Michael Masi ‘manipulation’ resurfaces at first-ever F1 Exhibition

Lewis Hamilton lost the 2021 title on the final lap of the season following a 'human error' by former race director Michael Masi, as judged by the FIA.

The 2021 Formula 1 World Championship is the season that simply will never be forgotten, largely due to the controversial handling of the season finale by race director at the time Michael Masi.

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix interestingly resurfaced on Thursday following the grand opening of the world’s first F1 Exhibition, which can be found in Madrid, Spain.

F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali was present at the opening of the exhibit, where he officially opened it to guests following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The exhibit is certainly one-of-a-kind, with Romain Grosjean’s chassis from his fireball crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix being on-display, as is Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri from his maiden win at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.

READ: Christian Horner in difficult position as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez ‘friction’ re-emerges

A gift shop has also been installed into the exhibit, where fans can buy a very interesting mug.

Following the opening, the first guests of the exhibit were quick to notice that mugs with a quote from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff were available to purchase, something which hasn’t gone down well with several people.

F1 have been labelled as “shameless” for selling mugs linked to the 2021 finale, with Wolff’s famous radio message to Masi being available.

The mugs in question read: “No Michael no.”

Article continues below

It is, of course, a reference to the closing laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, where Masi implemented the incorrect rules when it came to ending the race’s late Safety Car.

The race was instantly labelled as “manipulated” by Lewis Hamilton, who would’ve won an unprecedented eighth world title had the rules been followed.

Due to the rules having been broken by Masi, Max Verstappen was given an opportunity to overtake Hamilton, something which wouldn’t have happened in normal circumstances.

As a result of Masi’s mistake, Verstappen claimed the win and his maiden title, something which will forever live in Hamilton’s and Wolff’s memory.

READ: Sergio Perez spotted celebrating with his former team

The FIA never used Masi again as a race director and found him guilty of having made a ‘human error’, following an investigation into the race.

Hamilton has now lost two potential titles through incredible circumstances, although, he openly admits they don’t feel the same.

“No, it was different, it was different because this one wasn’t manipulated by anybody. Someone made a decision for that result to be the way it was basically,” Hamilton said, when asked if losing the 2007 and 2021 titles felt the same.