Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Toto Wolff

Wolff: We have a 'proper race director' in Ferrari Abu Dhabi fight

Mercedes and Ferrari head into the final race of the season with just four points separating them for second in the Constructors' Championship.

Wolff Las Vegas
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff insists the Abu Dhabi finale will be "fine" with a "proper race director" in place as it looks to fend off Ferrari for second in the Constructors'.

The 20-point advantage Mercedes held over Ferrari in the fight for runner-up to Red Bull was whittled down to just four heading into the season finale, with Mercedes on 392 points to Ferrari's 388.

Abu Dhabi also marks Mercedes' final chance to win in 2023 and avoid a first winless season since 2011, with Wolff referencing the controversial 2021 title-deciding finale when asked about his expectations.

In that race, then-race director Michael Masi deployed the Safety Car with five laps to go with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton leading and on the verge of an eighth world title, but Masi did not follow conventional Safety Car restart procedures.

He only allowed lapped cars between Hamilton and title rival Max Verstappen to un-lap themselves, freeing Verstappen for a final lap attack on Hamilton, although convention would have been for the restart to come the lap after - the final lap.

Verstappen passed Hamilton to seal the title, with an FIA investigation deciding it was human error by Masi, who was removed from his post, now filled by Niels Wittich.

Wolff on brutal F1 time zone changes: 'You're on complete autopilot'

"We're going there on pretty much equal points, we have a proper race director, so that should be fine," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"Then let's race, it's all down to the last weekend.

"[Ferrari] are very quick, they've done a good job, I think we could have been on par [in Las Vegas], but the result shows something different so let's race.

"To be honest it's good to have P2 as a positive to finish the season, but P2 or P3 doesn't make me particularly cheer anyway."

The brutal back-to-back scheduling means that teams will be on flights almost immediately after the race in Las Vegas, as they set off to Abu Dhabi for the season finale.

For 2024, Vegas will form the first leg of a late-season triple-header with Qatar and Abu Dhabi following.

When asked if F1 should think more about its scheduling, Wolff replied: "Now we're on a roll in complete autopilot.

"You don't know anyway where you're waking up on what timezone you are and where the toilet is in a hotel room. Let's just get it done."

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


LATEST Verstappen honoured at 2023 FIA Prize Giving Gala