Helmut Marko says Hamilton’s “behaviour” led to Michael Masi’s removal

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Michael Masi gets more support from Red Bull, this time from the team’s advisor Dr. Helmut Marko, who says he was just a “pawn sacrifice”.

Ever since the FIA announced they have removed Michael Masi from the position of race director, Red Bull has been on the front lines of his defence.

Max Verstappen and team boss Christian Horner have already expressed their support for Masi, and now they are joined by Red Bull’s advisor Dr. Helmut Marko.

After the FIA announced Masi will be replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, who will also have access to a system similar to football’s VAR, as well as support from an experienced assistant like Herbie Blash, Marko said the Australian’s job would have been easier if he himself had this kind of support in 2021.

“If Masi had all that, he would have made his decision easier,” the Austrian told RTL.

Marko also said Masi was influenced “admittedly from us and Mercedes massively”, because he had Red Bull and Mercedes in his ear in the final moments of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Ultimately Marko says Masi was a “pawn sacrifice”, and adds “we’ll have to see whether the planned steps [from the FIA] will really work that well”.

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Regarding Lewis Hamilton’s media silence and possible retirement from Formula 1, Marko said Red Bull never took it seriously.

“We had a clear indication [that Hamilton was not leaving]: There was no excitement on the driver market.

“If Hamilton had informed his people of his resignation, they would have looked massively for a replacement. That was not noticeable in any way.”

Marko also added that Hamilton’s “behaviour” over the winter influenced the FIA’s decision to remove Masi

“Some of this behaviour also led to the replacement of Masi,” the Austrian concluded.

Not surprisingly, all three key members of Red Bull (Horner, Verstappen and Marko) are defending Michael Masi – the man whose unjust decisions made Verstappen’s 2021 title win possible.

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