Following the sudden death of the FIA’s race director, Charlie Whiting, the FIA has appointed Michael Masi as race director for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
In a brief statement this evening the FIA announced that: “In accordance with Article 11.9.3b of the FIA International Sporting Code, the Sporting Regulations
shall hereby be amended to reflect Mr Michael Masi as the Race Director, Safety Delegate and Permanent Starter for this Event.”
Masi, a Formula E, V8 Supercars and its feeder series official, who has worked with Whiting at a number of Grands Prix, will assume all the roles previously held by the Briton for the remainder of the weekend.
At very short notice, Masi is faced with an enormous responsibility, for he now effectively controls almost every aspect of the Grand Prix.
Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner, was typical of the reaction from the teams, who, while dealing with the unexpected loss of Whiting, have promised to make Masi’s weekend run as smoothly as possible.
“We are here to make it happen for the people that need to step in, because these are big shoes that need to be filled,” said Steiner. “In the end we’ll find a solution, there will be meetings to make sure nothing goes through the cracks.
“What we will be doing is supporting whatever the FIA puts in place for this weekend,” he added. “Whatever solution they come up with we will support it and try to make the best out of it. For this weekend our aim is: if they need our help, we’re here to help.”