NOVEMBER 29, 2023
FIA could revive Michael Masi's F1 career
Michael Masi could make a shock return to Formula 1.
The Australian, 45, was ousted from his role as F1 race director after the highly controversial 2021 season finale, in which a contentious safety car decision preceded Max Verstappen's last-lap title defeat of Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is still furious about the episode all this time later, alluding to the saga ahead of the team's head-to-head for second in the constructors' championship with Ferrari in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
With a proper race director, that should be fine, the Austrian quipped.
Masi's departure as race director came just before Mohammed Ben Sulayem was made FIA president, but F1's governing body has always stopped short of being overly critical of the official.
For instance, Ben Sulayem still refuses to apologise, with scores of Hamilton fans believing Masi's alleged foul robbed the Mercedes driver of his eighth title.
I always apologise, the FIA chief now tells the Guardian newspaper, "but I cannot apologise for something which was done before my time.
"Ok, I will do the apology, but I will bring Michael Masi again. Do you think that is right?
The poor guy is a person who has been attacked and abused. Michael Masi went through hell. And if I see there is an opportunity that the FIA needs, and Michael Masi is the right person, I will bring him.
Since losing his top F1 job, Masi has worked for the Supercars Commission and Karting Australia in his native country.
He has also admitted to seeking mental health support to cope with the fallout of the controversy.
I even had people threatening to kill me, FIA president Ben Sulayem admits. "Because I had the power to change it.
But I said to them 'Sorry, the World Cup of 1966, England against Germany, was that correct? Did they change it? No'. Did they give it to Germany? Nein.