F1: Mercedes Denies Closing A Deal With FIA To Sack Michael Masi

Mercedes has denied striking a behind the scenes deal with the FIA

FIA has stayed mum on the issue as has Masi which hasnt been seen since the Abu Dhabi race expand View Photos

FIA has stayed mum on the issue as has Masi which hasnt been seen since the Abu Dhabi race

While officially, the FIA has backed race director Michael Masi, there are reports which state that Mercedes came down to behind the scenes deal with the FIA which involved it taking back its appeal against the result of the Abu Dhabi GP which involved the removal of the Australian as the race director for F1 races. Mercedes, however, has denied this report. 

Mercedes felt aggrieved that Michael Masi had not applied the rules properly in the finale of the 2021 F1 season which saw Max Verstappen controversially overtaking Lewis Hamilton in the last lap of the race to win his maiden world title. Masi decided to not allow lapped cars to unlap themselves on the lead lap, only to change the decision to allow lapped cars between the race leaders to unlap themselves and brought the safety car in immediately. Verstappen who had been tailing had pitted for fresh tyres and had a pace advantage over Hamilton who didn’t pit assuming that the race would end behind a safety car. 


Masi has been the FIA race director since the 2019 season 

The BBC has reported that Mercedes reached an agreement with the FIA which involves the exit of Michael Masi and the FIA single-seater technical chief Nikolas Tombazis would no longer be in their positions in 2022. However, Mercedes is denying any deal, however, it reiterated that it did get assurances from the FIA that the matter would be addressed seriously. 

The FIA had announced a commission that will look into the matter which will analyse the situation. Lewis Hamilton’s future in F1 is also under the cloud with Toto Wolff indicating that he may not return to the grid despite his contract after his heartbreaking loss. Hamilton has stayed mum since his post-race interview in Abu Dhabi where he said “we’ll see about next year.” He even didn’t show up for the FIA end season prize-giving gala in Paris which he was mandated to by purview of being the runner-up in the driver’s championship. 


New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has said that Hamilton hasn’t responded to his overtures and perhaps could also get a 10-place penalty in the first race of the 2022 season because of him not showing up for the FIA gala. 

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