Martin Brundle claims Michael Masi has ‘too much on his plate’ after Abu Dhabi GP row

Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out

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Lewis Hamilton saw his F1 title hopes dashed in controversial circumstances on Sunday as Max Verstappen passed him on the final lap to claim his maiden championship. Hamilton had virtually led the race from start to finish until FIA chief Michael Masi made a decision which effectively handed the advantage to the Dutchman.

With Hamilton looking to be well on his way to a record eighth championship title after building up a formidable lead, the race turned as Williams’ Nicholas Latifi crashed into a wall late on.

That incident resulted in a safety car being deployed – and that gave Verstappen an opportunity to pit and change his tyres.

Hamilton, on the other hand, was unable to put a fresh pair of tyres on as he would have lost track position.

Race director Masi initially told the field that cars that had been lapped could not un-lap themselves, with five cars separating Hamilton and Verstappen.

But after Red Bull chiefs spoke to Masi, he quickly changed his mind and allowed the cars between the two protagonists to pass.

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That resulted in Hamilton and Verstappen being neck-and-neck with one lap to go.

Verstappen had the advantage with his new set of wheels and he easily brushed Hamilton aside to claim race and championship victory.

There was outrage in the aftermath of the decider in the desert and Mercedes have now expressed an intent to appeal.

Masi had already been called upon to make a string of quick decisions during the season.

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And Sky Sports commentator Brundle believes the FIA chief has too much on his plate and is in need of some help.

“You have got to make some quick decisions,” Brundle said.

“Michael Masi needs…Herbie Blash was Charlie Whiting’s right-hand man. Michael Masi needs some more people around him.

“I think he has got too much on his plate, running around looking at new Grands Prix.

“We now have a 23-race season coming up in 13 weeks. We have got 10 next season – he needs some support up there in my view.

“The sporting regulations are 99 pages and you need to read every word of those carefully because they all mean something.

“You will still never come up with a regulation for every potential consequence of circumstance as we saw. You can’t.

“It will always be, in the end, at some point a referee’s decision – a referee’s judgement call.

“It is the same in football, rugby, cricket is a really good example – somewhere along the line you have a referee who makes a judgement call and you have to give them the ultimate respect.”

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