The new president of the FIA, Mohammed bin Sulayem, who’s been appointed for this position in December 2021, doesn’t rule out the comeback of Michael Masi. The latter found himself in the middle of controversy after decisions made during the Abu Dhabi GP in 2021, and as a consequence was removed from the position of race director.
Bin Sulayem does not rule out the potential comeback of Michael Masi to F1, as he believes it was just a human error on the Australian’s side.
In a recent interview with Sportsmail, Bin Sulayem said: “I didn't get rid of Michael. He had a personal overload (of work) - safety delegate as well as race director. He made a mistake. It is not as if we said it is the end of Masi with the FIA.
“I don't do that sort of thing. Even people who didn't vote for me, I embrace. We don't think of individuals. We think of the operation itself.
“I don't know Michael very well. The decision (to sack him as race director) was made by the World Council. It was human error on Michael's part.’
He added: 'I spoke to him two days ago. I have no personal issue (with him). I don't hate anyone.
'Michael is there and we might use him. I didn't say we were getting rid of him. I said we might use him. He may be in a good place to use. We are open to everything.
'Our race structure was wrong organisationally. And though we have brought in two new race directors, I wouldn't say we have got it all right yet. We need to clean the stables.'
The new FIA president also addressed the lack of officials in the FIA structures, saying he’d ideally appoint more people for the position of the race director. For now it’s been two people - Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, but so far only Wittich was present, with Freitas supposed to make his “debut” in Barcelona.
About that, Bin Sulayem said: 'It's not like going to a supermarket and asking for some more stewards. You need firm and fair people, tolerant people. I am thinking, for example, of bringing in rally co-drivers, who have plenty of multi-tasking skills that are required, and training them up. We need a recruitment drive.
'This lack of people in the FIA needs to be addressed. I would like to see a minimum of three race directors, ideally by the beginning of next year.’
Lastly, the Emirati addressed the issue with the “controversial” jewellery ban that got many talking, that the 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton felt was targeted towards him. In regards to that, Bin Sulayem said: “I would like Lewis to be a role model, an ambassador, to send the right message to all the young drivers to prevent a tragedy. We should be using him in that good cause.
“I love jewellery. I absolutely love it. But in the car there can be no choice. People say they (the rules) haven't been implemented before. Don't ask me why not. People can ask the old regime why that is the case.”