WATCH: Mercedes F1 Boss Toto Wolff’s Statement Came Back to Haunt Him at Abu Dhabi

Published 12/25/2021, 11:39 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 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 dramatic turn of events during the 2021 F1 finale will continue to haunt the Mercedes team for a while. Team Principal Toto Wolff has his disagreements with the FIA, but that changed nothing in favor of the Silver Arrows. The Austrian has been at the helm of the team since 2013 and they have had a winning percentage of over 70 percent between 2014 and 2020.

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However, his unprecedented success came to an unexpected halt after Max Verstappen clinched the drivers’ title in a thrilling battle. Wolff had been on his toes for the entire 2021 season, not leaving any stone unturned. But Red Bull got past Mercedes’ dominance to re-ignite its presence at the top.

Before the start of the main race in Abu Dhabi, Wolff made a buoyant statement about the aftermath of that title decider. To his disappointment, however, it turned out to be a fiasco for him.

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Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff is seen during the race Pool via REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic

Toto Wolff faced a disheartening irony

The title fight between the two frontrunners looked pretty one-sided after the Mexican GP, with Max Verstappen gaining a considerable advantage over rival Hamilton. However, to the Brackley team’s delight, Hamilton cruised to three straight victories in Brazil, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The flame was burning higher than ever during the Abu Dhabi weekend as the two protagonists stood at equal points.

Wolff earlier made a reserved statement that he had nothing to lose after the results in Mexico. However, he was highly optimistic about Lewis Hamilton’s chances going into the decider. During an interview with Ziggo Sport, the Austrian said that he is fond of this experience and will cherish the memories for years to come.

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“Yeah! I love it. In a few years’ time, we will look back and say ‘that was such a great experience to even be part of that’,” said the Mercedes boss.

However, the last moments of the race turned out to be an absolute nightmare for Hamilton. The safety car incident ripped the Briton’s chances to win and Max Verstappen cruised to his maiden title win. Mercedes launched an official protest into the matter, but the Stewards rejected their plea.

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Amidst all the backlash, FIA finally agreed to launch a detailed review of the matter. However, it will not affect the championship results in any way whatsoever. Wolff might be regretting his earlier statements now, but it was certainly an exceptional season which will be cherished for years.

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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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