Michael Masi has maintained a very low profile ever since the well-documented events of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the former F1 Race Director yet to re-appear publicly in the three months since.
The Australian was removed from his role as Formula 1's Race Director, replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, as the FIA addressed the fall-out from the controversial race after a public outcry.
Masi has been the subject of a long and sustained social media hate campaign, with a prominent friend of his - Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca - recently revealing that he has been through a "tortuous" few months.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, at the same time as announcing Masi's removal, confirmed that he would be offered a new role, and has updated the situation regarding his current employment status.
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Ben Sulayem: FIA are currently negotating with Masi
Speaking over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, Ben Sulayem explained that negotiations remain ongoing to find a suitable role for Masi.
"[We wanted] to take the pressure and the stress from him, because he really went through a lot," Ben Sulayem told Tom Clarkson in a special interview for the FIA website.
"We are grateful for the three years that he invested with us, and he put his time [in].
"But now we are negotiating with him to stay in the FIA. He is [an] important figure to us. Our people are negotiating [an]other, I would not say a job, but another place for him within the FIA."
But Ben Sulayem was keen to stress that, for the FIA, the issues of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have been thoroughly dissected and steps have been taken to alleviate the possibilities of a future repeat.
"Now we want to move on, and that we [are] finished with the race in Abu Dhabi with the analysis," he said.
"It's the beginning of the 2022 [championship], with all the new cars and all the excitement. I think we should enjoy it and leave that behind us and make sure we have a good new year."
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