Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok thinks Race Director Michael Masi was “screwed over” by Nicholas Latifi’s crash at the Abu Dhabi GP.
The 2021 season had everything for all kinds of fans. However, one thing it didn’t have was a fair and legal end, with its conclusion leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouths.
Max Verstappen won the world championship in highly controversial fashion thanks to Masi making a terrible interpretation of the Safety Car rules in the wake of the crash in the dying laps.
It ended up affecting race leader Lewis Hamilton, who was set to take the win and the championship had the Australian not played foul.
However, Chandhok thinks Masi was “screwed over” by the crash at Abu Dhabi, saying it was a complex minefield to navigate for anyone.
“I think what happened was Latifi crashed and Masi had a choice, at that point you do a safety car or red flag,” Chandhok told Express Sport, as quoted by GP Fans.
“He looked at the incident and thought, ‘That should be relatively quick to clear up’.
“There is a recovery vehicle right there, there is an escape road right there, it should be a quick recovery so there should be a safety car. That is fine, that is not an unusual decision to have made.”
A rock and a hard place
“I think where he got a bit screwed over really is that the brakes caught fire on the car as they were trying to take it off the track,” the Indian continued.
“So the marshals had to jump on and get the fire extinguisher out obviously, that dumped a load of stuff onto the track.
“He couldn’t have red-flagged it at that point, because as per the procedure of the red flag you have to do an out-lap as well as a timed lap. If he had red-flagged it, we wouldn’t have had a restart.”