EXCLUSIVE: ‘Max can’t just smash Lewis off the track’: Race director Michael Masi insists there will be penalties to pay if Verstappen endangers rival Hamilton in F1 finale on Sunday

Michael Masi may not be the most famous figure in the middle of Formula One’s world championship fight but he might yet hold the keys to the contest. An itinerary of 22 races and countless track inspections all over the world sees to that. Verstappen’s team principal Christian Horner was scathing after the Saudi race, saying the sport missed Charlie Whiting. ‘This happens during a race — giving people the ability to give a position up,’ counters Masi. ‘It is the most pragmatic way of dealing with it, saying, “You can do this or it will be referred to the stewards and it will likely result in a time penalty”. ‘I hope it is not decided in the stewards’ room,’ he says, ‘but by the two guys out on the track.

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