The producers of Netflix’s new tennis documentary series “Break Point” have dismissed any suggestion that former tournament director Michael Massey manipulated the 2021 season finals “for the sake of television”, arguing it was just a case of someone “under a lot of pressure”.
The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appears to be a race that will never be forgotten as it has been proposed ahead of the upcoming 2023 season.
For those unaware of the drama of the 2021 finale, Massi broke several of the sport’s rules, leading to Max Verstappen passing Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to claim his first title.
Hamilton was in the lead for the vast majority of the race and comfortably clinched an unprecedented eighth world title on the track, but the race was reversed in the closing stages.
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Nicholas Latifi crashed badly in the final stretch causing a late safety car while Hamilton took the lead from Verstappen.
At first, it seemed like a perfectly normal safety car period, as law enforcers began clearing the track.
However, with the debris cleared, it was announced that no car would be allowed to unwind on its own as there was only one lap left.
However, a few seconds later, Mercedes announced that only a 5-lap race between the two championship rivals would be able to cancel the lap on its own.
This was the first time Masi broke the rules, and the second happened not long after.
When the car is allowed to cancel the lap on its own, the safety car is supposed to do an extra lap, which in this case will be the last lap.
Instead, it returned to the pits to allow the final lap of the race to be played under green flag conditions as Verstappen went on to pass Hamilton and take the win.
Hamilton branded the incident “manipulation” and the FIA concluded after an investigation that Massey had committed “human error”.
He was never allowed to officiate a Formula 1 race again.
Lando Norris admitted at the time that he felt the rules of “television” were being broken, referring to the F1-based Netflix documentary series Drive to Survive.
“It’s obviously a fight, of course it’s for the TV, it’s for the results,” Norris said.
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However, “Break Point” producer James Gay-Reese disagrees with this entirely, and is convinced that Massey isn’t “thinking” about what Netflix wants.
“I think [Masi] There was just a lot of pressure and some mistakes were made,” he told the Guardian.
“I don’t think he’s thinking ‘what does Netflix want?'”