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Red Bull's Horner Says Removing F1 Director Masi Was 'Not Right'

Red Bull's Horner Says Removing F1 Director Masi Was 'Not Right'
By Jonathan Byrne

The new season of F1's Drive to Survive will drop next month on Netflix and it can't come any sooner.

No doubt the most highly anticipated episode will be the last one, where we'll get to witness the moments that led to the controversial season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.

In case you were living under a Michael Masi cover-up, the F1 race director allowed five cars to un-lap themselves to set up a viewer-friendly showdown.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was on a fresh set of soft tyres, ended up passing Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton on the final lap and winning the title at the death.

Horner Criticises F1 Decision

News broke last week that Masi will no longer be in the race directing chair for the 2022 season and Team Principal of Red Bull, Christian Horner, spoke to talkSport about it.

"It’s a difficult one," Horner said. "It’s the FIA’s business. I think it is harsh, I think he was in a very difficult position last year."

Calls were growing for Masi to be overthrown after a video emerged of him corresponding with Red Bull's Jonathan Wheatley during the final stages of the Abu Dhabi GP.

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Masi is heard agreeing with Wheatley that they should have a 'motor race' and allow his driver, Verstappen, to take on Lewis Hamilton one-on-one.

However Horner felt some sympathy for Masi. "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."

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

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It's easy for the Red Bull man to look back in rose-tinted glasses given his team won the F1 title during the controversial race, and likely wouldn't have done so if Masi hadn't stepped in.

But Horner doesn't think Verstappen's win should be tainted. He believes he was the best driver over the 22 races in the F1 calendar and his victory was justified.

"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," he said.

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"We got Max in, pitted him for a new set of tyres, Mercedes left Lewis out on what was 44-lap tyres at the end of their life. Max had to make that pass on the last lap, which he did."

There's no questioning that their decision to change out the tyres paid dividends in the end. Horner isn't of the opinion that there should have been a review into the race.

"The bottom line was that tactically we got it right. Max delivered the move and became the world champion. It’s done. He didn’t actually do anything wrong in accordance with the rules."

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See Also: Will We Ever See Another Irish Formula 1 Team?

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