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Martin Brundle

Brundle: Masi will struggle to keep his job

Renowned F1 broadcaster Martin Brundle believes Michael Masi's position as FIA Race Director is all but untenable after the Abu Dhabi controversy.

Masi Qatar
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To news overview © Michael Potts

Former F1 driver turned F1 broadcaster Martin Brundle reckons Michael Masi is now in an "untenable" situation ahead of the 2022 season.

Masi's decision-making at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix remains the focus of an in-depth FIA investigation, as the Race Director's control of the Safety Car in the final laps of the race had a direct impact on the outcome of the Drivers' World Championship.

The controversy was rekindled this week, with radio messages between Red Bull's Jonathan Wheatley and Masi in Race Control going viral on social media.

The FIA have since clarified the messages were already known to them, and have formed part of their investigation.

Brundle: Masi is in an untenable position

In the immediate aftermath of the controversy, Brundle spoke out in favour of Masi – saying that firing the Race Director wouldn't solve the more deep-rooted issues of governance and decision-making at the FIA.

But, this week, Brundle explained he believes Masi has reached a point of no return.

"I made a comment that changing Michael Masi won't fix the problem, meaning that it's way too big a job for one person," Brundle told a special edition of the F1 Show on Sky Sports F1.

"That doesn't mean to say I'm in full support for Michael Masi. I think he'll struggle to keep that position.

"The trouble is that the spotlight will be on him, and every single decision will be analysed.

"What happens if Lewis [Hamilton] is up for a penalty? Will he be lenient on that? I think he's in an untenable situation."

Red Bull and Verstappen "did nothing wrong"

Brundle stressed it's important for fans to realise the race and title winner, Max Verstappen, didn't do anything wrong in order to take the crown.

With the championship swinging away from Hamilton and into Verstappen's arms as a result of the Safety Car coming in a lap from the finish, seemingly against the usual protocol, Brundle argued the FIA had simply made the wrong decisions on the day.

"You can't unravel the result," he went on to comment.

"Red Bull did nothing wrong, and Ferrari did nothing wrong in third place, for example. You can't penalise them.

"The FIA can only penalise themselves for getting it wrong on the day. Michael Masi got it wrong, due to a lot of circumstances."

A full report into the findings of the investigation into the race is due for release on 18 March, on the eve of the 2022 season opener in Bahrain.

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