Vote now: Did the FIA make a mistake by firing Masi to appease Hamilton and Mercedes?

The FIA today announced that Michael Masi will not continue to serve as Formula 1’s race director in 2022.

Two months after the highly controversial ending to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the FIA today offered Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes some solace by axing Michael Masi.

Masi left the Silver Arrows and the seven-time world champion feeling cheated after an unusual Safety Car restart ahead of the final lap of the season finale.

Specifically, the Australian only allowed the five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to overtake the Safety Car.

This gave the Red Bull driver a clear run at his championship rival on the final lap, and he made full use of it to overtake the Briton to take victory in the UAE capital and clinch the 2021 Drivers’ Championship.

Mercedes immediately protested the race and championship result, but saw this rejected by the stewards in Abu Dhabi.

The Silver Arrows then lodged their intention to file an appeal. However, they announced they wouldn’t be pursuing this a few days later and would instead hold the FIA accountable for an investigation that they are carrying out into the late drama.

The findings of this report will be released on 18 March, just two days before the 2022 season kicks off in Bahrain.

Following the contentious end to the race, many F1 fans – particularly supporters of Hamilton – and pundits called for Masi to be fired.

And, on Thursday, FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem finally announced that the Australian will be relieved of his duties, though he will be offered a new role within motorsport’s governing body.

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“I would like to inform you that a new race management team will be put in place starting in Barcelona for the test session,” ben Sulayem said in a statement.

“Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will act alternatively as race director, assisted by Herbie Blash as permanent senior advisor.

“Michael Masi, who accomplished a very challenging job for three years as Formula 1 race director following Charlie Whiting, will be offered a new position within the FIA.

“I presented this complete plan to the members of the World Motor Sport Council and the Senate who gave their full support.”

Do you think the FIA made a mistake by firing Michael Masi to appease Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes? Cast your vote below!