Masi: Support from teams and drivers was very important

Michael Masi says he is looking forward to returning to his now permanent role as Formula 1 Race Director in 2020.

Following the shock passing of Charlie Whiting ahead of the 2019 season opener in Melbourne in March, deputy Masi stepped in and has kept the top role ever since.

“I am often asked about the most difficult event of the season, and it was definitely Melbourne,” said the Australian. “I could not have done this job without the support of a large team of people. It was very important that I was supported by the ten teams and 20 drivers.”

However, some have observed that since Whiting’s death, more mistakes have been made and FIA decisions have become more inconsistent.

“I haven’t heard the teams complaining about inconsistency,” Masi responded. “We work very closely with them. Everything considered I can be satisfied with my job. It’s certainly a nice job that I like doing.

“Obviously there are good and bad moments, and it’s in the nature of things that not everyone is always happy with the decisions.

“It’s been a season at full throttle and I haven’t really had the opportunity to sit back and reflect. I’ll make up for that now when I spend the holidays at home in Sydney.

“It’s a highly complex sport but I love it. I’m grateful to everyone for their support, and I’m looking forward to the time ahead,” added Masi who joined the FIA at the start of the year as the Formula 2 and Formula 3 deputy race director and was to be on hand to assist with F1 before Whiting passed.

At the time of his unexpected promotion to F1 race director, Masi said, “Charlie’s shoes will never be filled. They were a set of shoes that were made for one and very much tailored to the one individual.

“When people ask me about replacing Charlie, I say: No, I’ve become the Formula 1 race director and safety delegate. No one will ever replace Charlie,” he added.