Michael Masi has revealed that he received death threats following the controversial Abu Dhabi GP in December 2021 that left him feeling like “the most hated man in the world”.
On the final lap of the final race of last season, Lewis Hamilton looked to be in the box seat to take home the title, which would have been a record-breaking eighth in F1.
But Masi’s decisions in the finale – which were judged as “human error” by an FIA investigation – saw Hamilton passed by Max Verstappen, with the Dutchman going on to take his first world crown.
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Speaking about the aftermath of that high-pressure moment to News Corp, Masi said: “There were some dark days.
“I felt like I was the most hated man in the world.
“I got death threats. People saying they were going to come after me and my family.
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“They were shocking. Racist, abusive, vile, they called me every name under the sun.
“And they kept on coming. Not just on my Facebook but also on my LinkedIn, which is supposed to be a professional platform for business. It was the same type of abuse.”
Masi, who formally left the FIA earlier this month after being replaced as race director in the close season, also opened up on the toll that the saga had on his wellbeing.
“I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” the 44-year-old Australian said.
“Not even family and friends. I only talked to my close family – but very briefly.
“It did have a physical impact, but it was more mental. I just wanted to be in a bubble. I had no desire to talk to them.
“I just wanted to be alone, which was very challenging.
“The whole experience has made me a much stronger person.”