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F1 chief Michael Masi slams Lewis Hamilton after Mercedes ace claimed drivers’ lives were put at risk at Tuscan GP

FORMULA ONE race boss, Michael Masi, says he is personally offended by Lewis Hamilton’s criticism after the crash-hit Tuscan GP.

World champion Hamilton accused the FIA of putting F1 drivers’ lives at risk in the interests of spicing up the on-track action.

Hamilton blasted the delay in telling drivers the race was resuming after the safety car period, resulting in his teammate Valtteri Bottas bunching up the field.

The result was a concertina effect that saw a huge smash involving four cars with Hamilton saying after “they’re obviously trying to make it more exciting but ultimately you’ve seen they’ve put people at risk”.

But Masi hit back saying he sees the Brit’s remarks as a personal attack because his priority is the drivers’ safety.

He said: “From an FIA perspective, safety is paramount, full stop. End of story.

“In my capacity as the race director and safety delegate, point blank, that’s where my role sits as the sporting integrity and safety.

“And anyone that says otherwise is actually quite offensive.”

One of the accusations was that the timing of when the lights of the safety car went out, meaning there was little time to prepare for a short dash into turn one at full speed.

But Masi points out that unlike the F1 stars, the drivers in the junior categories had no problem with their restarts.

He added: “They can criticise all they want. If we have a look at a distance perspective from where the lights were extinguished to the control line, [it’s] probably not dissimilar, if not longer, than at a number of other venues.

“At the end of the day, the safety car lights go out where they do, the safety car is in the pit lane.

“We have the 20 best drivers in the world but drivers in the junior category had a very, very similar restart to what was occurring in the F1 race and they navigated it quite well without incident.”

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