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FIA confirm Masi could be axed as race director

FIA confirm Masi could be axed as race director

FIA confirm Masi could be axed as race director

FIA confirm Masi could be axed as race director
GPFans Staff

The FIA has not ruled out the possibility under-fire Michael Masi could lose his role as race director ahead of the new F1 season.

Motorsport's governing body is currently conducting a review into the events of the final race of last season in Abu Dhabi when Red Bull's Max Verstappen won his first title in controversial circumstances ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Masi was at the heart of that process given the decisions he made once a safety car was summoned following a crash at the Yas Marina Circuit involving Williams driver Nicholas Latifi.

There have been suggestions Mercedes would like Masi removed going into the new campaign, although the team has insisted this is not the case.

Peter Bayer, the FIA secretary-general for motorsport and who is heading up the inquiry, has stated in an interview with Austrian journalist Gerhard Kuntschik that Masi may yet be replaced.

"Michael did a super job in many ways," said Bayer. "We told him that. But also that there is a possibility there could be a new race director."

The FIA is currently considering a reorganisation of its structure which could mean a new role for Masi, who also serves as safety delegate as well as inspecting changes to circuits and overseeing the arrival of new venues.

With nothing off the table, Bayer added: "[We are looking at] dividing the various tasks of the race director, who is also sports director, safety and track delegate.

"That was simply too much. These roles are divided between several people. This reduces the burden on the race director."

Crucially, whoever is race director will also no longer be harangued during a grand prix by either team managers or team principals, as often occurred last season.

"The team managers will still be able to [interact with the FIA during a race]," remarked Bayer. "They have to be able to ask questions

"We want to build in a buffer with an employee who accepts these requests. In the future, the race director will be able to concentrate on his task and will no longer be distracted."

Serving only as an advisor, Bayer will initially submit his report to new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem from which point a draft proposal will be drawn up.

That will be submitted to the F1 Commission in early February before being ratified at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on March 18, two days before the first race of the new season in Bahrain.

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