Ben Sulayem: Masi is an important figure in the FIA
A glaring fact following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is that the man they so ruthlessly tarred and feathered – Michael Masi – has yet to speak on that night, but despite various reports to the contrary, it remains an integral part of the governing body of Formula 1, says FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
Depending on who you believe of the callers who claimed he was still ‘in bad shape and on medication’ to talk about him ‘resigning immediately after the race and now filing a huge lawsuit against the FIA’ to ‘the man is cold and in good condition.” spirits always with the FIA.”
The latter is of course the most plausible, especially since FIA President Ben Sulayem confirmed, ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend, that Masi’ had been removed as manager. F1 racing to ‘take the pressure and the stress off him, because he’s really been through a lot.
“We are grateful for the three years he has invested with us, and he has taken his time but now we are negotiating with him of course to stay in the FIA. He is an important figure for us so our people are negotiating another , I wouldn’t say a job, but another place for him within the FIA,” insisted Ben Sulayem.
Masi was replaced by two F1 race directors, former WEC race director Eduardo Freitas and former DTM race director Niels Wittich. Their first race in charge, the dramatic albeit relatively subdued 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix (in terms of controversy) went off without a hitch, ironically also with a safety car deployment at the end of the race…
Ben Sulayem: We have done, as promised, a thorough investigation now we want to move on
A new position is reportedly being sought for Masi within the FIA. He was not fired as some have assumed and even reported.
The FIA report said he “acted in good faith” despite the night’s “human error” and added: “The process of identifying run-in cars has so far been manual and human error did that not all cars were allowed to unfold. Whose human error?
Despite many unanswered questions, which only Masi can really answer if he wishes, Ben Sulayem said, “We have done, as promised, a thorough investigation and now we have revealed the findings. Now we want to move on and we finished the race in Abu Dhabi with the analysis.
“It’s the start of 2022, with all the new cars and all the excitement. I think we should enjoy it and leave that behind and make sure we have a good new year,” added Ben Sulayem, wanting clearly put an end to this chapter of F1 history.