Michael Masi

Michael Masi, removed as Formula One race director over his management of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, has left the FIA. Photo: Twitter

BREAKING: Masi axed as F1 race director after recent controversy

The FIA has confirmed that Michael Masi has been removed from his position as F1 race director after the major controversy from last season.

Michael Masi

Michael Masi, removed as Formula One race director over his management of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, has left the FIA. Photo: Twitter

In a season of high drama, Max Verstappen claimed his maiden Formula One driver’s championship, with the Dutch driver outpacing Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the final race – thanks in part to the decision-making of Masi.

Mercedes immediately protested against the dramatic safety car procedure that allowed one final opportunity for Verstappen to overtake Lewis Hamilton to clinch the world championship.

This appeal was ultimately dismissed by the stewards, with Verstappen crowned champion, but that didn’t stop Masi from coming under fire for disregarding certain regulations and ultimately favouring the demands from the Red Bull team prior to the dramatic final stages of the season-ending race.

INCREDIBLE SCENES AS MAX VERSTAPPEN SNATCHES F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ON FINAL LAP

Verstappen had taken advantage of a safety car and a controversial judgement from Masi

With the race director instructing only certain “lapped” cars to go past Hamilton, it resulted in competitive race conditions for the two title contenders to battle it out under a green light for one final lap.

Verstappen and Hamilton, who went into the race level on points, went wheel to wheel to the chequered flag with the Dutchman edging the race.

Until then, Hamilton had been coasting, his eighth world title seemingly in the bag, but Red Bull then received an unlikely “miracle” after Nicholas Latifi crashed.

It allowed Red Bull to enforce a pit stop for Verstappen, who put on fresh tyres, while Hamilton didn’t pit as Mercedes didn’t want him to lose pole position if the race ended under the safety car.

Although Red Bull and Verstappen celebrated the Dutch driver’s maiden title, Mercedes lodged an appeal, but it didn’t alter the end result.

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
133Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA581:30:17.34526
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES58+2.256s18
355Carlos SainzFERRARI58+5.173s15
422Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA58+5.692s12
510Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA58+6.531s10
677Valtteri BottasMERCEDES58+7.463s8
74Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES58+59.200s6
814Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT58+61.708s4
931Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT58+64.026s2
1016Charles LeclercFERRARI58+66.057s1
115Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN MERCEDES58+67.527s0
123Daniel RicciardoMCLAREN MERCEDES57+1 lap0
1318Lance StrollASTON MARTIN MERCEDES57+1 lap0
1447Mick SchumacherHAAS FERRARI57+1 lap0
1511Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA55DNF0
NC6Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES50DNF0
NC99Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI33DNF0
NC63George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES26DNF0
NC7Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI25DNF0

Max Verstappen wins WDC