“He Really Was a Pathological Egomaniac”: Toto Wolff Recalls Michael Masi’s Actions Back in Abu Dhabi 2021

“He Really Was a Pathological Egomaniac”: Toto Wolff Recalls Michael Masi’s Actions Back in Abu Dhabi 2021
Credits: IMAGO / Every Second Media

The 2021 F1 season was set up for a brilliant finale in Abu Dhabi, with title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen heading into the race equal on points. Unfortunately, the race’s ending was marred by a series of questionable calls made by then race director Michael Masi. Nearly three years later, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is still bitter about the incident and doesn’t have a positive image of the Australian.

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Wolff did not hold back while launching a scathing attack on Masi, his work ethics, and also his ego. As per Motorsport, the Austrian said,

“That individual did not follow the rules and let all that happen. He is a totally inconsequential person: he lives on the other side of the world and no one is interested in He really was a pathological egomaniac.”

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Hamilton spent the majority of the race in P1. But a late race safety car, followed by Masi’s blunder effectively handed Verstappen the win. To date, fans and experts don’t understand how Masi, a race director, could have such an impact on the outcome of the biggest prize in motorsports.

Verstappen won the title that evening, and it was a glorious moment for the Dutchman. Sadly for him, all anyone could talk about after the race was how Masi influenced his win.

The FIA removed Masi from his position as race director after months of public outrage. Furthermore, the governing body of the sport downplayed the catastrophic blunder, labeling it as ‘human error’.

Masi is now the chairman of the V8 Supercars Commission in Australia. Since losing his job in F1, Masi has often been spotted at the Albert Park paddock in Melbourne, and the journalists asked Hamilton if he would go over and speak to the man directly responsible for the loss of his 8th title. To his, Hamilton said he is only focused on the future.

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Toto Wolff not the only one still upset over the incident

Speaking to GQ recently, Hamilton recalled the fateful evening in Abu Dhabi. He didn’t mince his words, as he claimed he was “robbed” of his 8th world championship. Critics, to this day, feel that the race should have ended under the safety car, given there wasn’t enough time for all the cars to unlap themselves.

Amidst the chaos that haunts Hamilton even today, there was one silver lining for him. His father stood by his side as the two of them went through “this huge roller coaster of life together.” Hamilton added that was the day that hurt him the most in his F1 career.

The Mercedes driver was one lap away from becoming a record eight-time world champion. He lost it all because of someone else’s fault, and the thought lingers in his mind. To add insult to injury, the Briton has failed to win a race ever since the incident and looks unlikely to change that in 2024.

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