Toto Wolff blasts “disrespectful” Michael Masi: “He was a liability”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says former F1 race director Michael Masi was “disrespectful” toward drivers, “immune to any feedback”, and “a liability for the sport”.

In a recent interview with the Press Association, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff unloaded on former Formula 1 race director Michael Masi, who was removed from his position by the FIA, after his disregard for the rules led to Max Verstappen being crowned world champion at the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“It is quite interesting because I had lunch with [Masi] on the Wednesday before the [2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix],” Wolff said.

“And I said to him that ‘I really want to tell you, without patronising you, that you need to take criticism on board and develop from there. Lewis does it every day, but you are the guy who always seems to know better’.

“It wasn’t about influencing him but really giving my honest feedback that he shouldn’t block outside opinion as simply being wrong.”

The Austrian went on to explain how F1 drivers and other stakeholders found Masi to be “disrespectful”.

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“You hear from the drivers and how the drivers’ briefings were conducted, and some of the guys said it was almost disrespectful how he treated some of them.

“There is a promoter of one of the races in the Middle East who said he was so relieved he had gone because he got so much abuse from him.

“He was just immune to any feedback and even today he has not properly reflected that he did something wrong [in Abu Dhabi].

“He was a liability for the sport because everybody kept talking about Abu Dhabi and the race director.

“And the race director should not be somebody that people talk about, but someone who does the job and makes sure the race is run according to the regulations,” concluded the Austrian.

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