Masi “more than capable” of emulating Whiting’s success as F1 race director

2022 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Red Bull’s sporting director Jonathan Wheatley has given FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi his full support following the controversial conclusion to last year’s world championship.

Masi’s position is in doubt following his decision to restart the title-deciding race as the final lap began in a way which broke with convention and appeared to contravene the regulations. The FIA’s secretary general for sport Peter Bayer, who is conducting a formal inquiry into the matter, indicated last week Masi may not continue as race director.

Last year was Masi’s third in the role. He took the job on the eve of the 2019 season following the sudden death of previous race director Charlie Whiting. Wheatley described Whiting as a “behemoth of the sport” and said the FIA hadn’t immediately realised the difficulty of replacing him.

“Charlie had the respect, he was consistent in his decision-making, consistent in the way he dealt with people across the board,” Wheatley explained in an interview with Jack Threlfall. “He knew when to tell you to shut up and when you needed an arm around you.

Wheatley helped Verstappen to 2021 title win
“He was an extraordinary man in that respect. I think the FIA were slow to realise just what a big pair of shoes that would be to fill. I think Michael, with the right support, is more than capable of doing that.”

Wheatley’s job puts him in regular contact with Masi. “On a personal level he is entirely a really, really nice guy with no edge to him at all,” he said. “And he listens and tries to do the very best that he can.”

The Abu Dhabi row was the culmination of a series of disputes over the racing rules during the 2021 season, several of which Masi was involved in. Another occured following the Brazilian Grand Prix where several drivers questioned why the stewards had not investigated – let alone penalised – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for running wide and forcing Lewis Hamilton off-track while the pair were fighting for position.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Wheatley said the race director and stewards have “very difficult roles” and need clearer direction from the FIA about the rules of racing.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021
Analysis: Does F1 need a new race director – or deeper change – after Abu Dhabi restart row?
“Of course we’d all love it to be very, very clear. We’ve had this great overarching philosophy of ‘let them race’. But ‘let them race’ is a philosophy. You’ve then got the black and white of the regulations which is often very prescribed in terms of what penalty, or there’s no wriggle room in it at all.

“I think these are the areas of the sport that needs to come from the very top. It needs to come from the World Motor Sport Council, it needs to say here are the principles by which we’re going racing and then it’s up to the FIA and the teams to work together to a ensure consistent set of sporting regulations.”

Last year Formula 1 broadcast exchanges between teams’ sporting representatives and Masi for the first time. The practice was widely criticised following the Abu Dhabi race, during which both Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and his opposite number at Mercedes, Toto Wolff, were heard arguing with Masi. Wheatley said “it was a mistake to broadcast” such exchanges.

“We have supported Michael, teams have supported Michael and Michael’s helped us. We’ve worked together in a collaborative fashion and that’s worked out really well. And the trouble is, that collaborative fashion dies a death when it’s broadcast.”

Given the high stakes involved in the championship fight, it was inevitable the team principals were going to use the opportunity to lobby Masi, Wheatley believes.

“I did think at some point, of course, the team principles were going to then take over that channel, because the pressure is too important not to, these decisions are too important. So of course it does.

“The other thing is, you might have been able to say, ‘well I’m not sure, that’s not the regulation we should be following, or perhaps should we not be doing it this way’. And of course we can’t have those conversations with the race director if you know they’re going to be broadcast.”

The FIA has already indicated the practice of broadcasting discussions with the race director is unlikely to continue.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Brwse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

142 comments on “Masi “more than capable” of emulating Whiting’s success as F1 race director”

  1. You’d never have expected Red Bull to side with Masi, would you?

    1. Noframingplease (@)
      2nd February 2022, 7:40

      Indeed, no surprise, but I like it that ‘they’ do not jump the bandwagon of the hysterical news about a certain driver who want to give his fans the impression of quitting just to put the pressure on Masi to leave (yeah, I know, and change some rules).

      1. Well, instead they might give some the impression that the main reason they do not question him is because

        and Michael’s helped us.
        which isn’t a pretty picture at all either, or alternatively and slightly less bad, because they worry that not doing so would put Verstappen’s championship in doubts for some, which I don’t think should be a serious concern as everybody one can take serious already said and confirmed they think Verstappen is a worthy and valid champion.

        1. huh, what happened there, messed up formatting sorry.

      2. Can I just check. Your opinion is that By Hamilton not saying a single word wince the finally after congratulating max on the night is clouding to remove Masi.

        Masi will be removed for simple fact he brought his entire company integrity into question in a public manner. As with any private entity, someone that does that would lose their job.

        His mandate was to apply the sporting regs not play with them. That was the issue. Had he followed the guidelines fingers would still be getting pointed at fro. The other side but at least he would be able to come out and say, I followed the rules but let’s address them. He didn’t he didn’t apply the rules in a fair or sporting way. Which is his role to ensure that they are….
        He failed to do his jobs he is being forced out for his failures to do the job not because Hamilton hasn’t posted on social media since the final race ( which is what he did in 2020 and 2019…..)

      3. @nofanboysplease Mercedes aren’t trying to get rules changed – they’re trying to get the rules to be followed.

      4. A single race earlier, we had Horner criticising Masi as incompetent and unable to match the standards of his predecessor.

        Red Bull were pushing for Masi to go right up to the end of the season, only to instantly pivot to support him because it suits them to.

        You can guarantee that, if Masi remains in place, they will turn on him the instant that one of their drivers gets a penalty.

        1. anon “criticizing Masi as incompetent?” “pushing for Masi to go right up to the end of the season?” Really? You sure you’re not letting your anti-RBR bias get in the way?

          Sure Horner was critical in the heat of the moment over things that happened in that race, but you’ve taken your own special license to exaggerate it, even offering a guarantee of what will happen in the future. And define ‘turn on him.’ Are TP’s no longer allowed to disagree with a stewards’ decision without ‘turning on Masi?’

          1. @robbie I will accept the criticism that it was actually Marko, rather than Horner, who called Masi incompetent, thought there is something rather peculiar about pointing to articles quoting Horner being critical about Masi as evidence of him not being critical of Masi – but, then again, you seem to be taking the attitude that any criticism is just “anti Red Bull bias”. Are you defending Masi because Brawn has done so, and you are repeating what Liberty Media says?

            Meanwhile, yes, there were reports that Red Bull indicated to the FIA that they no longer had faith in Masi’s ability to offer consistent decisions and did not want him to remain as race director. They were not the only ones doing so – most of the teams have been complaining in private that their trust in Masi was seriously diminished because they were not sure what decisions he was going to make, and Red Bull is understood to have been amongst that group.

            Furthermore, do you really think that Red Bull will be so kind and friendly towards Masi as and when one of their drivers is given a penalty? Do you think that they’ll compliment him on his decision making for that?

