Will Michael Masi Resign as F1 Race Director? Online Petition Started By Outraged Fans

Published 12/15/2021, 4:18 AM EST

The 2021 F1 season was indeed a mentally draining season for the two championship-contending teams, Red Bull and Mercedes. However, they weren’t the only ones who often found themselves under immense pressure but also the race director, Michael Masi.


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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were at each other’s throats throughout the season, causing one too many controversial incidents on the track and leaving Masi with a handful. The Australian, consequently, had to make some sound decisions under pressure, which he occasionally managed to do so.

However, the season finale in Abu Dhabi was not one of them. We’re assuming you’re already aware of where we’re headed with this. Yes, it was that one decision under the safety car.


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The Abu Dhabi controversy feat. Hamilton & Verstappen: What did Masi do?

Masi had two choices to make; Either let the lapped cars unlap themselves and subsequently bring the safety car in over the following lap; With only one lap left, the race indeed would have ended with no change in positions.

The other choice was letting Verstappen and Hamilton battle for the title with the unlapped cars between the duo. The blue flag would have paved Verstappen with a clearer path ahead.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship with the Netherlands flag on the podium as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton looks on after finishing second REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

But, Masi chose neither and instead allowed only the four cars between the two title rivals to unlap themselves, potentially breaking the safety car clause in the FIA rule book.

Had it been a normal race, this decision wouldn’t have mattered much. However, Masi made this particular decision on the penultimate lap of the championship-deciding race. This led to Masi facing insane battering, not only from the fans but from many drivers as well.

Michael Masi – Origin and Nationality

Masi was born in Sydney, Australia but comes from an Italian heritage. He explored the marketing field through his educational phase and somehow managed to attain a professional career in motorsports.

Eventually, it was in 2019 that he received one of the biggest positions in Formula 1; race director. Masi had massive shoes to fill, considering his predecessor was the insanely experienced Charlie Whiting. However, after Whiting passed away in March, Masi took over his seat and began the exciting new venture.

Would he call it exciting now? We hardly think so.

Masi’s F1 position left in hanging

After his poor decisions in Abu Dhabi, a lot have already started to demand the sacking of Masi. Former F1 driver, Martin Brundle, too, hinted the same as he felt that F1 will look to shake things up before they head into the next season.


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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 and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after the start of the race REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Hence, a new face is very much likely to show up in Masi’s place. It isn’t just F1 personalities hinting at the Masi sacking or even resignation, but also a lot of fans. In the famous petition website, Change.org, F1 fans have already started signing petitions demanding Masi to resign himself from the job.

Overall, is Masi’s 2-year reign as a race director finally coming to an end?


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Rohit Kumar

1666 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.