FIA release statement to address Masi rumours

Henry Valantine
F1 race director Michael Masi looks left. United States, October 2021.

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi takes a glance to the left. United States, October 2021.

The FIA has released a statement surrounding the rumours swirling about the future of Michael Masi as race director, declaring that no decision has yet been taken about the events of Abu Dhabi.

A report from the BBC claimed that the FIA are planning a change in structure that would see the responsibilities of the race director split across several people, and the FIA’s new head of Formula 1 hinted that there could be a change coming.

Peter Bayer told Austrian journalist Gerhard Kuntschick, as quoted by the BBC: “Michael did a super job in many ways. We told him that.

“But also that there is a possibility there could be a new race director.”

But amid the reports around Masi’s future, the FIA responded to say that no concrete outcomes have emerged from their findings just yet, quelling any rumours that he has lost his job.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes alongside Max Verstappen's Red Bull. Yas Marina December 2021.

Formula 1’s governing body added that they are sticking to their original timeline for announcing the results of their internal investigation, which are set to be shown at the next meeting of the F1 Commission in mid-February.

The statement reads: “At this stage, no decision has been taken on the outcome of the detailed analysis currently underway into the events of the last Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“As previously announced, the findings of this detailed analysis will be presented at the F1 Commission meeting in London on 14th February after an open discussion with all F1 drivers and then finally have to be approved at the World Motor Sport Council meeting on 18th March in Bahrain, under the authority of FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.”

Masi’s future as race director has been a hot topic of discussion since the drama of Abu Dhabi unfolded, as pundits and former drivers have made their predictions about the findings of the FIA investigation – including Sky F1 analyst and commentator Martin Brundle, who thinks Masi may be the “sacrificial lamb” in the FIA holding people to account for any mistakes made at the final race.

 

The Australian’s critics have said he did not follow the FIA’s precedent surrounding allowing lapped cars past the Safety Car, with only the cars separating Max Verstappen from Lewis Hamilton being allowed through at the season finale.

This was followed in turn by one racing lap that saw the Red Bull driver, on fresh tyres, pass the Mercedes of Hamilton to become World Champion for the first time.

Mercedes appealed the result of the race in the aftermath of the chequered flag dropping, but they repealed their challenge before their case would have been heard at the International Court of Appeal.

 

Seidl wants FOM to stop broadcasting comms between teams and Masi

Andreas Seidl wants FOM to stop broadcasting the communication between teams and Michael Masi.