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Formula 1: Abu Dhabi GP findings still on hold but FIA set to make 'structural changes'

FIA holds fire on Abu Dhabi inquiry results but promises 'structural changes' and 'action plan' in coming days; Sky Sports understands current race director Michael Masi could take on a new safety role

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Craig Slater reports that the FIA are proposing 'structural changes' following their enquiry into the controversial ending to last season's Abu Dhabi GP.

Formula 1 changes as a result of the controversial Abu Dhabi 2021 title decider are still on hold, although FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has promised "structural" moves in the coming days - with Michael Masi's future as race director in severe doubt.

Formula 1, its governing body and the team bosses met in London on Monday for an F1 Commission meeting, where findings from the inquiry into Abu Dhabi were due to be revealed and subsequent changes proposed.

But results of the analysis into the Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen finale are now not expected to be revealed until later this week.

"The FIA President led detailed discussions of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix," an FIA statement read on Monday afternoon.

"Feedback from the Commission on matters raised will be incorporated into the President's analysis and he will publicly present news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days."

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Jenson Button discusses the fallout from the controversial ending to last season's Abu Dhabi, the future of Michael Masi and what to expect from the new season.

Both Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull's Christian Horner were at the four-hour summit, which was chaired by Ben Sulayem, who only took over as FIA president in December.

Sky Sports News' Craig Slater described the meeting as "inconclusive" but added on the statement: "'Structural changes' would suggest a change in personnel, potentially with regards to the race director".

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The race director is currently Masi, whose handling of the final Abu Dhabi laps and the Safety Car opened the door for Verstappen to pass Hamilton for a race and title win.

Sky Sports understands Masi is likely to be moved on, potentially for a new safety role within the FIA.

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Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and the FIA arrive in London for the F1 Commission meeting surrounding the 2021 title controversy.

"If that were to be confirmed in the coming days, that might be the material change that perhaps Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were looking for," added Slater, referencing the "disillusioned" team and driver who were the unlucky parties in the dramatic season-ender.

WEC race director Eduardo Freitas and former DTM race director Niels Wittich are possible contenders for F1's race director, who is expected to have more support this season.

Abu Dhabi inquiry explained | Drivers back Masi

In the final stages of Abu Dhabi GP on December 12, Masi ordered only the lapped cars between Hamilton and second-placed Verstappen through, providing the Dutchman, on fresh tyres, a shot at passing Hamilton - who was on old rubber.

While Masi's actions were justified by the FIA stewards following a Mercedes team appeal, F1's governing body lodged a full review into the process, with the investigative stage beginning last month.

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Max Verstappen passes Lewis Hamilton on the final lap in Abu Dhabi to win the 2021 F1 Championship!

The FIA has spoken to key representatives, including all the drivers, and were due to present findings to teams on Monday.

While Masi looks likely to take up a lesser role as a result of the investigation, he has found the support of a number of drivers in recent days.

"It's [shameful] that it's all focused on one man," said Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel about the Abu Dhabi saga.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Masi
Image: Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Masi

"He probably had a very, very difficult position on that day and we probably should focus on making the rules better and more clear, so it's better for everyone.

"I don't know what is in store for his future but I hope he sticks around because overall he has done a very good job."

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo added: "Ultimately if Michael wants to stay, then he should stay. I don't think one event should be the picture of everything."

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