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Masi 'turned' by Red Bull pair, claims Wolff

NEWS STORY
04/03/2022

In a new documentary, Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff claims that former race director, Michael Masi was 'turned' by Red Bull boss, Christian Horner and the team's sporting director, Jonathan Wheatley over the course of the 2021 season.

For those unfamiliar with the term, to turn is to "induce or persuade a person to act against their country, former associates or employer etc", it’s the thing of countless spy novels.

Well, according to Toto Wolff, Michael Masi was 'turned' by Red Bull, hence some of the Australian's more dubious decisions last year, particularly in Abu Dhabi.

Clearly seeking to ride on the coattails of the ever controversial Netflix series, Drive to Survive, Sky Sports has put together a two-part documentary called Duel: Hamilton vs Verstappen.

Yes, the same team that ramped up the hysteria and conspiracies last year are still at it, and showing no signs of letting go of what they clearly see as a good little earner, the televisual equivalent of clickbait.

Speaking in the documentary, Wolff describes the relationship between Wheatley and Masi as a "bromance", which eventually led to the Australian turning.

"Jonathan Wheatley has done his job," declares Wolff. "He's turned Michael Masi the race director, not only in Abu Dhabi but before, and probably Max owes him a lot.

"His decisions were wrong and I'm sure that he regrets them," added the Austrian. "The FIA should have seen much earlier that there was a problem. There was a problem with the structure. There was a problem of personalities."

Referring to Abu Dhabi, Wolff says: "It's like a football game that is 1-0 for one team and suddenly the referee says, 'now it's golden goal. 0-0, whoever scores the next goal wins'... and by the way, we have to play without boots.

"I feel for Max," he adds. "He merits the world championship, but there's only talk about Abu Dhabi."

Referring to Masi, he says: "I haven't spoken to him and I don't want to speak to him ever again," concluded the Austrian."

Ignoring the fact that only last week Wolff said that he wants to "move on" from Abu Dhabi, the fact is that Sky is clearly stirring the excrement for all it is worth.

The oh-so-partisan commentary team will no doubt spend much of next week's test coverage and the race weekend(s) that follows going over and over and over what happened that night in the desert.

A clear sign of Sky's intentions were witnessed only last week, when Lewis Hamilton stood outside the Red Bull garage, the seven-time world champion giving the RB18 the once over. Though the Briton was merely looking at the car, having visited every other garage in the pitlane, the Sky team was breathless in its eagerness to claim that Hamilton's eyes never met with Verstappen's.

If Netflix and Sky have their way, this one will run, and run, and run, and run.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by meatball, 07/03/2022 15:53

"Toto is WAY out of line with these comments. And frankly, to say "he's been turned" would imply that he was on Team Hamilton before that. And in past years it certainly seemed as though Sir Ham could do no wrong. These guys all need to move on. I don't think Masi did the best job, and I absolutely hate when the referees determine the outcome of a game. I've seen enough Stanley Cups determined with a late whistle, the ref seemingly wanted to be the 7th player on the ice. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Stitch431, 07/03/2022 9:24

"How about Silverstone, Spa (Wolff did not want to start, contrary to Red Bull), Hungary, and at least 5 or 6 races more, where Masi was still following orders from Mercedes (Mr. Email and I bring my Lawyer) Toto Wolff ..."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by jcr, 05/03/2022 15:44

"Earlier last year Christian Horner was sanctioned for his criticism of an FIA official (marshall)
If the substance of the progremme is as outright as SKY says it is ??
It will be interesting to see what sanction Toto Gets for these comments.
Probably the same as Sir Hammi got for not attending the F1 Ball."

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by kenji, 05/03/2022 10:47

"The very use of the term ' turned' in relation to the Masi/RB-Wheatley relationship is a very strong catergorization and implies many things. If I was Michael Masi I'd have my lawyers all over this ASAP. "

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by kenji, 05/03/2022 0:08

"@Spindoctor...Nor all their piety nor their wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line nor all 'thy tears' wash out a word of it. Well said Omar"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Spindoctor, 04/03/2022 22:53

"Sky are indeed "Stirring the excrement" and Wolff has provided the stick.
We saw & heard what happened & have drawn our conclusions accordingly. The moving finger writes & having writ, moves on ..."

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7. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 04/03/2022 22:02

"Now if I was the FIA I wonder how I should respond to published statements that my race director was effectively favouring one team to the detriment of others.

I sense another lawyers picnic."

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8. Posted by USA1, 04/03/2022 20:40

"I’ll I can say about the 2021 season is facts that Lewis got away with more things then Max did, Mercedes needs to stop looking at only the last race!"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by Wokingchap, 04/03/2022 16:43

"I agree with Toto and i have continually said that Masi should have been gone long ago."

Rating: Negative (-3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by jcr, 04/03/2022 15:06

"Yakker
Toto said the same thing long ago, But ??"

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11. Posted by yakker, 04/03/2022 14:55

"Now its getting tiresome, lets "move on""

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by jcr, 04/03/2022 14:51

"A brilliant and unbiased piece of jorrnalism. Well done Pitpass.
Wait for the s--t to fly.
"

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13. Posted by Superbird70, 04/03/2022 14:51

"Sorry no. Masi may have been overloaded with all the responsiblities of the job and not provided adequate support but it is really unlikely that he knowingly colluded with Red Bull. All that he is guilty of is poor decision making which he thoroughly learned from the F1, and the FIA."

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