Toto Wolff Criticizes Former Race Director’s Decision in 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Renowned Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, did not mince words when expressing his discontent with the decisions made by Australian former Race Director Michael Masi during the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This race, now considered one of the most controversial in the past thirty years, played a pivotal role in denying Lewis Hamilton his eighth championship title.

The Grand Prix, serving as the ultimate showdown between Hamilton and Max Verstappen, concluded in favor of the Dutch driver, creating a stark divide within the Formula 1 community.On the final lap, Nicholas Latifi’s retirement prompted the deployment of the safety car, introducing a strategic dilemma. Mercedes opted to keep Hamilton on the track, while Verstappen, with a tire advantage, opted for a pit stop. However, Masi’s decision to allow lapped cars between the contenders violated regulations, exposing Hamilton to Verstappen’s attack. The outcome witnessed the young Dutch driver securing his first of three consecutive titles.

Wolff Denounces Masi’s Decision

Mercedes’ team principal, Toto Wolff, harshly criticized Michael Masi’s decision, citing it as a grave error. Despite Masi’s departure from the FIA two years ago due to the fallout from this incident, Wolff’s disdain for him remains palpable.

“But I don’t want to waste a minute [thinking] about the reasons because that would give the guy [Michael Masi] too much credit. He’s just an idiot who made the wrong decision,” Wolff asserted, as reported by formu1a.uno.

Since the controversial incident, Lewis Hamilton has not secured a Formula One victory, marking the first time in his illustrious career that he has failed to stand on the podium for two consecutive years. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen has clinched two additional championships in a dominating fashion.

Also Read:- Toto Wolff Criticizes Former Race Director’s Decision in 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Mercedes Struggles to Overcome Abu Dhabi GP Setback

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stands as a haunting event for Mercedes, a team that had previously secured the Constructors’ Championship a record-breaking eight times in a row. However, the WDC eluded them in 2021.

Describing the team as “scarred,” Toto Wolff asserted that the scars left by the Abu Dhabi GP incident were profound and enduring. He stated, “Brutal scars, incredible scars, and we will never get over them – in a way. They became scars, and there are moments when you think – How could that happen? We know how it happened,” as reported by formu1a.uno.

Since the unfortunate incident, Mercedes has managed to secure only one victory, with George Russell leading a 1-2 finish at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Looking ahead to the 2024 season, the Mercedes team is set to introduce a brand-new concept for the W15, aiming to make a significant stride after finishing second in the Constructors’ Championship in 2023.

 

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