The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw one of the most controversial endings to an F1 season yet, with Max Verstappen beating Lewis Hamilton to the world championship thanks to Masi arguably manipulating racing regulations to bring the two racing drivers closer together by removing lapped cars between them.
Fans were quick to jump on this, with many blaming Masi for an unfair race, and after a lengthy investigation by Formula 1, Masi was replaced by two new race directors.
Verstappen has now weighed in on what happened, revealing that he thinks it’s unfair for Masi to lose his job:
“But it’s very unfair what happened to Michael because he’s really been thrown under the bus/
“Can you imagine refereeing in whatever sport the coach equivalent screaming in his ear all the time, ‘it’s yellow card, red card, no decision, no foul’”.
“It’s impossible to make a decision. That team members could talk to him while making decisions is very wrong because it needed to be Michael making the decisions but he had people screaming in his ear.
“So the people right now who did sack him allowed it in the first place, it’s unacceptable. And now basically they just sacked him, I find it really incredible.”
Verstappen also revealed that he send Masi a test after he heard the news as he felt sad about what happened:
“So I feel really sorry for Michael because I think he was a very capable and good race director […] I felt really sad and I sent him a text as well.
“It’s not the right decision and especially I do think if he would have had someone next to him [it would have been different]. After Charlie died it was very hard to deal with. He had so much experience from the previous years and also, Charlie had help around him.”
“Maybe Michael just needed a little bit more, but everyone needs experience.
“I came into this sport in my first year, I look back at it now, a complete rookie. Now I am so much further than I was back then and I think it would have been the same for Michael.
“So to immediately sack him, for me, is not the right decision. But I wish him all the best with whatever comes next and I hope it is better than F1 racing.”
Do you think it was the right thing for Masi to lose his job as race director? Let us know in the comments.