Breaking: Michael Masi sacked as F1 race director after Abu Dhabi GP controversy

Breaking: Michael Masi sacked as F1 race director after Abu Dhabi GP controversy

 

Michael Masi has been sacked as Formula 1 race director after the Abu Dhabi controversy which saw Lewis Hamilton lose the world title.

Masi’s handling of the final laps of the race in Abu Dhabi has been under intense scrutiny since the decision which saw Max Verstappen claim a maiden world crown.

The race director failed to correctly apply the rules during a safety car period late in the race which had a direct impact on the fate of the championship.

 

It had led to speculation Hamilton could even decide to retire ahead of the 2022 campaign, but he has now confirmed he will continue to race for Mercedes.

But the incident has seen Masi relieved of his duties, and instead offered another role within the FIA.

 

 

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “I would like to inform you that a new race management team will be put in place starting in Barcelona for the test session.

“Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will act alternatively as Race Director, assisted by Herbie Blash as permanent senior advisor.

 

 

Breaking: Michael Masi sacked as F1 race director after Abu Dhabi GP controversy

“Michael Masi, who accomplished a very challenging job for three years as Formula 1 race director following Charlie Whiting, will be offered a new position within the FIA.

Michael Masi, whose decisions late in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton lose the F1 world title, has been relieved of his duties as race director

 

 

“I presented this complete plan to the members of the World Motor Sport Council and the Senate who gave their full support.”

Ben Sulayem also announced Formula 1 would introduce a VAR-like system to assist officials on race days.

 

 

Radio communications are set to be removed from TV broadcasts, and unlapping procedures behind a safety car will be re-assessed

He added: “To assist the race director in the decision-making process, a Virtual Race Control Room will be created.

“Alike the Video Assistance Referee (VAR) in football, it will be positioned in one of the FIA Offices as a backup outside the circuit.

 

 

“In real-time connection with the FIA F1 race director, it will help to apply the sporting regulations using the most modern technological tools.

“Direct radio communications during the race, currently broadcast live by all TVs, will be removed in order to protect the race director from any pressure and allow him to take decisions peacefully.

“It will still be possible to ask questions to the race director, according to a well-defined and non-intrusive process.

 

Breaking: Michael Masi sacked as F1 race director after Abu Dhabi GP controversy

“Unlapping procedures behind safety car will be reassessed by the F1 Sporting Advisory Committee and presented to the next F1 Commission prior to the start of the season.”

 

 

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