Michael Masi and Nikolas Tombazis have not been included in the latest FIA General Organisation amid questions over their future after the controversial decisions that were made in the final stages of the last race from the 2021 Formula 1 season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which led to Max Verstappen winning the title.
The two Formula top officials appear to be victims of the biggest story of the 2022 pre-season so far, despite the fact that Mercedes has rejected speculations that they demanded the double-ousting. Several media outlets reported Mercedes Team Principal informed the FIA that Michael Masi and Nikolas Tombazis’s exit would be the only solution for Lewis Hamilton to return to the Formula 1 paddock in 2022.
In an interview with Kronen Zeitung to mark his 50th birthday, Toto Wolff admitted that the calls which were made in the final laps of the Yas Marina race “will never be forgotten”.
However, Formula 1 legend Gerhard Berger wanted to defend Formula 1’s top officials, explaining that Michael Masi was just 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.” – the former Ferrari driver said.
Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto also defended the FIA Race Director, 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 Ferrari boss added.
Newly-installed FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has already ordered a detailed investigation, yet the “final decisions” will only be presented a few days ahead of the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
will only be announced mere days before the 2022 season opener in Bahrain.
Former F1 CEO 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.” – the former F1 chief concluded.