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Michael Masi could be F1’s ‘sacrificial lamb’, Martin Brundle predicts

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-01-24

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Martin Brundle fears that race director Michael Masi could be made a “sacrificial lamb” for his role in the controversial conclusion to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix .

Masi’s decision to let cars between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton unlap themselves, teeing up a final-lap duel between the title rivals, has been heavily criticised.

The FIA are investigating the events that allowed Verstappen to snatch his first Formula 1 world title in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes were left furious by Masi’s late-race ruling, believing it went against precedent and was unfair on Hamilton, who had seemed poised to secure a record-setting eighth Drivers’ Championship.

Former F1 driver and prominent pundit and presenter Martin Brundle believes that the FIA must clarify what happened in their report, and fears that Masi may lose his job.

“[Michael Masi] might be the sacrificial lamb,” Brundle outlined on Sky Sports’ The F1 Show.

“What’s really important here for the FIA and for Formula 1 is that this is not swept under the carpet and just left for a few weeks and then overtaken by the new 2022 cars, and the tests, and what have you.

“We need to understand what happened and why it won’t happen again.

“We need to reassure the fans that what they are seeing is for real, genuine, and that they are giving up their free time to watch something that is a genuine competition.”

The 2022 F1 season is schedule to begin at the Bahrain Grand Prix in March, with the first round of preseason testing held in Barcelona in the final week of February.

Hamilton is said to be waiting for the findings of the FIA’s report before committing to a decision on whether he will return to the grid.

The British driver needs one more world title to surpass Michael Schumacher as the outright most successful driver in F1 history.

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