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Reacting to his departure, Michael Masi did not comment on the circumstances of the famous final of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which had upset the outcome of the world championship in the last lap by allowing Max Verstappen to take the title. on the wire to Lewis Hamilton. Highly attacked in the days that followed, especially from Mercedes and part of the media, in particular the Anglo-Saxon press, Michael Masi was initially “dismissed” from the F1 race management. the FIA implicitly recognizing human error – before his final departure. Michael Masi had succeeded prematurely to the emblematic Charlie Whiting, who died at the start of 2020, and several controversies had arisen over race management, the application of penalties or even direct communications between the management and the team managers, all of which was put in often direct light.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to represent the FIA as the FIA’s Single-Seater Sporting Director, Race Director and F1 Safety Delegate since the unexpected and tragic death of Charlie in Melbourne in 2019.” Masi said. “Having worked on various projects around the world with the federation and its member clubs for over a decade prior to my appointment, I have now decided to leave the organization and relocate to Australia to be closer to my family and of my friends (…) I am proud to have worked in partnership for many years with the various member clubs of the FIA, Formula 1 Group, competitors, promoters and circuit operators, as well as with my colleagues and the internal team of the FIA.”
“I will always cherish the relationships and friendships I have developed along my journey. I will be eternally grateful to Herbie Blash and the late Charlie Whiting for identifying me as a future successor in 2018, a role I I was eager to learn from Charlie for several years before his shocking passing.” “I also pass on my sincere thanks for the support and advice given during my tenure by former FIA President Jean Todt, Stefano Domenicali, and my dedicated single-seater team at the FIA.”
Removed from F1 race management after the controversy of the last grand prix of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi where many people pointed out his responsibility, Michael Masi has officially left the FIA.