FIA, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Masi to continue as F1 race director in Bahrain

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Michael Masi will continue as Formula 1’s race director for the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

Masi was drafted in to oversee the Australian Grand Prix following the sudden death of former FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting ahead of the first race of the season.

The FIA has not yet confirmed its plans for a long-term replacement for Whiting, for whom race director duties was one of several rules he performed.

A change to the DRS zones at the Bahrain International Circuit had also been announced for this weekend’s race. A third activation zone has been added to the 5.4-kilometre track.

Drivers will now be able to activate DRS at the exits of turns three, 10 and 15 – the final corner on the track. Each of the zones will have its own detection point.

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2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 18 comments on “Masi to continue as F1 race director in Bahrain”

    1. I wasn’t expecting a third DRS activation zone to be added for Bahrain. Furthermore, not that I’d care too much, but perhaps the back straight between the last two corners of the circuit would’ve been a better choice for the third activation zone due to what type of corner precedes it.

      1. You lose a lot of front end on the corner prior to that, if they added a DRS zone there it would be just to make sure the car behind was closer to the car in front, I don’t believe it would have made the last corner an overtaking opportunity. Specially because the car overtaking would lose so much time overtaking in the last corner compared to overtaking in the front straight.

    2. Ah yes. Add more DRS. Just in case.

      I dont think the FIA and Liberty will be able to get rid of it in 2021. They are too addicted.

      Its much easier to add DRS zones, or make the DRS flap bigger, than to actually to do something about the root cause of the problem.

      1. Overtaking has become all about quantity. Nothing else matters except how many there are. Drs offers zero quality but it does give them the biggest numbers which is all that seems to matter. I don’t think drs will ever go away because they like their big numbers and overtakes is just one metric how they try to analyse and quantify their business. Number of overtakes, number of twitter likes, youtube views, page visitors, hashtags and followers. No understanding what the numbers actually mean. Just blind belief that more is always better. After all it works with money so it must work with overtaking as well. They probably think. All that matters is a bigger number and in that mindset a smaller number can not ever be better (even if it was more exciting).

        Drs is like football where every game ends with both teams scoring double digit goals or like a boxing match where you have multiple knockdowns in every round. In the end it is easier to make highlight reel of meaningless 20 position changes than it is about one 20 lap long fight where THE pass almost happened but didn’t. Even if you fell asleep watching the first ones or where at the edge of your seat watching the second.

        But it gets even worse. The worst thing about drs is that it has killed all the urgency f1 should have to fix the cars and the racing. Because there is still big number of fake position changes happening it is easy to think the issue is not urgent or severe. Or in worst case maybe they believe drs is the solution. After all if there was no drs we would have no overtaking at all. So in short term the drs is needed because fia and bernie (and now liberty) have failed at their job. Drs is not a fix though. Drs is the ambulance that keeps you alive until you get to the hospital. But they key is to get there as fast as possible.

    3. Another DRS zone in Bahrain is absurd.
      Passing has never been an issue here. In fact, with the bigger flaps, they should reduce the length of the existing DRS zones so it isn’t too overpowered

      1. @ofitus21 Too early to judge. We can’t know for sure beforehand whether it’s going to be too powerful with the current lengths of the already existing zones of the S/F straight and the straight between T10 and T11 or not. We have to wait and see to find out.

    4. Why not take the DRS zone off the main straight and put it before the last corner? I’ve long argued that if there’s enough straights on a track, then leave the longest one without a DRS zone as it’s likely to produce overtakes anyway and put them where there aren’t chances usually but could allow them. (that’s in case we have to have them obviously, the first option should be to ban them, but that dream seems to be long gone…)

    5. If the majority of people really want an ungodly amount of overtaking, a-la-moto-gp, then why do they not just allow DRS in the DRS zones irrespective of how far ahead the car in front is, apart from the lead driver?

      1. @aliced
        Have you ever heard of the ‘DRS train’? If not: That’s a common scenario in the midfield in which two (or more) cars using DRS at the same time are even less likely to overtake each other than they would be without DRS. Applying that scenario to the entire field would do naught but produce an ungodly low amount of overtaking.

    6. Makes sense that they stick with Masi for now, provided he has the time to do it.

    7. Why is this a news? I mean, how many are they race director candidates?

      1. IIRC, there are two candidates, Masi and one other person (who I think is based in the US).

        Masi stepped in at Australia as he was already there (he previously played a similar role for Supercars, and is now covering F2), and him covering Bahrain might mean this is one step closer to a formal confirmation.

      2. I mean, how many are they race director candidates?

        @ruliemaulana: You mean here at RaceFans or in general?

    8. 3 DRS zones?
      Let’s make a full-course DRS zone! Detection – Start line, and whoever has bigger balls or is just Max Verstappen (btw it is not a compliment) to keep DRS open in corners (and keep the car on track) – wins.

    9. Adding a 3rd DRS zone between turns 3 & 4 is totally unnecessary as we have always seen some great racing down that straight & into/through T4.

      If there going to stick with DRS then put the zones in places where overtaking wasn’t really possible before to try to create some new passing spots. Putting DRS in places that already featured a lot of good racing & where overtaking was already possible/fairly common is counter productive to the supposed aim of creating better racing because the easier passes that tend to result from this approach isn’t good racing & it isn’t exciting.

    10. Instead of adding more zones, lengthen the gap between cars from e.g. 1 second to 1.5 seconds or maybe 2, to make it easier to get in the first place given the difficulties of sticking close.

      I’d like to know if they’ve ever considered/modelled that sort of change.

    11. Taris Henrique
      28th March 2019, 10:40

      I said many time ago, the DRS system should have a limit of activitation. Any driver could use the DRS in anywhere on the track, but maybe 10 times for race.

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