The FIA have confirmed that former Components 1 race director Michael Masi has determined to depart the governing physique.
Masi served as race director from 2019 to 2021, taking over the function after the sudden passing of Charlie Whiting.
However the Australian was faraway from his put up forward of this season following numerous high-profile and controversial incidents all through his tenure that culminated with the 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi.
In the course of the closing few laps of the race, he allowed solely the lapped vehicles between title contenders Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to cross by means of as the protection automobile interval was ending, thus enabling the Purple Bull driver, who was on contemporary tyres, to simply cross the Mercedes man on the final lap and win the championship.
The foundations on the time clearly stipulated that it ought to have been each lapped automobile or none in any respect, and that the race shouldn’t have restarted, however regardless of Mercedes launching an enchantment the outcomes stood, with Masi infamously telling Mercedes boss Toto Wolff: ‘It’s referred to as motor racing.’
Nevertheless, following a lot fan backlash, an FIA enquiry into the incident got here to the conclusion that ‘human error’ was responsible for the controversy however that Masi ‘was appearing in good religion and to the very best of his information given the troublesome circumstances, notably acknowledging the numerous time constraints for selections to be made and the immense stress being utilized by the groups.’
He was changed by rotating race administrators Eduardo Freitas and Niells Wittich for 2022, though their appointment has led to much more fractious relationship between F1, drivers, groups, and the FIA.
Masi was to be given a brand new function inside the FIA, however an announcement from the governing physique on Tuesday mentioned: ‘The FIA confirms that Michael Masi has determined to depart the FIA and relocate to Australia to be nearer to his household and tackle new challenges.
‘He carried out the quite a few features he was tasked with in knowledgeable and devoted method. The FIA thanks him for his dedication and needs him the very best for the long run.’
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