Formula 1 | F1 | Austrian Grand Prix | French Grand Prix | Michael Masi
Formula 1 drivers are enjoying a week off as the calendar slips between the Austrian and French Grands Prix, with Charles Leclerc celebrating his victory at Spielberg with a return trip to Monaco. Meanwhile, stories from the paddock went on as usual.
Michael Masi leaves the FIA
The FIA has announced that its former F1 race director Michael Masi has left the organization, opting to return home to Australia, where he plans to spend more time with friends and family.
Masi became race director following the unexpected death of Charlie Whiting in Melbourne, three days before the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
He rose to prominence during the 2021 season, often being heard on the other end of radio calls when team managers protested or questioned decisions. He faced criticism from stakeholders and fans when he returned to racing after a safety car in Abu Dhabi last season. It saw Lewis Hamilton lose to Max Verstappen after ordering the run-in cars through the period, allowing the Dutchman to regain the time he had lost and pass the seven-time champion on fresh tyres.
The former race director spoke to Australian outlet Speed Cafe after his departure, thanking his former bosses and colleagues.
Daniel Ricciardo defends his McLaren seat
The Aussie theme continues, as McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo took to Instagram to declare his intentions to stay with the team for the foreseeable future in response to rumors he will be leaving after a disappointing year so far.
Ricciardo swapped Renault for McLaren in 2021, but the results haven’t been stellar since then. Partnered with youngster Lando Norris, McLaren CEO Zack Brown had hoped for a steady progression to the podium for their star duo, but despite finishing 1-2 at Monza last year, the pair are unable to put hand on a win.
Norris is the only McLaren driver to make the podium this year, taking third place at Imola, but Ricciardo has only finished in the points three times in 11 races. Much can be said about McLaren’s car, which appears to have regressed since the rule change at the start of the season, but given Norris’ five-place advantage over the Australian in the current World Championship standings drivers, that doesn’t bode well for the 33-year-old.
Lewis Hamilton speaks out on Austrian GP abuse
Lewis Hamilton has spoken out about the alleged racist and homophobic abuse that took place last weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
Reports of harassment and abuse in the stands were disappointing over race weekend, and the seven-time world champion took to Instagram to condemn such behavior.
Hamilton was not alone, with his team boss Toto Wolff describing the culprits as “brainless” and Sebastian Vettel calling for stronger action from F1 chiefs.
In this case, actions speak louder than words and strong action is needed to prevent further cases like this. Nobody should go to a race weekend and not want to come back.
Lando Norris backs removal of sausage curbs
The removal of sausage curbs has been described as ‘critical’ by McLaren’s Lando Norris following two incidents in as many weeks in separate motorsport disciplines.
In F2’s showpiece Silverstone event, Dennis Hauger’s Prema Racing car hit one of the curbs and bounced wing-first into team-mate Roy Nissany’s halo. Without the Halo safety device, there is no doubt that Nissany’s life would have been in danger.
An equally terrifying event occurred at the World Endurance Championship in Monza, when Henrique Chaves’ spin turned into an uncontrollable fall.
“The car should never have been sent into the air in the first place. Certainly not in such a violent way,” Norris said. that concerns me: the sausage edges.
“I have criticized raised curbs in the past, but I think it’s time we acted on these warnings and removed them from our sport.
Reigning GT Cup champion Abbie Eaton, known for her work on Amazon Prime’s Grand Tour and the W Series, is a longtime campaigner for the elimination of plagues.
Eaton suffered two vertebral fractures during last season’s W Series race at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Fortunately, his injuries were stable enough for a quick recovery, but the risk of further injury to more people can be eliminated when the sausage curbs are removed from the tracks.
Max Verstappen Auctions Austrian GP Helmet For Charity
In lighter news this week, Max Verstappen is auctioning off the helmet he wore at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, with proceeds going to ‘Wings For Life’.
The prize also includes two VIP tickets to the season finale in Abu Dhabi, and the current price of the helmet is over €130,000.
The charity Wings for Life is a research foundation that aims to find a cure for spinal cord injury, with the cause to date funding 274 projects at research centers such as Harvard and Yale.
The winner of the auction will meet Verstappen at the Red Bull garage in Abu Dhabi where the helmet will be signed and handed over to the new owner. If you fancy fundraising and get a neat helmet out of it Click here.