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Toto Wolff

Wolff: Verstappen owes Red Bull for 'turning' Masi

Toto Wolff has labelled former F1 Race Director Michael Masi's relationship with Red Bull's Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley as a "bromance" in a new documentary.

Toto Wolff
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To news overview © Mercedes

Toto Wolff has issued some strong remarks about Michael Masi's relationship with Red Bull, and claims that Max Verstappen "owes" his team for "turning" the former Race Director.

In new Sky Sports documentary Duel: Hamilton vs Verstappen, Wolff suggests that both the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the penultimate race of the season in Saudi Arabia - where Masi appeared to make a 'deal' with Red Bull Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley over Verstappen's grid position at the race restart - as examples of the "bromance" between Masi and Wheatley.

"Jonathan Wheatley has done his job," Wolff said.

"He's turned Michael Masi the Race Director, not only in Abu Dhabi but before, and probably Max owes him a lot."

Wolff doesn't want to speak to Masi "ever again"

Decisions made over the Safety Car in the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix enabled Verstappen to overtake Lewis Hamilton on the last lap, thus giving the Dutchman the World Championship.

Following an investigation by the FIA into the events, Masi was removed from his position as Race Director.

Wolff, meanwhile, says that he hopes to "move on" from what happened, but has no desire to speak with Masi.

"I haven't spoken to him and I don't want to speak to him ever again," the Mercedes team boss added.

Wolff does, however, believe that Masi was a "victim" of the structure of race governance, which has since undergone changes as part of the FIA's enquiry.

"His decisions were wrong and I'm sure that he regrets them," the Austrian explained.

"The FIA should have seen much earlier that there was a problem. There was a problem with the structure. There was a problem of personalities."

Verstappen "merits the World Championship"

Wolff clearly remains angry about what happened, with his take on those controversial last laps in Abu Dhabi being: "It's like a football game that is 1-0 for one team and suddenly the referee says, 'now it's golden goal. 0-0, whoever scores the next goal wins.'"

"'And by the way, we have to play without boots.'"

He does, though, feel that Verstappen still deserves his title.

"I feel for Max," Wolff said.

"He merits the World Championship... but there's only talk about Abu Dhabi."

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