Fans of Sir Lewis Hamilton have launched a fresh push on social media to oust race director Michael Masi, with #MasiOut and #WeStandWithLewis both trending on Twitter on Thursday morning.
This latest drive for Masi to be sacked came hot on the heels of the BBC reporting that Mercedes had agreed a deal with the FIA that saw them withdrew their intention to appeal the classification of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in exchange for the Australian being axed.
However, Mercedes have reportedly denied the existence of such a deal with the FIA.
The FIA later sparked rumours that Masi has already been fired, with the Australian not being present in the latest edition of the FIA General Organisation Chart.
He was listed as “head of single-seaters sporting matters” in the FIA’s October organisation chart – the most recent version of the document to be released prior to the season finale in the UAE capital.
Expressing their support for Hamilton amid rumours that the Brit is considering retiring from Formula 1, following the heartbreak he suffered in Abu Dhabi in December, thousands of fans have posted tweets calling for Masi to be sacked and for Hamilton to return in 2022 to once again go after his eighth F1 crown.
Many Hamilton fans accused Masi of “fabricating” and “manipulating” the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to favour Max Verstappen or to simply create last-minute drama.
Others also called for Masi to be fired following the 2021 season finale.
The Formula 1 community, particularly fans of the seven-time world champion, are eagerly awaiting confirmation from Hamilton that he will continue to race in the pinnacle of motorsport in 2022.
The Briton has been eerily quiet since the heartbreak he suffered at the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with him not speaking to the media – barring the post-race interview – and not posting anything on his various social media platforms.
Mercedes team principal and co-owner Toto Wolff previously admitted that he could not guarantee that Hamilton will be racing in Formula 1 in 2022.
The Austrian said that he and Hamilton were “disillusioned at the moment”, feeling that they had been cheated out of the 2021 Drivers’ Championship.
Asked if he believes Hamilton will return in 2022, Wolff replied: “I would very much hope Lewis continues racing because he is the greatest driver of all time.
“As a racer his heart will say I need to continue because he’s at the peak of his game.
“But we have to overcome the pain that was caused upon him on Sunday. He is a man with clear values.”