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Masi: ‘Some are convinced there is a bias against them’

Masi: ‘Some are convinced there is a bias against them’

26-11-2021 19:54 Last update: 22:21


In recent weeks there has been a lot of controversy surrounding race director Michael Masi and the stewards. They have been at the centre of the title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the last few races, which is now being fought out both on and off track.

Masi spoke to the drivers at the driver briefing during the race weekend in Qatar, where he hoped to shed more light on what is and isn't allowed during a race. For some drivers the rules remain unclear. The race director thinks he has found a possible solution for that.

Same stewards for every race

A common complaint is the lack of consistency from the stewards. Identical incidents don't always have the same consequences, which creates confusion for some drivers. Masi is trying to find a solution that will bring more consistency to the stewards' decisions. That solution may be to create a permanent stewards' group.

Masi would prefer not to use that method, however, for fear of bias. "If you ask the opinion of those who have had to deal with a group of permanent stewards, I think you will get interesting answers," Masi said in conversation with the Italian branch of Motorsport.com. "Some drivers were convinced that they were victims of a bias against them. This has led to the formula that is currently in use."

Masi and FIA consider title fight

"Currently we have a group of four stewards who change from race to race, and the different members meet regularly," continued the 42-year-old Australian. "I also think we need to take a step back, and keep in mind that for the first time in a long time we are seeing a real battle for the world championship."

The race director stressed that in an intense title fight such as this, it is virtually impossible to please everyone. "That battle takes place between two fantastic drivers from two fantastic teams, and there is no steward in the world who can get everyone on the same page in this context. You have to keep in mind that when you make a decision, there are time limits for any appeal. Teams have to get their right to appeal, so it all has to happen within those time limits."

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