Michael Masi, a former race director for Formula One, claimed on Sunday that after making a stunning decision that cost Lewis Hamilton his eighth world title, he was subjected to a deluge of “vile” remarks and threats of murder.
The 44-year-old left the sport’s governing body, FIA, last month to travel back to Australia after being fired from the high-profile position due to his administration of a season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year.
After the series of events that resulted in Red Bull’s Max Verstappen overtaking Hamilton to deny the Mercedes star another championship, he informed Sydney’s Daily Telegraph that he feared for his life.
In his first in-depth interview since, Masi said that “there were some sad days.””And without a doubt, I believed I was most despised guy in the world.
I got death threats. The were going to target me and my family, people claimed. A day or two later, I was in London, and I can clearly recall going along the street. When I first began looking behind my shoulder, I believed I was fine, he said.
“I was glancing about, wondering if someone was coming for me.”
Masi controversially permitted the backmarkers between race leaders Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves after bringing in the safety car for the final lap in Abu Dhabi.
This resulted in a one-lap shootout between the British driver and the Dutch driver, who had a significant edge thanks to his Red Bull car’s brand-new tyres.