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Russell hopeful FIA changes will prevent "heat of the moment" mistakes

Russell hopeful FIA changes will prevent "heat of the moment" mistakes

Russell hopeful FIA changes will prevent "heat of the moment" mistakes

Russell hopeful FIA changes will prevent "heat of the moment" mistakes
Ewan Gale & Topher Smith

George Russell is hopeful changes made by the FIA will help to ensure there is no repeat of Michael Masi's "heat of the moment" mistakes.

The governing body has announced the first steps towards rectifying the issues experienced at the end of last season with Masi removed from the race director's role and the introduction of a VAR-style virtual race control room.

Lewis Hamilton was on course to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December, and with it what would have been his eighth championship, only for a late safety car to undo all his hard work as title rival Max Verstappen breezed past on new tyres on the final lap, stealing the title in the process.

The procedures employed by Masi drew scrutiny in the aftermath of the race, not least from Russell who took to Twitter to label the decisions made as "unacceptable".

Speaking in a media briefing that included GPFans, Russell readdressed the issue and explained: "In sport, there is always a huge amount of pressure on every individual, whether that's on the athlete, the coach, the manager, the engineers, to the referees or race directors.

"I think we've all come to an agreement that what happened in Abu Dhabi wasn't correct. The changes have been made because of the outcome of Abu Dhabi. "Mistakes happen when the heat of the moment is on and people's emotions are high. Fingers crossed, the changes the FIA has made won't happen again.

"But I do really feel for Lewis because how he bounced back at the end of that season, when he had that race completely under control, and he only had to bring it home and he would have been an eight-time world champion, and he had that completely taken away from him."

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