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


East Coast
I'm going to chime in but it may not be popular here. I've watched every race this season, including all of the F2 races and have been a F1 fans since I was a little kid. My first time in paddock (@Spa in 1989) when a sailing sponsor that also sponsored F1 invited me (it was amazing, Senna in the rain!).

Surely there is merit when saying Charlie Whiting (RIP) is sorely missed. I think we would have had all watched a very different '21 season/championship if he was still around but he's not and instead we had Masi as the PRO. I think it was pretty messed up by race officials with the mixed radio communication giving out info during the safety car/while cars pitting, saying cars will stay as they are and no passing the safety car (really pissing off some drivers/teams off that assumed the typical standard scenario). That then set off new tactical decisions for the teams and drivers informed on what to do with that directive (including Ham), then all of a sudden that directive gets dramatically changed at the last minute and drivers told that cars can pass safely car with no cars between Ham & Max. That was pretty messed up and teams were left confused, scratching their heads just as the race was getting ready to start. (this is the very last lap of the Championships!) But it wasn't too surprising either based on the way this whole season has been governed.

Having said all that, Ham owned that last lap, had a great start and looked solid, until he didn't, he left the door very wide open in the exact same place where Max passed him earlier (controversially) when he had first left that door open. I would say that's where the Championship race was lost in that one corner on the last lap. Of course there were lots of times where mistakes, incidents and mess up's....etc on both sides that brought the two tied going into this last race but I think if Ham didn't leave the door open like that, then Max would of had much less opportunity to pass for the win. I think it was a fail on Ham's part not protecting what he owned on the track and invited Max to do it. Of course his tires could have been totally cooked (max had fresh ones) and couldn't go in tight and hold the turn but I think he should have done a better job protecting a spot that Max had just utilized just a few laps earlier, Ham didn't stick his arms out wide enough and closing opportunities; it was like he thought Max was going to give up and not do anything. To me it was a WTF moment, among all the other wtf moments.

Sadly, I have to say I'm glad this season is over. What a mess of a season, with all the controversies, polarization of fans screaming out ugly & ludicrous rants at each other, lack of good PRO direction that happened well before this race, the team management of the two top teams playing games, ugly politics, manipulation and finger pointing at each other really lowered the level of what could have been an amazing season of pure F1 racing (as a sport) between two greats, for us fans to watch; instead it was a traveling circus show act; both teams are guilty of that. Someone really needs to get FIA & F1's house in order before the next season starts.

Bad PRO's can really effect the sporting quality of a competition.

PS: I feel bad for Latifi, he must be feeling gutted, sadly his name will be infamously remembered and mentioned for the years to come whenever the Max-Ham finale discussion comes up. 

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Super Anarchist
Victoria, BC
That would have been better but I still don’t understand why it was so unfair
Because the sporting regulations say that after lapped cars are waved past the safety car, it will come into the pits on the *next* lap.

On Sunday, only some of the lapped cars (the ones between 1st and 2nd place) were waved past, which has never happened in the history of F1. The safety car came in on the same lap. Had they waved all the cars past, they would have been into the final lap under safety car. Had the safety car been directed to follow the rule noted above, they would have had the final lap under safety car.

It was a controversial shit show, but F1 has been that way since I can remember.

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Super Anarchist
Great Wet North

We lost many great drivers. RIP to:

Jim Clark

Jochen Rindt

Francios Cevert

Ronnie Peterson

Patrick Depallier

Giles Villeneuve

Elio de Angelis

Ayrton Senna

and many others that I have missed out. It was too dangerous for too long and I'm with Santana thankful of the technology that has made the sport safer but not safe
Don't forget that the drivers contributed mightily to those insanely dangerous conditions.

Many of them were Jackie Stewart's biggest critics when he worked to get safety improved.

Like the toothless hockey players fighting against face shields - being concerned about safety was unmanly.

Personally I think Hamilton lost the Championship when he accidentally hit the magic button in Azerbaijan, but there are plenty of points in the season where ting could have gone the other way.

