Michael Masi reveals what he told his parents amid abuse from Lewis Hamilton fans

Lewis Hamilton has ruled out speaking with former race director Michael Masi, whose call cost him a record-breaking eighth world title.

Former Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has returned to the paddock for the first time since his departure from the FIA amid the fallout from his safety car call at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

After a crash brought out the safety car in the final laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton looked on course to win his eighth world title, beating Michael Schumacher’s record.

However, Masi’s decision to only clear the lapped cars between Hamilton and Max Verstappen and bring the safety car back into the pits allowed the Dutchman to secure his first ever world title in a last lap shootout.

Mercedes were outraged by the decision and Hamilton has been vocal on his thoughts about how the result was “manipulated” to deny him victory. 

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An FIA report blamed the controversy on “human error,” accepting a mistake was made but that Masi was “acting in good faith” under “immense pressure.”

The FIA ruled out overturning the results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and that year’s world championship race, claiming they are “valid, final and cannot now be changed.”

Masi has spoken out about the burden of his former role and the abuse he suffered in the weeks that followed the end of the 2021 season.

“When I stopped at the FIA, I told my parents, ‘Those days are done for me’. I had told them after the Abu Dhabi fallout not to bother reading or watching anything. It’s not healthy. The place can be a very toxic place. In many ways social media can be a great tool, but not so great in others,” Masi told the Daily Mail.

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“I loved the job but you don’t realise the impact travelling so much has on you. When we last met in 2021, I literally lived on a plane.”

READ: Safety Car driver makes controversial comment about Michael Masi scandal

Trying to recover from the impact that infamous call had on him, Masi stepped away from Formula 1 to be with his family and in his home country.

“I have spent time looking after myself. It’s done me good. It’s what I needed. I spent a lot of time getting into physical shape but didn’t spend enough on the mental side for a long while,” he explained.

“There were people I was speaking to privately, my then partner – she was an amazing support – and friends and family.

“As for professional help, I got that, but probably later than I should have done – the latter part of last year, but things had largely calmed down by then.”