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Toto Wolff: Mercedes boss says Abu Dhabi gave confidence to FIA to avoid Italian GP 'big bang show'

“From my point of view, whether you’re traumatized in Abu Dhabi or not, these rules have been followed to the point,” says Toto Wolff.

Last updated: 14/09/22 6:02am

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said his driver’s third and fifth place finishes were the best he could have hoped for at the Italian Grand Prix.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said his driver’s third and fifth place finishes were the best he could have hoped for at the Italian Grand Prix.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has hinted he is “traumatized in Abu Dhabi”, but last year’s controversial F1 title decider has given the FIA ​​confidence to make the right decision at the Italian Grand Prix. I am glad that

Sunday’s race at Monza saw a late safety car call, but unlike last year’s Abu Dhabi GP where Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap, the action did not resume and ended in those conditions. Did.

Despite boos from the grandstands and criticism from many, including Red Bull and Ferrari bosses, Wolff praised the closing stage handling and pointed a not-so-sneaky bargain at former race director Michael Masi. rice field.

“We are really happy to have race directors and colleagues to enforce the regulations in response to media and fan pressure that we are violating them,” said a Mercedes team principal.

“In that sense, at least Abu Dhabi has given the FIA ​​greater confidence to apply the regulations.”

Lewis Hamilton says the end of the Italian GP has awakened memories of his title decider with Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi in 2021

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Lewis Hamilton says the end of the Italian GP has awakened memories of his title decider with Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi in 2021

Lewis Hamilton says the end of the Italian GP has awakened memories of his title decider with Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi in 2021

Wolff’s comments followed Hamilton’s mistreatment in Abu Dhabi last year, and the Monza finale brought back ‘memories’, saying, ‘Only once in the history of the sport has a rule like that not been followed today. and that’s what it changed the outcome’.

After Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren’s delayed recovery, Wolff, like his star driver, said everything went according to plan on Sunday, as the car did not return to its original position quickly enough to give the green light. He adamantly asserted that

“There are rules and they are written down,” said Wolff. “From my point of view, these rules have been fully adhered to whether I have been traumatized in Abu Dhabi or not.

“There were cars on the track, there were marshals, there were cranes there. So they didn’t let anyone overtake. And after all the cars had caught up, enough to restart the race. I didn’t have time.

“If you’re not happy with the regulations and want a big bang show and two laps of racing and mayhem, I’m absolutely for it. But the regulations need to change.”

Sky F1's Karun Chandhok explains why the Italian GP ended behind the safety car and what options are available to the FIA ​​in such a situation

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Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok explains why the Italian GP ended behind the safety car and what options are available to the FIA ​​in such a situation

Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok explains why the Italian GP ended behind the safety car and what options are available to the FIA ​​in such a situation

“So I don’t think there is any need to complain about what happened because this is the rule.”

Wolff continued: “I don’t want to make headlines like ‘Toto wants to change the regulations because racing sucks’.

“I think we should all sit down and say ‘is there anything we can do better’, but what happened is in the regulation book and that’s why it was applied.”

There have been suggestions that F1 should change its rules regarding safety car finishes, with Sunday marking the 13th time in the sport’s history that a winner has crossed the checkered flag in such circumstances.

Wolff offered his alternative

“You should think about whether you want to finish the race under the green and reverse engineer it from there.

“So you could say the safety car was brought in five or 10 laps from the end.

“If it’s in the regulations, so be it.”

Christian Horner admits he wanted Verstappen to win the race under normal racing rules, not behind the safety car

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Christian Horner admits he wanted Verstappen to win the race under normal racing rules, not behind the safety car

Christian Horner admits he wanted Verstappen to win the race under normal racing rules, not behind the safety car

Red Bull and Ferrari disagree over safety car end

Christian Horner, Red Bull boss: “We don’t want to win races under the safety car. We’ve been talking for years and years that they should finish the race.”

“We had enough time to do that race. I think they picked up the wrong car and picked up (George) Russell.

“We had a faster car, so we wanted to win the race on the track, not behind the safety car.

“It goes against the principles we’ve been discussing. The biggest losers are the fans.”

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was unhappy with the FIA's introduction of a safety car rule towards the end of the race.

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was unhappy with the FIA’s introduction of a safety car rule towards the end of the race.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was unhappy with the FIA’s introduction of a safety car rule towards the end of the race.

Mattia Binotto, Ferrari boss: “Finishing behind the safety car is never great for F1 and the show, not for us. I think it was time for the FIA ​​to act differently today.”

“The safety car came in front of George, but still, I don’t think there was any reason not to release the car between the safety car and the leaders. If you’re just waiting for safety, now that you have a minimum lap time. , so you can safely do it.

“Waiting so long is simply wrong and not good for the sport. The ultimate goal is to restart racing in a safe manner, so after last year’s Abu Dhabi we had long discussions with the sport. Today we have. I was able to.

“The FIA ​​has changed a lot in that area, but I think they need more experience and do a better job because F1 deserves it.”

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