Nico Rosberg: Formula 1 Needs Tighter Rule Changes After Controversy-Filled 2021

Nico Rosberg wants Formula 1 rules to be more rigid. 

The 2016 F1 drivers’ champion contends tighter regulation changes need to be implemented soon. 

Or else …  

Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton making a patsy out of high-ranking FIA official Michael Masi 

Throughout the controversial 2021 season, F1 officials appeared to lose control and confidence of some drivers and organizations, Rosberg said.

Targeted by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, FIA Race Director Michael Masi appears to be a fall guy.
Will there be more?

Masi triggered one of the most significant controversies by allowing lapped cars to pass the Safety Car and restarting the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the last lap. Eventual champion Max Verstappen had fresh tires and an open road. He tracked down and passed Hamilton, who was denied a record eighth drivers’ title.

Since Verstappen passed him on the final lap, Hamilton’s post-race interview has been his last public statement. Then, he threatened retirement. He has yet to backtrack, and varying reports indicate he will honor his 2022 contract, and he’s ready to walk away and focus on running a fashion enterprise.

Rosberg: ‘It would be better for the sport if it was much easier to understand’ 

2016 Formula 1 drivers’ champion Nico Rosberg celebrates with his Mercedes GP staff on Dec. 1, 2016, in Brackley, England | Steve Etherington/Getty Images

Rosberg recommended a tighter leash to FIA officials with all the shenanigans last season. Drivers seemed to confront constant scrutiny.  

“The sport needs to make progress,” Rosberg told “The FIA needs to tighten all that up so that we don’t have all these discussions. 

“It would be better for the sport if it was much easier to understand. We need to get rid of all these discussions; that’s important.” 

Before departing as president last week, Jean Todt confirmed that the FIA would investigate Masi’s actions at the Abu Dhabi GP. Officials did not provide a deadline for the release of the analysis. 

“It starts even with all the overtaking, the wheel-to-wheel action,” Rosberg said.

Now at peace professionally, ’16 F1 champ leading Rosberg X Racing to inaugural title 

Rosberg remains best remembered for battling Hamilton for the 2016 world championship, then stunningly retiring. He captured the title in white-knuckle fashion. Hamilton, who was leading the season-finale, disobeyed orders to speed up. Instead, he slowed down and forced Rosberg into the slower pack, but Rosberg escaped the drama.

“The feelings in those last laps were just unreal,” he said, reported by “Crazy! Not enjoyable. Massive pressure! Unbelievably intense! Horrible! The smallest mistake would finish me. So difficult. The first bit of emotion was (a) relief. I was crying my eyes out at the finish.”

Five days after claiming the F1 crown, Rosberg, the son of an F1 champion, retired, citing his mental health.

Rosberg now appears more at peace. Leading Rosberg X Racing, his franchise captured the inaugural Extreme E title last month. Joyfully, Rosberg rolled around in the mud to celebrate the victory he said he would remember “forever.”

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