Michael Masi says he received death threats following Abu Dhabi GP controversy

Sacked Formula One race director Michael Masi has said he received death threats following the decision that cost Lewis Hamilton an eighth world title.

Masi was stood down from the race director’s role after an investigation into his handling of the Abu Dhabi title showdown finale in December.

The Australian controversially let lapped cars pass the safety car on the final lap – meaning title rival Max Verstappen had a clear run at Hamilton on much faster tyres.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race – Yas Marina Circuit
Max Verstappen, centre, celebrates his maiden F1 world title victory in Abu Dhabi (PA)

Verstappen won the one-lap shoot-out, denying Hamilton the crown at the season’s big finale.

Masi quit F1 last month to return home to Australia, and has now revealed the scale of abuse he has received.

“There were some really dark days,” Masi told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

“I felt like I was the most hated man in the world.

“I got death threats, people saying they were going to come after me and my family.

“I still remember walking down the street in London a day or two later. I thought I was OK until I started looking over my shoulder.

“I was looking at people wondering if they were going to get me.”