It was an overreaction – this is how Marc Saurer judges the FIA’s decision to fire Michael Massey as racing director. According to the former Formula 1 driver, the federation did this in order not to aggravate the conflict with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
Press material / Mercedes / Pictured: Lewis Hamilton
Last Thursday, the FIA announced a number of changes to Formula 1, following the controversy that took place at the Abu Dhabi GP at the end of the 2021 season. As a result, Michael Massey lost his position as Formula 1 racing director, and it was also decided to create a virtual racing director. He assists referees during competition and plays a role similar to that of a video assistant referee in football.
While Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, who lost the most Macy’s decisions in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, have backed the federation’s moves, the Formula 1 circuit is filled with people satisfied with the work the Australian has done so far. “I think getting rid of Massey was an overreaction from the FIA,” former driver Marc Surer told Formula 1 News.
– Throughout the season and in previous years, Massey did not do the worst work. The FIA needed a new chassis to take some of the pressure off the Formula One racing director’s shoulders, but he didn’t have to make a change from the position. Lots of decisions are made under pressure and you don’t have to do the right thing if you always have team reps on the line trying to convince you of your mindset.
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According to Surer, it was the constant radio communication between racing management and team representatives that caused the controversy at the Abu Dhabi World Grand Prix. – It was exaggerated. It should have happened in the end, but why would he replace Massey? The controversy in Abu Dhabi came about because of outside pressure, not because he did a bad job. He may have made some wrong decisions, but in the end he was doing a lot of good – said the former F1 driver and TV expert.
From the 2022 season, Eduardo Freitas and Nils Wittich, known for their work in WEC endurance racing and the DTM series, will be the Racing Director. In addition, they will receive support from their permanent advisor, Herbie Blush. Blush, 73, helped Charlie Whiting for a long time. The Briton died unexpectedly at the beginning of 2019, which created an urgent need to find his successor, and this was Massey’s responsibility.
The FIA certainly did a good job of introducing a new chassis. I’m also happy to have Blash back in action in F1. We must not forget that Charlie always praised him for the decisions he made. Surer ruled that Herbie was with him the whole time.
Massey will be offered more work with the FIA, but in a different situation. However, it is not known what the Australian’s answer will be.
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