            Even Wheatley’s comments now, whether intended or not, are a rather back handed compliment in reality, if not in some ways actually a bit of veiled criticism, when you stop and look at what he’s saying. Having talked about Whiting’s consistency and the respect that he was given, to talk about how that is a level of performance that Masi could reach in the future is implying that Masi is currently falling short of those standards now.

          2. Well I even said in my response to you above that Horner was critical of Masi in Saudi Arabia in the heat of the moment, and I provided the quotes from him to show that he did not call Masi incompetent, nor did he say he wanted him gone, which is what you are claiming. So…where is it that I have said Horner has not been critical of Masi? He just hasn’t been critical in the way you have chosen to portray.

            I haven’t seen the reports you speak of that have the teams doubting Masi’s abilities. Perhaps you have links? So I think it is safe to say we won’t know until we know what the outcome is of the investigation into AD and what changes will come of it. So much is speculation right now. But I really won’t be surprised if the outcome is something such as Wheatley is suggesting…Masi is actually a good and smart guy, he needs help doing his role, and there could be some changes to the regs surrounding safety car behaviour meant to take some of the type of pressure off of the RD in such highly charged circumstances as we witnessed.

            Do you really think Mercedes would be saying anything different to RBR if the drivers were reversed and it was actually LH that passed Max in the final lap for the WDC? I think Wheatley is pretty clear in what he is saying, and yeah I suppose one could take his words as a backhanded compliment to Masi. Isn’t he therefore acknowledging that he doesn’t think Masi is perfect and everything should just stay the same, just because he made a decision that ended up going RBR’s way? I think Wheatley is acknowledging changes can be made but that you don’t need to throw out the baby with the bath water. He says at the beginning of this article that perhaps it has taken them time to realize what big shoes there were to fill upon Whiting’s unfortunate passing. Perhaps it took for the perfect storm that became the last number of laps of AD for them to realize it.

    2. I was looking how far I would get to see a mention about “but he’s from Red Bull” and it was the first comment.

      It is of course much easier for RB to be in the same side as Masi than Merc guys.

    3. Coventry Climax
      2nd February 2022, 13:06

      To all of the commenters here, and -to some extent- the writers of these articles as well:
      You remind me of a song by King Crimson; Elephant Talk:

      Talk, it’s only talk
      Arguments, agreements
      Advice, answers
      Articulate announcements
      It’s only talk

      Talk, it’s only talk
      Babble, burble, banter
      Bicker, bicker, bicker
      Brouhaha, balderdash, ballyhoo
      It’s only talk
      Back talk

      Talk talk talk, it’s only talk
      Comments, cliches, commentary, controversy
      Chatter, chit-chat, chit-chat, chit-chat
      Conversation, contradiction, criticism
      It’s only talk
      Cheap talk

      Talk, talk, it’s only talk
      Debates, discussions
      These are words with a D this time
      Dialog, duologue, diatribe
      Dissention, declamation
      Double talk, double talk

      Talk, talk, it’s all talk
      Too much talk
      Small talk
      Talk that trash
      Expressions, editorials
      Explanations, exclamations, exaggerations
      It’s all talk
      Elephant talk
      Elephant talk
      Elephant talk

    4. Red Bull afraid that without Masi and rules bending strategy they will fail misrebly and Shaw the real 2021 out come

  2. Ground breaking news. Who’d have thought.

    1. Red Bull desperately needs FIA to keep Masi. If Masi is replaced the asterisk will get even bigger.

      1. But still the friend of obelix :)

        1. While the FIA try to Getafix for the shambles they have created…

    2. May I hijack this thread to claim credit for being the very first person to criticize Masi on this site.
      Made no sense to replace Charlie Whiting. There was only one Charlie. Whitings role should had been rearranged or at least tasked to multiple people. Masi cannot just fullfil everything Whiting was doing just like Charlie was, afterall Whitings role was like it was because he was part of building Bernies F1.

      Now on the subject. Sounds cynical from RB, though Masi actually showed perhaps inadvertently exactly the qualities to succeed, in the end he chose the right call even if it meant bodging his bodge. There was time to properly deal with the accident and cycle the backmarkers but he chose to side with Merc at first and then regretted the whole thing.

  3. I, for a while, agreed with the concept of not broadcasting the race director conversations. However, having thought about it more, I’m unsure of the benefit of concealment. If they happen, why shouldn’t we have a window into such things.

    Perhaps the decision should not be whether we should be privy to them, but whether they should occur, and if they do, what are the limits of what can be raised.

    1. This. The broadcast of the messages has exposed the incompetence, which can only be good for F1 in the long run.

      1. Indeed @j4k3 and @cairnstella if it is happening, I’d rather we know. This isn’t politics where behind the scene talks are useful (and even there it is not always pretty and prone to abuse), but a race and so things should be transparent for all.

    2. Increasing transparency should be considered as a positive. It’s disconcerting to find out how they communicate during a race, but it helps fans get a deeper insight into the sport.

      It’s a weird person that wants less transparency, less information and a less open governing body. In the shadows is where corruption runs rampant.

      1. @cairnsfella @j4k3 @bosyber @jasonj Very much agree with this. To the viewing public and to the teams, the change in 2021 was that the conversations were broadcast, so the knee-jerk solution is to reverse that. But for the race director, the issue is being distracted (and potentially influenced) from their job by multiple teams clamouring to get on their radio loop, which doesn’t change by not broadcasting the transmissions.

        Even barring the team bosses from the radio doesn’t solve the issue, because the managers can be equally talkative. It seems what the race director really needs is a deputy that fields queries from the teams and can act as a filter — and there’s no reason not to broadcast that person’s conversations with the teams.

  4. RandomMallard
    2nd February 2022, 7:47

    Charlie had the respect

    This, I think, is the difference. Masi has lost the respect of the Teams, because they know they can, in desperate want of a better word, manipulate/lobby him to their advantage. A case of give an inch and we’ll take a mile.

    Completey right about it being a difficult job though. And like others have said, while broadcasting the team to FIA radio seems like a good idea on paper, it didn’t really work in practice very well.

    1. Masi has lost the respect of the Teams

      Has he, really?
      Or is that just what the media concoct and outsiders say when some senior staff in certain teams get the short of the stick and have a bit of an outburst?

      There’s a lot going on in F1 that isn’t in the public domain.

      1. Masi’s made a great many mistakes and inconsistent calls and he’s not shown he’s even willing to acknowledge that let alone try and improve. As such he has lost the respect of the teams and you can’t run a race if everyone’s questioning every one of the race director’s decisions.

        1. I think that’s your interpretation of things, Craig. Not theirs.
          They’ve pretty much all stated that things could be better, but at least the smart ones acknowledge that they are part of the problem.

