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Masi removed as race director of FIA

Masi removed as race director of FIA

Masi removed as race director of FIA

Masi removed as race director of FIA

Michael Masi has been removed from his position as race director, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has confirmed.

From the first pre-season test in Barcelona next week, Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich will alternate in the role, assisted by Herbie Blash as permanent senior advisor.

The decision comes following a detailed inquiry conducted by the FIA into the events of the closing race of last season in Abu Dhabi when Red Bull's Max Verstappen controversially won the F1 title due to decisions made by Masi.

In an address, Ben Sulayem confirmed: "I would like to inform you that a new race management team will be put in place, starting in Barcelona for the test session.

"Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will act alternatively as race director, assisted by Herbie Blash as permanent senior advisor.

"Michael Masi, who accomplished a very challenging job for three years as Formula 1 race director following Charlie Whiting, will be offered a new position within the FIA."

Ben Sulayem has also unveiled additional changes going forward into the new season.

He added: "Firstly, to assist the race director in the decision-making process, a Virtual Race Control Room will be created.

"Like the video assistant referee (VAR) in football, it will be positioned in one of the FIA offices as a back-up outside the circuit.

"In real-time connection with the FIA F1 race director, it will help to apply the sporting regulations using the most modern technological tools.

"Secondly, direct radio communications during the race, currently broadcast live by all TVs, will be removed in order to protect the race director from any pressure and allow him to take decisions peacefully.

"It will still be possible to ask questions to the race director, according to a well-defined and non-intrusive process.

"Thirdly, unlapping procedures behind the safety car will be reassessed by the F1 Sporting Advisory Committee and presented to the next F1 Commission prior to the start of the season."

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