Nico Rosberg tells of his willingness to befriend Lewis Hamilton
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Toto Wolff will demand the FIA sack Formula One race director Michael Masi when meeting new president Mohammed Ben Sulayem on Friday. In December, Masi played a central role in the polemical conclusion of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi.
Lewis Hamilton led most of the race and was cruising towards a record eighth F1 Drivers’ Championship.
And after Nicholas Lafiti crashed in the latter laps, Hamilton was set to drive to victory uncontested under a safety car.
However, Masi restarted the race for the final lap and Max Verstappen, with fresh tyres, soared past the Brit to secure his maiden world title.
After stewards rejected two protests after the race, Mercedes withdrew their legal action against the FIA but called for the organisation to repair their identity by carrying out a thorough investigation on Masi’s decision.
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Since his heartbreak, Hamilton has remained silent on his Mercedes future and, now 37, has been touted to retire.
And Sportsmail reports Masi’s dismissal, on top of a broader reform in the FIA, will be key to his decision to stay on the track.
Sportsmail has been told: “The Abu Dhabi matter is the first issue on the new president’s agenda. He wants to come up with a response.
“The deadline is the World Motor Sport Council meeting on February 3 — but there may be news before then, such is the urgency of this.”
Hamilton’s £30million-a-year contract and desire to surpass Michael Schumacher’s world title record suggest he’ll continue for the Silver Arrows next season.
Mercedes haven’t considered replacements either, which also adds to the belief he will partner George Russell this year.
But one of Ben Sulayem’s primary supporters, Bernie Ecclestone, doesn’t think Mercedes should get what they want on this occasion.
The FIA are widely expected to give Masi the chop, but Ecclestone has backed the Australian to continue in his role.
“I see no reason whatsoever why Michael should not continue in his job. He did what he thought was best. You can say I would do this or that or the other,” Ecclestone remarked.
“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.”
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