Whether we get the latest video release in the form of a VAR system or a modified version of it, this is something that could be part of Formula 1's plans for reform in 2022. The clock is ticking for the FIA and Formula 1 to agree and implement changes on how the premier class will lead and judge in the future after the controversial finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December last year.
Race director Michael Masi has received rave reviews for the way he led the final phase of the race following an incident by Williams driver Nicholas Latifi. Masi’s decision to allow several cars to be deployed independently, plus his application of safety car rules has brought into serious doubt his future as race director.
Those decisions created a scenario in which Verstappen, after entering boxing and changing tires, managed to catch Hamilton, who was in the lead until that point, winning his first title in the final lap. The FIA has promised a full investigation into what is happening in the final lap, and their results should be announced ahead of the new 2022 season - which starts on March 18 from Bahrain.
However, up to that checkpoint, speculation about these findings and new methods to be implemented is beginning to filter through the world of Formula 1. One element that seems almost certain is the introduction of a new structure that will take over all the responsibilities of the race director and assign them to more people, not just one person to be responsible.
According to the German edition of Motorsport-Magazine, this structure could include a video assistant to help advise on race control during a racing weekend, similar to a group of referees working in football (VAR rooms) giving feedback and advising judges during the action.
Their report states: “Race management could be increased to two dimensions. So far, race control has worked directly on the track. " “On the other hand, teams have so-called virtual garages in their factories.
Data from the racetrack enters them in real-time. Experts in virtual garages support their teams from the factory. " "A similar system is now conceivable in the FIA. While the race director on the spot takes care of the most important tasks in real time, the team in the background can check out different scenarios and intervene in emergencies.
It's like a virtual referee in football. " "Team radio messages could be received there then. There will be no more radio chaos like in Abu Dhabi, where team bosses interfered in the decisions of the race director.
" There also seems to be general support in the paddock to stop broadcasting messages between teams and the FIA, while the proposed 'background team' would help create a buffer zone to stop teams directly lobbying race directors - as we have seen in many opportunities throughout the race in the crazy season of 2021!