If this had not been the last race of the season it would have been less of an issue. I would have liked Lewis to win, but I think Max deserved the championship. It just would have been nice if the last lap of the last race had not been such a cluster.
Yes, Hamilton would have won if he had not hit the wrong button at the restart at Azerbajan.  He would have gone into Sunday with an 18 point cushion. It is one thing to lose a championship due to misfortune or an error but it is quite another to be winning the championship after a hard earned surge in the last 4 races, only to have a capricious  PRO inexplicably decide to award the championship to Max in the last lap.

Even Christian Horner congratulated Max "You are the World champion", not "You have won the World Championship".....and the most oft used phrase I have heard in the last 2 days is "Max deserved to win".   Which feels like even Max fans know in their subconscious that something was not right.

Anyway, my lasting memory from last Sunday was that of Lewis's grace .

Max (post Saudi) : "I didnt agree with the decisions of the stewards...but it is what it is"

Lewis (Post Abu Dhabi)  "First of all, I want to congratulate Max on his championship. Then I want to thank all of my team. We gave it our all. I realize we are still in a pandemic, so to everyone stay safe and have a happy Christmas"

A champion on the track and a gentleman off the track. The father was a role model. Did you see him go over and congratulate Max and then hug Max's father?



Super Anarchist
Fryslan boppe!
...Hamilton would have won if he had ...
if, if, if...

Max would've won the title earlier if Ham hadn't punted him off in Silverstone... if Max's tire hadn't blown 3 laps from the end in Azerbeidjan... if Ham's engine change couldn't have taken place during a meeting with a sprint race (Brazil) ...

Lots of IFs in sport...

Luck plays a considerable role in most sports, and in F1 more than a lot. Yes it was extremely unlucky for Hamilton that the Latifi crash necessitated a safety car intervention. If it had happened just a few laps earlier, we would have had the same outcome (ie Max winning and claiming the title) without all the so called controversy.

As it was, the race direction did everything they could to clear the track as quickly as possible and end the race as it should, while racing.

The fact that the actions they needed to take could benefit one or the other driver must not be allowed to have any bearing on their decision making process.

Over the season, in my opinion Max lost more points without being to blame. And safety car phases saved more than one point to Hamilton this year.

What was more critical to me; we have again and again the situation, in Monza, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and similar in Silverstone and Austria (2020) with the two cars entering one corner side by side, and no consistant rules/penalties. In the end these are the most spectacular situation in races, but if they don't know what the consequences will be, the drivers will think more than twice if they want to attack.

And they have to install rules for the radio conversation. What is going on there is ridiculous, they should get advice from Rugby referees...


Bill E Goat

Super Anarchist
When I heard the teams saying what penalty the were prepared to take a few races ago I knew it was fucked, private equity want drama 

Some suggestions for next season.

- Get rid of Masi.

- Replace all run-off area's with gravel.

- Forbid any form of communication between the teams and the race-comitee during the race.

  Make it one-way, so the comitee can inform the teams about their decissions.

Hi All,

I agree this is not the spot to discuss F1 racing, but since u started.... I agree that it is unfair that all the cars behind Hamilton could change their tires and Hamilton couldn't but these things are in the rules. On top of that Hamilton should have given his position back to Max while he left the track gaining an advantage earlier in the race.

Penalty was not given and Hamilton benefited from that. So the only thing Max could do at that point was to put his head down and push it.

As a fan you might remember that Hamilton pushed Max of the track at a speed over 320KpH on Silverstone and only had a 10 sec. penalty for it. Also Hamilton was 1 warning away from being set back 10 places because of all kinds of stupid stunts he pulled this season.

I think it's more than fair that things went as they did... on top of that Hamilton fucked up be letting the door open on the inside because he could expect Max to jump  into the hole he left. So he can only blame himself. It was just racing and it could have been the other way around . Max has won more races this season then Hamilton so looking back a bit further I do think he deserved it.

I honestly feel embarrassed for driving Mercedes and think they should just admit that Max played it smarter this time and move on.

And now back to sailing....



I cannot understand why Mercedes did not box Hamilton for new tires when the safety car came out.  That would have forced RB to keep Max out on the hard tires with a bunch of laps on them.  The Merc with new softs would have been easily able to pass ANYTHING out there...  I guess Merc thought the race and therefore the season would end under yellow?

