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Toto Wolff

Wolff: Only replacing Masi isn't the solution for F1

Toto Wolff has offered more thoughts about the controversial ending to the 2021 F1 title race and the decision-making seen throughout the season.

To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says getting rid of FIA Race Director Michael Masi would not represent a quick fix for F1, arguing that "the whole system of decision-making" needs to be improved.

Masi's handling of the Abu Dhabi finale came into question when he restarted the race for one lap following a late Safety Car, only clearing the lapped cars between title contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Wolff expressed his anger at the move over the radio, which appeared to fly in the face of the FIA's own Sporting Regulations as not all the lapped cars were permitted to unlap themselves.

Verstappen duly passed Hamilton on fresher tyres to claim the victory and the world title, with Mercedes' post-race protests dismissed by the stewards, before the team ultimately backed out of an appeal.

Wolff wants improvements across the board

Asked if naming a new Race Director could be a solution for F1, and restore his own trust in the FIA's decisions, Wolff called for improvements across the board, following a series of other controversies earlier in the campaign.

"I'm afraid it's not only a decision to change the Race Director – the whole system of decision-making needs to be improved," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think that the Race Director is certainly under big pressure and some of that is due to our own faults.

"I would have wished [for] more consistent decision-making that could have avoided many of the controversies throughout the year.

"The last one [in Abu Dhabi] was just a decision that had the biggest impact. From a sporting perspective, [it had] a catastrophic impact, because it decided the World Championship.

"But now you can say all season [it] went back and forth. We were on the receiving end sometimes, and sometimes we were more lucky."

Wolff confident of a better future

A few days after the Abu Dhabi finale, F1 announced plans for a "detailed analysis" into the Safety Car procedure during the final laps of the race, including feedback from the drivers.

Wolff is hopeful that, if all stakeholders work closely together, lessons can be learned and applied for the future.

"I have confidence that all of us together, the teams, the drivers, the FIA and the sport, can revamp the way decisions are being [made] and make the sport stronger," Wolff went on to comment.

"I think these situations, as painful as they are, are also an opportunity to better the sport."

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