Michael Masi has officially left the FIA, seven months after being stripped of the Formula 1 race director role.
The Australian lost the position after the controversy surrounding the handling of the championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he chose to allow only the lapped cars between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen un-lap themselves to set-up a final lap shootout for the title.
After a long investigation over the winter, it was found the regulations were applied incorrectly, but the FIA admitted Masi had been placed under unfair pressure due to the ability for teams to speak directly to him during the race, as well as the other roles he had to fulfill.
As part of the fallout from that investigation, Masi was replaced by two race directors who now share the role – Eduardo Freitas and Neils Wittich – while Herbie Blash has also been brought in as permanent advisor to support. In recognizing the overhaul that was required of race director, the FIA stated it wanted to keep Masi in a future role but it has now been confirmed he has left the governing body.
“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,” an FIA statement read. “He oversaw a three-year period 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.”
Masi has yet to comment publicly since last year’s Abu Dhabi race.