FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem has revealed that he is in talks with former race director, Michael Masi over a new role for the Australian.
Released with impeccable timing in the moments before qualifying for the season opener, the report on the FIA’s official investigation in the events of Abu Dhabi barely mentioned Masi, certainly by name, far less quoted him.
While placing blame firmly on the Australian’s shoulders in terms of “human error”, the report cited a number of mitigating circumstances, not least interference from outside sources – namely the teams – his heavy workload and the shortcomings in the (then) current refereeing systems available to him.
The fact that he was to be dropped was announced long before the investigation was concluded, the man leading the investigation, Peter Bayer, having informed a journalist of the fact… though the FIA subsequently had to deny this.
Now, his reputation in tatters, Masi is in talks with motorsport’s governing body as it seeks a new role for him.
“We are grateful of the three years that he invested with us and he put his time in,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, echoing the sort of speech one hears at one’s retirement party, just before one is presented with an inscribed clock.
“We are negotiating with him, of course to stay in the FIA,” he added. “He’s an important figure to us. So our people are negotiating other, I would say not a job, but another place for him within the FIA.”
Should nothing suitable be available, might we suggest that Michael gets to work on his autobiography.
Check out our Saturday gallery from Bahrain, here.