Michael Masi.....the worst PRO of all time?

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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He might be looking for a new job.  Dont let him come near the sport of sailing as a Principal Race Officer or Race Committee chair.

I know, I know, its a sailing site. But damn it, there is no equivalent to SA in the motor racing world and I just have to vent somewhere.

I beg forgiveness from @Editor


Verstappen is a prodigious talent. But his first world championship will forever be tainted .

As a long time fan of F1 and auto racing, going into the grand finale at Abu Dhabi, I could not lose. I was either going to witness the best of a new generation of racers win his first world championship or I was going to watch as a GOAT secured a record setting 8th world championship. How could I possible be disappointed. It was going to be a thrilling duel . I was rooting for Verstappen but with the utmost respect and admiration for Hamilton. Mr. Eye was routing for Hamilton, but in awe of the verve of Verstappen. It should have been an amazing Sunday. We invited friends over, served Brunch and had chilled champagne ready to serve for the finish.

I got my thrilling duel for 48 laps, but got neither of my outcomes . Verstappen did not win his first world championship, Lewis did not set a record and the champagne remained unopened.

Instead Michael Masi polluted the outcome and the history books by arbitrarily selecting a winner . "Its motor racing" he said! It was until he artificially created a situation where with one lap to go he had allowed Max to change to a fresh set of soft tires , leaving Lewis stranded on a set of old hard tires, closed the pre-existing gap between Lewis and Max of 13 seconds down to 0,4 second, cleared out 5 cars between them , and then said "go race for one lap". No driver in the world stood a chance in the position that Masi set up for Hamilton. It was over before the last lap started. Yet nether Hamilton nor Team Mercedes had put a foot wrong. Their strategy was based upon the rules.

The Race Director (and I hope Masi never gets that job again) had 3 options, all of which would have complied with the rules:

Option #1 : Red Flag the race when it was clear that there was not time to clear Latifi's car and restart the race under a safety car. Then the race would restart from the grid, with everyone on equal tires with 3 laps to go.....or a rolling restart on equal tires. = Thrilling finish with the world champion decided in 3 last laps of heroic racing.  Hamilton has his lead pared down to the gap on the grid. Great Opportunity for Verstappen. But a level playing field. Kudos to the winner.

Option # 2. Restart from safety car for one last lap without letting any lapped cars unlap = Hamilton was previously winning the race , but Verstappen is handed a long shot last chance because the gap had been reduced to less than 2 seconds. Verstappen had a 3 second speed advantage with the new tires but 5 cars to pass .

Option # 3 Follow standard Safety Car procedure , and allow all lapped cars to unlap = No more racing and Hamilton is World Champion. No last chance for Verstappen, but Hamilton had driven a compelling race up till that point.

Mercedes obviously preferred #3 but they took the correct strategic steps for all 3 options.

Instead Masi threw the rule book and precedent out of the window and used the power of Race Director to create a fourth option which made the whole race a complete mockery of racing.

Dumb and Disappointing. Masi Must GO......MMG.

Can you imagine Peter Craig or Hank Stuart allowing a World Championship to be decided by abandoning and restarting the last race with just one upwind leg to decide it all, but allowing the boat that was second to add crew and change to new heavy air sails while the previously leading boat is stuck with a light air set up?  

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
67,005
11,499
Great Wet North
F1 and other top level racing has been full of that sort of political bullshit ever since they whored themselves to the corporate money tree. Anybody remember Balestre?

It doesn't happen at Bonneville - the last bastion of true amateurism.

 
In 2020, there was a safety-car period during the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Both Hamilton and Verstappen complained it had been unnecessarily long.

Masi was asked about this after the race. He said: "There's a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars past."

 

Editor

Administrator
Staff member
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carlsbad
Shoulda red flagged it, which would have allowed both Max and Lewis to change tires. They then move the lapped cars out the way, and you have a 5 lap shoot out for the whole fucking cake!

 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,500
998
San Diego
Because the actions of Masi (which were not according to the written rule) picked the race winner. Not the cars/drivers. Yes, one can argue that the director has considerable latitude - but the outcome was set by a decision off the track

 

mathystuff

Anarchist
870
465
Verstappen was better over the season. Yes, the last race was a bit farcical, but Hamilton did not get less lucky over the course of the season.

Get over it.

 
In 2020, there was a safety-car period during the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Both Hamilton and Verstappen complained it had been unnecessarily long.

Masi was asked about this after the race. He said: "There's a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars past."
Jesus Christ......You are right!   

Good spot. Its here

"The delay in ending the Safety Car period happened because of the length of time it took to wave the lapped cars through," said Masi.

There’s a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars passed. So from that point it was position six onwards that were still running. Between 10, 11 cars had to unlap themselves. And therefore the Safety Car period was a bit longer than what we would have normally expected.”

Do you have a link to the video of the innerview?

 
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That would have been better but I still don’t understand why it was so unfair
Because Max was enabled to change to an all new set of fresh soft tires , which are substantially faster over one lap than 45 lap old hard tires.  The new tires gave Max much better braking and acceleration over one lap. I have seen estimates of the advantage range from 3 seconds a lap to as much as 4.5 seconds.  Then Masi starts them 0.5 seconds apart. Masi either knew he had just swapped the results of the world championship or he does not know enough about auto racing to hold the position of Race Director. Either way, he will not have his job next year. The teams will all publicly say the right things to preserve the franchise but privately they will push for his dismissal.

Hamilton's team based their decision on the rules, which meant they could not change tires.  They would have had to give up track position. Under all scenarios, it was better to keep track position.....except Masi invented a new scenario which obviously Mercedes could not have anticipated, where they would obviously have changed tires.  

 

JohnMB

Super Anarchist
2,788
570
Evanston
That would have been better but I still don’t understand why it was so unfair
It's unfair because the way it unfolded gave a significant advantage to the car that was in second place prior to the safety car.

Like playing rock paper scissors, except unexpectedly making the final round count for the whole game, and making the player in the lead up to that point show their hand 1 second early.

 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,291
1,784
Shoulda red flagged it, which would have allowed both Max and Lewis to change tires. They then move the lapped cars out the way, and you have a 5 lap shoot out for the whole fucking cake!
Bingo!

If Verstappen had won that, I would have celebrated his victory.

If Hamilton had held on to that lead, I would have admired his hard earned eighth.

My maiden name is Dutch (Pennsylvania) . My husband is English. We both lost on Sunday. 

I vote Editor for Masi's job.

 
Verstappen was better over the season. Yes, the last race was a bit farcical, but Hamilton did not get less lucky over the course of the season.
How so?

The turning point of the season for me was undoubtedly Brazil, where Lewis overtook 24 cars to overcome engineering penalties and win the grand prix . It was the most outstanding drive of the season by any driver. He even had to cope with Max's discovery that Masi allowed off track overtaking.

At the beginning of the season Lewis was beating Max after the first four races, despite having a slower car on the track.

From Monaco to Mexico, the Red Bull had the pace but Lewis stuck close (and even won a couple) to remain in the hunt and never gave up. Then Brazil demonstrated what Hamilton could do with a competitive car and beat Verstappen in Brazil and every subsequent grand prix.   

It was a terrific season with the lead ebbing and flowing between 2 great drivers. Masi had no business interfering with the battle.  Masi is a dwarf among giants and he succumbed to the player who had their radio volume turned up the highest.

 
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