Masi set to receive remote support from Geneva after controversy-filled season

Michael Masi has been under fire since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Two names have been reported as a potential support bubble for Formula 1 race director Michael Masi ahead of the 2022 season.

Masi was at the centre of controversy on multiple occasions last year, most notably at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.

Sir Lewis Hamilton looked set to record his eighth world championship at the Yas Marina Circuit, comfortably leading Max Verstappen heading into the closing stages.

However, a late Safety Car caused by a Nicholas Latifi crash left five lapped runners between the two title protagonists when the Dutchman pitted, and in unprecedented circumstances, Masi contradicted an earlier decision not to allow any lapped runners through by only permitting the five between the leaders to get their lap back.

The 24-year-old would then pass the Briton on the final lap, enraging Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who told Masi that the finish was “so not right.”

The Silver Arrows are now closely monitoring a “detailed” investigation the FIA are currently carrying out into the closing events in Abu Dhabi, and new executive director of single-seaters, Peter Bayer, has not ruled out the possibility of the 44-year-old losing his role as race director.

But he has insisted that he would much prefer to install an infrastructure that aids the Australian in his duties rather than oust him given the sheer volume of strenuous tasks he needs to carry out over the course of a race weekend.

The aforementioned support could come in the form of Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich, according to a report by

Freitas has over 20 years of experience under his belt as race director in the World Endurance Championship [WEC], while Wittich was until recently director of a 13-person strong team that managed DTM races.

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The latter has since left his position and been replaced by Formula E race director Scot Elkins.

It is said that Wittich will provide direct assistance to Masi on an “operational level”, while Freitas will be on hand to lend a hand from a remote location, “possibly from Geneva”.

New FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has recently met with the teams to discuss the governing body’s initial findings and chalk out their next steps.

“The FIA President led detailed discussions of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” said the FIA in a statement on Monday.

“Feedback from the Commission on matters raised will be incorporated into the President’s analysis and he will publicly present news of structural changes and action plan in the coming days.”

Multiple members of the Formula 1 paddock have defended Masi since December, insisting that he simply needs help during stressful situations – particularly when he is being hounded by teams over the radio.

Bayer has also indicated that teams will be permitted one select member to speak directly to race control during the 2022 season, which gets underway on 20 March in Bahrain.