        2. Craig, perhaps you could list the ‘great many mistakes and inconsistent calls’ by Masi. And of course I don’t mean the calls the stewards’ made which were out of Masi’s hands. Perhaps also support your argument that ‘he has lost the respect of the teams…’ I haven’t read a thing about that. Perhaps you have links?

      2. Is this not all about an erosion of respect for Masi though? I’m sure not all teams have lost respect for him but his position is undoubtedly weaker. The first time any quite important decision goes against Mercedes the same old issues are going to be raised. Or if he makes a decision unfavourable to RBR people will say he’s trying to even things up.

        I don’t really see how he can stay in the same role as before. I think it’s right that the FIA seriously consider moving him aside. It’s a difficult role and I’m sure he’s done his best but I don’t see how he can continue if the label is Race Director.

        1. The first time any quite important decision goes against Mercedes the same old issues are going to be raised. Or if he makes a decision unfavourable to RBR people will say he’s trying to even things up.

          So? That’s what people do these days.
          Doesn’t mean that the teams don’t respect Masi or the Race Director’s position in general. What it means is that where in the past they may have grumbled and argued in private, they often now do it in public. The media is everywhere, and many willingly put themselves in it.
          Bernie was famous for keeping all that stuff out of the media, but Liberty are inviting it all – and more. The more media exposure F1 gets, the more money they can make out of it.

          I don’t really see how he can stay in the same role as before.

          I think they would be absolutely wrong to remove him from that role. To do so not only appears as an admission that the FIA was wrong (which is very dangerous for them) but also that when (certain) F1 teams are unhappy they have the power to change the independent administration of F1.
          Whether that’s the actual truth of the situation is irrelevant – but that’s the image of it, and that’s what does the real damage.
          If the FIA appears to be able to be directly or indirectly influenced by any of the participants, then it really doesn’t look good as a fair sporting competition.
          If we know anything about Masi, at least we know he is impartial.

        2. And watch the outcry; particularly from RB, when Hamilton gets away with an infraction. Which I think is more likely given Ham will be all but teflon proof going forward.
          It will be interesting to see how the drivers respond going forward given they weren’t pulling any punches from Brazil onwards.

        3. I don’t think Masi is coming back, keeping him will be bad for F1.

          Masi will likely treat Mercedes favorably to make up for his horrendous call in Abu Dhabi and that’s not good for the sport.

          FIA should admit his ruling was not compliant with the rules book and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

      3. @S

        Has he, really?

        If I was in his shoes, I would certainly not accept the way in which Horner and especially Toto were talking to him. It’s hard to see those communications as respectful.

        1. Neither would I @aapje– but I also wouldn’t be rude to them in that situation either. At least I’d try not to be. Everyone has their own job to do and interests to fight for.
          A calm conversation always achieves more than a shouting match.

          However, I’d most definitely speak to them privately afterwards… And they’d be asked not to do it again.

      4. Did you read anything about McLaren’s Brown new year address, or since it was published online by the team, the thing itself S? It makes very clear that McLaren certainly lost a lot of confidence in Masi. Mercedes should be clear.

        1. No, @bosyber. I have no interest in seeking out all that sort of stuff written primarily for the benefit of the team, their shareholders and their supporters.

          What I do remember is Brown publicly stating that the teams were heavily involved in the decision-making which lead directly to the changes made to Race Control’s interpretations and approach throughout the last couple of years, and he feels that in hindsight it wasn’t in the best interests of F1 as a whole (for obvious reasons).

          From what I’ve seen, Brown seems like a pretty cool guy – but he certainly knows how to play the PR game and get people on his side.

    2. I remeber just as many problems, orobaly a wholemeal worse under Charlie. The difference is social media – Charlie would be eaten alive in this day and age.

      1. It’s only been three years since Charlie’s passing, although I guess plenty has changed even in that short time.

        I think because Charlie was such an established part of the scene it made it difficult to criticise him. He had been around a lot longer than most people he worked with, and I guess most of them believed he would outlast them too, so his authority became virtually unquestionable. In most other scenarios a race director who made the sort of calls Charlie did would never have worked again after Japan 2014, but it goes to show just how untouchable he was.

  5. Expecting many more comments such as the first two above.
    Of course, they do ignore the other times throughout the season when Red Bull had calls go against them…
    If a senior Red Bull team member is still saying what he’s saying despite all those, then maybe he actually means it?
    Or maybe he just supports keeping the experienced, working system he knows and not ditching the current Race Director just to placate some eternally discontented individuals.

    As Wheatley says – what was broadcast was just a tiny part of what goes on in the background and was obviously massively lacking in wider context.
    The teams wanted those broadcasts, and those regulations – let’s not forget that. It was all discussed and agreed internally long before they got to Abu Dhabi.

    1. Of course, they do ignore the other times throughout the season when Red Bull had calls go against them

      Those were from the Stewards and not Masi.

      1. Indeed – which reinforces my point.
        There may well be a lack of faith in the stewarding, but the Race Director is largely doing exactly what he’s agreed with the teams, and certainly isn’t to blame for everything that is wrong with F1.

        “Red Bull staff member thinks Masi is OK” is not surprising – but not just because they won the championship in what some deem to be controversial circumstances.
        It’s because they are constantly working together with each other in the background to agree on how F1 is to be run, week in, week out. They are placing everything in the correct context.

        1. I’ll leave most of it, as you and I are not going to agree, but I will pull you up on:

          in what some deem to be controversial circumstances

          The definition of controversy is:

          prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion

          I think it’s absolutely certain that the race ended in controversial circumstances. The public disagreement shows no signs of slowing down, and no matter how the FIA choose to deal with it after their investigation, there is still likely to be significant disagreement over it for a long time to come. That’s pretty much the definition of “controversial circumstances”.

          1. The public disagreement shows no signs of slowing down,

            Of course not, but its not “public” its fanbase.
            The public enjoyed the race ending to the max.

          2. The Max fanbase is the only one who enjoyed the farce of turning the sportive result upside down. But you showed in your hundreds of comments, that you got some orange glasses on.

          3. The public disagreement

            Is largely irrelevant to what happens within the FIA, @drmouse.
            People talk, people have feelings, people make judgements. That’s what people do, and will always do.

          4. There is public disagreement between groups. One group thinks it was all fine and good, one disagrees.

            BTW it really isn’t just their respective fanbases. I have spoken to Lewis/Merc fans who thing Masi was right, I have spoken to Max/RBR fans who think he was wrong, and I have spoken to those who support neither in each group. I have spoken to people who think it was the right thing to do but did not enjoy the ending, and to people who enjoyed the ending but still don’t think he did the right thing.

            This is not 1 fanbase against the other (or, as you seem to think, one fanbase against everyone else, which really shows your orange-tinted glasses even if everything else didn’t). It is much more than that, and it is definitely a public disagreement.

