Sebastian Vettel thinks that Formula 1 is missing former Race Director Michael Masi, with the Australian having been axed following 2021’s controversial season finale.
Masi’s final act in F1 was his handling of the controversial late-race Safety Car during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, during which saw Lewis Hamilton – heading for a record-breaking eighth title – was passed by rival Max Verstappen.
The aftermath saw Masi removed from his position, with an FIA report concluding that “human error” had played a part in deciding the race.
Masi has since been replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, who have traded places as Race Director so far this season. Their early Grands Prix have not been without controversy, however, with the likes of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso being openly critical about a number of decisions.
“We saw a couple of things already that proves that we still need to improve a lot,” Alonso told media, including RacingNews365.com, while also hitting out at the race stewards for what he deemed as “incompetence”.
Vettel hopeful things will “calm down” between drivers and FIA
Vettel admits he expected teething issues following the introduction of two new Race Directors in 2022, and has argued that the sport is missing the experience that Masi brought to his role.
However, the German has also called upon his fellow drivers to find a way to work together – with the FIA – to bring improvements.
“What we are missing now is the experience that Michael had and brought to the job because he did it for so long and grew up with it,” said Vettel, speaking to PA.
“It is not an easy position now because there is more focus and more spotlight on what is happening at Race Control.
“But I hope things calm down and we find a way to work together, as in the drivers and the FIA. You cannot make everybody happy, but we need to try and make both sides more happy.”