Verstappen’s world title tarnished with sacking of Australia’s Michael Masi
February 18, 2022
With news this morning that Australia’s Michael Masi was sacked as the F1 race director following a final lap controversy at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it has now officially raised doubts over the legitimacy of Max Verstappen’s first world title.
Up until Nicholas Latifi’s crash with five laps to go in the Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was poised for his eighth world title and it wasn’t until Masi broke the FIA rules which allowed Verstappen to overtake the Briton on the final lap with fresh, soft tires.
Whatever way you look at the final few laps, it was clear Masi was out of line and did not behave in the manner of which a race director should act. It thus robbed Hamilton of a record-breaking eighth world title and has since caused controversy throughout the world of F1.
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While Hamilton will not be granted the title following the decision, it has proved to fans across the world that Verstappen’s title was manufactured. It is a clear admittance by F1 and the FIA that the rules were not followed and manipulated.
As such, Masi has been replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas in a restructure of the position which was unveiled by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
It will be an interesting next few months with more cars set to be unveiled by F1 teams with Mercedes’ car revealed tomorrow as testing begins next week from February 23-25.