Lewis Hamilton’s retirement decision splits F1 fans as Michael Masi sacking backed

Nico Rosberg tells of his willingness to befriend Lewis Hamilton

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Express Sport readers have been voting in our latest F1 poll regarding the futures of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Masi. Both figures are currently under the spotlight as questions over their 2022 statuses intensify after the conclusion of the previous campaign.

Hamilton was on course for a fourth successive race win to beat Max Verstappen to a record-breaking eighth world title in December’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

However, Masi, the FIA’s F1 Race Director, made a controversial call to dismiss a late safety car early and allow one final lap of racing.

Verstappen, on fresh tyres, took advantage and overtook Hamilton with seconds of the season left, securing his maiden Drivers’ Championship.

And Hamilton hasn’t posted on social media, even after being knighted by Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, since the fiasco.

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From over 11,800 responses so far, 70 per cent of fans want to see Masi leave his role as Race Director in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix aftermath.

On top of that, 68 per cent don’t trust him to make the right decisions if he keeps his job going into the 2022 season. Only 27 per cent do.

Plenty of voters have been unforgiving, with 62 per cent claiming Masi doesn’t need support from the FIA amid the barrage of criticism he’s currently under.

When asked whether Masi needs help with his role, the majority (38 per cent) voted that he needs someone to share it, 20 per cent believe he needs an assistant, but 31 per cent voted no, most likely meaning they’d rather he left.

Since his Abu Dhabi defeat, Hamilton’s silence has poured fuel onto the fire of speculation regarding his F1 future.

Many are pondering whether his decision to continue next season will depend on Masi’s involvement.

And Express Sport readers are largely split on whether that’s the case, with a majority of 36 per cent believing he won’t race in 2022 if Masi is Race Director.

However, 34 per cent think he will, and 30 per cent are unsure about the British icon’s future in the sport.

Despite Masi’s controversial decision in the 2021 season finale, being the FIA’s F1 Race Director is by no means an easy job.

The Australian was regularly in the middle of backlash before, during and after races during Mercedes and Red Bull’s intense world title fight last season.

And 69 per cent of readers have called on Team Principals like Toto Wolff and Christian Horner to show the Race Director more respect.

This Express Sport F1 poll is still open, so have your say below.

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