Former F1 race director Masi departs FIA

Michael Masi pic: FIA/DPPI

The FIA has announced former Formula 1 race director, Michael Masi, as left motorsport’s world governing body.

The Australian has maintained a low profile since being stood down from the role he inherited following the sudden death of Charlie Whiting.

A statement from the FIA has now confirmed that Masi has elected to leave the organisation.

“The FIA confirms that Michael Masi has decided to leave the FIA and relocate to Australia to be closer to his family and take on new challenges,” it announced.

“He oversaw a three-year period as FIA Formula 1 race director and safety delegate following the sudden passing of Charlie Whiting in 2019, carrying out the numerous functions he was tasked with in a professional and dedicated manner.

“The FIA thanks him for his commitment and wishes him the best for the future.”

Masi hit the headlines in the immediate aftermath of last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the way in which he managed a late-race Safety Car.

An investigation carried out in the weeks that followed served to highlight the excessive workload placed upon race control.

As part of the publication of that report, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem opted to replace Masi in the position with Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich, who’ve operated on a rotational basis throughout 2022.

A number of other systems have since also been introduced in an effort to ease the task of managing a grand prix.

What Masi opts to do next is unclear, though Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca has previously told that he would be very keen to find a role for him.

“Unlike many others, he’s actually been administering, involved in managing motorsport for many, many years. That’s a good thing. He’s got an extensive background and history,” Arocca said of Masi in February.

“He’s very insightful, intelligent, and able to make decisions in the heat of a moment.

“We would love to tap into his knowledge at any level,” he added.

“He’s just an elite talent that would be wasted to the sport if he’s not used in some capacity, and so we’ll keep an open mind.”

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