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FIA boss furious after British newspaper questions: 'Masi went through hell!'

FIA boss furious after British newspaper questions: 'Masi went through hell!'

28-11-2023 15:00

Ludo van Denderen

It has now been two years, but the British media cannot forget the ending of the '21 season. British newspaper The Independent went to visit FIA boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the man who took office as Jean Todt's successor only five days after that year's final. Yet he was asked whether he should not say sorry for what race director Michael Masi had decided in Abu Dhabi at the time?

The newspaper argues that Masi had incorrectly implemented the rules, allowing not Lewis Hamilton but Max Verstappen to win the world title. The FIA president reacted: "I always apologise, but I cannot apologise for something which was done before my time,” said Ben Sulayem. “OK, I will make the apology, but I will bring Michael Masi again. Do you think that is right?

Ben Sulayem then spoke up for Masi, who had to pay for his decision with many threats. "The poor guy is a person who has been attacked and abused. Michael Masi went through hell. Hell! And if I see there is an opportunity that the FIA needs and Michael Masi is the right person, I will bring him."

Ben Sulayem himself also threatened

The FIA boss also suffered a lot of threats himself after the '21 season. "I even had people threatening me to kill me because I had the power to change it (the result). But I said to them: ‘Sorry, the World Cup of 1966, England against Germany, was that correct? Did they change it? No.’ Did they give it to Germany? Nein.”