Michael Masi: Bernie Ecclestone issues frank take on 'overwhelmed' Race Director


Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that he felt the final lap decision in Abu Dhabi to let Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen race was the right one, but that at times this year he's felt Michael Masi has been overwhelmed.

Controversy is often king in Formula 1 and that was certainly the case on Sunday after a one-lap shootout was effectively called to decide the world title.

Indeed, Race Director Michael Masi opted to bring in the Safety Car - before every lapped car had unlapped itself - to open the door for Verstappen on fresh tyres to overtake Hamilton and win the championship in the final corners.

It was a decision that sparked huge debate both in and outside the F1 sphere and the man who once presided over it all with an iron fist, has given his view:

"It was a great race with the right result," Ecclestone told Bild.

"In many cases [Masi] was overwhelmed with his job all season and maybe shouldn't have had it at all.

"In the end, though, he made the right decision to let Lewis and Max race against each other again on the last lap. It would have been unfair to end such a season and such a finish with the safety car.

"Hamilton would have been world champion and all the fans would have said 'What are these stupid stewards doing?' No, he did the right thing in this case."

It's probably fair to say not everyone will agree with all the elements of what Bernie is saying here and we'll just have to wait and see what changes, if any, are made for 2022.

Yes, it was hugely dramatic and exciting but at what point do we want to risk alienating fans and new supporters just for a 'show?'



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