Wolff welcomes FIA’s ‘human error’ admission

Jamie Woodhouse
Side shot of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. Bahrain, March 2022.

A side-on image of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. Bahrain, March 2022.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the admittance of “human error” in the FIA’s Abu Dhabi report was “very important”.

While talk in the build-up to the 2022 season should have almost exclusively been about the new regulations, instead, it centred around the way that the Drivers’ Championship was decided in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes felt robbed of the title based on how a late Safety Car restart was conducted, with the FIA later announcing their intention to investigate and write a report on the events of that race.

The FIA would then announce a restructuring of Race Control, which involved Michael Masi leaving the race director role.

Although the FIA did not directly tarnish the validity of the 2021 title outcome, they did say that a “human error” led to the controversy surrounding the unlapping of lapped cars.

Wolff described this as a “massive step-change” from the FIA, which provides Mercedes with closure.

Lewis Hamilton ahead of Sergio Perez. Bahrain March 2022.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton leads Sergio Perez through Turn 7. Bahrain March 2022.

“I think it is a massive step-change to what we have seen before,” Wolff told reporters.

“Whether the report is complete or not, to release it is a good step forward in terms of governance and you can read it either way.

“For us, there is a sentence that says ‘human error’ and the acknowledgement of it is I think very important and now to close the chapter.”

 

Wolff made it clear though that Abu Dhabi is no longer on his mind, due to the rocky start which Mercedes have endured to the 2022 season.

With the W13 suffering badly from ‘porpoising’ down the straights, it has meant that Mercedes are not yet showing the level of performance to compete with Ferrari and Red Bull who battled for pole and the victory at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

So, Abu Dhabi is now firmly in the past with Wolff focused on finding ways to improve Mercedes’ future.

“I know it has come out but I have not been thinking about Abu Dhabi anymore since our car has proven to be not competitive on the track for this year,” Wolff stated.

 

Hamilton wasn't expecting Abu Dhabi apology

Lewis Hamilton wasn't expecting an apology from the FIA after they published their findings from the investigation into Abu Dhabi.