In a statement published yesterday, the FIA confirmed that former F1 Race Director Michael Masi had chosen to leave the organisation and head back to his home country of Australia.
Masi lost his role as Race Director in F1 over this year’s winter break after coming under a lot of scrutiny for his decisions over last season – especially during the final laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Now, after the FIA confirmed he wouldn’t take on any other roles within the organisation, Masi has issued a statement on his time at the FIA to the Australian outlet Speed Cafe.
“It has been a pleasure and honour representing the FIA as the single-seater sporting director and FIA Formula 1 race director and safety delegate since Charlie’s unexpected and tragic passing in Melbourne 2019,” the statement begins.
“Having worked on various projects around the world with the Federation and its member clubs for over a decade prior to my appointment, I have now decided to leave the organisation and relocate back to Australia to be closer to my family and friends.
“I am proud to have worked in partnership for many years with the various FIA member clubs, Formula 1 Group, the competitors, promoters and circuit operators and my colleagues and team internally at the FIA.
“I will always treasure these lifelong relationships and friendships that I have developed throughout my journey to date.
“In particular, I am eternally grateful to Herbie Blash and the late Charlie Whiting for identifying me as a future successor in 2018, a role that I was looking forward to shadowing and learning from Charlie for many years prior to his shock passing.
“I also pass on my sincere appreciation for the support and guidance during my tenure of the former FIA president Jean Todt, Stefano Domenicali, and my dedicated FIA Single Seater team.
“I extend my appreciation to the tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers and officials that allow motorsport to happen each and every day around the world, as the safety of the competitors and officials has always remained my highest priority.
“Thank you to the FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem and his presidential team for their personal support since their appointment and I wish them the best for the future.
“The personal support of my family, friends, and colleagues globally during this journey and particularly in the last few months can only be described as overwhelming and something that I will forever cherish.”
The FIA’s statement yesterday implied that Masi planned to take on “new challenges” back in Australia where he can spend more time with his family and friends. Perhaps we could see Masi return to V8 Supercars, where he previously served as a Deputy Race Director!
Do you think the FIA underestimate the challenge that comes with being a Race Director?