Former Formula 1 race director Michael Masi spoke about “shocking” messages he had received after the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP.
Masi’s approach to the Safety Car restart procedure on the final laps of last year’s season finale was criticized. After the investigation had been conducted by the FIA, the Australian was replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas. Nevertheless, he had been offered a new role in the organization. It was announced earlier this month that Masi had left the FIA.
After his departure from the FIA, Masi opened up about what he had to go through after the Abu Dhabi GP.
“I felt like I was the most hated man in the world. I got death threats. People saying they were going to come after me and my family,” he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
“They [social media messages] were shocking. Racist, abusive, vile, they called me every name under the sun.
“And they kept on coming. Not just on my Facebook but also on my LinkedIn which is supposed to be a professional platform for business. It was the same type of abuse.
“I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Not even family and friends. I only talked to my close family – but very briefly.
“I just wanted to be in a bubble. I had no desire to talk to them. I just wanted to be alone, which was very challenging.”
At the same time, Masi believes that those events made him a “much stronger person”.