Jan.14 - Michael Masi's controversial decisions in the final moments of the 2021 championship battle appear to have cost him his job.

The FIA's single seater boss Nikolas Tombazis appears to be another victim of the biggest story of the 2022 pre-season so far, although Mercedes has denied demanding the double-ousting.

It was rumoured that team boss Toto Wolff said race director Masi and Tombazis' departure was the only way Lewis Hamilton would be returning to the paddock this year.

In an interview with Kronen Zeitung to mark his 50th birthday, Wolff said the decisions surrounding the safety car and final lap in Abu Dhabi "will never be forgotten".

But F1 legend Gerhard Berger defended F1's top officials, insisting Masi was simply trying to "give the fans one last lap to finish the fight for the title".

"He handled the situation well, even if it meant bad luck for one side," the Austrian told Servus TV. "For the fan, it was the right thing to do and he was allowed to do it."

Ferrari's Mattia Binotto also defended Masi, saying the Australian had "the hardest job in the world" when he made the last-lap call.

"What is important is that everyone learn the lessons," the Italian added.

Newly-installed FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has already ordered a detailed investigation, but "final decisions" will only be announced mere days before the 2022 season opener in Bahrain.

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone insists: "I see no reason why Michael Masi should leave his post.

"It would have been terrible to end that last race under the safety car. If he had, Michael would be in trouble for that.

"He is a good man, the FIA should support him," Ecclestone added.

However, a manifest outlining the FIA's new structure for 2022 conspicuously omits Masi and Tombazis - and occasional steward Mika Salo thinks key changes are indeed looming.

"A lot will change this season," the former F1 driver told Ilta Sanomat.

"The FIA is trying to make everything more consistent, because while the past season was definitely exciting, sometimes things that were not quite correct happened.

"The right lessons will be learned from all of this," Salo added.


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37 F1 Fan comments on “Masi and Tombazis set to lose their top FIA jobs?

  1. shroppyfly

    Do they sack football refs for making a wrong decision, errrrr NO

    If either lose there jobs, because of this, it'll just make Merc even worse IMO

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    • Nobodysperfect

      Indeed shrop, Wolff and Hamilton just have to climb down their huge ego and smell the coffee. Verstappen and Red Bull just beat Mercedes and Hamilton because they were to afraid to make a pitstop in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton just has to stick to his saying "We win and lose together" and come back to make 20222 as good as 2021 was.

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    • Paul Hodgman

      The race director has discretion. Both Max and Lewis had exactly one lap to win the year. Lewis was in front on two separate occasions in that lap. Max won it - yes a whole year defined in one lap - how bloody lucky are we the racing fans that it comes down to this. I am so thanks ful that the "race' was raced at the end
      Well done Michael Masi - I am soooo sorry they are using you as a scape goat.

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      • Maria Yvonne Franssen

        And that to please "the fans".

        Well i wasn't pleased either as a F1-fan since the late sixties. And when Lewis decides to quit, de revival from F1 in recent years will collapse again and then 'the fans' can say "thanks" again: to those who told everywhere in the international press that Lewis had to retire (for the fans?)

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    • John Mitchell

      AS I mentioned awhile ago to this poor comment. If the football referee changed the rules of the game he would find it impossible to get another referee position offered to him. Masi not only made a wrong decision be broke the rules in doing so. Just because most RB/MV fans are only concerned with rubbishing Hamilton that these comments come out. My view is made as a long term fan of F1 regardless of driver interest.

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      • shroppyfly

        John John, please do the homework on this subject, as I have, professional referees who have made blindingly obvious errors have continued to be refs for many yrs after, you say your view , well that's exactly what it is YOUR VIEW, not others

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  2. John Mitchell

    It seems that Red Bull fans just constantly dribble on the same pathetic moan. Like it or sump it Max technically did not win the last race. As for the stupid comment concerning a football ref being fired! If he changed the rules to suit his/her ego then he/she would be down the road. They would not necessarily fire him/her but would find very few (if any) that he/she would be invited to referee.

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    • shroppyfly

      Well technically , he ermmm did , morally that's another argument unconnected to crossing the finish line 1st, he didn't change the rules , he used the rule giving him over riding control , it was his interpretation of the rule book, keep up John...!

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    • Adrian Roscher

      Like it or lump it, the record books for all time will show that Max "technically" (and otherwise) won the last race AND the championship, so stuff it - it is the Baby Lewie/Merc fans that "constantly dribble on the same pathetic moan" and have for the past two months - it's really rather pathetic - get over it already - your man/team lost. Lewis should have a chat with Felipe Massa about how to get over losing a championship on the final lap of the final race.

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  3. Zach Stone

    I really do not know if firing Masi will fix the problem, but it is a start. As for Tombazis, I see no reason to replace him. He was a mjor part of the new regulations and should certainly be there to be certain that they are correctly interpreted.

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  4. Nick Wilson

    Michael Masi made the profound comment to Toto Wolf ; it’s motor racing. LH needs to accept that he does not always have decisions made in his favour.
    It is unacceptable as a mature person to threaten not participate in the 2022 F1 race series unless the final race result is changed.
    LH must either accept being the runner up in 2021 or retire.

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    • shroppyfly

      No Michael Nooooo...., 100% agree Nick , Lewis is acting like spoilt baby, get over it , race or dont race are we that bothered, times up Taxis ready, Jax pick him up and take him to the Airport .

