Masi was sacked as race director after failing to implement at least two articles of the sporting regulations in Abu Dhabi’s title decision last December.
It resulted in the final lap clash where Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton to snatch the championship, sparking controversy and protests from Mercedes that were eventually scrapped.
Masi left the FIA earlier this month to move to Australia and has now given his first public interview to News Corp in which he revealed that he was going through “dark days” because of the abuse and backlash.
“I felt like I was the most hated man in the world,” Masi said. “I got death threats, people said they would come after me and my family.
“[The messages] were shocking. Racist, abusive, mean, they called me every name under the sun.
“And they kept coming. Not only on my Facebook, but also on my LinkedIn, which should be a professional platform for companies. It was the same kind of abuse.”
The FIA conducted a full investigation into the Abu Dhabi final and found that Masi had acted in good faith, the decisions being the result of “human error”.
Michael Masi, Race Director
Photo By: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Masi admitted in the interview that the reaction to the finale had a physical impact on him, but that it was “more mental” and gave him “no desire” to talk to his family or friends.
“I just wanted to be alone, which was quite a challenge,” Masi added, though he said the experience “made me a much stronger person.”
The FIA initially planned to offer Masi a new position within the organisation, after which the Australian would make the decision to leave earlier this month.
Masi was replaced by a new dual race director system made up of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, as well as a virtual race control room in Switzerland.
But that hasn’t prevented concerns about race management decisions in the 2022 season amid arguments over drivers wearing jewelry, track limits and alleged inconsistency from stewards.