Skip the team radio from the final rounds in Abu Dhabi

Days after the checkered flag fell into the 2021 season, the final few rounds of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are still hotly contested. Race director Michael Masi’s decision to speed up a return to racing after a safety car period has divided fans among those who believe in it unfairly awarded Max Verstappen his first world title and those who believe it is The best way to end an epic season.

In lap 57 of 58, Masi changed his mind on how to restart the race, allowing the five cars stuck between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen in the safety car queue to free themselves. This meant Verstappen was right behind Hamilton in the restart, and with the help of a new set of tires his Red Bull team fitted under the safety car, he was able to overtake Hamilton and Win races and titles.

The regulations state that any overturned cars must be allowed to self-inflate before restarting, and that safety cars must then complete one final lap to allow them to catch up before the race resumes. . By the time the crash caused the safety car to be released, there wasn’t enough time to complete that procedure, meaning the leg was set for Hamilton to win the race and title under the car. safe if the rules have been followed. letter.

To try to get the race back on track, Masi initially sent a message to the teams that no cars were allowed to inflate on their own, which would allow the race to continue on the final lap, albeit though there are five cars between the two championship contenders. However, following a radio message from Red Bull boss Christian Horner about taking control of the race, Masi changed the process to allow five drivers to be selected – Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel – freed himself.

The other cars behind in the queue, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Mick Schumacher (who had been pitted against the new soft tyres and believed they would get the same advantage as Verstappen if the race were to restart), were not allowed. self exploding tire. This is particularly controversial as two of the drivers, Ricciardo and Stroll, sit between Verstappen in second and Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari in third, meaning Verstappen has no pressure from behind when restart.

A number of riders offered their opinions on the situation in post-race media interviews, but perhaps the most notable reactions came via team radio as events unfolded. event took place. Below is a selection of radio calls that are not broadcast on the world feed, but highlight some of the feelings for Masi’s decision.

Lewis Hamilton

The driver who lost the most points was of course Hamilton. On 43 lap hard tyres, Hamilton had little chance of defending from Verstappen as the race continued and lost his lead after just five corners of the final lap.

Much of the Hamilton team’s radio message was broadcast, including a series of censored swear words when the safety car was initially launched, but his most important message, reached just a few corners. from the end of the race when Verstappen overtook Hamilton, was not broadcast.

Hamilton told race engineer Peter Bonnington.

The team’s radio has since been cut off by fans and has become something of a stunner for those on social media hoping to see the matter investigated further.

Carlos Sainz

Sainz went on to finish in third, helping him to a fifth in the drivers’ championship race ahead of Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc. The strong results are even more impressive as he, like Hamilton, doesn’t use used hard tyres, so there probably wouldn’t be a shot at a higher finish line if all the cars were damaged. Flip opened by itself.

However, when the chosen five cars were between Hamilton and Verstappen in lap 57, Sainz didn’t understand why Stroll and Ricciardo up front didn’t get the same order. The following is a transcript between Sainz and his race engineer, Riccardo Adami.

CS: “What’s going on?”

RA: “Car with roof is open. Car is safe in this lap”

CS: “I tell you… Tell this Aston Martin to open up on its own. What is he doing? What are these two cars doing?”

CS: “What are these two doing? They’re not self-indulgent, they need to go.”

RA: “They restart like this. Think of them as covered cars”

Lance Stroll

The Aston Martin mentioned before Sainz is Stroll’s car. He is in 13th place and has fitted the soft tyres in hopes of running into the top 10 and picking up some points in the final lap. However, he was not allowed to relax and appeared confused by the situation when speaking to race engineer Ben Michell.

LS: “There are cars that pass safely.”

BM: “Not us, not us”

LS: “I don’t understand. I could have passed the car safely”.

Stroll quickly got out of Sainz’s path when the green flag appeared on the final lap, knocking him off Ricciardo in front. When he crossed the line, he seemed even more confused because Michell decided not to explain the situation right after.

BM: “It’s a checkered flag. We’ll explain what happened later.”

LS: “Yeah, man, what–?” BM: “We’ll explain later.”

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo led Stroll on the track after he also fitted the soft tyres. Aside from Hamilton, he is arguably the biggest loss due to Masi’s decision.

Ricciardo was the first car after Verstappen, giving him the best seat in the house to watch the championship game in action, but it cost him a spot in five self-deploying cars, all of use older, stiffer tires and therefore may be slower than Ricciardo.

During the slow lap after finishing 12th, Ricciardo had the following conversation with racing engineer Tom Stallard.

TS: “We finally finished P12. Obviously there weren’t enough laps and other cars were allowed to safely follow the car, so that pit stop wouldn’t do any good.”

DR: “OK, yeah. I don’t know what they did with the passing cars. Obviously, I don’t really like it anyway, but it just seems weird.”

As he stood up in the parc ferme Ricciardo added: “Okay. Congratulations guys.

“I’m glad I wasn’t part of that – whatever just happened. It seemed pretty good.”

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

Although both benefited from a safe car pass on lap 57, two of the most experienced drivers on the grid remained baffled by the situation. Both Alonso, eighth, and Vettel, 11th, questioned the call would cancel itself when it arrived, and both said it should have been done sooner.

Alonso: “This had to be done a few laps ago. It’s unbelievable.”

Vettel: “Why didn’t they just let us go? This is something I still don’t understand.”

Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas

And then there were a few drivers who were confused by the results.

Gasly, who moved from sixth to fifth in the final lap using new tires to overtake Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, seemed genuinely shocked by the results as race engineer Pierre Hamelin told he results.

PH: “Max won the race.”

PG: “No way, how did he do that?”

PH: “He puts the tights under SC.”

PG: “Unbelievable. Unbelievable.”

Meanwhile, Bottas, who dropped from fourth to sixth on the final lap on old tires, sounded pitiful for teammate Hamilton when his engineer Riccardo Musconi broke the news.

RM: “Unfortunately, Max had Lewis in the final round.”

VB: “Wow f —!S —!” Skip the team radio from the final rounds in Abu Dhabi

John Verrall

John Verrall is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. John Verrall joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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