Christian Horner says the removal of Michael Masi is “harsh”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the “pressure put on the removal” of Michael Masi from the position of race director is “not right”.

Following their investigation into the controversial finish of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the FIA decided to remove Michael Masi from the position of Formula 1 race director, as a result of the decisions he made in the final moment of the race.

Naturally, the team principal of the team that benefited the most from Masi’s decisions, Christian Horner, believes that the FIA’s decision was “harsh”.

“It’s a difficult one,” Horner told talkSPORT.

“It’s the FIA’s business. I think it is harsh; I think he was in a very difficult position last year.

“When you look at what he has at his disposal in terms of resource, compared to what the teams have, it’s such a massive difference.

“It’s good to hear they are bringing in things like the VAR equivalent and one of the most experienced guys in Herbie Blash.

“I just think there was so much pressure put on the removal of Michael and that’s not right. That’s my personal feeling.”

Horner went on to again state that Max Verstappen got “lucky” in Abu Dhabi, once again ignoring the fact that it wasn’t luck that helped Max win, but actually it was the blatant breaking of the rules by race director Michael Masi.

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“We got a little bit lucky at the end and sometimes that happens in sport; it’s not over until the whistle goes or the flag falls.

“Tactically, we were sharp at the end. When the crash came five laps from the end we reacted immediately.

“We got Max in, pitted him for a new set of tyres, Mercedes left Lewis out on what [were] 44-lap tyres at the end of their life.

“Max had to make that pass on the last lap, which he did. There has been some hiding around the controversy. The bottom line was that tactically we got it right.

“Max delivered the move and became the World Champion,” the Briton concluded.

As we already explained in-depth in a previous article, the decision not to pit Lewis was the only decision Mercedes could have made if they wanted to win, because had the rules been followed, the race would have ended under the Safety Car.

So, the only way for Lewis to win the race was by keeping track position, which Mercedes did by keeping him on the track when the Safety Car period started.

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