Masi eliminated as F1 race director

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Michael Masi has been faraway from his place as F1 race director after the investigation into his dealing with of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.

Masi botched the end of the title decider between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton final yr. The race was settled by a one-lap dash, which noticed Verstappen move Hamilton to win the title after the security automotive restart guidelines had been incorrectly utilized by Masi.

Masi created that last-lap showdown when he solely let a certain quantity of lapped automobiles overtake Hamilton, transferring Verstappen proper up behind him on model new tyres, earlier than restarting the race one lap earlier than the rules stated he was imagined to in that scenario.

On Thursday, new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem confirmed that Masi had been faraway from the place and changed by an overhauled system of controlling and officiating F1 races.

The choice is successfully an admission by the FIA that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix shouldn’t have been restarted in the best way it was.

Hamilton is ready to talk to the media for the primary time since Abu Dhabi on Friday, on the launch of Mercedes’ 2022 automotive, and his emotions on Masi’s departure will doubtless be a focus of the questions he receives.

The position of race director will likely be crammed by two alternating individuals. Niels Wittich, present DTM race director, and Eduardo Freitas, present race director of the World Endurance Championship, will take turns in filling the position.

They’ll each be assisted by Herbie Blash, 73, who used to work in an identical position below former race director Charlie Whiting however retired in 2016. Masi stepped in to exchange Whiting after his sudden demise on the eve of the 2019 season opener.

One contentious level with Masi’s dealing with of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was how he appeared overwhelmed and inundated with messages from Mercedes and Crimson Bull. The FIA has confirmed that groups will now not have the ability to ship messages on to the race director, which is able to now presumably be dealt with by Blash in his new position.

They are going to be assisted by a digital race management room the FIA has likened to the controversial Digital Assistant Referee (VAR) system in soccer. This will likely be situated outdoors the F1 circuit and can work in real-time reference to the F1 race director to use the sporting rules “utilizing probably the most fashionable technological instruments”.

The timing of the announcement was curious, because it got here moments after Ferrari, the game’s hottest staff, had launched its new F1 automotive for the 2022 season.

A number of drivers had voiced their assist of Masi earlier than the FIA’s resolution was made public.

Final week on the launch of Aston Martin’s new automotive four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel stated he felt Masi should keep his job and shouldn’t be judged on the premise of 1 resolution. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo stated he felt Masi ought to maintain his job, however added that his fellow Australian most likely wanted assist in the position to do it correctly.

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