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Masi could make controversial F1 return, FIA boss admits

Masi could make controversial F1 return, FIA boss admits

Masi could make controversial F1 return, FIA boss admits

Masi could make controversial F1 return, FIA boss admits

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has revealed that Michael Masi could make a potential return to Formula 1, even in light of his controversial decision during the Abu Dhabi 2021 Grand Prix.

Former race director Masi was dismissed from his role in the aftermath of one of the most controversial moments in sporting history.

Max Verstappen clinched his first drivers' championship after a thrilling final lap duel with Lewis Hamilton.

Despite the Brit leading for the majority of the race, Masi's decision for a final lap of racing allowed Verstappen, on fresher tires, to swiftly overtake Hamilton.

The incident triggered significant uproar within the paddock and among fans, with numerous people claiming that Hamilton was unjustly denied his eighth world title.

Despite the significant backlash, Ben Sulayem has claimed that he would consider reinstating Masi if a suitable opportunity arose.

"I always apologise, but I cannot apologise for something which was done before my time," Ben Sulayem told PA.

"OK, I will do the apology, but I will bring Michael Masi again. Do you think that is right? The poor guy is a person who has been attacked and abused.

"Michael Masi went through hell. Hell! And if I see there is an opportunity that the FIA needs, and Michael Masi is the right person, I will bring him.

"I even had people threatening me to kill me because I had the power to change it. But I said to them: 'Sorry, the World Cup of 1966, England against Germany, was that correct? Did they change it? No.' Did they give it to Germany? Nein."

READ MORE: McLaren F1 boss makes bullish title prediction ahead of 2024

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has not ruled out a return for Michael Masi
Former race director Michael Masi was removed from his positon after Abu Dhabi 2021
Max Verstappen clinched his first championship title after the controverisal ending in 2021

Masi death threats

Masi has been spotted in the F1 paddock since his departure as race director. He has also shared that he received death threats related to Abu Dhabi 2021, which had a personal toll on him.

"I was extremely fortunate in that behind the scenes," Masi said to Speedcafe. "I had the support of some amazing people, without whom I couldn't have got through it.

"I had multiple death threats. At the time, you sort of just brushed them off. I didn't worry about it, but there were a few death threats.

"There were also threats upon family members of mine - just some really, really weird stuff, let's just say, that came out of it."

READ MORE: 4 F1 drivers who'll be delighted to see 2023 season end

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