Emergencies calls for further FIA change despite Michael Masi sacking

Emergencies calls for further FIA change despite Michael Masi sacking


Lewis Hamilton has called for the FIA to implement further changes, despite the lengthy list of reforms proposed by president Mohammed Ben Sulayem last week. Mercedes were left feeling ‘robbed’ at the end of last season when race director Michael Masi made a controversial decision which effectively led to Max Verstappen’s world title victory.



F1 governance was brought into sharp focus in Abu Dhabi, when Masi haphazardly ordered the lapped drivers between Hamilton and Verstappen to pass through behind a late safety car, a rule which inexplicably was not applied to every lapped driver in the race.



Hamilton’s lead was wiped out as a result, and as the race was restarted with one lap remaining, Verstappen used his fresh tyres to pull off a dramatic overtake and seal his maiden crown.




Emergencies calls for further FIA change despite Michael Masi sacking

Months down the line, the FIA announced that Masi is being replaced as race director by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, with both men taking up the role on an alternating basis.


A review of unlapping procedures behind safety cars has also been promised, but Hamilton called for more change during a recent interview with Autosport


“We need to make sure we get non-biased stewards,” he exclaimed.

“Racing drivers, some are very, very good friends with certain individuals. Some travel with certain individuals, and tend to take more of a keen liking to some of them.



“I just think [we need] people who have no bias and are super central when it comes to making decisions.

“I want to see more women in the stewards’ room.



“I don’t think we have many, I think last year it was maybe one or two. And I think it would be awesome for them to have a male and female as the two race directors.

“I think that’s a great way of promoting diversity too.”



It remains to be seen whether the FIA will heed Hamilton’s calls, but Ben Sulayem will first implement a host of other changes which were announced after Masi’s sacking.



Emergencies calls for further FIA change despite Michael Masi sacking

A Virtual Race Control Room, similar to football’s VAR, will be used to back up the new duo of race directors.

Direct radio communication between team bosses and race directors is also set to undergo change, after Toto Wolff and Christian Horner were both heard pressuring Masi towards the back end of last season.



A new race management team will also be put in place, starting in Barcelona.

Much of last season’s drama is now disappearing in the rearview mirror as teams continue testing ahead of lights out in Bahrain next month.



Today at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, George Russell got a run-out in his new Mercedes, while Verstappen went off track as he attempts to get to grips with his new-look Red Bull.




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