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Lewis Hamilton: FIA Michael Masi ‘attacked’ over ‘ridiculous’ Abu Dhabi error by F1 star ….

Lewis Hamilton: FIA Michael Masi ‘attacked’ over ‘ridiculous’ Abu Dhabi error by F1 star ….

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MICHAEL MASI had been widely criticised for his role in shaping the outcome of last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

 

Lance Stroll has joined in with the criticism of FIA race director Michael Masi by insisting that his handling of last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was ‘ridiculous’.

Masi has been under fire since the conclusion of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit which saw Max Verstappen clinch his maiden Drivers’ Championship title at the expense of Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver led comfortably for the vast majority of the contest and looked set to win a record-breaking eighth title before he was cruelly denied by his Red Bull rival on the very last lap.

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Michael Masi has been widely criticised over the Abu Dhabi fiasco

Verstappen reaped the rewards of Masi’s bizarre decision to ask only the five lapped cars between himself and Hamilton to un-lap themselves during a late safety car period.

Masi’s call sparked no shortage of controversy as a result of the widely-held belief that all lapped cars should have been required to overtake the safety car in such a scenario.

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Verstappen went on to force his way around Hamilton during the one-lap shootout that followed to claim the end-of-season honours before Mercedes launched an unsuccessful bid to challenge the race result.

Hamilton was said to have been left aggrieved by the FIA’s handling of proceedings and went on to maintain an eight-week period of social media silence before returning over the weekend.

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The incident has been widely criticised by fans, drivers and pundits alike in recent weeks, with Masi often being accused of prioritising entertainment value over sporting integrity as a result of his controversial decision that shaped the outcome of the race.

Stroll became the latest high-profile name to voice his disapproval of the situation when quizzed on the topic as Aston Martin unveiled their new AMR22 challenger on Thursday.

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“It’s ridiculous that we didn’t go back racing in the way that we should have gone back racing,” he said.

“We can’t change the rules halfway through, or at the end of a race, tell half the cars they can overtake.

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“Unfortunately I was part of the group of the other half of the cars that couldn’t overtake on brand new soft tyres with the opportunity to pass and maybe do something.

“It’s just never been done before, and I think it’s important that we keep rules consistent.

“I understand that it’s great to go racing and everyone wants to see the last lap of the race and the two drivers fighting for the world championship go head-to-head with one lap to go.

“But we can’t be making up rules at the end of a race like that. It has to be set in stone.

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“If there was maybe an error where cars didn’t pass soon enough when the safety car came out or back markers weren’t allowed to pass the safety car early enough, and the consequence is we won’t get a whole lap of racing, well then that’s how it is.

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“The rules have to be consistent. In Formula One, we’ve seen some inconsistency in penalties and decision-making.

“I think this was just like maybe a little bit too much. It’s important that those things are set in stone.”

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Masi will face any sanctions over the coming weeks as the FIA continue to investigate the events that unfolded in Abu Dhabi.

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Their findings will be presented after discussing with all 20 drivers at a meeting in London later this month.

 

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