Formula 1 journalist Joe Saward does not think that Michael Masi will lose his job as race director despite the events that transpired on the final day of last season. Saward further emphasied that Masi didn’t do anything wrong.
Masi faced a great deal of criticism for how he handled events at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, with Lewis Hamilton facing the repercussions of some dubious decision-making.
Mercedes had decided not to pit Hamilton due to a previous decision made by the race director. Max Verstappen, who had much fresher tyres than the British driver, was able to storm to victory and claim his maiden F1 world championship.
While Mercedes did not launch an official appeal against Masi, it is believed that the team was left far from impressed with the Australian. The Silver Arrows team boss Toto Wolff had, at the time, told Masi that his decision was “so not right”.
Since then, Masi has peculiarly been absent from FIA’s organisational chart in January and there is a widespread belief that he will lose his job.
Masi didn’t break any rule: Saward
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently met with team principals to get their thoughts on the matter, and a decision is going to be made which will ensure “structural changes and an action plan” are implemented.
Saward, though, does not believe Masi will lose his job. He thinks that if FIA gives in to Mercedes’ demands, it will make the organisation seem a lot weaker.
“It remains to be seen what this means, but it is not thought likely that the federation will axe race director Michael Masi, as this would obviously be a sign of the FIA kowtowing to pressures from external forces,” Saward said.
Saward goes on to say that Masi actually did not make any mistake and fans of Hamilton need to understand this.
“Everyone feels for Lewis and what happened,” he continued.
“But some of the crusaders who are trying to mount witch-hunts against Masi need to understand – as the FIA Stewards in Abu Dhabi obviously did – that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with what the race director did.
“Even if the result was patently unfair and Hamilton did not deserve to lose the race and thus the title.”