Timo Glock says the FIA do not want to get too involved in this “absolutely insane” fight for the title, leaving Michael Masi in a tough situation.
Race director Masi came in for criticism when he discussed dropping Max Verstappen down the grid for a race restart in Saudi Arabia, and Ross Brawn defended him in how he went about his work, but insisted he wants to see the World Championship battle decided on track in Abu Dhabi.
Former Toyota driver Glock said it is “obvious” the FIA do not want to have an incorrect decision determine who wins the title – for they are already under scrutiny for how intense the battle has been on and off track between Mercedes and Red Bull.
How will Max Verstappen approach the Abu Dhabi title decider?
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) December 8, 2021
“You could see the emotions running high with Toto Wolff and how emotional it was with Red Bull,” said Glock in his Sky Sport Germany column.
“It’s already an absolutely insane fight on all levels, which is really unparalleled. It’s been a long time since I’ve witnessed such a great sporting battle between two absolutely exceptional drivers.
“Of course, the FIA see that too. You can literally tell they know this is an absolutely insane World Championship battle. Of course, they don’t want to decide this championship battle with an FIA error. I think that’s relatively obvious.
“But of course you have to keep a line, both for all the other drivers and for the youngsters. Because if you then start negotiating penalties during the race, that’s not the right way either.”
The German was also wary of the potential of a crash between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the race, having seen several examples in the past of two title contenders making contact in previous title deciders.
Glock added he is “curious” to see whether or not that will come to pass on Sunday, and said Masi will be in a tough position in having to officiate the race as it happens.
“Of course, you are also in a very difficult situation, around Michael Masi, to make the right decisions so as not to interfere too much in the World Championship battle,” said Glock.
“Of course, the main rivals are also noticing this and exploiting it more and more. We’ll see that in Abu Dhabi too.
“It will be an absolutely insane fight that could possibly be over relatively quickly. We’ve seen that many times in the past, when a World Championship battle is theoretically decided after the start in the first corner. I’m curious to see how that turns out.”
Was Masi right to broker restart deal?
Was Michael Masi right to offer Red Bull a deal during the Saudi Arabian GP?