REPORTS: FIA Boss Michael Masi Apologizes Over Max Verstappen’s Baku F1 Crash Controversy

Published 06/19/2021, 6:55 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – FIA News conference – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the French grand prix REUTERS/Yves Herman

Max Verstappen had a horrific crash at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, due to tire failure. However, a safety car wasn’t called out to make the race stable and, since then FIA boss, Michael Masi has apologized to drivers for not red-flagging the race early and putting the drivers in danger.


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But, one thing that Massi won’t listen to is the request to change the kerbs on Turn 2 of the circuit. Many teams, Red Bull and Mercedes most notably, were the first to complain to the FIA about the problems the kerbs caused.

FIA Director Michael Massi apologized to drivers after Max Verstappen crashed in Baku


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As reported by Mikolaj Sokol, an F1 journalist, who stated, “According to Auto Motor und Sport, Michael Masi admitted his mistake and apologized to drivers for the late announcement of neutralization after the Verstappen crash in Baku.”

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“And when it comes to Paul Ricard, he did not yield to the pressure – the yellow curbs on the T2 remain unchanged,” he concluded. (Translated from Polish via Google)

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What was the problem with the kerb on the turn at Paul Ricard?

The first two practice sessions allowed the drivers to get a feel of the track ahead of the French Grand Prix on Sunday. Drivers such like Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel were all victims of the kerb.

It ruined Bottas’ Mercedes and also made Sainz spin off track, which resulted in him destroying a set of soft tires. Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s Vettel crashed into the wall, bringing an end to his session.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

In the second session of the day, Verstappen had a problem that saw him run wide on Turn 2 and chip piece of carbon fiber from his front wing, it brought out the virtual safety car and the Milton-Keynes outfit wanted to get the piece that broke away from Verstappen’s car.


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However, by the end of FP2, it was the Dutchman who had the fastest lap with the Silver Arrows of Bottas and Lewis Hamilton behind him.

With the third session, just minutes away, will the kerb cause problems for any more drivers? We will just have to wait and see.


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Arpit Gomes

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Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.



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