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Red Bull admits: Masi made a mistake in Abu Dhabi last season
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Red Bull admits: Masi made a mistake in Abu Dhabi last season

29 June - 10:18 Last update: 10:53
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GPblog.com

Christian Horner has taken one last look at what happened in the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Michael Masi ended up being the villain of the bill and had to leave as Formula 1 race director. The Red Bull Racing team boss does not think the way the Australian was forced to leave was right, but months later he agrees that Masi made one mistake.

And that one mistake may have cost him his head. Horner tells The Cambridge Union"He made one mistake in that he didn’t allow all lapped cars to un-lap themselves. I think there was three cars that were kept at the back of the field and unable to [un-] lap themselves. That was the only mistake that he made.”

Mercedes believed at the time that Masi made a second important mistake. The safety car should not have been brought in on that lap. The rules state that Bernd Mayländer should have stayed on for another lap, but the race direction decided otherwise. Horner said nothing about this in the programme we know as College Tour.

Too little support from the FIA

Masi was sidelined in February of this year following 'reforms' at the FIA. In the two months between the incident and the decision by the international governing body, Masi was completely slaughtered online. "So I thought it was tremendously harsh for him to be hung out to dry, particularly in public, and then the trolling that he got and the abuse that he got online without really support the federation behind him," Horner stated.

More support for Masi would have been desirable. "For me, I was very disappointed in the way that the FIA dealt with Michael because he was in race control doing the best that he could with the pressure that he had. The mantra was always very clear that he was always going to be under pressure to restart that race. Nobody wanted to see a world championship won under a Safety Car.”

Masi not biased

Much was said and written in the period following the last Grand Prix of 2021. Verstappen was said to have been given the title by the FIA as a gift, but the 48-year-old Briton totally disagrees. "There was a lot of decisions he made last year that we felt went against us, whether it was yellow flags in qualifying in Qatar or the Silverstone incident with Lewis. But I did feel sorry for him that there should have been more support after that championship because he was in an incredibly difficult position," Horner concludes his story.

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