FIA release statement on "misunderstanding" in F1 finale as Verstappen triumphed

The FIA have released a statement over the safety car controversy that saw Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the F1 world championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The authority have promised a "detailed analysis and clarification exercise" with all teams to explain the dubious procedure that ultimately cost Hamilton dear.

Hamilton was comfortably leading the race by 11 seconds in the closing stages when Williams driver Nicholas Latifi crashed, prompting a safety car.

With nothing to lose, Verstappen pitted to put on fresh tyres

"The FIA’s primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport," the statement read.

"The circumstances surrounding the use of the Safety Car following the incident of driver Nicholas Latifi, and the related communications between the FIA Race Direction team and the Formula 1 teams, have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the Championship and the due celebration of the first Drivers' World Championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive Constructors' World Championship title won by Mercedes."

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