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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 30: Toto Wolff of Austria and Mercedes during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 30, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

“I think about it every day”: Wolff on Abu Dhabi 2021

Toto Wolff reflects on the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com

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Toto Wolff has shed some light on the effects of last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on himself and his love for F1.

Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton
Image Credit: Dan Istitene via Getty Images

In a recent interview with Motorsport.com, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff spoke on what Abu Dhabi 2021 meant to him. The interview comes shortly after both Lewis Hamilton and Christian Horner’s recent comments on last year too. Despite winning the 2021 Constructor’s Championship, the events of the final Grand Prix are still playing on Wolff’s mind. He said:

“I think about it every day. But I have my peace with Max winning the championship, because he’s a deserving champion.”

The aftermath

Wolff infamously snubbed the FIA prizegiving gala following the events of Abu Dhabi. He chose not to attend to collect the Constructors Championship trophy, meaning he also did not see Verstappen collect his Drivers Championship trophy either. At the time, ESPN reported that Wolff had said this was a decision made from “personal integrity”. Now, however, it seems that he has come to terms with the events. It also seems that Wolff can celebrate Verstappen’s season-long achievements.

The impact of Michael Masi

Much of Wolff’s anger last year was towards then-race director, Michael Masi. Wolff’s plea of “No, Michael, no, that was so not right!” has even been put on t-shirts and made into stickers. But it has recently emerged that Masi has signed an NDA on what really happened in race control during that Grand Prix. We’ll never really know what went on that day. Without mentioning Masi, Wolff revealed how his love for Formula One changed following race control and Masi’s decision.

“How it panned out, I think I have values around fairness, and especially sporting fairness. This is what provides my fundamental love for the sport. And then that was kicked with the feet on that particular day.”

What’s next for Mercedes?

Mercedes’ hopes to come back stronger following Abu Dhabi had been somewhat dashed in the first half of the season. Fans across the world sat in shock watching the dominant Mercedes struggle to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull. Hamilton finished in P13 at the Imola Grand Prix, and qualified in P16 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The beginning of the 2022 season for Mercedes was nothing less than pure shock. But it seems that they’re picking up the pace. Hamilton’s had a string of podiums recently and Russell claimed the team’s first pole at the Hungarian Grand Prix too.

With things looking up for Mercedes, Toto Wolff will want to keep pushing away from the past towards the future. We’ll have to see what Mercedes are able to achieve in the next half of the season.

Featured Image Credit: Peter J Fox via Getty Images

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