The FIA is under scrutiny from the drivers: the criticism coming from the divers in Qatar seems never-ending. The FIA’s management of the Qatar GP is going from bad to worse. The last-minute changes from yesterday continue to be a subject of discussion.
After careful analysis, Pirelli and the stewards decided to move the track limits in turns 12 and 13, which could have caused damage to the tires. To become familiar with the new track layout, the drivers had a short practice session before the start of the shootout qualifying for the sprint race.
The problem wasn’t the modification itself, but rather how the issue was handled. The drivers were neither informed nor consulted and learned about it only through the media. All 20 of them gathered for a brief meeting to discuss this communication problem.
Carlos Sainz was the most dissatisfied. The Spanish Ferrari driver stated that he learned about the tire issues and the proposed track limits changes from the media: “No one tells us that the tire is wearing out, or anything else. We have to learn things from the press, which is clearly not how things should be done.” Having said that, the driver encouraged the FIA to be clearer in their statements.
Other drivers joined in the criticism raised by Carlos Sainz. Frustrated Kevin Magnussen confirmed the account of his Spanish colleague, adding that as drivers, they have the right to be informed: “We have to drive the cars; we want to know what’s going on.”
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Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas also admitted that he learned it from the media because someone sent him a link to an article. George Russell explained how the lack of communication from the FIA has a significant impact on the drivers because “we can also provide our direct view from our car, and that can help make decisions.”
On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton stated that Formula 1 should seriously consider the tests conducted in Qatar to improve tire management.