HomeSportsFormula 1Lewis Hamilton accused of wanting Michael Masi out in bid to ‘turn...

Lewis Hamilton accused of wanting Michael Masi out in bid to ‘turn F1 upside down’

Lewis Hamilton has been accused of wanting to force Michael Masi out of Formula 1 and turn the sport “upside down”.

The seven-time world champion has not commented publicly on the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw Masi’s controversial intervention set up Max Verstappen to pass Hamilton and deny the Mercedes driver a record eighth title.

It has since been suggested that Hamilton is considering retirement as he awaits the FIA’s report on events at the Yas Marina Circuit, which could see Masi stripped of his race director role.

Dutch racing driver Jeroen Bleekemolen believes that Hamilton will be back on the grid when the 2022 season starts in Bahrain in March.

However Bleekemolen also thinks that Hamilton’s influence is such that changes will be made, warning that “some people will disappear”.

“I expect and hope he continues. It’s more fun when he’s there,” the 40-year-old told Dutch outlet NOS. “Lewis is driven and good enough to last a few more years. He also sees that eighth World title.

“Hamilton is trying to increase the pressure on the FIA ​​motorsport federation and is powerful. I think he wants to get some people out of there, like race director Michael Masi.

“Lewis wants to turn it upside down. He can do that. He has a lot of influence as the greatest of all. Some people will disappear.”

Masi was elevated to race director after the sudden passing of Charlie Whiting before the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.

The conduct of Mercedes principal Toto Wolff and Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner has also been questioned after the season-ending race in the United Arab Emirates amid wider debate over the access to the race director that is now afforded to teams during the race.

With first testing now just three weeks away, Bleekemolen suggested that the FIA will feel compelled to act.

“[Hamilton’s] opinion is noticed and everyone is talking about it,” Bleekemolen explained. “That puts pressure on the FIA.

“They have to intervene and make changes. The FIA ​​has to come up with a good story, otherwise Hamilton’s first words will not be what the F1 leadership would like to hear.”

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