Masi’s has come under intense scrutiny over his handling of last season’s title-deciding finale after he did not apply the rules correctly during a late Safety Car period. 

The FIA has launched an inquiry into the events that resulted in Lewis Hamilton losing the championship to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in hugely controversial circumstances. 

But ex-Haas F1 driver Grosjean defended Masi’s call to restart the race on the final lap despite only allowing five of the eight lapped cars - just those separating Hamilton and Verstappen - to unlap themselves before the green flag was waved. 

“There’s a few ways of seeing it,” Grosjean replied when he was asked for his thoughts on the 2021 season finale at an IndyCar media conference.  

“It would have been very strange to not unlap those cars and have Lewis first and then Max four cars behind over one lap for the world championship. 

“On the other hand, for Lewis it was definitely not a great call. But as a TV fan, as a spectator, as for the sport, I think Michael Masi made the right decision.

“I don’t think the championship would have been nice to finish under the Safety Car. It would not have been nice to finish with the guys first and second being separated by a few cars.” 

Grosjean said he “loved” the Abu Dhabi GP from an entertainment standpoint and reckons that the contentious ending should not take away from Verstappen’s performances across the 2021 season. 

“It was exciting, my heart was pumping like hell,” he added. “And I think having two cars fighting over one lap for the world championship was amazing.

“I think the wrong conception is to think that the world championship went on one lap. It was 22 Grands Prix, and if you look at the full season, you know Max had the puncture in Baku, Valtteri Bottas crashed into Verstappen in Hungary, there was the Silverstone race. 

"I think, at the end, if we look at how many points were lost by Verstappen, not necessarily by his fault, he was the one that deserved more the championship. 

"On the Abu Dhabi race, Lewis deserved more the championship. He got unlucky over the last lap. But as a race fan, I loved that last lap, and it was super exciting to watch."