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F1 drivers felt "protected" by ousted Masi

F1 drivers felt "protected" by ousted Masi

F1 drivers felt "protected" by ousted Masi

F1 drivers felt "protected" by ousted Masi

Fernando Alonso believes that former FIA race director for F1 Michael Masi will be missed because he was "trying to protect" the drivers.

Masi lost his position ahead of the first pre-season test as part of the first raft of measures introduced by the governing body in response to the controversial finish to last year's championship in Abu Dhabi.

Whilst the Australian received heavy criticism in the part he played during the closing stages of the race in Yas Marina, the decision to take him away from the role he had filled since the death of Charlie Whiting has drawn sadness from most involved in the sport, especially world champion Max Verstappen who claimed he had been "thrown under the bus".

Giving his reaction to Masi's departure, Alonso said: "I think Michael was trying to protect us all the time, which is what we ask for a race director.

"All the decisions, sometimes will be ok for some and not ok for some others because it will never feel fair on some of the decisions, as it happened to me on track limits at turn 1 [in Austria], even though I was not fighting for the world championship, it sometimes is ok and sometimes not.

"He was protecting us. At Spa, we didn't race because conditions were not proper for racing, Baku, we had the red flag even if it was one or two laps to the end because it was not safe - arguably, the championship was decided in Baku when Lewis [Hamilton] lost a lot of points.

"There are things that will never be ok for everybody."

Referencing new race directors Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, Alonso added: "The new guys are hopefully doing the best job they can and keep protecting us as race directors and applying the rules, which probably is the only thing we ask for from them.

"We have to be all with the same rules, sometimes we will feel ok, sometimes not but at least we will know always what is black and what is white.

"This is hopefully for the best but it is a difficult job as for any referee in any sport."

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