Going forward F1 needs to have clearer idea when to deploy the virtual safety car, the actual safety car and the red flag.  Almost seems like too many options.  I get that Masi wanted the race to end under racing conditions (and I think that sentiment is what most viewers would have wanted). The execution of that process needs a review and more structure applied.  Maybe in the last 10 or so laps the only type of race stoppage/neutralization should be a red flag to ensure that races are concluded under racing conditions....

In my humble opinion...

I agree with all that has been said already, but with the understanding that because F1 has seen a resurgence and is a definite money maker for the owners of the "league?", the outcome of this season was made "fair" by giving Verstappen the drivers championship (and bragging rights for Red Bull), and the constructors to Mercedes. If I understand the prize money dole out this give Mercedes a step up for next years budget while F1 champion goes all to the driver.

NetFlix is another group that will benefit from this season, cant wait to see season 4 next year.



Masi and race control have been a bit of a mess all season.  Look no further than the prior race where they told Red Bull to slow down and let Ham pass before passing the word to Mercedes!  Only Ham prevented a serious accident.

In this race, by FAR the best option would have been to red flag and restart from the grid.  However, I think there is a better than 50% chance there would have been a mash up at the first corner.  The grid was laid out such that the #2 spot had the inside to the first corner.  Max would have gone for it like a pit bull on a pork chop.  Normally, Ham is the less aggressive, but in this case there's no way he'd back out, leading to yet another Ham/Max crash.  In that case, they'd be tied on points but Max wins the tie breaker with more outright wins.

Either way, F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor sports.  The race management has not reflected that level at all this year. 

Still, no better way to start a Sunday in the states!

I cannot understand why Mercedes did not box Hamilton for new tires when the safety car came out.  That would have forced RB to keep Max out on the hard tires with a bunch of laps on them.  The Merc with new softs would have been easily able to pass ANYTHING out there...  I guess Merc thought the race and therefore the season would end under yellow?
Mercedes did not box Lewis when the Safety Car came out (for Latife) because he would have come out behind Max and Mercedes calculated (rightly it turns out) that there was at least a 50% chance that there was not enough time for a restart. That would have just handed the Championship to Max on a silver platter.

They knew Max would box for softs. Max would not lose track position, so why not.

But by leaving Lewis out, Mercedes figured that there were only two ways the race could restart. Either the Race Directors would pull out the red flag, in which case Lewis would have new soft tires and pole position for the restart, or the Race Director would leave the lapped cars in place and Max would have to pass the same 5 lapped cars that Lewis had passed , which would not leave Max enough time to use the Softs to pass Lewis.

They calculated (correctly) that there was not enough time for the track to be cleared, the lapped cars to be unlapped, and the safety car do the final lap required by the regulations for the race to restart.  Their calculation was confirmed when Masi announced that lapped cars would not be allowed to unlap, prior to Lewis passing the pit the 2nd time...so Lewis stayed out.

Mercedes made the right call. Lewis had won the race on the race track with an incredible drive.  Never in their wildest dreams did any F1 professional imagine that Masi would ignore the rule book and 28 years of established safety car procedures and at the last second cancel his prior decision and allow some but not all of the lapped cars to unlap themselves , and then pull the safety car before the clearing lap.

Prior to Abu Dhabi . # of times the safety car has been deployed = 286      # of times selective cars allowed to unlap = 0    # of times, safety car ends without the regulation lap= 0.  

Prior to the next season, Masi will leave F1 to pursue other opportunities.



Super Anarchist
want to stop the shit? take away the ability of the toto and christian and the rest to lobby masi throughout the race... just like politics, there's too much influencing of decisions. "stewards and directors decisions are final. post race protesting is acceptable" seems pretty simple no? max's charge to the championship lost my enthusiasm when he pulled his antics (on and off track) last weekend and this weekend's finish was 'sporting entertainment' more than racing. 

that said, i'm jazzed for the new regulations and next year. hope they get their collective stewarding shit together


mclaren fan

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