Expert Brundle against Masi’s dismissal

FIA race director Michael Masi had to take a lot of criticism for his actions at the Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi. Quite a few called for his resignation or sacking. However, according to Martin Brundle, that would not address general concerns about the integrity of the sport.

“What I know with absolute certainty is that changing Michael Masi will not solve the problem,” says the “Sky” expert. He thinks: “It’s far too big a task for one person to do in a 23-race season.”

“Back when Charlie (Whiting, Masi’s predecessor) and Herbie (Blash, Whiting’s assistant; ed.) were still running 16-18 races, Charlie would start the race and Herbie would effectively be the race director until Charlie came back from the starting pad . They were in control,” Brundle recalls.

Brundle: F1 race director needs more support

“But it’s just growing exponentially,” he continues, “so if he stays Masi needs a lot of support around him and I guess that’s what they’re looking at right now. And who would actually be in his now want to follow in his footsteps?”

At the same time, Brundle insists that Masi “only has one life left” if both he and the FIA ​​want him to continue. “So I don’t know if that’s really sustainable.”

Brundle’s Sky colleague Johnny Herbert has a clear opinion on this. He considers Masi unbearable after everything that has happened: “I think he has done too much damage to Formula 1. In the position he is in you have to have confidence and I think that confidence is complete and completely gone.”

Difficult successor: who could inherit Masi?

But Herbert knows that potential successors aren’t exactly obvious. “The problem is who you can replace him with. Because of course the experience of the person who takes over this position is very important,” said the three-time Grand Prix winner.

“Michael was very fortunate to work under Charlie Whiting when he was at the helm and he’s learned a lot in the process. Is there anyone who stands out for me to replace him at the moment? No, and that is the crux.”

Masi was heavily criticized for his handling of the late safety car period, particularly the restart, at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. So he only allowed the lapped cars between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to pass the safety car. In addition, the safety car was brought in one lap too early.

As a result, Hamilton lost the race lead and thus the world championship to Verstappen on the last lap. Mercedes announced that it would appeal the outcome of the appeal. A protest against the safety car procedure, which had been submitted immediately after the race, had previously failed.

However, Mercedes refrained from appealing after the FIA ​​announced an internal investigation. Hamilton has not commented on his future since the title loss. Team boss Toto Wolff had stated that both he and Hamilton were “disillusioned” with the events.

The FIA ​​recently issued its first statement on the subject since Mohammed Ben Sulayem was appointed President. It states that the analysis of the events in Abu Dhabi will also focus on the use of the safety car.


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