F1 News

Michael Masi left position because of threats: 'Unfair to him'

Michael Masi left position because of threats: 'Unfair to him'

12 January - 19:35 Last update: 22:53


Michael Masi received a lot of hate after the 2021 Abu Dhabi season finale, where Max Verstappen managed to overtake rival Lewis Hamilton for the world title on the last lap. The FIA's decisions during the safety car period led to the Dutchman getting that chance. According to Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Masi's departure is largely due to the threats he received.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Masi was replaced as race director. Last July, the FIA confirmed that the Australian had officially left the governing body. In previous interviews, Masi spoke of the death threats and online hatred he had to endure after the events in Abu Dhabi.

Masi is certainly not the only person within the FIA to have been threatened after controversial decisions. Steward Silvia Bellot also faced online hatred after the US Grand Prix because of the decision to punish Fernando Alonso.

Masi did not want to continue because of threats

Speaking to Marca Mohammed Ben Sulayem let it be known that online abuse must end. The FIA president blamed the online hate messages for Masi's departure. "Human errors were made and I felt he also just didn't want to continue because of the negative messages on social media. It was unfair for him. The FIA always supported him. This is the same thing happening to Silvia."

Ben Sulayem says he himself also received threats to reverse the results of Abu Dhabi 2021, but he did not take the messages seriously himself. The FIA president thinks serious steps should be taken to counter online hatred, as it can cause great damage to the sport.

Video player

More videos