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Good friend Masi: 'That's something that people forgot in this debate'

Good friend Masi: 'That's something that people forgot in this debate'

19 February - 10:40 Last update: 13:03


The conclusion of the 2021 season was a special highlight for Max Verstappen, but a low point for Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton kept a low profule all winter, but race director Michael Masi also kept quiet. After it was confirmed he'd be leaving his role as race director we hear from him again through a close friend.

The Australian race director and successor to Charlie Whiting, came under heavy fire after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. His decision to let the race continue under the safety car instead of waving the red flag was investigated by the FIA. The verdict of the governing body is harsh and Masi will not hold the same position within the race committee in the future. Masi has not yet responded publicly, but the CEO of Motorsport Australia, the umbrella body of motorsport in Australia, Eugene Arocca considers himself a close friend of Masi and spoke to the former race director.

'Touching what happened to Masi'

Speaking to the Australian Speedcafe.com Arocca said that for him personally, it is disappointing and stunning to see what has happened. Arocca is cautious and is aware that he may not know some of the details.

"When you see a friend go through something like that, you get to a certain level of empathy, disappointment, frustration and anger."

Arocca wants to emphasise that Masi is a professional who has been in the business for years and balks at the fact that that is forgotten: “That’s something that people may have lost in some of the debate."

The fact that Masi has not been completely worked out of the race committee, but that he may yet be given another role within the body is cold comfort, but it does show that Masi's knowledge and experience are valued by the FIA. According to the FIA, the mistake made by Masi showed flaws in the foundation of the race control system. Therefore, the whole system is going to be overhauled. The controversial point of this restructuring remains the implication that the FIA appears to be sensitive to pressure and protests from the Mercedes camp after all, although the team denies having demanded Masi's resignation.

Arocca is full of praise for the way Masi has handled the situation of the past three months. According to his compatriot, the Australian must have a thick skin to endure what he has endured. Arocca: "Fortunately, given the fact that he responded this morning - and he was obviously very flat, he's a man with fantastic resilience."

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