          5. Are you talking to me, Roman?

            I suggest you go back to several other articles and read my comments.
            I have exactly the same feeling for Verstappen as I do for Hamilton, Horner, Wolff and pretty much everyone else in F1.
            I’m not watching it because I want to see a particular person or team do well – I watch it because it’s great fun picking out what fansites are going to be buzzing with after each event.
            There’s always some controversy or such to complain about. It wouldn’t be F1 without discontent and dissatisfaction.

          6. Is largely irrelevant to what happens within the FIA, drmouse.

            But it does make what you said inaccurate and, at least by implication, insulting.

            There is no denying that the circumstances are controversial, but by saying “in what some deem to be controversial circumstances”, you attempt to dismiss even that. You are, effectively, saying everyone who purports to disagree with your own view is lying about their opinion (or, potentially, that everyone who agrees with you is lying about their opinion, though that would be a stretch), and therefore there isn’t actually any disagreement at all.

            Now, I am pretty sure you didn’t mean to say that, which is why I pointed it out to you in a reasonable and measured manner instead of taking offence.

          7. I don’t think so, @drmouse.
            Everyone is entitled to their opinion of whether it was controversial – not everyone thinks it was controversial and not everyone thinks that it really matters even if it was.

            I said “in what some deem to be controversial circumstances” because only some people do.
            Most people in the world don’t even know or care…

            I’m not sure how or why anyone would take offence, though….

          8. S

            Because your comment casually suggests that a couple of the ‘less knowledgeable’ around this site are the only ones with any concern for the almost ridiculous abuse of regulations. While you admit earlier, other resources are perhaps not your thing, even you could not have failed to notice that this issue is still be run in all F1 sites and most uk press?

          9. @S not to you, sry. It was the orange erik I was answering.

          10. How is it “opinion” that there is public disagreement about it? The public are disagreeing. There are regular arguments on here, on Facebook, in the press… That isn’t opinion, it is fact.

    2. If a senior Red Bull team member is still saying what he’s saying despite all those, then maybe he actually means it?

      Hehehehe – you must be joking. If you really think this isn’t because Masi handed them the biggest prize of all, then you probably missed what another senior Red Bull member said about Masi just a few weeks before Abu Dhabi.

      1. As I see it Wheatley is saying that with the right support and with a few changes Masi is well capable of doing the job…a job that he claims came with huge boots to fill once Whiting suddenly passed. Bigger boots than perhaps they realized. Hard to disagree with what Wheatley is saying here as it seems most teams would agree with this.

        I referenced to anon in a post above what Horner said after the penultimate race, in the heat of the moment, and I have no reason to think other than at this point in time Horner would echo what Wheatley is saying which is that the RD job is difficult, Masi could use support, they shouldn’t be able to inundate him with radio comm…all the things that everyone seems to be speculating will come about as of their meetings regarding AD.

        1. I have no reason to think other than at this point in time Horner would echo what Wheatley is saying which is that the RD job is difficult

          Tell me @robbie – do you honestly think Wheatley would be saying this if either AD had ended under the safety car (no rules broken) or if Max had lost out to Lewis as a direct result of rules being broken (for example – same as it ended with the roles reversed)?

          1. Emma if you want to go down that route of speculation, do you honestly think the narrative from Mercedes would be any different if LH and Max were exactly reversed in their positions and it was LH that passed Max in the final lap for the WDC? Do we really need to go down this rabbit hole? Suffice it to say imho at least Wheatley is qualifying his support of Masi by adding that with help for him and some changes in the regs he is well capable of filling Whitings shoes. It’s not like he is saying Masi is perfect, everything should stay the same, and Bob’s you uncle.

      2. Can’t individuals have their own personal opinions, Emma?
        Why does Wheatley need to think and say the same things as Horner or Marko?
        And why does their calm and considered opinion need to be exactly the same as an emotional outburst in a stressful situation?
        Humans are unavoidably inconsistent at times, and often for good reasons.

        1. And all people associated with the hierarchy of RB are likely to be saying and feeling exactly the same things!

          S you seem to have a thing about feelings. This is about a rule book being ignored. A race ending being invented, an outcome undeserved.

          It is fundamentally about the ability of the man that caused all of that and sorry folks who did what on the radio is complete and utter what aboutery. His job was to apply the rules. He did not do so in a safe or fair way.

          It is difficult to see how the comments from any RB people can be impartial.

        2. Can’t individuals have their own personal opinions, Emma?

          Yes they can. Ironically, many of your comments here are denigrating the opinions of others…

  6. Red Bull’s sporting director Jonathan Wheatley has given FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi his full support following the controversial conclusion to last year’s world championship.

    I would say Wheatley would be in the minority on this. The point he raises about the consistency of rule implementation is fine but he misses completely that under Masi, the rules have been made less clear, less consistent. Track limits, drivers running each other off the track and running off track to gain advantage to name a few.
    Also, this “let them race” slogan sounds great until you realise it’s undermining the regulations and encouraging some pretty dangerous driving.

    1. under Masi, the rules have been made less clear, less consistent.

      But is it because of Masi?
      Or is it because of the entire F1 ecosystem realigning around the new commercial rights holder, the increasing fragility of F1 as a whole, the increasing power of the teams to regulate themselves and each other by becoming part of the administration, the reduction in technical freedoms and shift in wider automotive philosophies and markets….

      F1 has fundamentally changed in almost every way, and it’s not just one person’s fault.

    2. His use of “let them race” or “it’s a motor race” comes across more and more as an excuse for his incompetence the more he uses it.

      1. Or maybe he said it because it is actually supposed to be a motor race? There is supposed to be racing when it is safe to do so….
        You see it as incompetence because that’s how you want to think of it.

        1. The definition of competence is “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently”. The job of the race director is to run the race according to the rules and regulations.
          Masi has failed to do that multiple times, therefore he is incompetent.

          1. Masi has done the job successfully, AND efficiently.
            I’m tired of debating about how rules have multiple interpretations that the FIA and teams know and agree to among themselves away from the public domain – but until the FIA and all the teams say actually he is incompetent, I’ll stick with competent.
            Actually, I’ll stick with competent even if that were to happen.

            I don’t always agree with what he does and has agreed to, but that doesn’t make him incompetent.

        2. There was a motor race with some rules of fairness, but now we have “keeping up with the verstappens”.

          1. Its clear you do not have a clue what really happened there :)

          2. Its obvious what happened. The race director changed the outcome of the championship with decisions contradicting the rules. Sports was cheated and the title became a joke.

      2. Whether you like it or not, these comments together with Wolff’s outbursts are motorsport history.
        Masi got tired of having the teambosses in his headphone.

