Formula 1 | Masi ‘has done too much damage to Formula 1’ to stay

FIA race director Michael Masi has been accused of causing « too much damage to Formula 1 » to be able to stay, following his controversial handling of the events of last season.

The Australian’s judgment on the final laps of the safety car period swung the drivers’ title from one side to the other, Lewis Hamilton having dominated the race but Max Verstappen was able to take advantage of the ultimate decision to prevail.

It remains to be seen whether Masi will be forced to step down or allowed to continue, alone or with others to ease the pressure.

Debating Masi’s ability to carry on, in conversation with other former F1 drivers, Martin Brundle, Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert were quite candid, notably the former Benetton driver.

« In many ways, and in all ways, no it’s not possible for Masi to stay, » was Herbert’s first response.

« I think he’s done too much damage to Formula 1. Because of the position he’s in, you have to have confidence, and I think that confidence has completely and utterly evaporated. »

Herbert, however, recognizes there is another problem as there is no natural successor, unlike when Masi was appointed after learning his trade under Charlie Whiting.

« The problem is who to replace him with. Because obviously experience is going to be very, very important for the man in this position. Michael was very lucky because he was under Charle Whiting when Charlie was at this position and he learned a lot of very good things from this point of view. »

« Is there someone standing out for me right now to replace him? No. And that’s the conundrum. »

Martin Brundle, meanwhile, believes Masi needs a capable assistant alongside him, like Whiting had with Herbie Blash.

« If the FIA ​​and F1 want Michael Masi to stay, and if Michael Masi wants to stay, he clearly only has one life left, right, I don’t know if that’s tenable at all. levels and in the long term. »

« Like Johnny said, who to replace him with? Be careful what people want, that’s what I would say about it. What I’m absolutely sure of is that changing Michael Masi won’t solve not the problem. It’s way too big a job for one person to handle in a 23-race season. »

« We’re all over the world…it’s only growing exponentially, so Masi, if he stays, needs a lot of support around him, and I suspect that’s what they plan to do. find right now. And who would really want to step into his shoes now? »

Damon Hill agreed with Brundle on this point.

« I think he’s learned his lesson, » says the 1996 champ.

« We need someone who has experience so that at least people know who they are dealing with. He just needs back-up and the fact that he is legit to impose his law as a last resort, assuming, of course, that this is executed in accordance with the regulations. »

When asked if Masi was perhaps the one who might bear the brunt of all the fallout from the FIA ​​investigation, Brundle replied: « He could be the sacrificial lamb, yes. »

« What’s really important here for the FIA ​​and for Formula 1 is that this doesn’t get swept under the rug and left for a few weeks, waiting for 2022 F1 to take hold. We have to understand this. happened and why it won’t happen again. »

« We need to reassure fans that what they are seeing is real, authentic and that they are giving their time off to watch something that is real competition. »

Hill would find it unfair for Masi to be the only scapegoat in the story.

« He’s got a lot to deal with and I think he gave in to the pressure, from the two teams who were on the radio with him. It’s something they’re going to look at and the FIA ​​will definitely say ‘We don’t can’t have people as powerful as Toto Wolff and Christian Horner harassing the race director as he tries to get the race started again’. »

« He’s been under huge pressure. He had a lot on his plate and he needs back up. It was just a horrible mess at the end and it left all this chaos, this feeling of dissatisfaction with how this championship is over. »

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