“Why Was Carlos Sainz Not Given the Opportunity?” – Toto Wolff Pleads Mercedes’ Case With ’14 Months Ago’ Example

Published 12/17/2021, 4:20 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 2021 F1 season ended in the most heartbreaking fashion for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, losing the title on the last lap after essentially dominating the entire race. Now, with Mercedes slowly opening back up to the world, the statement made by the team and the press conference with Toto Wolff have made the obvious clear- they aren’t happy. Wolff even looks back at incidents in the past to prove that what happened in Abu Dhabi was just unfair.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Toto Wolff referred to the Eifel GP in the Nurburgring that happened just over a year ago. “How can it be that 14 months ago at the Eifel Grand Prix, the explanation that was given to us was exactly the contrary to what has happened on Sunday?”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Wolff recalls Masi’s explanation that the safety car was on the track for a long time because the cars needed to unlap themselves. “14 months ago not only the decision has been taken in a totally opposite way, but there is an explanation being made- 180 degrees different.”

Wolff also added that if the race director deploys the safety car, he should simply follow the regulations surrounding that situation. “The regulations are that all cars need to unlap themselves before the race is restarted”

Further, the pandemonium on the final lap left Wolff frustrated. “Why was Carlos Sainz not given the opportunity to win the race? Why was the safety car pulled in against what the regulations say?”

However, Wolff explained that his fight wasn’t with his opponents, but with the regulations. “The ad hoc decision-making just caused this mayhem.”

What is the Mercedes boss referring to?

In the 2020 Eifel GP, Lando Norris had to park his McLaren on the side of the track. With 15 laps to go, there was a car on the Dunlop Curve; thus, Masi decided that the safety car had to be deployed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Then, it was Verstappen who was unhappy with the decision, calling it a ploy to spice things up. “I don’t think we needed a Safety Car. You could have done it with a Virtual Safety Car. But I think they just wanted to make it more exciting again because of the gaps.”

However, the statement Wolff has a problem with is Masi’s response to Verstappen. “There’s a requirement in the sporting regulations to wave all the lapped cars passed.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

According to Wolff, the race director contradicted himself at Abu Dhabi. As these conversations now start, clearer rules in the 2022 season will be the perfect way to prevent the chaos of 2021.

Watch this story: Wives & Girlfriends of Current F1 Superstars

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Shreya Sanjeev

773 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT