Masi a "liability" for F1, says Wolff


Toto Wolff continues to stick the boot into former race director, Michael Masi, labelling the Australian "disrespectful' and a 'liability".

Despite claims that the sport needs to move on from the events of Abu Dhabi, Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff seems unwilling, or unable, to let it go.

Speaking to the Press Association, Wolff was talking about how Lewis Hamilton is able to take constructive criticism, before opining that Michael Masi isn't.

"It is quite interesting," he said, "because I had lunch with him on the Wednesday before the race, and I said to him that 'I really want to tell you, without patronising you, that you need to take criticism on board and develop from there. Lewis does it every day, but you are a guy who always seems to know better'.

"It wasn't about influencing him," insisted the Austrian, "but really giving my honest feedback that he shouldn't block outside opinion as simply being wrong.

"You hear from the drivers and how the drivers' briefings were conducted and some of the guys said it was almost disrespectful how he treated some of them," he said of Masi. "He was just immune to any feedback and even today he has not properly reflected that he did something wrong.

"He was a liability for the sport because everybody kept talking about Abu Dhabi and the race director, and the race director should not be somebody that people talk about, but someone who does the job and makes sure the race is run according to the regulations."

Ignoring the question of why exactly a team boss was dining with a senior FIA official days before a championship decider, one has to question the motive behind this latest attack on Masi.

Previously, Wolff has talked of his struggles with mental health, yet here he is seeking to pour further public ridicule on a man, who in the eyes of many, is nothing more than a patsy, a man who now has to rebuild his career whilst being labelled as the 'man who cost Hamilton an eighth title'.

Masi has previously talked of receiving death threats following that night last December, yet here is Wolff once again playing to the gallery, whipping up the fury of those keyboard warriors on social media who see themselves as judge, jury and executioner as they launch another pile-on onto the hapless Australian.

While Wolff claims that some drivers say that Masi treated them almost disrespectfully, it is a fact that most drivers leapt to the Australian's defence in the aftermath of Abu Dhabi and the charade that followed... which is more than can be said of his employers, the FIA.

While one wonders how disrespectful Lewis will find it to be told by one of the two new race directors that all that jewellery and those body piercings must be removed, wouldn't it make more sense for Wolff to let Abu Dhabi go and focus on the present... and maybe how he might find that "magic bullet" he is forever talking about.

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Published: 12/04/2022
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