      3. This!
        We’d rather maintain it is incompetence than conclude it is some kind of collusion.

        1. Personally I’m yet to be convinced it was collusion.

    3. @johnrkh

      I would say Wheatley would be in the minority on this

      Binotto has already expressed his support to Masi and he is the President of the FIA manufacturers commission that is represented in the World Motorsport Council. FOM has already shown support for Masi and Brawn has publicly criticised Wolff & Horner behaviours by lobbying the race director live in races and said that F1 will cut the radio channel with the him next year.

      Mercedes are by their own on the war against Masi and they are just using their PR machine with the help of some biased medias that are parroting their narrative. It really depends on the president of the FIA who will listen to all parties and will find that only Mercedes and their customers are against Masi. Will he upset all the other parties F1, Ferrari, RBR… and bend to Mercedes request and fire his race director or upset Mercedes and call their bluff ? Anyway, Hamilton is probably going to retire at the end of 2023…

      1. @tifoso1989
        Yes I did read something about Binotto ‘supporting’ Masi, definitely fits into the underwhelming category :)
        Brawn well, yeah but doesn’t he leave mid-year? Also, he’s a Liberty man lol. While FOM (Bernie’s mob) really doesn’t count does it.
        But we’ll see after the staged dramatic pause for effect finishes and the FIA drum roll announces their decision.

        1. @johnrkh
          It’s Stefano not Brawn that represents the FOM at the World Motorsport Council and he is not leaving anytime soon :)

          Wolff thought because he found himself running a world championship winning team that he can be someone like Jean Todt, Flavio Briatore, Ross Brawn… It’s doesn’t work like that. Since he started playing his political game with Ferrari between 2017-2019, he has to deal with them playing politics with him when they can.

          First, he got slapped by his boss Ola Kallenius – after a conversation with John Elkann – who forced him to withdraw from the “gang of seven” who were threatening Ferrari with legal action with regard to engine settlement with the FIA. Then, Ferrari vetoed his candidacy for the F1 top job which annoyed him quite well.

          Binotto supporting Masi doesn’t have anything to do with improving the rules and procedures. Ferrari again are playing politics with Wolff and giving him a taste of his own medicine. I don’t expect the devoted Mercedes fanbase to understand that if the head of Mercedes motorsport still cannot accept the Abu Dhabi defeat after having behaved like a child for the whole season crying in the radio and pointing to the camera.

          1. @tifoso1989 I’m a Ricciardo fan myself :))

  7. With proper support, maybe. Things need to improve anyway if he continues.
    The broadcasting part is about banning TPs specifically contacting him rather than stopping broadcasting altogether.

  8. Considering Red Bull has directly benefited the most from Masi’s ‘capabilities’ I can’t say they’d be the most impartial of people. However, remember it’s not just one team/driver to have won/lost because of Masi’s incompetence, we’ve had huge safety safus as well to add to the list of bad/inconsistent racing decisions he’s made.

    1. I don’t care much about the championship, just take a look at the kind of dangerous driving that is being promoted in the name of “Let them race”.
      For the FIA, “The Children” will be inpacted by a driver releasing his seatbelt after the race though not visible to anyone, but they won’t learn anything from suicidal driving.

      1. If suicidal driving is penalised with 10s and still able to win a race its a farce indeed.

        1. That was more like homicidal driving.

        2. This penalty was imposed by the stewards, though, so it is not Masi’s fault.

          1. The red flag was.

          2. The red flag was correct. The penalty to Hamilton was too lenient in my opinion, though. It should have been a stop go penalty.

        3. The suicidal driving was penalised with the wall. You dont turn in like this with a car alongside on the inside line. Just like you dont brake-test in motorracing.

          1. Again, you do not seem to have a clue about racing.
            Hamiltons action was planned and one of his trademark moves.
            He used the same attack multiple times I.e on rosberg and twice on the other red bull driver.
            A black flag should have been used and even some races sidelined.

          2. Max was ahead, had the faster line out to the kerb and had no need to slow. Lewis was never going to carry enough speed to do anything with that tight a line against the Red bull. You are a fool if you think Max ‘turned in’ on Lewis through such a high speed corner. 100% Lewis’ fault.

          3. erikje & G
            Thank you for making me laugh so hard.

            It’s a truly amazing day and age that we live in where one can see exactly the same as another yet what I can see with my own eyes is apparently so very obviously not factual. Of course I do not have the benefit of actually knowing what the drivers are thinking so you guys have that advantage over me.

            It’s a shame we cannot go back in time and advise the drivers from the past that when someone else puts a car on a line that they have committed to, they shouldn’t avoid that car and race with them where they can, they should just continue their line as regardless of the outcome they can claim the moral high ground. (and of course, this is not to state that drivers never used to crash or perform stupid moves, but I believe overtakes/challenges were, on average, more respectful)

            Noting as well that at least one of these contributors does not see the irony in this stance yet at the same time suggesting that HAM has been at fault when VER lunges into a corner with only a distant hope of staying on track whilst blocking a legitimate line.

  9. NeverElectric
    2nd February 2022, 8:42

    Bit tone-deaf, aren’t they, at Red Bull? First Marko comes out swinging in defence of Masi claiming he made the right call because he’s the referee or headmaster or something, then this. And that’s before one looks at Horner’s comments since the AD race.
    That RB are defending Masi will probably be the last straw for some teams that might have thought to forget last year and accept that he could stay on. A referee who is overwhelmingly liked by one team can cause serious issues of perception, even before one factors in the dislike / disrespect he’s now earned from many in the sport.
    There’s little doubt that Masi will go, probably a case of him suddenly discovering that he needs to “spend more time with the family”, so it’s puzzling that RB are coming out so vocally in his defence.

  10. I would love to see the reverse of the coin. If RB are the ones who were harmed and Lost the title on that way like LH does, if they think that MASI was a capable person.
    F1 is becoming more polítical than ever and the damage to the sport was already made.

  11. Bring back minimum penalty is a drive thru, it did mean a lot of things went unpunished but they got it right more often than not. This 5 sec or 10 sec crap, the variety of penalties available has made it harder to get it right in my opinion

    1. This, along with being able to repair your car under a red flag that you caused. There has to be some sort of penalty for that.

    2. Well Montoya surely disagrees with you!

  12. Wheatley’s probably not wrong, he gets to work with him closely and sees the situation Masi is in and it’s fair for him to say that in the right situation Masi is more than capable of doing a job. The fact is that in the situation we have got, he’s shown to be incapable of coping at critical points leading to a series of high profile blunders culminating in ruining Max’s first championship win which for many fans will always have an asterisk next to it.

    What’s yet to be seen is what the FIA can do to improve the environment and we’ve also never heard Masi, in public at least, call for better governance and a probably dilution of his role. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t expressed that opinion but it would’ve helped his case in the court of public opinion if he was already seen as someone who could help fix whatever the problems are with how race weekends are managed.

