Helmut Marko slams Lewis Hamilton as he blames Mercedes star’s ‘behaviour’ for Michael Masi sacking…

 

FIA race director Michael Masi was recently removed from his position following the fallout from his actions at last season’s controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has slammed Lewis Hamilton after Michael Masi was removed from his position as FIA race director.

 

Masi’s position was deemed under threat in the aftermath of the dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last December, which saw Max Verstappen claim the F1 world title by overtaking Hamilton on the final lap.

Just minutes earlier, the Mercedes man looked odds-on to claim an unprecedented eighth crown as he led his rival by 11 seconds, before a crash from Williams driver Nicholas Latifi sparked a chaotic turn of events.

 

Masi opted to deploy a safety car, but under pressure from Red Bull boss Christian Horner, altered his initial instructions in a bid to speed up the procedure and ensure one final lap of racing.

It meant that Verstappen, who had pitted immediately after the Latifi incident, could get on the shoulder of the British driver ahead of that now infamous lap, and he duly surpassed him before taking the chequered flag.

 

Mercedes launched two failed protests into the procedure, but an FIA enquiry into what transpired culminated in Masi, 44, being sacked last month.

Hamilton remained silent until the decision was made, refusing to clarify his future amid reports he was contemplating retirement.

 

And now Marko, who also oversees Red Bull’s development driver programme, has argued his refusal to speak piled pressure on FIA bosses to axe the Australian.

“By his silence, he only wanted to show his dissatisfaction with the situation and the decisions,” he was reported as saying by Planet F1.

‘Part of that behaviour subsequently also led to Masi being removed from his role.”

Hamilton refused to speak publicly following the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Masi took on the role following the sudden death of Charlie Whiting in 2019, and Marko said the lack of help, and technology, that he was afforded should have been taken into account.

 

“I don’t think it’s right. You have to look at his performances over the years.

“If Masi had everything they are going to enter now at his disposal, it would have been easier for him to decide, a video referee and an advisor by his side.

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