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Masi slated for 'ridiculous lack of consistency' following Abu Dhabi fiasco

Masi slated for 'ridiculous lack of consistency' following Abu Dhabi fiasco

Masi slated for 'ridiculous lack of consistency' following Abu Dhabi fiasco

Masi slated for 'ridiculous lack of consistency' following Abu Dhabi fiasco

FIA race director Michael Masi has faced heavy criticism from Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll in the wake of his "ridiculous" handling of last season's controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

An FIA inquiry is currently ongoing into the events of the race that resulted in Lewis Hamilton being denied a record-setting eighth F1 title via Masi's decisions that went against the regulations and led to Max Verstappen being crowned champion.

As part of the inquiry process, the FIA is speaking to all team principals and drivers to ascertain their thoughts, not just with regard to that particular race but also others beforehand in which decisions appeared inconsistent.

Stroll, speaking just prior to the launch of Aston Martin's new AMR22, did not comment on whether he had provided his input into the matter.

But the Canadian was punchy as he looked back on what transpired over the closing stages of the race.

"I do have an opinion and my opinion is it's ridiculous we didn't go back racing the way we should have gone back racing," said Stroll.

"You can't change the rules at the end of a race and tell half the cars they can overtake.

"Unfortunately, I was part of the group that couldn't overtake on brand new soft tyres, with an opportunity to pass and maybe do something. It's just never been done and it's important we keep rules consistent.

"I understand it's great to go racing and everyone wants to see the last lap of the race and the two drivers fighting for the world championship go head to head with one lap to go but we can't be making up rules at the end of a race like that. It has to be set in stone.

"If there was an error where cars didn't pass soon enough when the safety car came out or backmarkers weren't allowed to pass the safety car early enough and the consequence is we won't get a whole lap of racing, then that's how it is.

"The rules have to be consistent, and in Formula 1 we've seen some inconsistencies in penalties and decision making, and I think this was a little bit too much so it's important those things are set in stone."

F1 first, entertainment second - Stroll

The belief is entertainment outweighed the sport that led to the last lap being run when the rules dictate the race should have finished behind the safety car.

Asked of Stroll whether he felt there were other occasions in F1 where the sport was secondary, he added: "Consistency in our sport is not our strongest point.

"Abu Dhabi was just not right. The rules are rules. When there is a safety car, lapped cars get to overtake the safety car and then we go racing.

"There's nothing that says half the cars can overtake and half the cars can stay behind and then we'll go racing. Those things can't be modified during a race just to put on a show.

"I'm not going to go into detail with other things but that was an example of poor consistency. The rules are the rules.

"We can't be modifying the rules for entertainment. It has to be the sport first and if there is something F1 or the FIA did wrong or could have done differently, that's something to review with hindsight, after the race, but I don't think it's right what happened in Abu Dhabi."

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