Ted Kravitz claims FIA wants Michael Masi to return as race director

Prior to this weekend, Michael Masi hadn't been seen in the paddock since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Michael Masi has been spotted at the Australian Grand Prix, his home country’s race, returning to Formula 1 for the first time since his controversial decision cost Lewis Hamilton a record-breaking eighth world title. 

After Masi’s decision to not follow the correct safety car procedure at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Max Verstappen won his first world title in a last-lap shootout.

With Hamilton accusing officials of having “manipulated” the outcome, Masi left his role as Formula 1 race director.

Since that infamous night, Masi has become chairman of the V8 Supercars Commission in Australia and joined the board of directors of Karting Australia.

READ: Christian Horner furious with FIA’s ‘absolutely ludicrous’ decision

Representing the Supercars Commission, he is in attendance at Albert Park as a guest of the FIA and Formula 1.

Masi described his return to the paddock as “like seeing long-lost family,” adding “it’s lovely to catch up with so many good friends.”

However, his return hasn’t been welcomed by all fans and pundits, as Sky Sports presenter Ted Kravitz questioned Masi’s presence in Melbourne.

“What’s he doing in Australia? He’s in charge of the V8 Supercars, the Australian Touring Cars now. But what’s he doing coming back into the Formula 1 paddock?” Kravitz said

Article continues below

“There are some rumours that Formula 1 want him back because Niels Wittich needs some help on the FIA race direction side. But that’s not going to happen,” the presenter continued.

READ: Formula 1 CEO says Australian GP start time could be changed

Twitter uses sided with Kravitz over Masi’s appearance at the circuit, with one stating “There’s 7106 languages in the world and Ted chose to ask and speak the truth,”  while another added “Ted Kravitz always speaking facts.”

According to Kravitz, while Masi has been seen speaking to drivers and teams in the paddock, he has apparently avoided engaging with Mercedes.

“I am just focused on my future. I am focused on trying to get back to winning. There is nothing to say,” Lewis Hamilton told reporters when asked if he’d speak to Masi.