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Abu Dhabi GP controversy rumbles with F1 race director Michael Masi’s future in the spotlight


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Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle are debating whether or not Michael Masi can remain as FIA Formula One Race Director.

Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle are debating whether or not Michael Masi can remain as FIA Formula One Race Director.

Michael Masi’s future as Formula 1 race director remains a focus of scrutiny and uncertainty following the controversial end of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking in a special edition of The F1 Show title Abu Dhabi: one month later, which will air on Sky Sports F1’s YouTube and TV channels on Friday, the Sky F1 team discussed whether Masi can and will remain in place for the 2022 season.

The hour-long show delves deep into the ongoing controversy surrounding the events of the Abu Dhabi GP.

Hosted by Simon Lazenby, the Sky F1 team dissects decisions that were made on the night of the controversial December season finale, what happened in the next four weeks and what could happen next. as controversy roars relentlessly in the New Year.

Watch in full from 10am Friday on Sky F1’s YouTube channel. The show will then air at 6 p.m. on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.

What now for race director Masi?

Abu Dhabi GP controversy rumbles with F1 race director Michael Masi’s future in the spotlight

As the FIA ​​has opened an investigation into the events in Abu Dhabi, having said the fallout “tarnishes the image of the championship”, Masi’s future remains one of the big unanswered questions.

“If the FIA ​​and F1 want Michael Masi to stay, and if Michael Masi wants to stay, he clearly only has one life left. So I don’t know if it’s tenable everywhere,” said Martin Brundle.

“Who would you replace him with?” Be careful what you want, I would say in this.

“What I’m absolutely sure is changing Michael Masi won’t solve the problem. It’s too important a job for one person to take care of, in a 23-race season that will only do to grow.”

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Mercedes was outraged by the way Race Control, which is led by Masi, restarted the race on the last lap and argued that two key aspects of the safety car rules were being poorly enforced.

Race marshals backed the Australian’s handling of the restart by rejecting Mercedes ‘protest after the race, but the FIA ​​then vowed to review what happened after conversations with the constructors’ champions.

Hamilton’s only comment on how the final laps went came from his team’s radio in the closing seconds of the race, when he said “it was manipulated”.

Damon Hill, the 1996 world champion, said: “Obviously Lewis Hamilton fans feel very aggrieved, and Lewis could well do it, and Mercedes does, the way the decision was made put them at a disadvantage. and they felt robbed.

“So there is a lot of resentment. The Dutch side are of course very happy with the result, but was it a satisfactory way to decide on a championship? It must be said that it was not satisfactory and I think it would have even could be unfair because if you look at it from the point of view of how the decision was made it allowed some cars to overlap but not others. This in itself is unfair. The result was a focus on the two protagonists of the title and I don’t think you can run a car race or a championship like this, you have to apply the rules in the same way to all competitors. “

Abu Dhabi GP controversy rumbles with F1 race director Michael Masi’s future in the spotlight

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Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle debate whether the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was manipulated and whether the end was the greatest sporting injustice of all time

Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle debate whether the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was manipulated and whether the end was the greatest sporting injustice of all time

Johnny Herbert believes the decision-making was “totally wrong” and that Masi’s appeals have harmed the sport.

“The position he’s in you have to have confidence. I think that confidence has completely and totally evaporated,” said the three-time GP winner.

“The problem is who do you replace him with, because the experience will be very, very important to who comes in that job. Michael was very lucky, working under Charlie Whiting, and learned a lot of good things from that. of view.

“Is there someone standing out for me to replace him? No, and that’s the conundrum.”

When asked if Masi was perhaps the one who would end up losing in the fallout, Brundle replied, “He could be the sacrificial lamb.

“What’s really important here for the FIA ​​and for Formula 1 is that it doesn’t get swept under the carpet and left for a few weeks, then overtaken by the new 2022 cars, and testing, and so on. .

“We need to understand what happened and why it won’t happen again.

“We have to reassure the fans that what they are seeing is real, genuine and that they are giving their free time to watch something that is real competition.”

So what’s the latest situation at the FIA?

Abu Dhabi GP controversy rumbles with F1 race director Michael Masi’s future in the spotlight

F1’s governing body on Thursday released its first official update on the progress of its investigation since the process began on December 15. New president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has said he sees the process as a high priority, the FIA ​​saying he had asked Peter Bayer to “review and optimize” his F1 structure for the 2022 season.

Bayer is the general secretary of motorsport, but has also assumed responsibility for overseeing single-seater affairs.

Explaining the state of play of the FIA ​​and the long-planned administrative change involving Bayer, Sky F1 commentator David Croft said: It’s not just Formula 1. Nikolas Tombazis has a role on the technical directive on this single-seater side.

“But they are now both led, in terms of line manager, by Peter Bayer. He is the general secretary of motorsport at the FIA ​​and has assumed a role almost as F1 commissioner.

“It was actually proposed and accepted by the World Motorsport Council ahead of the race in Abu Dhabi. So Masi and Tombazis now have someone they report to who can take a much more interest in what’s going on. and give them help, support and But this is not a consequence of the Abu Dhabi race. “




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