  13. Masi is receiving a lot of flak. Some well deserved by his decisions (the dangerous restart crashing people not able to see what is happening) some because the rules are plainly wrong in situations.
    His ability to take matters in his own hand and force a race ending under green is not one of them.
    The amount of work and pressure on him is the main reason he has to make decisions under immens pressure and does not receive any love for them.
    The way toto interfered with the race director should at least resulted in a penalty for the team.
    Lack of respect and showing it in public is unprofessional and toxic for the sport.

    1. Red Bull interacted (or, as you put it, interfered) with the Race Director in exactly the same fashion.

      Take the blinkers off for once, Erikje. Please.

      How you believe “They just need one more lap” to be different from “No, Mikey, no” in a way that infers Mercedes were worse, I’ll never know.

      Either you think they both interfered and influenced, or you don’t.

      And no, I’m neither a Lewis nor Mecedes fan.

      1. @bradders

        Red Bull interacted (or, as you put it, interfered) with the Race Director in exactly the same fashion.

        I’m no RBR fan either but to be fair, let’s not forget that it was Wolff who started all this race director lobbying saga and RBR acted as a direct response to that in order not to concede any political advantage to Mercedes who are politicized as hell. “I’ve sent you an email, I’m coming, do not bring the safety car, no mickey no…”, that was a disgraceful from someone that doesn’t want to lose any opportunity to lecture people about values, principles, integrity…

        The way he got checked by Masi at the end of the race in Abu Dhabi when he told him “It’s called a motor race “, he looked like the villain that is witnessing his empire collapsing.

        1. let’s not forget that it was Wolff who started all this race director lobbying saga

          Do you have proof of this? From what we’ve heard from teams the communication between them and the Race Director is not uncommon, all that changed was F1 broadcasting (some of) the messages between the two.

          You can look further back still to Charlie Whiting’s days and the drivers using team radio to notify Charlie of incidents on track (read lobbying the Race Director).

      2. They were both wrong by increasing the pressure on Masi but Toto trying to tell him how to do his job by saying ‘no safety car please’ is a lot worse than Horner reminding him that they only need 1 lap to finish under greens, which everyone had agreed was the preferred outcome.

    2. He didn’t need to “force a race ending under green” as he already had a solution for that; restart with no cars unlapping themselves (which is acceptable under the rules, if rarely done these days as a safety car at that point in the race would be accepted as the race being over). What he did was entirely unnecessary.

  14. Correct me If I’m wrong but I believe Horner quoted or part quote the late Niki Lauda when he used the term “let them race”.
    I know Lauda was an advocate for less intervention from the stewards and race director. But I do wonder what he thought of the increase of aggression on track.
    He was a fan of Verstappen’s undoubted skill, but also a critic of his crash or crash through driving style. In my opinion, Lauda would never have approved of the tactics employed in the last few races of the 2021 season by Redbull.
    So I find the use of the term “let them race”to garner support or to gain credibility by Horner and other Redbull team members by invoking Niki Lauda as distasteful and disrespectful.

    1. Look it’s really very simple in my book. The Race Director is there to ensure that everything happens in accordance with the defined Rules and Regulations, which are there for safety, conduct, and fairness (supposedly). They actually form part of the Terms and Conditions under which Drivers agree to race. A standard. Precedents set at races should be recognised as potentially enforceable or ‘legally binding’. For the Race Director to then make a decision concerning the safety car at the end of a race, notwithstanding the effect on the Championship, and then suddenly, inexplicably not only change it, at the demand of a Team Principle, but do so by breaking or making up his own rules, is unforgivable in my opinion! Because by taking that decision, he not only broke an established precedent that he himself confirmed was necessary to ensure safety, but, he a) made a complete mockery of how seriously the FIA takes the Rules and Regs, b) put entertainment ahead of the safety of the trackside crews dealing with Latifis car, c) only considered the race between Hamilton and Verstappen, not the other drivers who were affected by the unlapping of the first five cars, ruining the race from Sainz onwards, gave away what would have been a guaranteed win for Hamilton, to Verstappen. That’s why he needs to go.

    2. I think a lot of people forget the term “let them race” doesn’t mean “let them do what they please”.

    3. @johnrkh I think it is distasteful and disrespectful for you to try to tie in ‘let the race’ like it is some trademarked quote from Lauda, and then spin that into Horner somehow disrespecting Lauda for using ‘let them race’ as some sort of support mechanism or something to gain credibility. Perhaps do a bit of searching and you will quickly find that Lauda didn’t own the phrase and that all the teams along with FIA have talked about the concept, just as many fans have not wanted to see everything decided in the stewards’ room. You are reaching very far to come up with ways to slam Horner and your bias is at a level of ridiculousness with the comment you have made here.

      1. I’m quite sure @Robbie you don’t read the posts fully before you slam your can of Redbull down and attack the keyboard :))

        1. @johnrkh Lol I’ve never even tasted a Red Bull actually:))

  15. This sounds like simple ‘recency bias’. However to be fair I suspect that MB would be saying the same thing if their man won the championship. It is just part of the phoney war that everyone in F1 plays.

    1. Agreed and I suspect RB would be the one who would be furious.

  16. Nobody should be expected to fill Charlie’s shoes or F1 will find itself in the exact same position when that person gives up the role. There should be a team, with no one person’s role being irreplacable or untrainable. I think that’s the direction the FIA has hinted towards, hopefully.

  17. I am tired of hearing over and again that the stewards and race director have a “very difficult job”…so what? Lot of people don’t have it easy and if they can’t handle it, someone else maybe can. I don’t remember anybody saying: “Let’s keep Sergey Sirotkin around…it is really difficult to be Formula 1 driver”.

  18. He’s already failed in a way Whiting never did, and has tarnished the sport and the 2021 championship for ever so…. no.

  19. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    2nd February 2022, 13:28

    It’s actually pretty interesting cause if it weren’t for Masi, we’d all still be talking about Verstappen’s inability to drive wheel-to-wheel.

    Masi’s colossal blunders have somehow managed to overshadow Verstappen’s ridiculous track behavior.

  20. Oh look! The main beneficiary of Masi’s actions is backing him to stay…

  21. I support Masi. Just involve one more person to support him.
    Do not listen Merc&LH, they always crying about lack of fairness when they didn’t win.

