Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, spoke at the press conference to defend the work of the team and Lewis Hamilton. In fact, Mercedes has renounced any further appeal against the final result of the F1 2021 World Championship. The Austrian’s conference is full of strong sentences, which leave no appeal to different possibilities of interpretation. Among all, there is a phrase from Wolff that suggests the mood of him, Mercedes and Hamilton: “Lewis has been robbed of the 2021 World title”. The whole team has the utmost respect and recognition of Max Verstappen’s victory, but is deeply disappointed by the behavior of the Race Direction in the Abu Dhabi GP. In fact, criticisms of Michael Masi, defined as “incompetent and inadequate for the role he represents”, have been repeated.
NO APPEAL – «We decided not to appeal, despite being aware of our reasons. But we are also aware of the consequences of a possible appeal. I am sure we would have won in any courtroom, I am sure, in the light of the evidence at our disposal. But it is not in our style, and here we are not discussing how the FIA or the Race Direction is structured: however, it is necessary to clarify how we will go forward, we need the certainty of precise, clear, equidistant rules that are applied continuously and unambiguously. Fourteen months ago, in the 2020 Eifel GP, a decision was taken opposite to that taken in the Abu Dhabi GP 2021: decision changed by 180 ° ».
SAFETY CAR – «The rules are clear. If there is a crashed car on the track and it takes time to remove it, red flags must be displayed. Furthermore, they should have split all the drivers, not just those between Hamilton, first, and Verstappen, second. For example, why not split even those ahead of Sainz, why deprive Ferrari of the chance to win? This is why I insist on the need for uniformly applied rules ».
MASI – «Masi the problem? I would say that the problem is much greater than Masi. It is not a question of individuals but of how decisions are made. We need a fair and continuous yardstick on how the rules are applied. I haven’t talked to Masi, why should I? A decision was simply made, in the last 4 minutes of the GP, which annihilated Hamilton. He took the title from him. Lewis dominated the race from the start, he would never have lost in that race situation, but there is no doubt that Hamilton was robbed of his victory. From every point of view: sporty, professional, human, he was robbed. So I believe that Masi’s role is incompatible with the type of decisions to be made; but I repeat, it is not a question of changing the Clerk of the Course, if anything it is necessary to change the decision-making system, clarity, continuity of application of the rules and fairness are fundamental ».