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The Tragic Fallout of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Michael Masi’s Story



2023 australian Gp 2021 Abu Dhabi Masi

It was a controversial moment in Formula 1 history when Michael Masi, the previous race director, made a series of questionable decisions during the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The fallout resulted in Lewis Hamilton being denied his eighth championship title win, and Masi being relieved of his duties by the FIA.

Following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Michael Masi, the previous F1 race director, advised his parents not to read or watch any related content as he believed it was unhealthy. He has now made his return to the Formula 1 paddock for the first time since the eventful race.

Michael Masi’s controversial decisions during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2021 resulted in Lewis Hamilton being denied his expected eighth championship title win. Consequently, the FIA relieved Masi of his duties as race director. Moreover, the FIA’s investigation found that Masi had made a “human error,” which effectively paved the way for Max Verstappen to secure the 2021 championship title with ease.

During a conversation with Sportsmail, Michael Masi admitted to feeling uneasy upon his return to the F1 paddock for the first time after the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He stated that he was nervous when he first arrived on Wednesday, but he received a warm reception from everyone, as witnessed by those present.

Michael Masi went on to reveal how much the role of race director affected him, particularly after the events that transpired in Abu Dhabi. He expressed his love for the job but highlighted the toll that extensive travel took on him. Masi explained that when he last met in 2021, he practically lived on an airplane due to the demands of the role.

Masi then reflected on the positive aspects of stepping away from his race director job, such as being able to cook a meal at home and spending time with his relatives. He shared that his 89-year-old grandparent, Agusta, who only speaks Italian, lives just 10 minutes down the road from him, and he loves being able to visit her and have coffee together. Masi emphasized the value of these small things, such as attending weddings and birthdays, which he was previously unable to do due to his demanding job.

Masi also shared that upon leaving the FIA, he informed his parents that he was done with those days. He had advised them after the Abu Dhabi incident not to read or watch anything related to it, as it was not healthy for them. Masi acknowledged that the F1 environment can be very toxic at times, and although social media can be a useful tool, it can also be detrimental in some aspects.

Masi went on to share that he had taken some time to focus on his personal well-being, which he found to be very beneficial for him. He acknowledged that while he had put a lot of effort into getting into good physical shape, he had neglected his mental health for a long time. However, he confided that he had found great support from his then partner and also from his friends and family, with whom he had been speaking to in private.


Masi also disclosed that he sought professional help for his mental well-being, although he admitted that he had done so later than he should have. He sought help in the latter part of last year, by which time things had mostly calmed down. Masi concluded by emphasizing the importance of looking after one’s mental health and seeking help when needed.