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Following the controversial finish at this Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the issues do not lie with just one isolated incident.

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Miracle of Yas Marina for Max Verstappen as he prevails in world title shoot-out

Toto Wolff has insisted that the recent controversy surrounding the finish of the season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is part of a ‘wider problem’ in Formula 1.

Mercedes star man Lewis Hamilton was agonisingly denied a record eighth world title after being pipped by Red Bull rival Max Verstappen on the final lap, of the final race of the campaign.

However the dramatic finish in the Middle East was no doubt a contentious one, as Hamilton and his Mercedes team felt they were on the wrong end of a poor officiating decision.

The Englishman held a comfortable lead with just six laps to go, before the lowly Nicolas Latifi crashed forcing a safety car to be deployed.







Hamilton was pipped to a record-breaking eighth world title by Verstappen.
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Image:

Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Following this FIA director Michael Masi made the controversial decision to allow a number of lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to pass the safety cars, to leave the title rivals neck and neck with one lap to go.

Just five laps prior Verstappen looked down and out, however Masi’s decision allowed the Dutchman to get almost side-by-side with the seven-time world champion as they played out a one lap shootout to decide the title.

And, no doubt thanks to his much fresher tyres the Dutchman was the man who prevailed to secure his very first Formula 1 title.

Understandably Hamilton, Wolff and the whole Mercedes team were left outraged by the decision and therefore lodged two appeals which were subsequently turned down.

Whilst Wolff was left frustrated by the decision in Abu Dhabi, he feels this isn’t the first and won’t be the last time he comes across such controversy in F1.

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Discussing the issue he said: “It is a wider problem. If you look at most of the controversies that have happened this year.

“It was about decisions, sporting decisions on the track, the inconsistency of the execution of the regulations on track.

“It is one thing to drive hard and to have differences of opinion among the drivers and the teams, it is in the nature of the game.







Toto Wolff was left fuming following the finish in Abu Dhabi.
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Image:

Getty Images)

“But inconsistent decision making leads to controversies, leads to polarisation and that was the grounds for many of the totally unnecessary controversies on the track.”

The Mercedes boss went on to outline one particular inconsistency that related to the decision making in Abu Dhabi, bringing up the 2020 Eiffel Grand Prix to outline Masi’s contradictions.

He continued: “How can it be that 14 months ago, at the Eifel Grand Prix, the explanation that was given was exactly the contrary to what happened [in Abu Dhabi]?“

“The explanation that was given, that the reason why the Safety Car was out there so long, was that all cars needed to unlap themselves, that this is following the sporting regulations.

“Fourteen months ago, not only was the decision taken in the totally opposite way, but an explanation is being made 180 degrees different to what happened.”

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