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Michael Masi set to be ‘axed’ but may still get FIA lifeline after Abu Dhabi fiasco

Michaael Masi’s job as FIA race director has been up in the air since the controversial finish in Abu Dhabi last December – after his safety car ruling subsequently led to Max Verstappen dramatically pipping Lewis Hamilton to the title

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Michael Masi is reportedly set to be moved on from his post as FIA race director, however he could well be offered a lifeline in return.

Masi’s future as the FIA race director has been up in the air since the chaos that played out at last season’s Abu Dhabi finale, where Max Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to the world title.

Hamilton looked set to secure a record eighth Formula 1 championship, however a contentious call from Masi all-but wiped his once comfortable lead away.

The race director ordered a number of lapped cars between Hamilton and rival Verstappen to overtake a deployed safety car after Nicholas Latifi had crashed.







Michael Masi’s job as F1’s race director is under huge threat
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Image:

James Moy Photography/PA Images)

This controversial call then allowed Verstappen to get on the tail of leader Hamilton, who did previously have an 11-second advantage over his rival, in the most pivotal moment in the campaign.

The pair were then left to battle out a one lap shootout to decide the championship, which the Dutchman prevailed in thanks to a much fresher set of tyres.

The drama left Hamilton and his Mercedes team heartbroken, and led to many within the sport calling for Masi to lose his job.

An inquiry into the finish has since taken place, and findings from the report were presented by the FIA and F1 to team bosses in a meeting in London today.

Whilst the conclusions will not be made public straight away, the governing body did admit that there would be ‘structural changes’.

In a statement they said: “The FIA President led detailed discussions of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Feedback from the Commission on matters raised will be incorporated into the President’s analysis and he will publicly present news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days.”

Do you think Masi should be replaced as race director? Let us know in the comments section.







Lewis Hamilton was left heartbroken in Abu Dhabi after Masi’s safety car ruling
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Whilst it is still unknown what the final decision will be, Sky Sports’ Craig Slater claimed that the changes could well be to personnel, and more specifically Masi.

He said: “Structural changes’ would suggest a change in personnel, potentially with regards to the race director.”

Sky Sports went onto report that they expect Masi to be moved on from his position as race director after coming in for criticism several times last season – most notably for his role in the season finale.

The report adds though that Masi could be handed a new safety role within the FIA, so he wouldn’t be dropped altogether.

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