Magnussen saw three times for loose front wing endplates, but was not shown to Fernando Alonso for multiple laps at the Circuit of the Americas while a wing mirror came loose and fell off. Haas lodged a protest against Alonso which was accepted but later rejected when it was discovered that team principal Guenther Steiner had been given incorrect information about the deadline to submit paperwork by FIA race director Niels Wittich.

These were the most notable cases, but there were more issues that race control needs to address in 2023: the significant differences in the time taken to make a decision on various racing incidents, disagreement over whether teams should be able to present their cases to the stewards, and ambiguity about whether drivers should expect guidance from race control when they need to give up a position to a rival.

As the FIA’s new structure is now in place, the 2023 Formula 1 season will be the first test to determine if it correctly identified the underlying issues that led to one of its most controversial championship finales ever, and continued to plague the series last season. The FIA will anticipate seeing improvements this year, and similarly, so will Formula 1.

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The FIA’s recent announcement of a restructuring of its Formula 1 operation aims to put an end to the process that started as a response to the contentious conclusion of the 2021 world championship.

THE FIA Mistakes 2023 THE FIA Mistakes 2023 THE FIA Mistakes 2023 THE FIA Mistakes 2023

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2023 F1 Car Launches
TeamCar NameDate
HaasVF-2331 January
Red BullRB1903 February
WilliamsFW4506 February
Alfa RomeoC4307 February
AlphaTauriAT0411 February
Aston MartinAMR2313 February
McLarenTBA13 February
FerrariTBA14 February
AlpineA52316 February
MercedesW1416 February

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