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© CAMS The former Formula 1 racing director Michael Masi (archive picture) "I had the impression that I was the most hated person in the world." In conversation with 'News Corp', Michael Masi describes how he felt in Abu Dhabi after the Formula 1 final 2021. Because in the course of the World Cup decision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, a wave of indignation over Masi broke out.
The Australian had accompanied the season and the final race as a Formula 1 racing guide and made controversial decisions on the last few meters of the year, which led to the winning win through Verstappen and led to a huge outcry among the Formula 1 fans.
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Masi itself was then attacked personally. Above all, he had experienced many abuse and insults online and on social networks. The former race director speaks of "dark hours" and "shocking" news that would have reached him.
what is pounded online on Michael Masi
"I received threats to murder," says Masi. "Some people thought they would want to hunt me and my family."
He had to endure all sorts of insulting and malignant comments, and racist statements were also liked. "Actually, I was insulted with all the terms there," says Masi.
immediately after the Formula 1 final in Abu Dhabi "never stopped", he explains. "Not on Facebook, not even on LinkedIn, which is supposed to be a professional business platform. But also there: the same mob."
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So Michael Masi reacted to hatred
How Masi reacted to it? With a complete retreat from public life. He says he "just wanted to live in a bubble," he says. "I wanted to be alone. And I didn't feel the desire to talk about it, not even with my family and my friends."
He was still a bit open, but only "very short," says Masi, and "in the closest family base". At this point he does not go into detail, not even to the "physical consequences" that hatred left with him. He only says: The most intense for him was the psychological consequences.
Professional help, for example, by a psychologist, but Masi did not take advantage of because he had not felt the desire to talk about everything that happened. However, he believes that "the entire experience has let me mature into a much stronger person".
The career of Michael Masi in the FIA
The Automobil World Association (FIA) had started an investigation immediately after the final race in 2021 and presented its results in spring 2022. According to the World Association, Masi made "human mistakes" in Abu Dhabi "human mistakes", according to the World Association.
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MASI was released into the
of his tasks as Formula 1 racing guide
. It was said that he wanted to continue to use the FIA in a different function, but
a few weeks later Masi left the World Association and returned to his homeland Australia. had started his career as a motorsport official there, among other things, worked as a deputy race director of the Australian Supercars touring car series before he also supervised Formula 2 and Formula 3 as a representative of the racing manager in 2018.
At the same time, he took over in Formula 1 assistant tasks under Charlie Whiting, should be set up as his successor. When Whiting died surprisingly shortly before the Formula 1 start in 2019, Masi moved in, became the race director of the most important motorsport series in the world overnight and performed this role until the end of 2021.
His successors have been Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich since 2022.
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