Toto Wolff puts ‘idiot’ label on Michael Masi after Abu Dhabi question

Michelle Foster
Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff in the pit lane. Baku April 2023.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff stands in the pit lane.

Toto Wolff has made it clear he would not welcome Michael Masi back into the role of FIA race director as he’s an “idiot” who made the wrong call back in Abu Dhabi 2021.

Engaging in one of the most intense title fights witnessed in a long time, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen went into the 2021 season finale tied on 369.5 points having recorded 13 one-two results.

It set the stage for a title showdown, one in which Masi, Formula 1’s race director, was charged with ensuring would be played by the rules.

Toto Wolff still carries the ‘scars’ from Abu Dhabi 2021

In the end he’s the one who coloured outside of the lines.

Although it was a Sunday in which Hamilton was seemingly cruising to a record-breaking eighth World title, during a late Safety Car Masi made the controversial decision to allow only the cars between race leader Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves. That meant there would be time for one final lap of action.

Verstappen on much fresher tyres than Hamilton made short work of the Mercedes driver at the Turn 5 hairpin to take the race win and a first World title. Hamilton was left to rue a “manipulated” race result.

Three months later Masi left his job at the FIA with motorsport’s governing body stating in a report that he had made a “human error” but had acted in “good faith.”

So much so FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently stated he would open the door for the Australian to return to the sport.

“If I see there is an opportunity that the FIA needs, and Michael Masi is the right person, I will bring him,” he told PA Sport last month.

It’s fair to say Wolff and Mercedes won’t offer to throw a welcome-back party. recommends

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“[There were] brutal scars! Incredible scars and we will never get over them, in a way,” he told the Spanish edition of

“They became scars and there are moments when you think: ‘How could that happen?’

“We know how it happened. But I don’t want to waste a minute [thinking] about the reasons [why it happened], because that would give the guy too much credit.

“He’s just an idiot who made the wrong decision.”

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