F1 fans have hit back at the FIA after the Formula 3 season ended in controversial circumstances just months after Lewis Hamilton was denied his eighth world title in Abu Dhabi. Promoters had advertised the F3 finale as a must-watch with six drivers heading into the final weekend with a chance of securing the title.
However, the race was red flagged with just five laps remaining after a heavy accident between Brad Benavides and Kush Maini at the second Lesmo corner. The safety car was initially called but the race was suspended minutes later to allow for barrier repairs to take place.
At the time of the stoppage, Frenchman Victor Martins was in place to win the title but this was thrown into doubt after he was handed a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits. When confirmation came that the race would not be resumed, many were left wondering whether Martins or Oliver Bearman would take the title.
Bearman was lying in P2 at the time of the red flag and a penalty for Martins would have dropped him down the field.
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@QF_Dan72 commented: “What a clown of a finish, why don’t FIA let them race for five laps?” The outcry comes months after Max Verstappen clinched his first F1 title in controversial circumstances last season.
Race director Michael Masi only allowed the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to un-lap themselves, leaving the Mercedes star unable to defend. Masi was later sacked from the FIA after the governing body admitted that human error was a factor in the outcome.
He was replaced by new race director Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas ahead of the new season.