  22. Somehow this support from Wheatley just makes things worse. We only got to hear the radio communications with Masi last year, and of course they are ‘curated’ by the broadcasters, but there seemed to be a real discrepancy in the tone between Masi and Red Bull as the season wore on, which very often seemed congenial and sympathetic to their demands, and the tone between Masi and Mercedes, which seemed more hostile and abrasive. Could just be a question of personal dynamics and not necessarily an indication of bias or any kind of collusion. But there’s no doubt that since 2019, FIA/Masi have switched to allowing more aggressive racing for one reason: Verstappen. That was made clear after Austria 2019. After then, ‘just let them race’ became a common mantra of Red Bull and FIA’s race director (and implicitly its stewards). So there should be no doubt that there is at least some kind of convergence between the driving style of Red Bull’s star driver and the post-Whiting ‘racing policy’ adopted by FIA. Obvious, then, that Red Bull will support this continuing. Leaving aside partisan questions of team or driver affiliation among fans, the issue for me is what happens going into the 2022 season. Will this policy of allowing ‘hard racing’ continue or will Masi (if he continues) and FIA stewards start to reel in some of the wilder driving we saw from Verstappen in Brazil and Saudia Arabia especially? This question will be especially interesting if he comes up against other drivers – Russell at Mercedes, or a stronger performance from McLaren, Ferrari etc. If teams other than Mercedes are complaining about Max, the balance is certain to shift. Then again we may see Verstappen adopt a bit more caution. Let’s hope we get to see these questions play out.
    As for Masi, I think the mistakes made at the end of Abu Dhabi were too serious for him to continue. Pressure is no excuse. Formula 1 is pressure. If he stays, the issue of his competence is not going to simply vanish and frankly the race director should not be a constant subject, as he has become through his questionable decisions.

    1. @david-br “Could just be a question of personal dynamics and not necessarily an indication of bias or any kind of collusion. But there’s no doubt that since 2019, FIA/Masi have switched to allowing more aggressive racing for one reason: Verstappen.”

      Lol you went from ‘could just be’ to ‘there’s no doubt’ in two sentences. Perhaps you could link us to a few articles that support this notion. I have searched and it seems that ‘let them race’ goes back to 2016, I think particularly with LH and NR being given some leeway and not having their contentious actions settled in the stewards’ room but rather on the track and within the walls of Mercedes. Yeah in 2019 they as a whole were talking more about the let them race philosophy, and it was about all drivers and was not anything to do with Max, as far as I can tell. Vettel in Canada 2019 comes up too. Perhaps you can cite articles that support your assumptions. They talked about leeway for first lap incidents as well, and that’s not new, and that also has invited the debates and discussions about how much leeway they should get as a general philosophy.

      I think you are taking license in trying to wrap everything into a neat little package that results in ‘Masi must go.’ You have decided for yourself that Masi and Red Bull jumped on the let them race mantra because of Max, resulting in Masi siding with RBR/Max is what I assume you are implying, and that is simply unfounded. Lol, ‘If teams other than Mercedes are complaining about Max, the balance is certain to shift…’ What balance is that? The meetings held were about all drivers being given a little more leeway to be let to race, so I would suggest the other drivers be mindful that they too can race hard and fair just as Max and LH did the vast majority of the time. And they’ll likely have to if they want to beat Max and LH.

      I think you are assuming Masi held sway over the stewards and that is not the case. You have decided that all the controversies this past season were on Masi, whereas we were told many times that many decisions were out of Masi’s hands and in the stewards hands. And yes, there were meetings amongst all the teams about the ‘let them race’ philosophy and yes the stewards would have looked at some incidents and decided they were so debatable that they just ‘let that one go,’ given that the teams and FIA all agreed to try to let them race more.

      Might we see Max ‘adopt a bit more caution?’ I’d be surprised. Might we see some drivers who theoretically in the new chapter might be racing more closely with Max and LH get into some hard fair racing of their own? I think there’s a good chance of that if they want to stand any chance of competing with Max and LH.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        2nd February 2022, 17:29

        @david-br well said

        Your point that the stewards were affected by Masi is also valid.

      2. @robbie

        I would agree that Vettel in Canada 2019 is the reason why they went back to “let them race”. Verstappen had nothing to do with it.

    2. But there’s no doubt that since 2019, FIA/Masi have switched to allowing more aggressive racing for one reason: Verstappen. That was made clear after Austria 2019. After then, ‘just let them race’ became a common mantra of Red Bull and FIA’s race director (and implicitly its stewards). So there should be no doubt that there is at least some kind of convergence between the driving style of Red Bull’s star driver and the post-Whiting ‘racing policy’ adopted by FIA


      Though RBR and Verstappen were caught a race later in Silverstone with Leclerc defending aggressively against Max with some questionable over the limit moves. I think Leclerc benefited the most with the “let them race” approach. He also defended aggressively against Hamilton in Monza 2019 and was shown the black and white flag for pushing Hamilton off the track.

      I think that the “let them race” approach is more related to the show and was probably supported by FOM. There are several drivers who benefited from it and were driving over the limit not only Verstappen. Leclerc and Norris spring to my mind.

      With regard to Verstappen, I think it will get even more explosive if he will be racing Leclerc. Hamilton has been wise – apart from Silverstone – when battling Max. Leclerc is the baby faced assassin, a modern Prost and he is also used to rattle Verstappen ever since their karting days. With the “let them race” approach, a championship battle between the two will be outright war on track.

      1. @tifoso1989 I don’t disagree that it’s primarily to do with the ‘show’, not favouritism towards Red Bull and MV per se. However I do disagree that anyone other than Max has been the main beneficiary, though Leclerc ran him a close second in 2019.

  23. Let them race – a moniker used to defend a drivers inability to race cleanly and needs to be put to bed now. If you break the rules or drive in a unsporting manner you should be punished, not let off constantly with a slap on the wrist. Funny how let them race only applies to the Red Bull drivers, for anyone else they should have the book thrown at them.

    1. @slowmo Looking how that unfolded over 2021, Verstappen was aggressively pushing Hamilton off track – with the threat of collision if Hamilton didn’t cede – right up to Copse corner at Silverstone. Why? Because he knew Hamilton would cede, knowing Hamilton’s calculation was that he could repass (safely) later and it’s better to finish the race. At the same time Verstappen knew that FIA/Masi were supporting his playbook move of driving the other driver off track to pass. But by Silverstone it had become clear that Red Bull were in the ascendency and Hamilton couldn’t afford to cede every time. So he reversed the ploy and basically presented Verstappen with almost the same option: allow me room (i.e. slow down and potentially lose the place) or we crash. And Max chose the crash option. (That’s why I completely disagree with Hamilton being penalized, but this bias in favour of Max – and also Perez vs. Norris, for example – has been a constant.) After that we had Hamilton back to not risking collisions though unable to stop Verstappen from lunging at Monza and taking them both out. ‘Fine.’ All that changed though with Brazil were Verstappen went off track – and wildly so – to push the other driver off. That for me was the beginning of Masi/FIA totally losing the plot. Do I trust they won’t lose it again? No, not at all.

