Lewis Hamilton says he has “no particular feeling” about the report that Michael Masi could make a return as race director this season.
In an interview with the Daily Mail last week, FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem said the door had not been shut on a potential return for Masi, who lost his job before the start of this season.
While not outright fired by the FIA, the Australian was moved to a different position following his role in the controversial 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi.
However, Ben Sulayem said his removal was not “the end of Masi with the FIA”.
“I didn’t get rid of Michael,” Ben Sulayem told the Mail. “He had a personal overload (of work)— safety delegate as well as race director. He made a mistake. It’s not as if we said it’s the end of Masi with the FIA.
“I don’t do that sort of thing. Even people who didn’t vote for me I embrace. We don’t think of individuals. We think of the operation itself.”
Masi still remains an 'important figure' to FIA
Michael Masi remains an important figure to the FIA despite his removal as F1's race direction.
It was speculated the potential return of Masi may draw the irk of Hamilton, who saw an eighth World Championship slip away – but the Mercedes driver says he has “no particular feeling” towards the reports.
“I only heard of that story a couple of days ago and I haven’t spoken to anyone [about it],” Hamilton said.
“Particularly, I haven’t done an interview with that newspaper [the Daily Mail] for at least 10 years.
“It’s inaccurate but I don’t have a particular feeling about it. I’ve not given it any thought.
“I don’t know what Mohammed [ben Sulayem] has said. I don’t know his story, what his agenda is.”
Speaking ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, the seven-time former World Champion said he was looking forward to the race in Barcelona in order to see how much the Mercedes upgrades have improved the car.
“It’s a great test track here,” Hamilton said.
“The first time we drove the car, we have the data from that and can remember the feeling we had from that at the same time as well.
“We did have bouncing back then also, but it will be interesting to see the parallels and how much we have progressed since.
“Every time I arrive at a weekend, I’m hoping the prospects are good.
“We are working as hard as we can as a team to progress and we have some upgrades.”
It’s decision time for Mercedes in Spain
Mercedes have had a tough start and, with upgrades due, the time has come to see if they can claw back any pace.