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F1 teams support Masi as race director

Mat Coch

Saturday 7th September, 2019 - 9:53am

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Michael Masi

Formula 1 team bosses have thrown their support behind Michael Masi as race director.

The Australian took up the role following the unexpected death of Charlie Whiting in the days prior to the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

He then filled the role on a temporary basis before being confirmed by the World Motor Sport Council for the remainder of 2019 in June.

Reflecting on Masi’s stint thus far, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto and Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost say he’s performed well.

“I think Michael is doing very well since Australia,” said Binotto.

“If you look over the first races I don’t (think) there have been, from a race director’s point of view, any mistakes or big mistakes.

“It has not been easy for him,” Binotto continued.

“With no advice he had to jump into the role, but since then he’s doing really a pretty good job and I’m really happy.”

Masi was set to take over race director duties for Formula 2 and Formula 3 this year in what many viewed as a warm up role to stepping into Whiting’s position in future.

Previously, Masi worked as deputy race director to Tim Schenken in Supercars before resigning from that position last year.

The Victorian worked as deputy race director to Whiting at selected events in 2018, a role he was expected to fill more frequently this year.

Michael is doing a fantastic job because it was not easy for him because they were big steps he had to go in and he fulfilled it and he is doing the best possible job he can do in this position,” said Tost.

“So far I would not say that the made any wrong decision we are quite happy with him.”

Masi has even found support in tyre supplier Pirelli, and while the Italian company has less to do with him than they did his predecessor, they support his appointment.

Obviously it’s difficult to replace Charlie and Michael has probably a slightly different role,” explained Mario Isola, the tyre company’s F1 boss.

“Charlie was a bit everywhere. He was our… I don’t want say unique reference, but every time we needed something we went to Charlie.

“Now in the FIA there is a slightly different organisation so we have different people but I believe Michael is doing an excellent job.”

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