Remote Operations Centre (ROC), the F1's VAR, is now operational

Red carpet is seen outside F1 race control during practice for the Bahrain GP (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Red carpet is seen outside F1 race control during practice for the Bahrain GP (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The FIA has announced that F1’s Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) equivalent, called Remote Operations Center (ROC), is operational from the FIA Headquarters in Geneva. The regulatory body announced that the ROC will be a virtual assisting medium for the Race Director at the F1 races.

Announcing the functions of the ROC, the FIA statement said:

“Procedural and regulatory matters may be referred to the ROC, which operates in an advisory capacity and will not interrupt the workflow of the Race Direction team onsite or cause any delay to the decision-making process.”

Without interrupting the operations of the F1 race director, the ROC will advise the Race Direction team on a race with procedural and regulatory issues to ease the decision-making process. The FIA stated that the ROC will be an additional resource to the Race Direction team and will not have any regulatory power.

Explaining the functional role of the ROC further, the FIA said:

“The ROC provides an additional resource for the FIA to thoroughly replay and review aspects of the Competition and the decisions made in order to refine and improve procedures for the future. It does not have any regulatory power and cannot be used to reassess or alter past decisions.”

Therefore, the ROC will only be a virtual advisory service to the Race Director without the powers to change any decision. The ROC will be a remote assistance system to assist in the refereeing process during a race, in addition to the two new race directors who will rotate.

FIA has released report with decisions and conclusions over findings of Abu Dhabi F1 race

The regulatory body of F1 has published a detailed report on the investigation and analysis of the Abu Dhabi GP. According to the report, the results of the 2021 season finale remain unchanged. The FIA has concluded that "human error" cost Lewis Hamilton his eighth title, while race director Michael Masi acted in good faith and did not manipulate the race outcome intentionally.

The FIA has also blamed the Red Bull and Mercedes teams for pressuring Masi during the penultimate moments of the race, which interrupted his workflow and hurt the overall decision-making process. The WMSC and FIA have unanimously agreed to the conclusions made by the FIA and voted to make recommendations to improve race management in the future.

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