–by Mark Cipolloni–
Sky Sports F1 TV reporter Ted Kravitz was highly critical of Michael Masi during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, questioning why he had chosen to appear in the F1 paddock last the weekend. Let’s not forget that Kravitz has his nose so far up Lewis Hamilton’s posterior it has a brown tinge to it.
To this day he blames Masi for his beloved Lewis Hamilton getting his clock cleaned by Max Verstappen in the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP. We have written many times how it was ultimately Hamilton and his Mercedes team’s fault they lost that race and they have tried to blame Masi for their maladroitness.
Fellow Sky Sports F1 TV reporter David Croft reminded his colleague Ted Kravitz to show empathy towards Michael Masi after the pit lane reporter’s scathing criticism on air Saturday.
Masi was relieved of that position after the conclusion of the 2021 season. The FIA concluded that his “human error” had played a part in changing the outcome of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which resulted in Lewis Hamilton losing out on the title to Max Verstappen on the final lap.
He later left the FIA to return to his native Australia, and took on the role of chairman of the Supercars Commission. That championship was part of the F1 race weekend in Melbourne, which led to Masi’s first visit to the paddock since his departure as race director.
That did not go down well with Kravitz. Speaking on his usual Ted’s Notebook program after qualifying on Saturday, he questioned why the 44-year-old had shown his face among the F1 garages.
“Michael Masi, the ex-FIA race director, has been in the paddock for the first time since that fateful day in December 2021,” said the Sky Sports reporter. “And he’s been saying hello to drivers – he hasn’t been saying hello to Mercedes people.
“I don’t really… well, I do want to get into it, you know I do. But I won’t. What’s he doing in Australia? He’s in charge of the V8 Supercars, the Australian Touring Cars now. But what’s he doing coming back into the Formula 1 paddock?
“There are some rumors that Formula 1 want him back because [current race director] Niels Wittich needs some help on the FIA race direction side. But that’s not going to happen. What’s Michael Masi doing in the paddock?”
The subject of Masi’s presence in Melbourne came up again, during the race itself. Kravitz mentioned the former F1 race director’s name during an on-air conversation with Sky’s lead commentator Croft, who appeared to make a point of encouraging some empathy from his colleague.
He said: “No matter what your allegiances were in 2021, you have to remember he’s still a human being.” That was the end of their conversation on that subject and Masi’s name was not mentioned again on air.
The former FIA boss says he was welcomed by “almost everyone” he met in Albert Park, admitting it was nice to reunite with his old colleagues.
“It’s fantastic to be a guest again at the FIA and Formula 1,” Masi told Motorsport.com
“It was great. I was here as the chairman of the Supercars Commission, but it was great to meet so many good friends and see so many people again, including my old FIA team.”
“It was fantastic,” he said. “I was warmly welcomed by almost everyone I met. It was like seeing my family again after being separated for so long.”