Michael Masi, former FIA race director was one of the most hated man after the 2021 season. His controversial statement cost Lewis Hamilton his eighth championship win by beating Michael Schumacher’s record and crowned Max Verstappen the 2021 World Champion.
With months of never-ending vitriol and backlash, Michael Masi did not seem to find the end to this hatred and was mentally affected by the same. By one of his colleagues and close personal friend, we found out that Masi has tried to stay in good spirits and has shown “fantastic resilience” while he had was swamped with social media trends with hashtags like #MasiOut trending and fans wanted him to be out of his position.
How Michael Masi coped up with the criticism
“He’s a personal friend. I’ve known him since I was involved in motorsport 10 years ago and we’ve become good friends,” said Arocca.
Eugene Arocca is the CEO of Motorsport Australia and a very close personal friend of Michael who it was a “hard” few months for Michael Masi.
“It’s personally disappointing and devastating for me to see what has occurred. I can’t speak on his behalf, but I would say that one of the more difficult elements of all this, let’s call it this incident, happened late last year, some three months ago now, and to a large degree it’s been a process that hasn’t leant itself to really being in a good frame of mind,” he added.
“It’s been a tortuous two or three months of discussion, debate, criticism, public airing of view. You have to have a hide that’s pretty thick to be able to withstand all that and come out the other end feeling OK,” Said Eugene feeling sad and helpless for Masi.
Michael Masi’s career does not end with F1
Eugene thinks Masi shows himself to be a “strong leader” with his decision-making skills along with his resilience and coping mechanism throughout the controversy.
Arocca says that, “Unlike many others, he’s actually been administering, involved in managing motorsport for many, many years, He’s got an extensive background and history. He’s very insightful, intelligent, and able to make decisions in the heat of a moment. That’s something that people may have lost in some of the debate.”
“It’s really easy to be a critic on the sidelines thinking what he went through when he was making those decisions. There would be other people that would be completely paralyzed in exactly the same circumstances. He made the call. That is the first character trait of a strong leader,” he added.