March 21, 2023

Masi felt like “most hated man in the world”, received death threats after Abu Dhabi – Autosport

Masi was removed from his position as race director right after failing to implement at least two articles of the sporting regulations in the Abu Dhabi title decider last December.

It resulted in the particular last-lap showdown where Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton to snatch the championship away, sparking controversy and protests from Mercedes that were eventually dropped.

Masi left the FIA earlier this month in order to relocate to Australia, and has now given his first public interview to News Corp in which he revealed he faced “dark days” due in order to the abuse and backlash.

“I felt like I was the most resented man within the world, ” Masi said. “I got dying threats, people saying they were going to come after me plus my family.

“[The messages] were shocking. Racist, abusive, vile, they called me every name under the sun.

“And they kept on coming. Not just upon my Facebook but also on my LinkedIn, which is supposed to be a professional platform for business. It was the same type of abuse. ”

The FIA conducted a full investigation into the Abu Dhabi finale and found that Masi had acted in “good faith”, with the decisions being a result of “human error. ”

Michael Masi, Race Director

Michael Masi, Race Director

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Masi admitted within the interview that the response to the finale experienced a physical impact on him, but that it was “more mental” plus left him with “no desire” in order to talk to his family members or friends.

“I just wanted to be alone, which was very challenging, ” Masi added, although he said the experience had “made me a much stronger person. ”

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The FIA initially planned to offer Masi the new placement within the particular organisation, only for the Australian to take the decision to leave earlier this particular month.

Masi was replaced by a new dual competition director system made up of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, as well as a virtual race control room based out of Switzerland.

But that will has not stopped concerns being raised about choices taken simply by race manage through the 2022 season, amid rows over drivers wearing jewellery, track limits plus alleged inconsistency from the stewards.



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