Michael Masi sacked as F1 race director after Abu Dhabi GP controversy

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Michael Masi has been sacked as Formula 1 race director after the Abu Dhabi controversy which saw Lewis Hamilton lose the world title.

Masi’s handling of the final laps of the race in Abu Dhabi has been under intense scrutiny since the decision which saw Max Verstappen claim a maiden world crown.

The race director failed to correctly apply the rules during a safety car period late in the race which had a direct impact on the fate of the championship.

It had led to speculation Hamilton could even decide to retire ahead of the 2022 campaign, but he has now confirmed he will continue to race for Mercedes.

But the incident has seen Masi relieved of his duties, and instead offered another role within the FIA.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “I would like to inform you that a new race management team will be put in place starting in Barcelona for the test session.

“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.”

More follows.