Michael Masi ‘likely’ to be replaced amid FIA restructure

Masi’s decisions at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could see him out of a job

Sarah Rendell
Friday 28 January 2022 09:28
<p>Masi’s decision-making has been called into question </p>

Masi’s decision-making has been called into question

The FIA are planning a re-management structure which could see race director Michael Masi out of a job ahead of the 2022 season.

It’s thought the governing body are consulting teams on the matter and are understood to be thinking about implementing a support structure around the race director. This comes after Red Bull boss Christian Horner and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff both lobbied Masi during the closing moments of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which determined the 2021 result.

A safety car was deployed and once the track was clear Masi allowed some cars to unlap themselves and others not. This led to Max Verstappen overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to take the world title.

Many believe Masi didn’t follow protocol and an inquiry has been launched into what happened at the race. Masi’s actions could see him out of a job as many teams have recommended the move to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, according to the BBC.

Sources say they can’t see how Masi will maintain his position after his actions. While some teams want him to go its thought the move isn’t one backed by all in the F1 with Red Bull denying they want Masi to go and Ferrari “unaware of the request”.

If Masi does go it could restore some trust in the FIA for Hamilton, who is deciding his future in the sport. The British driver has been out of the spotlight since Abu Dhabi, only making a public appearance to receive his knighthood. It’s understood he will decide whether to race when the inquiry is published which will be just before the 2022 season starts in March.

Red Bull’s Horner had previously said he believed the ending of the 2021 campaign would soon be forgotten by those in and around the sport. But one senior voice told the BBC: “Anyone thinking this would go away has not realised the gigantic size of this event.”

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