F1: After the madness of the Abu Dhabi GP, Mercedes confesses
That was eight months ago, but no one has forgotten, especially Mercedes. At the last Grand Prix of last season, in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton had let slip the title against Max Verstappen, in incredible conditions and highly commented. Invited to come back to this totally crazy episode, Toto Wolff admits that he still thinks every day.
The 2021 season will go down in the annals of the Formula 1. And for good reason, after a bewildering battle, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen showed up at Abu Dhabi, the last Grand Prix of the season, tied on points. Therefore, the one who would finish ahead of the other would win the world title. And quickly the mercedes took the upper hand allowing the Briton to slip quietly towards an eighth coronation, beating the record of Michael Schumacher. On a regular basis, the Dutchman could do nothing. But now, this GP will enter the legend of the sport. Five laps from the finish Nicholas Latifi smash her williams into the wall, causing the safety car to exit. Max Verstappen, who has absolutely nothing to lose, returns to the pits to put on soft tires in the hope that the race will be restarted. And it will be. One lap from the finish, the race management decides to allow the laggards located between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to split. An unprecedented decision since the rule stipulates that all drivers must resume their late lap. But in this case, the race could not have resumed. The seven-time world champion will therefore be unable to do anything and will be swallowed by Max Verstappen with much better tires. Despite the controversy that swelled and lasted several weeks, the Dutchman won his first coronation.
Wolff is still thinking about the Abu Dhabi GP…
And it’s still hard to digest. In an interview with Motorsport.com, Toto Wolff acknowledges that this episode has not been forgotten. ” I think about it every day. But I’m at peace that Max won the championship, because he’s a deserving champion. [Au sujet de] the way things went, I think I have values related to fairness, and especially fairness in sport. This is what provides my fundamental love for this discipline. And that day, those values were shattered “, assures the boss of mercedes which then discusses the significant changes that have resulted from this controversy.
F1: Alonso, Verstappen… These drivers who made Hamilton suffer https://t.co/kgDdGKJWwo pic.twitter.com/D47oYV1etk
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… and welcomes the changes
In effect, Mohammad Ben Sulayem was appointed FIA President to replace John Todt and one of his first decisions was to separate from Michael Masirace director in F1, and therefore at the origin of the choices that created the controversy. ” I think Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the way he hires and recruits, shows me the direction to follow. Each personality has its particularities. And I think the primary goal of being transparent, ensuring good governance and a good framework is what I see happening. Will there be obstacles in the way, because the organization of Mohammed must be put in place and everyone must find their role? Yes of course. But I’m happy with the way it’s going. They are open-minded. They have no fixed opinions. For me, they are transparent, honest and with integrity », adds Toto Wolff.
Hamilton didn’t digest either
There are a few, it’s Lewis Hamilton which looked back on the pain he had felt after seeing the eighth title of his career fly away. ” I don’t know if I can really put into words what I felt. I remember sitting there just in disbelief. And realizing that I have to unbuckle my seat belts, that I have to get out of this, that I have to get out of this thing and that I have to find the strength. I had no strength. And that was one of the hardest times, I would say, that I’ve had in a long, long time. Of course, I wondered if I wanted to continue. I’m still on a mission, I still love to drive, I’m still challenged “, assured the pilot mercedes at Vanity Fair.