Toto Wolff still thinks about the 2021 Abu Dhabi showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Final Practice
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Toto Wolff has admitted that he still ponders about the 2021 title-deciding Abu Dhabi GP between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The Mercedes team boss feels that he has lost faith in the fairness of the sport and believes Michael Masi was the reason behind the British champion losing his eighth title to the Dutchman.

Speaking to Matthew Syed of the Times, Wolff said:

“It was tough after Abu Dhabi. I have always liked the principle that the stopwatch never lies; the team that wins is the one that deserves to be the champion. But this was different. At the end of the race, an individual took decisions that were not reflected anywhere in the rule book and were so drastic that they made the outcome unbelievable.”

He added:

“That is a moment when you fall out of love with the sport… the principle of fairness was breached. The FIA took the guy out of the job because it was a human error. But it’s done and dusted now. I still think about it a lot, but not with anger; it is just incomprehensible how it came about.”

🚨 VAZOU!!! 🚨RÁDIO COMPLETO E SEM CENSURAS DE TOTO WOLFF PARA MICHAEL MASI NA ÚLTIMA VOLTA DO GP DO ABU DHABI!!!(meme) https://t.co/BKm8drzaD4

Despite FIA removing Michael Masi from his job and the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP dust settled, Wolff admits still thinking about the day the Australian race director’s decisions cost Lewis Hamilton his eighth title.

The Austrian believes that it was solely the sacked FIA racing director’s decisions that cost them the championship. Wolff believes the title decider in 2021 was a unique and difficult experience which still makes him angry.


Lewis Hamilton dismisses any problems with Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton revealed he respects Max Verstappen as a talent on the grid and has no animosity toward the Dutchman. The Briton felt that it was a public perception that the audience liked to discuss their dynamic but he felt the Dutch champion deserved credit for his performance in the 2021 season.

Speaking to Formula 1 Racing magazine, the Briton said:

“People like to talk about there being problems between Max and me. I respect him. He is a lot younger, so maybe he has a problem with me. But I am not sure about that and I actually assume not. Although I can’t speak for him. He did everything he had to do in 2021, so why should I have a problem with him? He performed and delivered every weekend, nobody can take that away from him.”

The stats that actually matter.Despite Verstappen having a slower car for much longer than Hamilton. https://t.co/ZhPlx4FSJ7

Despite attempts to defuse the perception of friction between the two, the British and Dutch media have often played a role in pitching one against the other. Their online fanbases and new F1 fans have also played a big role in fanning the false narrative, whereas in reality Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen respect each other for their laurels and achievements as sportsmen.

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