Michael Masi defended his ridiculous Red Bull conversation, saying that what he did was the right thing to do.
The FIA Race Director raised everyone’s eyebrows when he got on radio with Red Bull. To the surprise of the viewers, he started negotiating a deal with the Milton-Keynes outfit.
The second race restart had to have Max Verstappen give up the place to Lewis Hamilton. This was because of his overtaken on Hamilton off the track at the first restart.
The Race Director intervened and asked the Red Bull crew to consider starting behind Hamilton, failing which Verstappen would get a penalty.
Later, Masi defended his ridiculous Red Bull conversation, and said that it wasn’t a big deal at all.
“I wouldn’t call it a deal, as from a race director’s perspective, I had no authority to actually instruct the teams to do anything in that situation,” he said, as quoted by Read Motorsport.
“I can give them an offer and the ability to do that, but the choice is theirs.
“The stewards are obviously empowered to impose penalties but I can give them my perspective. That’s why I offered them the ability to give that position up.”
Masi also explained why he acted quickly and in the way he did, and that the safety was above all else.
“When I saw it happen at Turn 2, I immediately suggested to the stewards that I’m going to give the team the ability to give that place back,” he continued.
“The red flag obviously ensued very quickly thereafter and that was obviously the priority before we got going again.
“Being under a suspension, it was the ability to effectively correct that before we went racing again.
“It probably seemed a bit elongated compared to normal. However, it’s very much a normal discussion that takes place,” he concluded.