Mercedes chief Toto Wolff rages at FIA director Michael Masi after Lewis Hamilton’s controversial late defeat to Max Verstappen: ‘We need to go back to the lap before’
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was livid at FIA director Michael Masi after Lewis Hamilton lost the World Championship title in controversial circumstances.
Following a late safety car, Max Verstappen, who was on fresh tyres, managed to overtake Hamilton, who was on old ones, on the last lap to win the title by triumphing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Wolff was left raging and stated: ‘We need to go back to the lap before’.
Toto Wolff was livid with Michael Masi after Lewis Hamilton lost the World Championship title
Masi responded by saying: ‘It’s called a motor race.’
Hamilton and Verstappen were level on points going into an intriguingly poised final race.
After he made an impressive start, Hamilton appeared on course to secure glory before the late drama.
Wolff said ‘we need to go back to the lap before’ but Masi replied: ‘It’s called a motor race’
Hamilton ended up suffering defeat with Verstappen claiming the World Championship title
After the race Hamilton appeared shell-shocked at how events had unfolded.
However, the 36-year-old still took the time to congratulate his rival.
Red Bull driver Verstappen managed to win his first world title at the end of a hugely entertaining season.
Christian Horner, the principal of Red Bull Racing, said of Masi’s decision: ‘We were screaming at him ‘let em race’, that’s what we’ve been talking about all these years, let them race. And this championship came down to the last lap and a great strategy call, to make that pit stop, to take that set of softs. And then it was down to Max to make it happen.’
Horner also said that he has respect for Wolff despite the ‘intense competition’ between Mercedes and Red Bull.
He said: ‘It’s been high stakes this year, an intense competition, teams gone head to head. It’s about the guys and girls back in the factories who have put so much in, through the pandemic and so on.
‘Toto and I have had our moments, but full respect. It feels like the right result that the championships were split and we’ll come back and try and do it all again next year.’