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Wolff: Verstappen a 'worthy' World Champion, but Hamilton better on the day

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff continues to feel aggrieved at how events unfolded at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but has reiterated that he believes Max Verstappen is still deserving of a World Championship, despite his unhappiness at how it was decided.

Toto Wolff admits that he thinks Max Verstappen is still a "worthy" World Champion, but that Lewis Hamilton was deserving of the title on the day. The closely-fought championship battle came to a head at the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Verstappen taking the crown on the final lap of the race after a late Safety Car allowed him to pit for fresh Soft tyres and overtake Hamilton, who had remained on track with an older set of Hard tyres. Controversy remains over how the last laps of the event unfolded. Mercedes initially protested the result before deciding against an appeal, whilst Hamilton has maintained complete radio silence since the race. The FIA are set to hold an investigation into what happened . Wolff says that it will be a difficult thing for the team to move on from. "It will never be forgotten," Wolff told Austrian publication Kronen Zeitung . "Because what happened to Lewis was simply wrong. On that day he was unbeatable. Until the stewards blew a fuse and decided on three infringements of the rules. It's hard to understand." Wolff acknowledges that Verstappen earned success throughout the year, but feels that Hamilton should have won on that day in Abu Dhabi. "It will always stick with us, even though Max Verstappen is a worthy World Champion over the course of the season," the Austrian said. "But on that day, one was better than the other - and he didn't win."

How will Mercedes move on from what happened in 2022?

When asked whether he will carry the weight of Abu Dhabi into the 2022 F1 season, Wolff explained that he hopes the team can instead focus on the action on track. However, he admits there are unknowns ahead, given the wave of new regulations being introduced into the sport. "I'm in a position to compartmentalise that," Wolff added. "We draw our conclusions from it and want to give the right answers on the track. That will be hard enough with the new regulations."

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