In the absence of races to be seen, and waiting for the round of presentations of the new cars to start, the interest of Formula 1 during this long winter break continues to focus on the cold war maintained by the International Automobile Federation ( FIA) and Mercedes. In the German team, the outcome of the last World Cup still stings strongly and Lewis Hamilton has still not opened his mouth since Max Verstappen lowered him from the world throne. Not even to clarify if his sports career continues.
At the epicenter of this gasoline-scented soap opera is Michael Masi. The F1 race director marked the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with his decisions, praised by some and criticized by others, especially by Mercedes , who was already uncorking the champagne when Verstappen starred in his historic overtaking on the last lap.
The last chapter bears the signature of one of the bigwigs of the FIA , who for the first time has questioned Masi ‘s future . Specifically, it is the executive director of single-seaters, Peter Bayer, who has praised the work of the Australian, but without guaranteeing him the position. « Michael did an excellent job in many ways. We told him so. But there is also the possibility that there will be a new race director, “he warned.
Regardless of Masi’s fate, the FIA is clear that the position of race director brings together too much power and they plan to divide their work between several people. “The race director is also a sports director and safety delegate. It is too much and those roles are going to be divided among several people, ”he has advanced statements to the Austrian newspaper Vorarlberger Nachrichten.
Countdown to Hamilton
In addition, Bayer has confirmed that the team managers will no longer have direct communication with the race director during the grand prix, after the radio chaos experienced in the last test of 2021, with Toto Wolff (Mercedes) and Christian Horner (Red Bull) complaining to Masi like angry children in the hottest moments between Hamilton and Verstappen . “In the future, the race director will be able to concentrate on his task and will no longer be distracted,” they settle from the FIA .
Hamilton watches everything from his bubble, apparently calm despite the fact that the countdown to next season has already begun. In just three weeks (February 18) Mercedes will show the world its new single-seater. In that presentation the presence of the rookie George Russell is assured, but not that of the veteran seven-time champion.