Lewis Hamilton will never get over Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale, Toto Wolff claims

Wolff has warned the FIA that he expects ‘actions, and not just words’

Harry Latham-Coyle
Wednesday 19 January 2022 16:07 GMT
FIA Investigation Key To Hamilton's F1 Future

Toto Wolff does not think that Lewis Hamilton will ever “get over” the controversial ending to the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Hamilton was denied a record-breaking seventh world title after Max Verstappen passed him on the final lap of the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi.

Verstappen had been afforded the opportunity to line up an overtake after the intervention of race director Michael Masi, who permitted lapped cars between the title rivals to un-lap themselves, clearing a path for the Red Bull driver to snatch his first Drivers’ Championship.

Revealing that he and his team had been left “disillusioned” with the sport after events in the United Arab Emirates, the Mercedes team principal believes it went against F1’s principles, and that his driver will struggle particularly to move on.

“It is very deep,” Wolff reflected in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport. “Lewis, I and the whole team are disillusioned. We love this sport because it is honest.

“The stopwatch never lies, but when we break the fundamental principle of fairness and the stopwatch is no longer relevant, then you doubt this sport.

“That all the work, blood, sweat and tears can be taken away from you. It will take a long time to digest that.

“I don’t think we’ll ever get over it, especially Lewis as a driver. We can at least try, together with the FIA, to do better in the future.”

Hamilton’s participation in the 2022 season, which begins in Bahrain in March, is said to be in doubt.

The British driver is said to be considering quitting the sport as he awaits the results of an FIA investigation into events at the season-ending Grand Prix.

It has been suggested that Masi is under pressure and may lose his role as race director having been accused by some of improperly providing a final spectacle rather than respect typical race processes.

Wolff has warned the FIA that he expects “actions, and not just words”, and asked for greater clarity over the Formula 1 rulebook.

“I expect action and not just words,” Wolff said. “We can’t freestyle like this with the rulebook in a sport that is supposed to be sport.

“There has to be clarity about the rules before the start of the new season so that every driver, every team and every fan knows what is allowed and what is not.

“At the end of the day, we are providing entertainment, but no decision should break the rules for the sake of the show.”

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