However, upon announcing Masi’s departure as part of sweeping structural changes earlier this year, Ben Sulayem did suggest that he would be offered a new role within the FIA. A February statement by the president read: “Michael Masi, who accomplished a very challenging job for three years as Formula 1 race director following Charlie Whiting, will be offered a new position within the FIA.”
Wolff recently revealed that he had lunch with Masi the week before last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton and Verstappen were incredibly level on points heading into the event and the stakes were high.
The Austrian told the Press Association in April: “I had lunch with [Masi] on the Wednesday before the race. I said to him that, ‘I really want to tell you, without patronising you, that you need to take criticism on board and develop from there. Lewis does it every day, but you are guy who always seems to know better’.
“It wasn’t about influencing him. But really giving my honest feedback that he shouldn’t block outside opinion as simply being wrong.”