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October 22nd, 2020, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao, FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX 2020, in the picture FIA Race Director Michael Masi | usage worldwide

Inside Line: Michael Masi hate must stop immediately

October 22nd, 2020, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao, FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX 2020, in the picture FIA Race Director Michael Masi | usage worldwide

I feel compelled to get this out immediately. Enough hate on Michale Masi, the extent of the pillaging of the man is criminal.

Masi is merely a scapegoat of Jean Todt’s insignificant reign as FIA president – granted he did wonders I am told for road safety but that’s not our gig – where on a sporting level he left F1 no better than he found it.

Related to the fateful 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, under his watch the FIA did not develop a successor to Charlie Whiting while he was alive, then when by chance they needed Masi, he was left to his own devices and hung out to dry. Thankfully Todt is gone, as is Masi from the role of Race Director.

Granted, one-man show Masi made errors and dubious calls during the course of the season, forcing one to ask: who were his assistant-Race Directors? Did he have a Herbie Blash (who shadowed Charlie’s every move) in his corner?

Hence the problem, Masi was put in charge of the highest-profile sport in the world without the backup to do the job effectively and with authority. A catalogue of dubious calls ensued, particularly towards the end when things were getting crucial and super intense.

In my book, the biggest mistake was the Brazilian Grand Prix track limits debacle that went unchecked and triggered the cancer which led to the damned if you do or damned if you don’t shitshow that was the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from an officiating perspective, keeping in mind the Stewards’ responsibility there as well.

Had deserving World Champion Verstappen lost instead, Masi would have still been vilified and also the fall guy, again as if it was ALL his fault.

He erred like all referees do, the result a farce of a finale of a race billed as the Race of the Century to decide the title so viciously fought for by Hamilton and Verstappen all year long. It should’ve been epic, which it was, but for all the wrong reasons.

Max deserved a better legacy for his first crown, Lewis did not deserve the ending he was served

But it is what it is. Let’s move on, Lewis has.

The poison spat at Masi over the past few months has been appalling, it died down by the end of December, but social media was soon on the warpath again, and all I say is: It’s enough!

Michael is family, one of our own motorsport family, with racing is in his blood. That he got it wrong for the Battle of the Century is well documented but kicking a family member when he is down so relentlessly is inhumane. Stop!

The catalyst for me – to see the extent of damage keyboard warriors can do to a man’s life – was what the man who could have prevented it all – Todt – revealed: “I’ve been speaking with him, not specifically about what happened in Abu Dhabi, but about him as a human being. I hope he will be OK.”

Chilling stuff if you consider this happened last year, two months ago!

It’s sport not a matter of life and death, world war or global starvation. Relative to man’s life and reputation, F1 is merely a silly sport where teams spend half a billion dollars a year to make two spoilt brats go faster than the other 18 over-paid brats on the grid.

With that as a pretext, the Masi overreaction and hatred is a sad reflection of our society where the anonymity of an IP address makes so many cowards so brave, to say things they would not dare utter face-to-face to their victims.

The man erred, and was removed from his job as a result, so why should the hate continue? Shame on all those who have continued to trash talk Michael in this manner. It’s inhumane.

Do not be surprised if commentators spewing the unacceptable Masi-hate narrative in our comments section have been and will be banned…

Harassment of Masi must end with immediate effect. And it starts here!