Hundreds of fans will boycott Bahrain Grand Prix as F1 finale still having 'an impact'

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Data from Opinium has found almost one in five Britons who identify as F1 fans may not continue to watch in 2022 after the events in the Abu Dhabi finale between Verstappen and Hamilton. Ten per cent said they are not sure if they would tune in, with eight per cent saying they would definitely not watch.

It comes after just 42 per cent of over 1,300 fans said they were happy with the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The season ended in controversy after Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the race.

A late-race safety car saw Verstappen close in on Hamilton on fresher tyres and the Dutchman dispatched of the Mercedes within five corners. Cameron Hatter, Sports and Entertainment Researcher at Opinium said it was clear” the final race continues to have an “impact” on F1.

He said: “It is clear that the controversial 2021 Formula One season finale appears to still have an impact on the sport, as a significant number of people have decided they will not continue watching in the 2022 season.”

READ MORE: Lando Norris weighs in on F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy

“To captivate the interest of its fans with something other than controversial decision making, fans say it must prove that it has learnt its lessons from those countless divisive judgements of last season as well as grow to be more accessible, more engaging, and shake off the perception that it is only driven by its pursuit of profit.”

The FIA has previously admitted the final laps in Abu Dhabi risked “tarnishing the image of the championship”. They promised a “detailed analysis” into the final laps which has not yet been published to the public.

As part of the enquiry, the FIA did announce a range of new measures for 2022. This included the sacking of Michael Masi with two new race directors since having been appointed. A new ‘VAR’ style replay system will also be introduced to ensure all decisions are scrutinised.



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