David Croft tells Ted Kravitz that Michael Masi is ‘still a human being’

Michael Masi became the chairman of the V8 Supercars Commission after leaving the FIA.

Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft has defended Michael Masi for being in the Formula 1 paddock at the Australian Grand Prix, with it having been the Aussie’s first appearance in the paddock since the 2021 season finale.

Masi was, of course, the race director for the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where a ‘human error’ by him resulted in Lewis Hamilton losing the race and an unprecedented eighth World Championship.

Masi was ultimately removed from the role following an investigation into his handling of the race by the FIA, before he eventually left the governing body.

Since that night in Abu Dhabi, Masi has been the victim of constant online abuse and death threats, due to his decisions at the Yas Marina Circuit.

READ: Carlos Sainz copies Jose Mourinho as launches FIA tirade

After leaving the FIA, Masi returned to Australia to become the chairman of the Australian V8 Supercars series, which are part of Formula 1’s support-bill at the Albert Park Circuit.

As a result, Masi was in the F1 paddock due to his job, with the Aussie having been seen talking with some members of the F1 paddock.

One person who seemingly wasn’t pleased to see Masi in the paddock was Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz, who questioned both his appearance and the rumours that he could return to the pinnacle of motorsport.

“Michael Masi, the ex-FIA race director, has been in the paddock for the first time since that fateful day in December 2021,” Kravitz said during Ted’s Notebook. 

Article continues below

“And he’s been saying hello to drivers – he hasn’t been saying hello to Mercedes people. 

“I don’t really… well, I do want to get into it, you know I do. But I won’t. What’s he doing in Australia? He’s in charge of the V8 Supercars, the Australian Touring Cars now.

“But what’s he doing coming back into the Formula 1 paddock?

READ: Saudi Arabia set to launch its own Formula 1 team

“There are some rumours that Formula 1 want him back because Niels Wittich needs some help on the FIA race direction side. But that’s not going to happen. What’s Michael Masi doing in the paddock?”

Despite Kravitz’s comments, Croft actually defended the former race director and reminded people that Masi is “still a human being”.

“No matter what your allegiances where in 2021, you have to remember he’s still a human being,” Croft said on Sky Sports F1.