      1. @david-br As per my comment a few notches above, no wonder you are where you are with your conspiracy theory of Masi and Max when you can’t acknowledge that Max is not the one that chose the ‘crash option’ at Copse, it was LH, and he was penalized for it. Please refer me to the times that LH, while leading in a corner, has ‘slowed down and potentially lost the place,’ because of anything that any driver was doing while trailing him? You’ve decided for yourself that the stewards made the wrong call, when indeed they are the ones with the job for a reason, sitting there with all the data, and yet to you that can only mean, since you disagree with the stewards’ decision, that automatically means Masi sides with Max. Methinks your mistrust of Masi is borne of your paranoia of the stewards’ decisions that were out of Masi’s hands, so you are just as guilty of spinning things as you would claim Masi has. Do you not at least acknowledge that the stewards’ decisions are not Masi’s decisions? That their judgements are not them just parroting what Masi has told them to say?

        1. @robbie The Copse incident was marginal and plenty of pundits, drivers etc. classified it as a racing incident. Max knew where LH was and turned in anyway. Because that’s the kind of driver he is. My whole issue with Verstappen’s aggressive style is, fine, but accept that sometimes the other driver isn’t going to back down. Then it’s 50/50 who will come out worse. That applies to the ‘hard racing’ in general. If it’s OK to shove other drivers off line, or lunge and give the other driver the option of crashing or backing out, then so be it. Only be consistent. I think it’s self-evident that the discussion about more aggressive racing has accompanied Max’s career in Formula 1 and that the decision to allow ‘hard racing’ emerged explicitly in 2019 after Austria, when Max pushed Leclerc off track to take the win (note: we’re not talking about a first lap incident or one between drivers of the same team) and then Leclerc’s own aggressive response in later races that season. Obviously Formula 1 is full of plenty of examples of hard racing before that. As for Masi, my issue in terms of competence is over Abu Dhabi. The comments about ‘hard racing’ and ‘let them race’ or ‘it’s called racing Toto’ I presume to be driven primarily by FIA/Liberty. But like I say, they coincide with the style of Red Bull’s star racer. I think that’s self-evident, but if you don’t get that, what can I say? Your opinion, fine.

          1. Max knew where LH was and turned in anyway.

            And left him more quite a bit more than the car’s width he is required to, let’s not forget….
            Did you forget it accidentally or deliberately, @david-br?

          2. Not enough to avoid the collision ‘S’ – or did you forget to notice that bit?

          3. Not enough to avoid the collision ‘S’ – or did you forget to notice that bit?

            I see it was deliberate.

            When you go too fast on the outside, you wash out.
            When you go too fast on the inside, you wash out.
            There’s a theme there – did you notice? Hamilton’s good, but he’s still bound by the laws of physics.
            At no time is there a situation that makes the car turn sharply inward when they are already on the friction limit. Not that Verstappen did that anyway – he maintained a gap to the inside kerb that a car could easily fit through.
            Provided it wasn’t going – you know – too fast.

          4. @david-br The pundits and other drivers are not the stewards who are charged with adjudicating this stuff. Max to me didn’t even really turn in but rather took the line he had earned, but ok if you want to call it a turning in, well Max had earned and owned the corner by then, and that is why it was deemed that LH hit Max, not the other way around which ‘turned in’ conveniently implies.

            But yeah for sure Max has come along and is a hard racer and has challenged LH like he hasn’t been challenged since Nico 2016 when we also had many discussions about hard racing and owning corners and forcing drivers to back off, go off, or hit me. That became a theme between LH and Nico. It has taken for LH to finally be challenged in earnest again for this type of conversation to have come up again, only with him against a much better racer than Nico, in Max.

            It is fine for Max to take these same types of racing measures that many Champions have done in the past, and it is on the other drivers to do the same and to act accordingly when they get into combat with Max and LH too. They understand how it works. They are professionals that have made it to F1 and can stand on their own (or reveal their utter lack of racecraft like VB, lol). If a driver wants to stand his ground with Max he knows what the consequences may be and that will be up to him to decide what to do in that instance, and similarly he can do the same to Max when the opportunity arises. Thank goodness we finally saw LH challenged in earnest again. Let’s hope for more of the same this season.

  24. This is coming from the same muppet who less than 1 week before Abu Dhabi was bashing Masi for his decision making and bargaining in Saudi Arabia.
    Red Bull are such lying hypocrites, I wouldn’t trust them with the time of day.

  25. Of course Jonathan Wheatley has given Michael Masi his full support – Masi’s on the hoof rule changes handed the WDC to Red Bull.

  26. It’s easy to say Wheatley wants him to stay because he still stitched up Mercedes last time. But the problem for the sport was just underlined by the crazy spectacle of both teams furiously hectoring and pleading with him in the last laps of yas marina, a circumstance that Masi created by being solicitous of their bullying and appearing to give in in the past. Toto demanding no SC for Giovinazzi was so out of line and then RBR trying to manipulate the end of the race was also scandalous but all of it seemed normal based on the season. But this is not normal. That’s the problem. Masi’s style or lack of respect from teams is the problem. If he comes back he will have to reestablish himself fundamentally.

    1. @dmw “Lack of respect from the teams…’ is total rhetoric unless you have some quotes from those inside F1 saying such.

  27. Hahahahaha, no

  28. i didnt know RedBull engaged in kindergarten-level social engineering attempts.

  29. …following the controversial conclusion to last year’s world championship.

    I do hope I’m not speaking out of place, but F1 has an extremely serious problem because the FIA has an extremely serious credibility problem.

    1. @drycrust Does it really though? F1 has survived spygate, liegate, crashgate, and the loading up of MS/Ferrari by Mosely and BE to end the WDC drought there. Illegal cars, constant pushing of the regs to the limits, dominant teams and drivers making for predictable outcomes etc etc. Time goes on, changes get made, and some things stay the same. They’ll make changes surrounding Masi and the regs and it’s on to a wholly new chapter and the history of F1 will continue.

      1. @robbie I suppose you’re right, in fact I think you are right. Thanks for having a more positive outlook than I did. We need to move on and at least give F1 and the FIA the chance to sort these things out.

  30. Even as an anti mercedes and someone who likes red bull I have to say I’m not surprised they sided with masi, but indeed they criticized him as well in the past, he’s done many questionable things ever since he’s race director.

  31. I’d actually wonder how good Charlie was in his first couple of years, but it also needs to be borne in mind that rules, safety etc were a LOT different when he started.

    As for publishing comments from an individual that was right in the middle of the events of the last race…….. well we just know that this will just encourage a whole raft of comments.

  32. Red Bull’s sporting director Jonathan Wheatley has given FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi his full support

    The least he can do isn’t it? I mean being handed a championship snatched from the jaws of defeat. I feel for Verstappen, his first championship earmarked with a permanent asterisk. If Red Bull can help him win one this year, then may it will all be water under the bridge.

    But honestly. Masi capable comment coming from the Red Bull sporting director is a laughable statement to base a story around.

  33. playstation361
    3rd February 2022, 3:45

    These guys have good control over things.

  34. For unfairness and favoritism, Whiting was pretty hard to beat. And Masi certainly hasn’t

Comments are closed.