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Toto Wolff

Wolff welcomes recent FIA reforms: It's transparent and honest

The FIA have undergone behind-the-scenes work to reform and restructure following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and Toto Wolff is happy with what he has seen.

Wolff Hungary 2022
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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the FIA is "transparent and honest" following the restructure that has occurred in the aftermath of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Wolff's driver, Lewis Hamilton, was set to claim a record-breaking eighth Drivers' title in Abu Dhabi as a Safety Car was called with five laps to go following a crash for Nicholas Latifi of Williams.

Race Director Michael Masi subsequently failed to follow the restart regulations and only allowed five lapped cars – those between Hamilton and Max Verstappen – to unlap themselves before resuming the race for a one-lap shootout for the title.

As written, Masi should have withdrawn the Safety Car at the end of Lap 58 – the final lap of the race – but elected to do so on Lap 57, setting up Verstappen to pass Hamilton on fresh Soft tyres compared to worn Hards for Hamilton.

Mercedes elected to drop their legal challenges of the result in return for a restructure and thorough investigation into what happened.

Eight months on from Abu Dhabi, Wolff says he is pleased at the reforms which have been implemented by the governing body.

The FIA is now open-minded, says Wolff

In the days following Abu Dhabi, FIA President Jean Todt stepped down from his position, having come to the end of his three terms.

He was replaced with Mohammed Ben Sulayem, with Wolff impressed by the Emirati's start.

"I believe [he] has shown his approach to the way he makes decisions," Wolff told the Italian version of Motorsport.com.

"Each person has their own characteristics, and I think the main goal is always to be transparent, then you have to provide for good management, and that's what I've seen so far.

"There will be obstacles along the way. Mohammed's organisation has yet to settle into some roles, but I am happy with how it is progressing.

"They are open-minded, they are not pointed and as far as I am concerned, they are transparent, honest and have integrity."

Wolff accepts Abu Dhabi GP result

Under Wolff's guidance, Mercedes had scooped every F1 title – Drivers' and Constructors' – from 2014 to 2020, with Hamilton winning six and Nico Rosberg one.

The result in Abu Dhabi meant Mercedes' run of title doubles was ended although they did win the Constructors' for an eight time.

The Austrian says he thinks about what happened "every day" but has accepted that Verstappen will go down as the 2021 Formula 1 Drivers' World Champion.

Verstappen secured the championship by eight points from Hamilton by winning the race with the fastest lap.

The duo went into the 2021 finale level on 369.5 points – only the second time in F1 history two drivers went to the final race level on points.

It previously happened in 1974, when Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni went to Watkins Glen on 52 points apiece – Fittipaldi winning his second title by three points.

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