Fans & Martin Brundle Slam Race Director Michael Masi Over Role in Lewis Hamilton's Abu Dhabi Defeat

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the mediabankMercedes team pilot Lewis Hamilton during a press conference in Sochi.
Mercedes team pilot Lewis Hamilton during a press conference in Sochi. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.02.2022
Red Bull's Max Verstappen may have won his maiden World Championship title by defeating British driver Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi in December, but controversy over his dramatic triumph still continues to rage on the Formula One circuit. A new twist has now emerged in the saga.
F1 fans and former British F1 driver Martin Brundle have launched a scathing attack on FIA's Race Director Michael Masi and the Red Bull Racing team after a recently leaked video has put question marks over the official's role in the title decider in the United Arab Emirates.
Verstappen, 24, edged Hamilton to become the new world champion after a dubious decision by Masi cost him dearly.

Hamilton was cruising towards a comfortable win but his title hopes were dashed on lap 54 of 60 when Masi ordered the unlapping of lapped cars.

Although the Australian's order was not in line with the F1 governing body's norms, it allowed Verstappen to pip the Brit on the final lap and claim the title.

At the time of Verstappen's win, people accused Masi of being pressured into the decision by Red Bull chief Christian Horner and Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley.

Now a leaked video has emerged in which Masi and Wheatley can be seen conversing with the race director.

Besides, further evidence of Masi's alleged bias has been found in radio messages as Wheatley can be heard giving him advice about unlapped cars.

Much to the dismay of Hamilton and Mercedes, Masi ended up following Wheatley's message almost word for word.

The shocking footage immediately went viral on social media with F1 fans calling it a "complete sporting scandal."

One Twitter user accused Masi of "robbing" Hamilton of a record eighth World Championship title while another alleged that he broke "FIA's rules with much bias."
Brundle has ripped into both Masi and Red Bull, calling their behaviour "completely unacceptable" and "not pretty for F1."
"Of course it's really uncomfortable, and a lot of people are unhappy: (Lewis) Hamilton fans, Mercedes fans. And you don't even have to be a Lewis Hamilton fan to think that forever he should be an eight-time world champion," Brundle told Sky Sports on Thursday.
The former BBC pundit went as far as to say that Hamilton's defeat was pre-planned during several meetings between Masi and Red Bull's management.
"We also know that unwritten rules and meetings, which shouldn't supersede anything, were: let's try not to have a race finish behind the safety car," he added.
"It's not pretty for Formula 1 at all, but I don't think this audio today changes the really uncomfortable narrative of what happened," Brundle concluded.
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