Lewis Hamilton may need thought he’d have seen the final of former F1 race director Michael Masi following the controversial title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Masi was faraway from his position as race director after he was discovered responsible of not following the FIA’s sporting rules along with his decision-making in the end costing Hamilton a record-breaking eighth drivers’ championship.
The Australian has remained a part of the FIA’s setup however his actual position is unclear following his dismissal in the beginning of the yr.
New FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem has revealed that Masi may make a return in some capability, stating that they’re “open to all the things”.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff specifically has been exhausting along with his criticism of Masi throughout the early months of the yr, branding him as a “legal responsibility”.
Is a return for Masi in a extra high-profile position one other kick within the enamel for Hamilton and Mercedes?
The continuing jewelery saga mixed with discuss of Masi’s involvement rising once more throughout the FIA may make for an fascinating media day at this weekend’s grand prix in Spain.
Talking in an interview with the Each day Mailbin Sulayem thinks Masi could possibly be an asset price utilizing.
“I did not do away with Michael, he mentioned. “He had a private overload [of work] – security delegate in addition to race director. He made a mistake. It’s not as if we mentioned it’s the finish of Masi with the FIA. I do not try this form of factor. Even individuals who did not vote for me, I embrace. We do not consider people. We consider the operation itself.
“I do not know Michael very properly. The choice [to sack Masi] was made by the World Council. It was human error on Michael’s half. I spoke to him [Masi] two days in the past, I’ve no private subject [with him]. I do not hate anybody.
“Michael is there and we’d use him. I did not say we had been eliminating him. I mentioned we’d use him. He could also be in a great place to make use of. We’re open to all the things.”
In response to Masi’s sacking on the finish of 2021, the FIA signed two race administrators that may alternate at every grand prix.
Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas share the position however the brand new FIA president is not happy with the present scenario as he seems to be to keep away from a repeat of the controversial occasions in Abu Dhabi.
“Our race construction was flawed organisationally,” he added. And although we now have introduced in two new race administrators, I would not say we now have obtained all of it proper but. We have to clear the stables.
“It is not like going to a grocery store and asking for some extra stewards. You want agency and honest folks, tolerant folks. I’m pondering, for instance, of bringing in rally co-drivers, who’ve loads of multi-tasking expertise which might be required and coaching them up. We want a recruitment drive.
“This lack of individuals within the FIA must be addressed. I want to see a minimal of three race administrators, ideally by the start of subsequent yr.”
Jewelery gate rumbles on
The subject of jewelery continues to dominate the F1 paddock heading into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The FIA reminded drivers of guidelines concerning jewelery forward of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix after issuing an announcement clarifying that “within the curiosity of security, watches will likely be thought of as jewelry.”
The ban on jewelery impacts Hamilton essentially the most with the Mercedes driver typically carrying ear piercings and a nostril ring.
Hamilton had turned as much as Miami embellished with jewelery together with eight rings, 4 necklaces, two earrings, a bracelet and three watches – sending a transparent message to the FIA.
Nevertheless, the seven-time F1 champion dangers a high-quality and potential factors deduction ought to he not adhere to the principles as soon as his two-race exemption ends in Miami.
Bin Sulayem has known as on Hamilton to behave as a “position mannequin” amid the controversy surrounding jewelry.
“After Brazil, I needed him all the most effective as he was getting on the airplane dwelling. You possibly can ask Toto Wolff how supportive I used to be. I used to be free then as a result of I wasn’t president. I actually needed him to win that eighth title as a result of information are there to be damaged.
“Individuals say I did what Lewis and Toto needed by eradicating Michael Masi. I imply, I try this for them after which I’ve it in for them – it does not make sense. Lewis noticed a physician in Miami to debate the jewelery subject – and, guess what, he was a British physician. I’m merely saying the principles are there. It is not for me to determine the deserves of the science – it is for the medics.
“I would love Lewis to be a job mannequin, an envoy, to ship the best message to all of the younger drivers to forestall a tragedy. We must be utilizing him in that good trigger.”
The FIA president reaffirmed that Hamilton could be fined in Monaco if he was to put on jewelery for the race within the principality.
“I like jewelry,” he added. “I completely find it irresistible. However within the automotive there may be no selection. Individuals say they [the rules] have not been applied earlier than. Do not ask me why not. Individuals can ask the previous regime why that’s the case.’
“That is as much as him. There are fines that apply. It is like if somebody speeds on the roads – you possibly can’t cease them doing it however they get fined, even when it was unintentional.”
Why F1 ought to cater to its greatest star
The FIA’s current stance on varied points will little doubt proceed to disillusion Hamilton.
Mixed with Mercedes’ lack of kind to this point this yr, Hamilton won’t be having fun with his time on or off the observe.
At 37, Hamilton’s profession is prone to come to an finish within the close to future however he nonetheless stays the game’s greatest star.
Whereas reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen has a devoted, ever-growing fanbase, Hamilton’s identify and presence seize the eye of the world.
Notably in America, a key market F1 is trying to benefit from, Hamilton is F1’s star attraction.
F1 must be doing all it could possibly to maintain the seven-time F1 champion within the sport.
Whereas MotoGP’s transition to life with out Valentino Rossi has been seamless, the Italian wasn’t competing for normal race victories in his ultimate seasons.
As seen on the finish of final yr, in the best equipment, Hamilton continues to be on the peak of his powers and seeing him up in opposition to the brand new technology of Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Lando Norris is a tantalizing prospect.
The jewelery saga will little doubt go on longer with Hamilton vowing to not comply, questioning the security argument of the FIA’s stance.
“I imply, this complete security factor man. After they advised me concerning the jewelry, they had been saying security is all the things,” Hamilton defined.
“I mentioned properly, what’s occurred for the final 16 years? I’ve had jewelery on for 16 years. So what security not a problem again then?”
It is possible going to be a narrative that is going to run and run for the remainder of the yr.