Former driver Stefan Johansson slammed Michael Masi’s decision at the Abu Dhabi GP, and called it nonsensical on all levels.
Masi’s decision to let only a certain number of lapped cars by at the end of the Safety Car caused huge controversy. It ended up influencing the result of the race, with Max Verstappen overtaking a dominant Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the last race.
The decision was vehemently criticised by fans and multiple F1 personalities, who called it out for breaking the rules of the sport. Among them was the former racing driver of eight years, who chimed in with his own two cents.
Johansson slammed Masi’s decision at the Abu Dhabi GP and said it didn’t make sense to him at all.
“First, I guess it’s positive for F1 that everyone is chiming in, that there’s so much passion for either side, Lewis or Max,” he said, as quoted by Racingnews365.com.
“Whether it’s intentional or not, the entertainment value of this controversy has gone through the roof.
“But I think there has to be a balance somewhere because the decisions Masi made make no sense on any level. His decision completely ignored any level of common sense as to what would have been a fair way to handle the situation.”
The right way
“The only way it should have been done was by doing what you’d normally do and indeed what he did in the race prior (in Saudi Arabia),” he continued.
“As soon as they deployed the Safety Car with five laps to go they should have red flagged the race. That’s the only way to keep it level and keep the excitement until the end.
“You would have had everyone come into the pits while they clear the track, put new tyres on and go from there like they did at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when Red Bull rebuilt half their car (sic) and put new tyres on. Had that been done you could have had a fair five-lap shootout for the championship.
“Making the decisions he did and then changing his mind completely at the very last moment absolutely handed the race on a plate to Max and Red Bull after Lewis had done a flawless race,” he concluded.