Masi took over as F1 race director following the sudden death of Charlie Whiting on the eve of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in 2019. 

The Australian was removed from his post after his incorrect application of the rules during a late Safety Car at the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi finale altered the outcome of the world championship, enabling Max Verstappen to snatch the title from Lewis Hamilton on the last lap. 

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An FIA review into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concluded that “human error” was to blame for the handling of the Safety Car restart, but added that Masi had acted in “good faith”. 

Masi was offered another role within the FIA but F1’s governing body confirmed on Tuesday that Masi had formally left the organisation to be “closer to his family and take on new challenges”. 

Having kept a low profile ever since last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Masi finally broke his silence in a statement to Australian-based news outlet Speedcafe. 

“It has been a pleasure and honour representing the FIA as the single-seater sporting director and FIA Formula 1 race director and safety delegate since Charlie’s unexpected and tragic passing in Melbourne 2019,” Masi said.

“Having worked on various projects around the world with the Federation and its member clubs for over a decade prior to my appointment, I have now decided to leave the organisation and relocate back to Australia to be closer to my family and friends.

“I am proud to have worked in partnership for many years with the various FIA member clubs, Formula 1 Group, the competitors, promoters and circuit operators and my colleagues and team internally at the FIA.

“I will always treasure these lifelong relationships and friendships that I have developed throughout my journey to date.

“In particular, I am eternally grateful to Herbie Blash and the late Charlie Whiting for identifying me as a future successor in 2018, a role that I was looking forward to shadowing and learning from Charlie for many years prior to his shock passing.

“I also pass on my sincere appreciation for the support and guidance during my tenure of the former FIA president Jean Todt, Stefano Domenicali, and my dedicated FIA Single Seater team.

“I extend my appreciation to the tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers and officials that allow motorsport to happen each and every day around the world, as the safety of the competitors and officials has always remained my highest priority.

“Thank you to the FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem and his presidential team for their personal support since their appointment and I wish them the best for the future.

“The personal support of my family, friends, and colleagues globally during this journey and particularly in the last few months can only be described as overwhelming and something that I will forever cherish.”