The feeling may not be mutual but former FIA-appointed Formula 1 Race Director Michael Masi is open to meeting with Mercedes more than a year after losing his job over the controversial 2021 F1 title decider in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton missed what would have been a record eighth F1 title after Masi altered safety car procedures late in the decisive race at Yas Marina, a move that helped Red Bull’s Max Verstappen win the race that night and take his first F1 championship title.
Masi, attending his home Australian Grand Prix in the new role of chairman of the V8 Supercars Commission, told Australian media his door was open to Mercedes but he would not chase the team for a meeting.
“No. The choice is theirs,” Masi told News Corp media. “I’ve always had an open door policy and will always have an open door policy, since the moment that I arrived in this F1 paddock and that continues.”
Hamilton said on Thursday he had no plans to meet Masi and was only focused on his future, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton, saying he wanted to leave the past behind.
“No,” The Briton told News Corp. when asked if he would meet Masi. “It is something from the past, a very unpleasant period.”
Masi said last year, after leaving the governing FIA and relocating to Australia, that he had received online death threats against himself and his family after the controversy.
The FIA report into the Abu Dhabi race found in March 2022 that Masi had made a “human error” but acted in “good faith”. (Reporting by Ian Ransom)