According to reports, Mercedes has secured an agreement to drop the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appeal in exchange for sacking Michael Masi as race director following the controversial 2021 season finale.

Following the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December 2021, the Mercedes F1 Team has denied making a deal to oust race director Michael Masi from his position.

In the season finale, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen defeated Sir Lewis Hamilton to win the championship, however, the 24-year old’s first championship victory was tarnished by controversy.

Masi infuriated the Formula One world when he permitted only the five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves late in the race following Nicholas Latifi’s crash in the final laps of the race.

Verstappen was called in by Red Bull for fresher tires as Mercedes opted to keep Hamilton on the track to avoid losing track position in the final lap of the race.

Masi had decided not to allow any lapped cars through, but with one lap remaining, he changed his mind with only the five cars between the leaders being permitted to pass the Safety Car, leaving the others behind.

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, told Masi on the radio that the championship’s final events were “so not right,” as the team protested the race results after the race. Their complaint was denied, and later filed an intent to appeal, which they eventually revoked a few days later and instead vowed to hold the FIA “accountable” for an inquiry into the events of the season finale that they are currently doing.

Rumors have been going round that Mercedes reached an agreement with the FIA to have Masi and Nikolas Tombazis, the governing body’s head of single-seater technical concerns fired in exchange for the team abandoning its appeal.

Mercedes has denied that “any such bargain was reached” in response to these allegations and in response the team said it is relying on the FIA’s guarantees that the situation will be investigated.

Mohammed ben Sulayem, who took over as FIA president from Jean Todt at the end of 2021, promises that the issue is of significant concern for him.

“I am going to study the case of what happened in Abu Dhabi, and a decision will be taken how to go forward without any pressure from anyone,” Sulayem said.

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