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Former Formula 1 race director Michael Masi leaves FIA

Paris, July 12 (IANS) The FIA has announced on Tuesday that former F1 race director Michael Masi has permanently left motorsport’s governing body.

After the FIA confirmed Masi’s ousting ahead of the launch of the 2022 F1 season in the wake of his mishandling of Formula 1’s season finale in Abu Dhabi, the Australian was placed on the sidelines but remained employed by the institution.

“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. He oversaw three years 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,” the FIA said in a statement.

In May, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem alluded to the possibility of Masi being assigned new responsibilities with the governing body, but the FIA confirmed that Masi, whose job is now shared by Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich, had gone.

Masi was involved in a controversy when he changed the safety car restart procedure at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December, a move that denied Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton a record eighth trophy.

Masi, who had built his experience as an official on the Australian motorsport scene and especially in the Aussie Supercar series, was appointed F1 race director following the sudden passing of Charlie Whiting on the eve of the opening round of the F1 season in Melbourne in 2019.

–IANS

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