F1’s showdown shambles “shouldn’t happen”, admits Domenicali · RaceFans

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says the sport must avoid a repeat of the confusing and controversial results of the drivers’ last two championship battles.

Mistakes by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, overshadowed the two races in which Max Verstappen won his two titles. The sport first found itself in controversy in late 2021 when FIA F1 Race Director Michael Masi broke his rules when he arranged a last-lap restart at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that changed the outcome of the World Championship.

While the outcome of the 2022 title fight was not as balanced, the Championship was marred again by confusion over the application of the Sports Rules. “These things shouldn’t be happening,” Domenicali admitted in an interview with Sky.

The FIA ​​​​has started an overhaul of its governing body for Formula 1 after the dispute in Abu Dhabi. The resulting changes were completed last month and included Steve Nielsen moving from F1 to the FIA ​​in the role of sporting director.

Nielsen’s arrival showed that the sporting director and commercial rights holder “work very closely together,” Domenicali said, “because it’s important that we have people who understand what it takes for all of us to work for a great sport. And we know that there has been a lot of discussion in this regard and that it is very important to take a step forward.”

Domenicali is keen to avoid further controversy in the future. “We can understand what the FIA ​​is, what FOM is. We have Formula 1. Formula 1 as a brand and the credibility of that brand really comes down to it having to do the perfect job in its role.”

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Since Mohamed Ben Sulayem took over as President at the end of 2021, the FIA ​​​​and F1 have been increasingly at odds on a range of issues.

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Liberty Media, the owner of F1, was particularly troubled by comments Ben Sulayem made on social media questioning reports that he was considering an offer from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund to buy the series for $20 billion (March 16). .16 billion pounds) to buy. F1 officials called Ben Sulayem’s comments “unacceptable”.

The letter is “important to clarify the role of each of us,” Domenicali said. “I don’t think there are any more things to comment on because I think like I said we need to focus on what we think is right for the growth of the sport.

“We believe we should all be happy even if it was just news that wasn’t news if I may say the value of our sport is growing because it means we’re all doing a great job.”

Domenicali downplayed the suggestion of friction between the two bodies, but made it clear he expects improvements in the way he works in the second year since Ben Sulayem was elected president.

“With Mohamed Ben Sulayem coming in as the new president last year, it was clear that when a new president comes to the place, it’s normal, that there’s a manifesto that he has to respect,” he said.

“That was his proposal to the members who elected him and there is a need and time to adapt to have the right team to have the right role within the FIA ​​in terms of the role in the F1 Championship to rate. And it’s no secret to say that the key to the success of the sport is for everyone to do their own work and make sure we’re doing it the right way for the sake of the sport’s growth. Any kind of “personalism”, anything that isn’t helpful, doesn’t need to be commented on because we all have an interest in making our sport grow.

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“We have to do a better job as commercial rights holders, the team and the driver have to do their own job to get this right. And the same goes for the FIA [had] a year to develop, to grow, to work on a new team and they have to deliver the job because each is putting their credibility in the other’s hands. On that we all agree. If someone isn’t doing the right job, it becomes a problem.”

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