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Dismayed Red Bull Honcho Defends Exiled Michael Masi Over ‘One Mistake’ in Controversial 2021 F1 Finale

Published 06/25/2022, 3:55 PM EDT

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via Reuters

The 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi will arguably go down as one of the most controversial events in F1 history. Although the last lap showdown was one for the ages, the situation that led to it was anything but problematic. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner even showed some sympathy for FIA race director Michael Masi after the events.

The FIA took the race director role away from Masi for the way he handled the situation. In his conversation in Cambridge Union, Horner recalled the events of the Abu Dhabi GP and how the FIA handled the whole situation.


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“For me, I was very disappointed in the way FIA dealt with Michael. Because you know he was in that race control doing the best he could with the pressure he had. And the mantra was always very clear that he was always going to be under pressure to restart that race. Nobody wanted to see a championship won under the safety car.”

“So you just knew that it was the likelihood it was going to get going again. Now he made one mistake in that he didn’t allow all lapped cars to unlap themselves,” said Horner.


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The Red Bull team principal maintained the fact that the events in Abu Dhabi did not tarnish the championship of Verstappen.

Red Bull team boss defends Max Verstappen’s title win from the Abu Dhabi debacle


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Verstappen had almost a flawless season with 10 wins and 10 pole positions in the 22 races. He secured the title on the last lap in a controversial manner, but through no fault of his own. Horner revealed that the events in Abu Dhabi did not spoil his title win one bit.

via Reuters

“The championship is won over a season and not over a single race or a single lap. I think the way Max drove last year sometimes in not the best car but some of the performances he put in last year, he deserved that championship 100 percent,” concluded the Red Bull team boss.


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It is certainly interesting to hear that Horner is still defending his charge. But, all said and done, it is nice to see that he has some sympathy for the ex-FIA race director.



Devang Chauhan

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Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh