Former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has offered his backing for Race Director Michael Masi over the way the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021 played out.
A real storm was created over those last few tours of the Yas Marina circuit back in December with the last one of all the most dramatic we’ve perhaps ever seen in the sport.
Indeed, many were quick to apportion blame at Race Director Masi’s door and there is still plenty of suggestion that he might not be in the role at the start of next season.
However, one person in his camp and fighting his corner is former F1 driver Grosjean, who said that whilst he felt for Hamilton and the way he lost the championship, the right call was made to let the last lap go without the Safety Car at the head of the pack:
“There are a few ways of seeing it, it would have been very strange to not unlap those cars and have Lewis first and then Max four cars behind over one lap for the World Championship.
“On the other hand, for Lewis it was definitely not a great call, but as a TV fan, as a spectator, for the sport, I think Michael Masi make the right decision.
“I don’t think the championship would have been nice to finish under the safety car. It would not have been nice to finish with the guys being separated on track being first and second separated by a few cars.
“I was more Lewis’ side than Max, so I was kind of, ‘Oh, Lewis lost it over the last part of the season; Max did the same, made an incredible job. But I thought it was so cool to get those two guys going together.”
It was a moment in the sport that has perhaps created a more keenly contested debate than any other, and the repercussions are still yet to fully play out with an FIA investigation ongoing.
Hopefully, though, the coming 2022 season can begin to help all involved move on.