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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Daniel Moxon

Michael Masi lands new role in motorsport one year on from F1's Abu Dhabi farce

Michael Masi's latest motorsport role has been confirmed, one year on from the moment which led to the end of his time as Formula 1 race director.

The Aussie was in charge of the final race of the 2021 season, which also acted as the climax to an enthralling title race. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went head-to-head for the drivers' championship crown – whoever beat the other would wear it.

For a long while in that race it looked like Hamilton would be the victor. But after a late safety car and some questionable decisions made by Masi in terms of operating it, Verstappen was able to overtake on the last lap with his fresh tyres and snatch the championship in controversial circumstances.

Masi was later removed from his role and, three months later, the FIA finally released its report after a lengthy investigation. In it, the governing body admitted Masi did not follow the correct procedure for the safety car restart, even though he "was acting in good faith".

In July, the FIA announced that Masi would leave the organisation and return to Australia. Shortly after, it was confirmed that he had accepted the job of chairman of the Supercars Commission in his homeland.

It marked a return to the organisation he had been part of before being invited to join F1 by the late, great race director Charlie Whiting back in 2018. And for 2023 it has been announced that he will also be a director on the Karting Australia board – playing a part in the fledgling career of Australia's future motorsport stars.

Masi's predecessor as F1 race director was the late, great Charlie Whiting (Getty Images)

"Michael's experience in the world of motorsport in Australia, and on a world level, is exceptional and we're delighted that he has decided to accept the invitation to join the board," said Karting Australia chairman Kevin Davis when announcing the news.

Masi will join the board along with lawyer Melissa Holzberger from January 1. Both of them, like the rest of the eight-strong board for 2023 including the likes of Supercars champion Garth Tander and the now former chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Andrew Westacott, are volunteers.

Davis added: "Melissa is well versed in the way in which Karting Australia operates and brings great business expertise and adds further experience to our already well-credentialled board of directors. To have two more highly credentialed people like Michael and Melissa join our board adds further strength, stability, and experience for Karting Australia."

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