Toto Wolff’s Mid-Season Comments on FIA Broadcasting Radios Came Back to Haunt Him in Abu Dhabi

Published 12/17/2021, 5:19 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 10, 2021 Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in the team principals press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


The 2021 F1 season witnessed controversies on almost every race weekend. Mercedes and Red Bull expressed their discontent with Race Director Masi and his decision-making on several occasions. More recently, team principal Toto Wolff shunned any possibility of engaging in a conversation with Masi after the disarray in Abu Dhabi.

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However, old comments of the Mercedes boss have come back to haunt him due to his silent spat with Masi. Notably, Wolff showed his disappointment with the Mclaren pit wall for reporting on Valtteri Bottas during the Austrian GP. The Finn had taken a 3-place grid penalty in Spielberg after his W-12 spun in the pitlane.

The incident happened near the Mclaren pit wall and team manager Paul James instantly raised concerns over that same to Masi. However, Wolff found the penalty to be “harsh” and lashed out at James for “whinging” over the radio.

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Toto Wolff had a laugh over the Mclaren complaint

The Brackley team boss found it distasteful of Mclaren to complain over the open channel. He even said that it made him laugh at how often few team officials whine about little things.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

“It’s good that these channels are now opened up so we can all have a laugh,” said Wolff as reported by Motorsport.

He further explained his thoughts on the whole issue and why he found the penalty harsh. “Do I find it harsh? I find it harsh, particularly against somebody like Valtteri, who is never putting a foot wrong,” said the Austrian.

“We should have a little bit more integrity like Valtteri has around the paddock, including the ones that push the button very quickly and moan about everyone else and whinge,” he added.

Mercedes boss boycotted the prize-giving gala

After his discontent with Masi, Wolff decided to boycott the FIA 2021 prize-giving ceremony in Paris. The fact that he found other teams complaining to Masi distasteful has become the biggest irony of the situation. He was furious with Masi’s decision-making during the final moments of the last race. He could be heard complaining over the radio, “No Michael, that’s not fair! Michael, what was that?”

More recently, he said that he was not interested in having any further discussion with the race director. “I am not interested in having a conversation with Michael Masi...” said Wolff as reported by Hunt. 

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The FIA needs to decide if they are going to bother going forwards.” he added.

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As it stands, Mercedes have lost out on their chance to retain the drivers’ championship and the team has to make peace with it. Let’s see how the 2022 season shapes up for the team.

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Rituraj Tripathi

274 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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