Christian Horner backs sacked race director Michael Masi and insists it was 'harsh' to force him out

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner backs sacked F1 race director Michael Masi and insists it was ‘harsh’ to force him out after Abu Dhabi… as he admits he DISAGREES with decision to appoint two new race control chiefs for 2022

  • Michael Masi was sacked as F1 race director following the controversy last year
  • His calls in Abu Dhabi saw Hamilton lose out on an eighth world championship
  • It was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who won the F1 championship finale in 2021 
  • Horner thinks it was ‘harsh’ to remove Masi following the pressure F1 received
  • Horner also says he is against the idea of having two race directors in the role
  • WEC race director Freitas and ex-DTM race director Wittich will step into the role


Christian Horner thinks Michael Masi’s dismissal as Formula One’s race director was ‘harsh’ after he was sacked over the controversial decision that denied Lewis Hamilton an eighth world championship title in Abu Dhabi. 

Hamilton was beaten my Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in a dramatic F1 championship finale back in December 2021. His arch rival managed to eclipse him on the final lap after a safety car appeared on the track following Nicholas Latifi’s crash.  

Masi was removed from his position as the F1 race director following the incident as there was uproar over the fact his decision making saw Hamilton lose out on another world-title triumph. 

Christian Horner (above) has defended Michael Masi following his dismissal as F1 race director

Christian Horner (above) has defended Michael Masi following his dismissal as F1 race director

Michael Masi was sacked as F1 race director following December's controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

His decision making denied Lew Hamilton of eighth world championship title

Michael Masi (left) was sacked following the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December 

F1 decided to revamp their team following the controversy. They decided to bring in WEC race director Eduardo Freitas and ex-DTM race director Niels Wittich to replace Masi on a rotating basis. 

Horner is not keen on the idea of having two race directors and claims it was ‘harsh’ to push Masi out the door following Verstappen’s victory.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the Red Bull boss said: ‘It’s going to be interesting to see how that works [with two race directors]. 

‘You want consistency, so having one race director for me was preferential, rather than splitting that role. 

Red Bull's Max Verstappen won in dramatic fashion as a safety car emerged on the track

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won in dramatic fashion as a safety car emerged on the track

Following the controversy, F1 decided to bring in WEC race director Eduardo Freitas

He will share the F1 role with ex-DTM race director Niels Wittich

WEC race director Eduardo Freitas and ex-DTM race director Niels Wittich will replace Masi

‘We have a new president who has come in and inherited this situation, and he’s looking to make changes. 

‘I think it’s great that Herbie Blash – a very experienced race control member – is coming back into the fray as well. We’ll see how it pans out.’

Horner went on to say he thought it was ‘harsh’ to sack Masi following the controversy surrounding Verstappen’s F1 title. 

Horner said: ‘I thought it was harsh on Michael Masi that he was replaced after a lot of pressure put on him. Everything is back to zero, new season, new regulations.’  

Nevertheless, Horner (left) thinks it was 'harsh' to sack Masi following Verstappen's victory

Nevertheless, Horner (left) thinks it was ‘harsh’ to sack Masi following Verstappen’s victory 

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