Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will have to wait until March 18, two days before the start of the 2022 season, to discover the outcome of the FIA’s investigation into last year’s title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen beat Hamilton to the title in controversial circumstances on Dec. 12, with FIA race director Michael Masi applying F1’s rules incorrectly to force a restart on the final lap of the race.
That decision helped Verstappen catch and pass Hamilton to claim his first world championship.
Hamilton’s future in F1 is uncertain. According to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Hamilton is “disillusioned” with F1 given the outcome of that event.
It is understood the FIA’s findings will dictate whether he continues racing or retires from F1 for good.
The FIA outlined the next steps of that investigation on Thursday, which includes talking to Hamilton and F1’s other 19 drivers.
A statement said: “”Following the decision to the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 15 December 2021, the FIA administration, under the leadership of Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has started the detailed analysis of the events of the last Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“The FIA president launch a consultation with all F1 teams on various issues, including this one
“On January 19, an item on the agenda of the Sporting Advisory Committee will be dedicated to the use of the Safety Car.
“The following stage will be a shared discussion with all F1 drivers.
“The outcome of the detailed analysis will be presented to the F1 Commission in February and final decisions will be announced at the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on 18 March.
“FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has asked Secretary General Sport and recently-appointed Single-Seater Director Peter Bayer for proposals to review and optimise the organisation of the FIA F1 structure for the 2022 season.”
It is understood Mercedes and Hamilton want the FIA to take significant action, including removing Masi from his role as race director. A BBC report this week said Mercedes is also pushing for the FIA to remove Nikolas Tombazis, the governing body’s head of single-seater matters.