Australian Masi was axed from his position in February due to the role he played in the controversial 2021 title decider in Abu Dhabi.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were both heavily in favour of the decision to relieve Masi of his duties. Nevertheless Ben Sulayem has sensationally revealed it is not “the end” for 44-year-old Masi in F1.
Masi himself would like a return to the frame just weeks after he was forced out. Ben Sulayem told the Daily Mail: “I didn’t get rid of Michael.
He had a personal overload (of work) – safety delegate as well as race director. He made a mistake. It is not as if we said it is the end of Masi with the FIA.
Ben Sulayem took charge of the FIA in December, weeks after Masi allowed five cars to un-lap themselves in Abu Dhabi which helped Max Verstappen secure a maiden world title ahead of Hamilton.
Masi was then axed in February, with Red Bull chief Helmut Marko even claiming Hamilton was responsible for Masi losing his job.
Ben Sulayem continued: “I don’t know Michael very well. The decision (to sack him as race director) was made by the World Council. It was human error on Michael’s part.”
He added: “I spoke to him two days ago. I have no personal issue (with him). I don’t hate anyone.” And he admitted the FIA are “open” to re-employing Masi in the future.
Ben Sulayem concluded: “Michael is there and we might use him. I didn’t say we were getting rid of him. “I said we might use him. He may be in a good place to use. We are open to everything.
“Our race structure was wrong organisationally. And though we have brought in two new race directors, I wouldn’t say we have got it all right yet. We need to clean the stables.
“This lack of people in the FIA needs to be addressed. I would like to see a minimum of three race directors, ideally by the beginning of next year.”