F1 Restructure – Masi Removed as F1 Director

F1 Restructure – Masi Removed as F1 Director - partycasino

Significant changes are on the way in the F1, as the FIA has dismissed Michael Masi as the race director after he had a controversial role in the finale to last season's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich set to replace Masi, new personnel is already on the way.

Additionally, the F1’s governing body has introduced new structures and changes, most notably a standalone race control unit, which is very similar to the usage of VAR in football.

Despite the fact that Masi had a role in the outcome of the Grand Prix, FIA has not published any report of the investigation and how exactly Masi influenced the process that led to Max Verstappen being the champion ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who is the new FIA president, said that Masi would not be sacked. Instead, he will be offered a new position inside the governing body.

Masi has been well-respected inside the organization since he took over from Charlie Whitting in 2019, but recent events have taken their toll. Observers noted that he looked very different and not his usual self in the F1 commission meeting on Monday.

Freitas and Wittich will alternate in their new role, and the latter has anyway been set to join Masi as assistant later this year, but this new structure raises the further question on the process of decision making.

Another new name that will be added to the team is Herbie Blash, who will assist Wittich and Freitas. Blash has been involved in the F1 since the 60s, and he was an assistant to Charlie witting for over 20 years, so he has the considerable experience to bring onboard.

Masi improvised with the rules around the safety car, and the way cars unlap themselves in Aby Dhabi. That intervention was vital in the title fight between Verstappen and Hamilton, with the Red Bull driver benefiting from the situation and passing Hamilton in the final lap.

As a result, Masi was under huge criticism, with Hamilton believing that the race had been manipulated. And the Mercedes director Toto Wolff went even further, saying that the British driver could retire if he wasn't satisfied with the conclusion in their inquiry.

He clearly wanted a new structure in FIA that would prevent such events from occurring again. So, ben Sulayem strongly believed that changes were necessary to gain the public's trust again, and so rules would be applied correctly.

Apart from personnel change, there have been three other organisational changes made. The first one is the virtual race control which is to be established at the FIA, and it will use technology to help the race director.

Next, as Masi was under intense pressure by direct communication with Red Bull and Mercedes in Abu Dhabi, this will also change. The new process will be "non-intrusive" if there is the need for teams to ask questions.

Finally, a re-examination of the unlapping procedures is due to take place, with changes possible ahead of the start of the new season.