After not working since the controversial 2021 season finale, former F1 race director Michael Masi is back, after being appointed Chair of Supercars Commission in Australia.
Masi was dropped as F1 race director over the winter, after the FIA’s investigation into his handling of the 2021 season finale came to the decision that he had indeed made a mistake, labelling it as “human error”.
When Nicholas Latifi crashed at the Yas Marina Circuit with just a handful of laps remaining, the race should’ve finished behind the Safety Car; however, as everyone knows, it didn’t.
Sir Lewis Hamilton was leading the race at the time, with title rival Max Verstappen in second.
Masi allowed only the lapped cars in between the two drivers to unlap themselves, whilst Latifi’s wreckage continued to be cleaned up.
This wasn’t Masi’s only error, as instead of completing an additional lap behind the Safety Car as the rules prescribe, he brought it in a lap early, making the final lap of the season one of full green flag racing.
Verstappen overtook Hamilton to win the title, much to the disgust of the Mercedes F1 Team and many of the drivers.
If the rules were followed, then the race would’ve finished behind the Safety Car, with Hamilton winning an eighth World Championship.
Masi was replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, who have shared the duties due to the increased demand on the race director.
The Australian has remained at home, after receiving hate, abuse, and disgusting death threats.
All are completely unjustifiable, with Masi having taken time off as a result.
It was announced in July that he left the FIA, ending any speculation that he may return to F1.
The Aussie is now back, though, after being appointed Chair of the Supercars Commission, a highly popular and competitive series in Australia.
Masi is “very proud” to be joining the championship and is aiming to continue the work done by Neil Crompton, the former Chair of the Commission.
“I view this role as continuing the amazing work already done by Neil and the Commission to lead Supercars into a brand new era with the introduction of the Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang,” said Masi.
“I’m very proud to have been appointed to this role and look forward to working with the key stakeholders in the sport to ensure the future is an exciting one for our teams, partners, sponsors and most importantly the fans.”
Supercars CEO Shane Howard is “delighted” to have Masi join the series, with the former race director having proven to be a “strong leader”.
“I am delighted the Commission has appointed Michael to this important position for the sport,” he said.
“The role of Commission Chair needs to be an independent, strong and robust leader. They need to effectively manage the Commission and its process, broker compromise where required and be a good communicator.
“Michael has worked closely and industriously with Supercars team owners, principals and stakeholders for many years and returns to Australia with vast experience and leadership which will be invaluable in guiding our sport into the future.
“I have met very few people with such an extensive understanding of the industry combined with an amazing passion. Michael will be a great successor to Neil who did such an outstanding job.
“We welcome Michael back to the pinnacle of racing here in Australia and look forward to working closely with him in his role as Chair of the Commission.”