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Why Horner doesn't regret radio messages to Masi in Abu Dhabi

Christian Horner has explained why he has no regrets over the radio messages he sent to Michael Masi during the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While attention is shifting towards the start of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship, the events from the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi still dominate headlines due to the controversial way the title was decided. In recent weeks, the FIA have confirmed that Michael Masi has been ousted from his role. The former Race Director came in for heavy criticism for his decision-making in the final laps of the Grand Prix, with his choices having an impact on the ultimate outcome. Part of the criticism that was levelled at Masi was that he appeared to give in to pressure applied by Mercedes and Red Bull team bosses during the race, with both Toto Wolff and Christian Horner getting on the radio to offer their opinion and urging him to make certain choices. One of these messages came in the critical stages, with Horner urging Masi to release the cars for one racing lap at the end of the race after a late Safety Car intervention allowed second-placed Max Verstappen to pit for fresh tyres. Masi ended up deciding on this course of action, which swung the title towards Verstappen after a dominant display from Lewis Hamilton.

No regrets on Horner's side

But, despite Masi losing his job as a result of the circumstances, Horner said he doesn't regret the radio messages. "My job is to push as hard as I can for the best interests of this team," he told The Financial Times. "If I wasn't doing that I wouldn't be doing my job properly. "I've complained a lot to the Race Director in the past and nothing's happened. "I was aware that there was pressure from the other side [Mercedes], so you just try and counter that pressure." As well as Masi losing his role, the FIA have confirmed that team bosses will no longer be able to make direct contact with the Race Director during a Grand Prix in 2022.

Red Bull team boss has no desire to quit just yet

Horner, at 48 years old, is still the youngest team boss on the grid,despite entering his 18th season at the helm of Red Bull. Having managed to return his squad to the top of Formula 1 after their last title victory with Sebastian Vettel in 2013, Horner admitted that he's nowhere near the end of his time in charge just yet. "Once you've experienced winning, you know, it's almost like an addiction. You don't want to lose that," he said. "You want to experience it again and again and again."

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