On the finish of the longest season in System 1 historical past, which completed lower than two weeks earlier than Christmas, the paddock felt in want of an actual break. December 2021 was at all times going to carry an enormous shift for F1’s political panorama, with the top of Jean Todt’s tenure as FIA president and the beginning of a brand new laws cycle. However few might have predicted how a lot would change between the final race of 2021 and the primary of 2022 as controversy on observe, political pressure off it, and the outbreak of conflict resulted in some seismic shifts.
F1’s information cycle by no means actually stopped by the winter. Followers eagerly – typically too eagerly – wished updates from the FIA relating to race director Michael Masi’s future amid the fallout from the 2021 Abu Dhabi finale. Lewis Hamilton’s future even appeared doubtful after the style of his title defeat left him “disillusioned” with F1, in accordance with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff. Uncertainty loomed.