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Mercedes to demand Michael Masi is fired or Lewis Hamilton ‘will quit’

Hopeful Wolff's advice to Hamilton after a "difficult" Imola
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Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team chief, is expected to demand that FIA race director Michael Masi be fired, or Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, would retire from the sport.

On Friday, Wolff will meet with Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the incoming FIA president, to discuss the happenings of the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen won his first world victory in dramatic and contentious conditions, as he and title challenger Lewis Hamilton were equal on points heading into the finale at the Yas Marina Circuit.

On the penultimate lap of the championship, the Dutchman overtook the seven-time world champion, who had led for much of the race, after a late Safety Car and tyre replacement switched momentum in his favor.

Mercedes’ rage was directed primarily towards Masi, who initially refused to allow vehicles to unlap themselves, as is customary, only to reverse his decision in order to set up the last lap clash between Hamilton and Verstappen.

Mercedes is alleged to have withdrawn their petition against the race results after reaching an agreement with the FIA, which stated that Michael Masi and FIA director of single-seater technical affairs Nikolas Tombazis would be fired ahead of the 2022 championship.

After the season finale, Hamilton and the Mercedes crew did not give any additional media interviews. Since the events of December 12th, 2021, the 37-year-old has yet to post on his social media accounts, and he is rumored to have yet to commit to the upcoming season.

The FIA is expected to fire Masi, but one of the incoming president’s backers, Bernie Ecclestone, does not feel the Australian should be fired.

“I see no reason whatsoever why Michael should not continue in his job,” Ecclestone told The Daily Mail. “He did what he thought what was best.

“You can say I would do this or that or the other. But it would have been awful if the final race had ended under a safety car.

“Michael would have got in just as much trouble. He is a good man and the FIA should stick by him.”

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the new FIA president who took over from Jean Todt in December, denied reports that Hamilton would retire before next competition.

“No, I don’t think he will [quit],” Ben Sulayem told reporters. “I’ll ask your question, did Lewis declare that he’s not going to race? No. Exactly. Being a driver, you declare yourself, you don’t let the rumours [talk].

“I’m confident that Lewis [will return]. Lewis is a big part of motorsport, and of course of Formula 1, the new era [can add to] Lewis’s wins and achievements, and also Verstappen is there.

“I am very confident that you will see a very challenging Formula 1 season next year.”


Written by Brigit Adongo

Sports Enthusiast

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