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Masi finally breaks silence

NEWS STORY
13/07/2022

Almost seven months to the day after that fateful night in Abu Dhabi, former FIA race director, Michael Masi has spoken out.

In a statement given exclusively to Mat Coch at Speedcafe.com, Masi doesn't refer to the events of Abu Dhabi, instead opting to thank those who have helped him along the way.

"It has been a pleasure and honour representing the FIA as the single-seater sporting director and FIA Formula 1 race director and safety delegate since Charlie's unexpected and tragic passing in Melbourne 2019," the statement begins.

"Having worked on various projects around the world with the Federation and its member clubs for over a decade prior to my appointment, I have now decided to leave the organisation and relocate back to Australia to be closer to my family and friends.

"I am proud to have worked in partnership for many years with the various FIA member clubs, Formula 1 Group, the competitors, promoters and circuit operators and my colleagues and team internally at the FIA.

"I will always treasure these lifelong relationships and friendships that I have developed throughout my journey to date.

"In particular, I am eternally grateful to Herbie Blash and the late Charlie Whiting for identifying me as a future successor in 2018, a role that I was looking forward to shadowing and learning from Charlie for many years prior to his shock passing.

"I also pass on my sincere appreciation for the support and guidance during my tenure of the former FIA president Jean Todt, Stefano Domenicali, and my dedicated FIA Single Seater team.

"I extend my appreciation to the tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers and officials that allow motorsport to happen each and every day around the world, as the safety of the competitors and officials has always remained my highest priority.

"Thank you to the FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem and his presidential team for their personal support since their appointment and I wish them the best for the future.

"The personal support of my family, friends, and colleagues globally during this journey and particularly in the last few months can only be described as overwhelming and something that I will forever cherish."

No doubt there is a watertight NDA (non-disclosure agreement) in place that prevents Masi from talking about the events surrounding Abu Dhabi, events for which he basically took the full blame.

Though the FIA's report into the event cited "human error" it fully acknowledged the pressure Masi was under, citing, in particular his excessive work load. Indeed, the role was subsequently split between two race directors who still appear to be struggling.

Though he has opted to return to Australia, it is unlikely that he will be out of work for long with Motorsport Australia particularly keen to welcome him.

"Unlike many others, he's actually been administering, involved in managing motorsport for many, many years," CEO Eugene Arocca told Speedcafe in February. "That's a good thing.

"He's got an extensive background and history," he added. "He's very insightful, intelligent, and able to make decisions in the heat of a moment. We would love to tap into his knowledge at any level.

"He's just an elite talent that would be wasted to the sport if he's not used in some capacity, and so we'll keep an open mind."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ARL, 17/07/2022 22:40

"@max, I see your IBM NDA and raise you a Royal Household NDA. That will tie your descendants for two generations for anything you did under contract. You'll never get that marmalade sandwich recipe out of me.

Not that some recent employees seem too fussed.

Meantime he's just missed the chance to organise this year's Boulia Camel Races. Maybe next year."

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

2. Posted by Max Noble, 14/07/2022 1:56

"@Defiant - “Never ascribe to malice that which is equally well explained by stupidity.” By which I mean it is possible that in the heat of the moment Masi might have made a poor decision simply because of so many time-critical pressures… He did not need to be “in” on the script to act as he did.
As to NDAs… I’ve had to sign them my entire career, so I’m not the slightest surprised Masi signed one. I’d be shocked if he had not. IBM go further, and along with your main contract, various T&Cs, and the NDA, they make you sign over all IP rights to them when you commence working, *including* anything you dream up in your own time at home, on your own equipment…
"

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3. Posted by Tardis40, 13/07/2022 18:05

"Look on the bright side hamilton fans. You can always use this as an excuse."

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4. Posted by Defiant, 13/07/2022 16:00

"aahhhh, the "following orders" defence.

NDA's and such.. it all stinks and I won't be sorry to see the back of him.

@Roli, that would be an appropriate job for him.

@Max, I agree with you partly. He is a "patsy" and his head isn't the most deserving but he still played along, and as many of us suspect, agreed to sign an NDA. Clown car verdicts, yes, it looks like the new patsy's where already given aa DTS script book to follow."

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 13/07/2022 9:09

"Courage is Grace Under Pressure.
Masi tackled a role most would run from at high speed. In total his mistake rate was modest. His approach mostly consistent. Then we have *that* race. Masi’s grace was put under significant pressure… Then someone needed to supply a freshly severed head for the silver platter…
Ouch… and now we have a fresh clown car delivering new verdicts that have the crowd crying for all the wrong reasons…"

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6. Posted by KKK, 13/07/2022 7:42

"Bye bye, see you at Sydney Cricket Ground selling hot dogs !"

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