Former Mercedes F1 Honcho Lauds Michael Masi’s Decision-Making in Abu Dhabi

Published 12/19/2021, 5:25 AM EST


The FIA race director Michael Masi has faced a barrage of criticism for his decision-making during the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP. The ultimate moments of the F1 season finale witnessed some unprecedented calls from the race director. However, now former Mercedes director Norbert Haug has come to Masi’s defense over this issue.

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There is a lot of bad blood between the Australian and the Mercedes F1 team at this moment. Team Principal Toto expressed his disappointment to Masi over the radio during the last lap in Abu Dhabi. More recently, he has shunned any possibility of engaging in a conversation with the Aussie.

For context, Masi instructed the five lapped cars between the two front-runners behind the Safety Car to un-lap themselves but did not allow other backmarkers to do the same, ensuring the race would not finish behind the Safety car. This gave Verstappen a chance to make a pass on Hamilton, who could not defend his ground on worn-off hard rubber.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after finishing second in the race and world championship with race and world championship winner Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and third-placed in the race Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Former F1 team director Haug lauded Masi’s decision as “brilliant”

Amidst a chain of criticism directed towards Masi after the race, he has got much-needed backing from Norbert Haug. While many blamed him for making the race thrilling instead of fair, the German stood up for the race director. Haug believes that his decision-making in that crunch situation was ingenious and brilliant.

“I think Masi was ingenious and brilliant in finding a solution.” 

“In general I found several decisions taken by the Clerk of the Course in a convulsive season finale to be fitting,” said Haug as reported by GrandPrix247.

In addition, he thinks that Masi’s negotiations with Red Bull in Jeddah were extremely clever.

Charlie Whiting has left a difficult legacy to match

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After the Jeddah GP, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said that FIA was missing the stable hand of Former race director Charlie Whiting. Haug also gave his inputs on the same.

“Whiting grew up with Ecclestone, he was a mechanic, then a chief mechanic, and he was always an individual who always moved with great resolve,” commented the German.

“His legacy would be difficult for anyone to manage,” he concluded.

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However, now that the season has ended, teams are looking forward to the upcoming 2022 F1 season. With new regulations in place, it is going to be an absolute thriller. Tell us your predictions for the upcoming season.

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Rituraj Tripathi

264 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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