How F1 crowned its new king in a season like no other


As we await the outcome of the FIA’s enquiry into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix debacle, what are the practical steps the governing body needs to take to restore respect and confidence in its people and procedures? And should race director Michael Masi stay or go?

In the latest edition of the Flat Chat podcast, GP Racing editor Ben Anderson and columnist Mark Gallagher join host Stuart Codling to discuss the latest developments in a saga which has led to seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton considering his future in Formula 1.

The final laps of the 2021 season finale overshadowed what had otherwise been a hugely successful year for F1, with a compelling and dramatic contest for the drivers’ championship.

Casual viewers tuning in to the Abu Dhabi race will have been left baffled by the bizarre and shambolic turn of events – but how much of the responsibility for that lies with the competitors themselves?

This month’s GP Racing magazine offers a considered analysis of the season and its contentious conclusion, and takes a look at the first hints of how the new technical package for the 2022 season is shaping up.

There’s also exclusive interviews with the architects of the constructors’ championship-winning car. Mercedes’ W12 was described by Lewis Hamilton as “a monster of a diva” and GP Racing examines how the aerodynamic rule changes between seasons turned a dominant technical package into a troubled and temperamental one.

Our podcast guests discuss the implications of this for the coming season – as well as debating whether Lewis Hamilton will indeed return to the cockpit.

Also in GP Racing this month, Mark Gallagher interviews Jacques Villeneuve to mark the 25th anniversary of his championship-winning season. It’s a fascinating tale in which Jacques describes, among other facets of his childhood, how his father used to make him take the controls of the family helicopter when he was just 10 years old.

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