Masi departed the FIA earlier this season having already left his position as a race director, a job which was marred by his involvement in the 2021 title decider in Abu Dhabi.

His application of a Safety Car rule ultimately allowed Max Verstappen to pass Lewis Hamilton and claim a maiden F1 title.

How Long Does Lewis Hamilton Have Left in F1?

Masi has explained how he received death threats in the aftermath.

He also opened up about holding his first F1 drivers’ meeting at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, telling News Corp: “I was nervous.

“I was watching them on TV one day and there I am addressing them the next. 

I had not met any of them. I didn’t know them and they most definitely did not know me. 

“It was daunting but I think with what was going on, it was just another part of a very surreal week.”

Masi took on the duty of hosting the drivers’ meeting because Charlie Whiting, the legendary F1 race director, died on the eve of the race.

“It got to 7.30am and Charlie had still not come down,” Masi remembered.

“I was in complete shock,” Masi said.

“I had lost my mentor. My friend. The man that had given me my shot in Formula 1.

“FIA president Jean Todt just looked at me and said ‘Michael you are sitting in the deputy’s seat, so you will be the race director for this weekend.’