Wolff still thinks about 2021 Abu Dhabi GP "every day"

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has confessed that he still thinks about the events of last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix "every day".

Wolff still thinks about 2021 Abu Dhabi GP "every day"
Listen to this article

At last year's F1 season finale, Lewis Hamilton had looked set to grab his eighth world championship title after dominating most of the Yas Marina race.

However, things were turned on their head when a late safety car was triggered after Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams.

During the restart, then F1 race director Michael Masi did not follow the correct procedures, selectively allowing only a few backmarkers to unlap themselves and then restarting the race a lap earlier than it should have according to the regulations.

That allowed Max Verstappen, who had pitted for fresh tyres, one final lap to overtake Hamilton and secure the win that captured him his maiden world title.

Mercedes initially protested the result and looked set to take the matter to the court of appeal, before eventually backing down in the interests of the sport.

The FIA launched a full investigation into what happened, and Masi was moved aside as part of an overhaul of the way F1's race control was run.

Wolff has admitted that he finds it hard to forget what happened.

Asked by Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview if he still reflected on what happened in Abu Dhabi, Wolff said: "I think about it every day. But I have my peace with Max winning the championship, because he's a deserving champion.

"How it panned out, I think I have values around fairness, and especially sporting fairness. This is what provides my fundamental love for the sport. And then that was kicked with the feet on that particular day."

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Although many questions remain about what really happened in race control that day, especially with it emerging recently that Masi signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to never talk about it, the FIA has attempted to draw a line under the events.

But there have been ongoing questions this year about the consistency of the new race control structure, as well as the approach and attitude of new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Reflecting on the job that Ben Sulayem has done so far, Wolff said that some difficulties were inevitable considering the change of approach that he was looking to bring.

"I think Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the way he's hiring and recruiting, shows for me direction," he said.

"Every personality has his edges. And I think the primary objective of being transparent, providing good governance and a good framework is what I see happening.

"Are there going to be bumps on the road because Mohammed's organisation needs to fall in place and everybody needs to find their roles? Yeah, for sure. But I'm happy with how's it going.

Read Also:

"They are open minded. They're not opinionated. For me, transparent, honest and have integrity."

shares
comments

Related video

Alpine has "absolutely no worries" of trouble with Alonso during 2022
Previous article

Alpine has "absolutely no worries" of trouble with Alonso during 2022

Next article

Vettel: F1 should reinvest profits into race promoters to have greener events

Vettel: F1 should reinvest profits into race promoters to have greener events
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Kevin Magnussen to deliver Prime

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Kevin Magnussen to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as Oleg Karpov found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Prime

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes.

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Prime

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore Prime

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022