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Toto Wolff

Wolff reflects on Abu Dhabi controversy: Verstappen is a deserved champion

The Mercedes team boss has revealed that he believes Max Verstappen is a deserved champion, nearly 12 months on from the controversial title-deciding race of 2021.

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It's nearly a year on from the controversial end to the 2021 Formula 1 season at Abu Dhabi, when Lewis Hamilton lost the world title to Max Verstappen.

In the events after the race Hamilton and the Mercedes team went silent, clearly fraught with anger by what had happened.

It took Mercedes boss Toto Wolff several days before he hosted a press conference post-season on Zoom, in which the Austrian appeared against a sombre background.

Speaking on the F1 Beyond the Grid podcast, he was asked whether Hamilton still thinks about the 2021 title fight.

"I don't think Hamilton has been bothered by that, he knows how to focus on his work," said the Austrian.

"Abu Dhabi 2021 will haunt us for a long time, forever maybe, but that mainly happens when you sit quietly and start thinking about those decisions in the last minutes that were at odds with the regulations, but you don't think about that anymore during the race weekends."

"We've moved on. Me personally anyway, once we accepted the result. We didn't want to go to court, even though we might have a good case. We didn't want to win the title in court.

"Max is a deserved champion, so is Lewis. On that day it was 'may the best win', but that's not what happened."

Wolff: The FIA admitted their mistake and we've moved on

The team boss admits that he would rather forget about the saga for the immediate future, believing that it is better to move on and look to the future.

He said: "It's done, the title is decided. We shouldn't go on and on about it."

"Max is a two-time world champion, a deserved world champion. Mistakes have been made, the FIA ​​has admitted that and now we have to move on.

"It doesn't mean I will never think about it again, because honesty is important and the stopwatch never lies. Maybe that just a little bit."

Wolff says he didn't experience any further emotions returning to the event nearly 12 months on at the end of the season.

He added: "Zero, I was in the same hotel room. Same program, not a single thought about that."

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