Ted Kravitz: “Michael Masi cost Lewis Hamilton his 8th F1 championship”

Michael Masi - F1
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Ted Kravitz takes a stand against former race director Michael Masi for costing Lewis Hamilton the 2021 F1 championship.

Just weeks after Michael Masi’s departure from the FIA was announced, Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz took a stand against the former race director at the end of last weekend’s French Grand Prix, saying his poor handling of the 2021 title decider cost the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, an eighth world title.

“Michael Masi didn’t interpret his rules the way they have been written, and that cost Lewis Hamilton the eighth championship. He gave it to Max Verstappen,” said Kravitz.

What exactly happened?

In the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale, Hamilton was leading the race and was getting close to winning a record eighth championship title. That was until Masi failed to follow the F1 regulations. He allowed the lapped cars between the Brit and Max Verstappen to unlap themselves following a late safety-car period. However, he failed to let all lapped cars unlap themselves, per the rulebook. If he had the Safety Car would have lasted one additional lap and ended the race under caution. As a result, Red Bull’s Verstappen had taken the opportunity to stop for fresher tyres and started the final lap right behind Hamilton, who was on older tyres.

After reviewing the incident, the FIA concluded that Michael Masi had made a “human error” and was fired from his role as a result. Although the FIA had then offered him a different role to remain in the organization, the Australian decided to leave and relocate to his home country to be closer to his family and “take on new challenges.” Masi may be gone from the F1 world, but his impact on the conclusion of the 2021 season will be forever in motorsport history.