Former FIA President Jean Todt expressed his sympathy for Race Director Michael Masi, saying he is deeply concerned for him.
Masi turned heel under the lights of Yas Marina, influencing the season finale’s final lap and subsequently the championship. He bent the rules and what happened after that has been written about too many times to recount.
Nevertheless, F1 fans were unanimous in their judgement that although Max Verstappen was a deserving champion, Lewis Hamilton was completely robbed in his pursuit of an eighth world championship. He would have won it were it not for the Race Director’s intervention.
With backlash strong even now, Todt expressed his sympathy for Masi, saying he hopes the Australian is doing well.
“I’ve been speaking with him, not specifically about what happened in Abu Dhabi, but about him as a human being,” he told Sky Sports F1, as quoted by Racingnews365.com.
The Frenchman, who left the job of President in December, added, “I hope he will be OK.”
With the sport’s credibility taking a nosedive after the shambles of Abu Dhabi, it is a crunch moment for everyone involved.
McLaren boss Zak Brown, however, assured that the sport will remain ethical and honourable and would redeem itself soon.
“It (F1) can definitely regain its credibility,” Brown told the UK’s F1 broadcaster.
“It’s not the first time we’ve had a referee make a controversial call. This one happened to be pretty big, but I think the sport will have learned by it.
“The only thing I’m a little bit disappointed about is that we might share those results at the first race of the year.
“It doesn’t take that long to do an investigation. Let’s get it done, let’s go to the first race of the year talking about the first race of the year – not the last race of last year,” he concluded.