Helmut Marko stood up for Michael Masi, saying that his decision at the Abu Dhabi GP was completely justified.
Masi threw the final card on the last race of the season, playing fast and loose with the Safety Car rules. That ended up influencing the championship result, shaking up the sport and leaving fans and teams in confusion.
Everyone except Red Bull, that is. The team won their first title in eight years through Max Verstappen, and a large bit of that could be attributed to the Race Director’s bizarre call. The Australian faced heavy criticism for his actions, but the Red Bull team advisor wasn’t having it.
Marko stood up for Masi, and said that ultimately, he had the right to make the big decisions.
“One must also credit Michael Masi who wanted to finish the race under racing conditions,” the Austrian said, as quoted by RaceFans.
“With IndyCar or NASCAR, for example, there is a rule that they even add a lap so that the race can be finished under racing conditions. There were five cars in between and he just sent them away, so that you could drive this last lap. It’s like the referee, he has the right and if he decides like that, then that’s valid.”
“Our team acted sensationally,” he continued.
“Immediately switched to the soft tyres and then, yes, (Lewis) Hamilton had no chance. He (Max) asked me afterwards what I was thinking – ‘you will win it’, it was clear.
“To see him move a car so skilfully at the limit, yes, that warms my heart.
“We don’t need any criticism or anything, as we are actually always in agreement. These constant improvements, I’m excited to see what’s next,” he concluded.