FIA President insists he’ll ‘bring Michael Masi back’ into F1

Michael Masi was sacked at the end of 2021 as the FIA Race Director for some controversial reasons.


FIA President insists he’ll ‘bring Michael Masi back’ into F1

Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Michael Masi (Via IMAGO)

The on-track action has come to a halt at the completion of the 2023 F1 season, but the off-track fireworks are still very much in full swing. The FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has made it known that he will bring the former FIA Race Director, Michael Masi back into F1 when the time is right.

The ardent followers of the pinnacle of motor racing are well aware of who Michael Masi is. The Australian-born is well-known in the world of motorsports for the baffling decisions that he took during the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where Max Verstappen was crowned as the world champion.

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The person to lose out on that night was none other than the former 7-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, and after that, Masi was massively criticized which ultimately led to his sacking ahead of 2022. With 2023 done and dusted, the FIA boss, Mohammed Ben Sulayem has opened the window for a Masi return. While talking about it recently, he said, as reported by the Independent;

I always apologize, but I cannot apologize for something that was done before my time. The poor guy is a person who has been attacked and abused. Michael Masi went through hell. Hell! And if I see there is an opportunity that the FIA needs and Michael Masi is the right person, I will bring him.

Michael Masi created quite a havoc during the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP

While Mohammed Ben Sulayem is willing to bring back Michael Masi into F1 at the right time, the latter committed quite a few blunders in 2021 that ultimately led to his sacking back then. During the 2021 campaign, the FIA was criticized for making several controversial decisions.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen (Credits: India.com)
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen (Credits: India.com)

While things were still bearable for the various teams, everything went over the boiling point during the closing stages of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, the season finale. Back then, former Williams driver, Nicholas Latifi crashed into the barriers and that combined with Masi’s controversial decision to have a one-lap drag race on the last lap ultimately led to the crowning of Max Verstappen as world champion.

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Verstappen who piited early had the tire advantage and under the rules with the caution being called the race was supposed to end behind the safety car. This could’ve helped Hamilton to win a record eight world title. But the error in judgment, which even the FIA admitted, made a lot waves in Formula One.

This was the main talking point for pretty much the whole of the F1 winter break. Since then, Masi has not been seen much around F1 events but if Sulayem and Co. decide to bring him back in the upcoming years, it would be fascinating to see how Wolff and Co. would react.

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