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    • John Mitchell

      I am not aware that Toto is wanting to change the result. To the best of my knowledge Toto rarely speaks to Race Control. It was only after Christian Horner kept repeat challenges to Race Control that Toto started to enter the fray in fairness to his team.

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      • shroppyfly

        Toto to Masi- Michael I sent you an email did you get it?

        Masi to Toto- Sorry Toto , im too busy in race control to read emails.

        Yeah Yeah John keep digging

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  5. Adrian Roscher

    How dare Merc, Toto and Baby Lewie threaten to not play unless people are fired? Who the f**k do they think they are? Whiny little bitches!

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      • Adrian Roscher

        the general consensus (apart from biased UK fans) is that Lewis has been acting like a spoilt child and the way Toto whined to Masi ("pleeeeeeze don't give us a safety car!") is as revolting as the way Baby Lewie treats Angela - so ungentlemanly!

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  6. Brian McCausland

    Adrian Roscher to replace Boris. Succintly put Ade. Maybe Lewis thinks he was a lap away from becoming indisputably the GREATEST of ALL TIME. How could he have the temerity to be a bit cross about someone who knows so little about racing that he thinks it's fair to put someone with new softs right on the tail of someone on many laps old hards who has been circulating for several laps at safety car speeds. Now remind me which tyre takes longer to get up to temperature?

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    • Adrian Roscher

      First of all, Lewis, even if he bounces back from his depression to win another championship, will never be as great as Michael Schumacher, much less the "GOAT." Second, Merc could've also pitted, but didn't - their loss.

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      • John Mitchell

        Wrong on both points. Tyres - a change at that point of the race would have past the lead to MV. Michael S was good to a certain extent but LH if he comes back (I bet he will) and takes another championship will go way past MS on all things.

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        • Adrian Roscher

          No, you're making assumptions. Re tires, not necessarily, only if RB kept MV out on his older tires, in which case LH would've had the last lap advantage, not the other way around. And even if LH returns AND wins another championship (both doubtful at this point) his theoretical 8 will only exceed MS by one - how that would be "way past MS on all things" escapes me utterly. In any event, MS was the best, period. LH is a baby man compared to MS. The way he treats his dogsbody Angela is simply disgraceful and unworthy of his commercial "knighthood."

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    • shroppyfly

      Brain?, no thats wrong Brian, stop whinging , a win is a win, Hamilton history , Max and the other young guns the future. no need to say more

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  7. NICK WILSON

    There is an additional dimension to LH's attitude / whining, because not only is there the failure to be the 2021 F1 champion, but the next season . He has both new formula car to drive but you George Russell .
    LH is a multi year champion but George is the future for the Team .
    Will. LH's ego accept this hierarchy reversal ?
    There are also other new drivers -including "the Smiler"- Lando, Pierre Gasly, Ocon and Mick Schumacher.

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    • John Mitchell

      There will not be any hierarchy reversal for quite some time (sort of like Red Bull treated Daniel R while he was with them in favour of MV). Yes there is a great lot of newer drivers coming through that will probably give MV more of a shock than LH. It will not be acceptable to try for impossible passes through ridiculous gaps hoping that everyone will give in to MV.

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  8. Maria Yvonne Franssen

    Quotes: "He handled the situation well, even if it meant bad luck for one"
    and "For the fans it was the right thing to do and he was allowed to do so".

    Commentary:

    The raging discussion about the Abu Dhabi race is based on exactly these two wrong points if view:

    If match directors are authorized to make these arbitrary decisions, then match directors would also be authorized to make match fixing.

    Explanation again:

    Lewis Hamilton had a lead of over 11.5 seconds when the yellow flag flew on lap 54/55. The safety car followed and the field collapsed. If the race had ended under a safety car, according to the existing race ranking at the yellow flag, Lewis Hamilton would have crossed the finish line first, because no one is allowed to overtake under the safety car.

    However, this did not happen. Without even doing justice for 1 second to Lewis Hamilton's unstoppable lead, he decided ti give a final "race bonus" for the fans. Red Bull was very alert and hoped for a miracle: Max Verstappen was brought to the pit to put on soft tires for a possible final race. While Lewis Hamilton could no longer do this, because he would have lost his first position under the safety car. Lewis was therefore twice disadvantaged: he also had to enter a final lap on tires from the first pit stop (This would not had been a problem with a finish under safetycar!). This was known to everyone, including to race director Masi. To make matters worse for Lewis Hamilton, Masi also removed all racers between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. So that the two title fighters were almost side by side for 1 final round with no previous history!

    My conclusion is based on general legal thinking and not on feelings of disappointment: a race director is never entitled to this arbitrariness. Based on this arbitrariness, he nullified the entire previous race, and race director Masi decided that Abu Dhabi's title fight would be decided in just 1 lap, with Lewis on old tires and Max on fresh softies. O happy day...

    I hope that FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem will now tighten the regulations in such a way that this can never happen again.

    If this had happened to Max Verstappen, I would have made the exact same objections. I wholeheartedly wished Max the title and I hope Max is spared this disgrace for the rest of his racing career.

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  9. John Mitchell

    Excellent and honest comment. A very large number of genuine F1 fans would agree with you. As for Red Bull supporters, they only have a one-eyed view and generally comment similar to how young children would respond (apologies to young children).

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    • shroppyfly

      Ah John don't mention young children throwing toys out of prams and spitting there dummies out, while Totos video clip of him in the pits , throwing his headphones about and saying its not rightttt, is playing on youtube right now, i have to stop laughing, i really do

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