F1 news LIVE: Michael Masi sacked after Lewis Hamilton denied world title – Express

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The new F1 season is just weeks away with the FIA yet to disclose their findings on the inquiry into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sport officials met this week in London for the annual F1 Commission where it was expected an announcement would be made.
Instead, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the “analysis is still going on” with an announcement to come in the near future.
It is widely being reported that Michael Masi’s future as race director is under serious threat.
Reports have indicated he will either be replaced or someone will come in to join him to ease the load.
Further changes on the structure of the FIA is expected to be made with some rules under the Safety Car to also be clarified after the confusion from Abu Dhabi.
JUST IN: Valtteri Bottas has already warned Mercedes on repeating mistake

Mercedes will launch their W13 on Friday
Meanwhile, F1 pre-season testing will soon get underway in Barcelona before the sport heads to Bahrain next month.
Mercedes wil unveil their W13 on Friday with both George Russell and Hamilton in attendance.
It will be the first time Hamilton speaks about F1 since losing the F1 title to Max Verstappen last year.
Stay tuned for fresh updates throughout the week as Express Sport keeps you up to date.

Max Verstappen completed a secret shakedown on Thursday in Red Bull’s new car. The 2021 F1 champion flew to England to secretly drive the RB18 for the first time around the Silverstone track on the same day as Michael Masi was given his marching orders.

Red Bull kept Verstappen’s test drive a secret as they didn’t want filming to be disturbed. 
Verstappen was joined on the Silverstone track by his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, with pair putting in the graft in a bid to get to grips with the new car ahead of the 2022 season.

Express Sport readers believe the FIA made the correct decision in sacking Michael Masi.
As things stand, over 70 per cent of voters on our survey have said Masi deserved to be axed, while just 22 per cent argued that he should have stayed in the job and two per cent were unsure.
Our survey is still open for votes and YOU can have your say on the matter by clicking here and submitting your answers.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem confirmed on Thursday that Michael Masi has been dismissed as race director, but their plan on replacing him would likely have the approval of former F1 driver Martin Brundle.
Masi’s position as race director appeared to become untenable following the events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where he improvised on Safety Car rules to ensure the race didn’t finish under caution.

Mercedes were incensed at Masi’s decision with F1 fans all over the world calling for the FIA to act.
The sport’s governing body announced back in January that their inquiry into the race had begun with reports indicating that Masi would be replaced.
After the F1 Commission meeting held on Monday, Ben Sulayem has now confirmed that Masi will no longer be the F1 race director moving forward.
Instead, two people will take up the role for the upcoming season and beyond.
And that will please Brundle given his previous comments.

Did the FIA make the right decision?
Happy with decision not to broadcast radio communication with race director?
Have your say on Life after Masi here below.
McLaren star Daniel Ricciardo has opened up on what was a tense stare-off between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen last season.
“Of course, I want to battle wheel-to-wheel for wins and obviously if you come out on top that’s the most powerful feeling ever,” he said.
“But then I saw how much the rivalry was hyped up and the week of Abu Dhabi, you could not escape Max and Lewis, it was everywhere.
“Even on the grid before the race they had them standing next to each other, facing off, and I wasn’t envious of that.”
Mercedes have clearly learned from mistakes last year as they will undergo a shakedown test this time around.
The Silver Arrows opted against the customary 100km track day in 2021 due to wet weather at Silverstone, but that left them playing catch up to rivals Red Bull- as both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton struggled in pre-season testing.
That same mistake won’t happen this year though with Mercedes confirming both drivers will take to the track after Friday’s car launch.
Michael Masi may have been sacked as FIA race director, but Mohammed Ben Sulayem has confirmed the Australian will still be a part of the governing body.
Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas have been announced as Masi’s replacements as race director for F1.
But Masi, who was F1 race director for three years, will be given a “new position within the FIA”.
Michael Masi has been dismissed as FIA race director with two people taking his place.
The 44-year-old had come under increasing pressure after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and it’s now been confirmed that he won’t hold his position for the 2022 season.
Instead, the FIA have announced that Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas will come in as race directors.

Ferrari have unveiled their F1-75 for the new 2022 season with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc both hoping to be challenging for race wins this year.
Ferrari launch F1-75
FIA chief Nikolas Tombazis has admitted to finding a few “surprised” when inspecting F1 cars ahead of the new season.
“We have seen a few surprises here and there,” said Tombazis.
“Some areas where cars are a bit more different between them than what we expected and where engineers have applied their innovative skills to come up with a solution.”
Lewis Hamilton was pictured helping George Russell during his seat-fitting with Mercedes.
It’s Russell’s first full season with Mercedes this year and it’s little over a month until the first race of the campaign in Bahrain.
The Silver Arrows will unveil their W13 on Friday with both Russell and Hamilton set to be in attendance.
And the British pair have already begun striking up a partnership behind the scenes.
F1 motorsport executive Ross Brawn has warned Red Bull and Mercedes to be “impacted” the most by the new regulations in place this season.
“Mercedes and Red Bull could be impacted,” said Brawn.
“Last year, human resources were devoted to fighting a very intense world championship.”
Pierre Gasly has pointed out that Mercedes’ dominance has played a huge role in Lewis Hamilton creating history over the past few years.
The AlphaTauri driver accepts that Hamilton’s place as an icon of the sport is already secured.
But Gasly believe things would have been very different for Hamilton had he been driving for Williams or Haas.
“Unfortunately in our sport, the car makes the majority of the result,” he told Mashup.
“Even if Lewis (Hamilton) is the best driver in F1 history, today, in a Williams or a Haas, he would finish last.”
Hello and welcome to Express Sport’s LIVE F1 news blog where you can keep up to date on everything happening in the sport.
Ferrari will become the latest to unveil their new-look car for the 2022 season later today while Mercedes will follow suit on Friday.
With pre-season testing taking place next week, excitement is building on the new campaign.
Stay tuned for live updates throughout the day.
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