The FIA is reportedly planning a revised structure around the Race Director’s role in Formula 1 ahead of the new season, in a bid to prevent scenarios like the one in Abu Dhabi playing out in the future, and this could see Michael Masi leave his position.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2021 will live long in the memory but not necessarily for the right reasons.
Whilst the drama and tension were incredible, the way in which Lewis Hamilton lost his chance at winning an eighth world title on the final lap has left many asking for change at the top of the sport when it comes to those who call the shots throughout the race.
Indeed, according to BBC Sport, the FIA is looking at a revised structure around the Race Director role that will bid to negate some of the lobbying we saw throughout the 2021 season and certainly in the final race where the likes of Toto Wolff and Christian Horner were on the radio sending demands to Masi.
The report states that it was felt that Masi was ‘left exposed, isolated and under too much pressure in the final laps of the race’ as Wolff and Horner called for differing decisions over the bringing in of the Safety Car and a barrier could be put in place whereby team personnel have to contact someone else first rather than the Race Director.
However, despite this acknowledgement, the report also reveals that there remains serious questions over Masi’s future in the role and that the most likely outcome for 2022 is that he will be replaced as part of this new structure.
The BBC say that every team has been asked for their view on the matter and that some of them have told new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem that the best course of action would be for Masi to be replaced, though the Beeb goes on to say:
“Red Bull denied that they had called for Masi to go. Ferrari said they were not aware of any such request. Mercedes, McLaren, Alpine, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo and Haas were unavailable. Williams said it ‘does not believe it is for teams to decide FIA personnel’.”
The FIA investigation is ongoing and the full findings won’t be revealed until the Bahrain Grand Prix race weekend – though you would have thought a decision on Masi and the new structure will have been taken by then.