The Abu Dhabi GP controversy continues with the future of F1 race director Michael Masi in the spotlight

The Abu Dhabi GP controversy continues with the future of F1 race director Michael Masi in the spotlight

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Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle are debating whether or not Michael Masi can remain in his position as FIA Formula 1 race director.

Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle are debating whether or not Michael Masi can remain in his position as FIA Formula 1 race director.

Michael Masi’s future as Formula 1 race director remains in the spotlight due to the controversial end of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi.

In a special edition Show F1 with name Abu Dhabi: In a month which airs on YouTube and Sky Sports F1 on Friday, the Sky F1 team has plunged deeply into the ongoing controversy over the events of the December season finale, with Lewis Hamilton losing the world title to Max Verstappen in the final round of the race.

A panel of scientists and reporters, hosted by Simon Lazenby, discusses the decisions made that night, what happened four weeks since, and what could happen as the disputes continue unabated to the New Year.

Watch the whole on Friday from 10:00 on the YouTube channel F1. The show then airs at 6 pm on the Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.

What about Masi, the plant manager?

As the FIA ​​investigates the events in Abu Dhabi and says the effects “ruin the championship image”, Masi’s future before the 2022 season remains one of the big unanswered questions after the race director severely criticized the solution. late period Safety Car.

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

“Who would you replace him? Be careful what you wish for, I’d say in this.”

“I know for sure that replacing Michael Masi won’t solve the problem. This is too much work for one person to do, in a season of 23 races that will only grow.”

Show F1

January 14, 2022, 6:00 p.m.

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Mercedes was outraged by the way Race Control, which leads Masi, restarted the race in the last lap, arguing that two key aspects of the Safety Car rules had been incorrectly applied.

The race commissioners backed Australia’s mastery of the restart when they rejected Mercedes’ protest after the race, but the FIA ​​subsequently pledged to review what happened after talks with angry design champions.

Hamilton’s only comment on how the last laps went came from his team radio in the last seconds of the race, saying that “this was manipulated.” Amidst fan opposition and widespread confusion about what exactly happened and why, questions about the integrity of the sport have been broadcasting ever since.

Damon Hill, the 1996 world champion, said: “Lewis Hamilton’s fans, of course, feel very sad and Lewis can do it well, and Mercedes did it because the decision disadvantaged them and they felt robbed.”

“So there are a lot of bad feelings. The Dutch camp is obviously very happy with the result, but was it a satisfactory way to decide on the championship? You have to say it was unsatisfactory and I think it could even be unfair because when you you look at how the decision was made, it allowed some cars to unlock themselves, but others didn’t.

“That in itself is unfair. The result is a focus on the two main protagonists and I don’t think you can race in motorsports or championships, you have to apply the rules the same to all racers.”

Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle are debating whether the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been manipulated and whether its end has been the greatest sporting injustice of all time.

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Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle are debating whether the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been manipulated and whether its end has been the greatest sporting injustice of all time.

Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Martin Brundle are debating whether the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been manipulated and whether its end has been the greatest sporting injustice of all time.

Johnny Herbert believes that the decision was “completely wrong” and that Masina’s phone calls harmed the sport.

“You have to be in the position he is in. I think that trust has completely and completely evaporated,” said the three-time GP winner.

“The problem is until you replace him, because experience will be very, very important to who will be in this position. Michael was very lucky, he worked under Charlie Whiting and he learned a lot of good things from that point of view.” .

“Is there anyone worth replacing? No, and that’s a conundrum.”

Asked if Masi could be the one to lose in the fall, Brundle replied, “It could be the scapegoat.

“It’s really important for the FIA ​​and Formula One here that it hasn’t swept under the rug and is left for a few weeks, and then they’re overtaken by the new 2022 cars, the tests and what you do.

“We need to understand what has happened and why it will not happen again.

“We need to reassure fans that what they see is real, real, and that they are giving up their free time to watch something that is a real competition.”

So what’s the latest situation in the FIA?

On Thursday, the F1 governing body issued the first official update on the progress of its investigation since the start of the process on 15 December. The new president, Mohammed Ben Sulay, said he considered the process a high priority, and said the FIA ​​had asked Peter Bayer to “review and optimize” its F1 structure for the 2022 season.

Bayer is Secretary General for Motorsport, but has also assumed overall responsibility for Monopost Championship matters.

Sky F1 commentator David Croft explained the current situation in the FIA ​​and the long-planned administrative change concerning Bayer: “Michael Masi is still a lot in his job and still in his role responsible for the sports side of the monopost. series controlled by the FIA. It’s not just Formula 1. Nikolas Tombazis has a role in the technical guidelines of this one-seater section.

“But now they both manage them in terms of line manager, Peter Bayer. He is the Secretary General for Motorsport at the FIA ​​and has taken on the role of almost as F1 commissioner.”

Listen to the sound of team radios revealing how late it was decided to allow the riders to say goodbye during the controversial end of the Abu Dhabi GP.

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Listen to the sound of team radios revealing how late it was decided to allow the riders to say goodbye during the controversial end of the Abu Dhabi GP.

Listen to the sound of team radios revealing how late it was decided to allow the riders to say goodbye during the controversial end of the Abu Dhabi GP.

“This was actually designed and adopted by the World Motorsport Council before the Abu Dhabi race. So Masi and Tombazis now have someone who reports who can be much more interested in what is happening and provide them with help, support and But that is not the result of the Abu Dhabi race. “

Hill, pressured Masi, said, “He had a lot to deal with, and I think he backed down under pressure from both teams on the radio. It’s something they’ll look at and tell you.” You can’t have people as powerful as Toto Wolff and Christian Horner bumping into a race director trying to solve a race. He came under enormous pressure. He had a lot on his plate and he needs a deposit.

“In the end, it was just a terrible mess, leaving chaos and a feeling of dissatisfaction with how it ended.”

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