Max Verstappen has taken aim at the ‘unfair’ dismissal of Michael Masi as race director while also insisting he deserved to beat Lewis Hamilton to the F1 title back in December. The 24-year-old is currently preparing for the start of the new Formula One season. And he’ll be hopeful of securing glory once again. Verstappen won the F1 title in controversial circumstances at the end of last year.
Hamilton had been in pole position for the majority of the deciding race in Abu Dhabi before a safety car allowed his Red Bull rival to reign supreme instead. There was then a bitter fallout from the incident, with Mercedes calling on the FIA to axe Masi and make a change. They were ultimately granted their wish, with the Australian axed as race director and replaced by Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich.
Mercedes were unhappy with Masi’s decision-making on the day and the FIA have taken action to ensure there’s no repeat of the chaos that unfolded in the Middle East. Verstappen, however, believes the FIA’s call was ‘unfair’ while also insisting the FIA ‘put him in the ground’. Speaking to the Daily Mail, he stated: “What happened to Michael is very unfair.
“The FIA were pressurised (by Mercedes) into making a decision. I wrote a message to him about it. “I said we didn’t always agree on everything but that’s racing. “We always wanted to make the sport better as a whole. Nobody is perfect, but what was always brought up was that we needed to race. We needed that mindset and he had that. “For Michael to jump in after Charlie
(Whiting, the long-term race director who died suddenly on the eve of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix) was a difficult task. “Everyone needs help. I have the whole team around me. “Maybe Michael needed more people around him but he never got the opportunity. They really put him in the ground. “He appreciated my message. He got a few more. “It was very fresh for him.
I have had my moments with the stewards but at the end of the day you have to have respect for each other. You don’t always have to agree. The aim is to make the racing better, more exciting but also fair. Some believe Hamilton was robbed of the F1 title last term due to Masi’s decision-making. Yet Verstappen doesn’t agree and has bluntly insisted he deserved the title.