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Michael Masi Abu Dhabi 2021 controversy baseless – Italian Journalist

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michael masi abu dhabi 2021
Michael Masi. Photo/Stuff.co.nz
  • Michael Masi Abu Dhabi 2021 Grand Prix sparked fierce controversy
  • Leo Turrini, a famous Italian journalist documented what happened
  • Turrini says Masi is not to blame

Michael Masi Abu Dhabi 2021 Grand Prix sparked fierce controversy following Lewis Hamilton’s ‘denial’ of an eighth World Championship title. Now, the man at the centre of it all; the then race director, Masi can breathe easy.

This is after Leo Turrini, a famous Italian journalist documented what happened at the final race in the 2021 F1 circuit. Turrino and Bert Mylander, who drove the safety car in Formula One for more than 19 years, have the same viewpoint.

They argue that Mercedes could have won the championship if he had pitted the safety car for softs.

MICHAEL MASI ABU DHABI 2021 GRAND PRIX

Michael Masi Abu Dhabi 2021 conduct according to insiders within F1 was flawed. It leaked of a pre-arranged deal with Red Bull. In fact, the FIA stated in its findings that race was allegedly compromised by radio chats. They were between race director Masi and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

FIA maintained that Masi misapplied the safety car procedure. Verstappen was able to catch and pass Hamilton on the final lap thanks to his measures, which were aimed at avoiding the race ending behind the safety car.

Many doubted Masi’s ability to make decisions after Max Verstappen won the constructor’s championship title in 2021.

Michael Masi

Michael Masi. Photo/Autosport

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2021?

The 2021 F1 championship decider at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix remains a controversial event. Primarily due to the actions of ex-Race Director Masi during the final laps. He called for a restart of the race under the safety car. This was despite incomplete procedures in his call which significantly altered the course of the race. Ultimately, it handed the championship victory to Verstappen over Hamilton which Turrini and and Mylander are against.

What really happened though? With five laps remaining, Nicholas Latifi crashed, triggering the safety car deployment. While the safety car was deployed, Masi initially instructed only lapped cars between Verstappen and Hamilton to unlap themselves.

This created an unusual situation where five lapped cars separated the two title contenders. However, with the race clock ticking down and pressure mounting, Masi reversed his decision. He allowed all lapped cars to unlap themselves, except for the five directly behind Verstappen.

Thus, the safety car exited the track on the last lap, paving the way for a one-lap sprint showdown between Verstappen and Hamilton. Benefiting from newer tires and the clear track ahead, Verstappen executed a decisive overtake on the last corner, clinching his inaugural F1 World Championship title.

Michael Masi

Michael Masi. Photo/New York Times

However, Turrini and Mylander place the blame on Mercedes and Hamilton which clears Michael Masi Abu Dhabi 2021 of any wrong doing. The famous Italian journalist places the responsibility for the crucial call on Toto Wolff, rather than Masi.

“Mr Safety Car is absolutely right, as I have maintained since then: Lewis, who wanted to enter the pits was screwed over by people who thought they were too powerful,” he writes.

Certainly, hindsight is always 20/20, as the saying goes. Had Hamilton chosen to pit while Verstappen did not Mercedes would still get blamed. And if the safety car persisted until the conclusion, Mercedes would still be blamed for making the decision to pit Hamilton.

WHERE DOES MICHAEL MASI WORK NOW?

With the controversy surrounding Michael Masi Abu Dhabi 2021 race in Abu Dhabi, he left the FIA and moved back home in Australia. He landed a job as the independent Chairman of the Australian Supercars Commission in September 2022. Masi was later appointed to the Karting Australia board of directors in December 2022.

He opened up months after his sacking by the FIA that leaving F1 under the circumstances made him struggle mentally. He moved to a friend’s house after FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem sacked him as the race director. He lived in London’s Elephant and Castle neighbourhood where he spent most of his time cooking thereafter.

There was so much vitriol against him online and in the streets that he feared for his life. That’s when he decided to stay at a friend’s house instead of hiring security.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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