MAX VERSTAPPEN beat Lewis Hamilton to the F1 world title in highly controversial circumstances last season.
Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out
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Toto Wolff claims he is finally ‘at peace’ with last season’s explosive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix despite admitting he thinks about the race on a daily basis. The controversial ‘Miracle of the Yas Marina’ ultimately saw Red Bull driver Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the world championship, following a highly dubious safety car procedure.
The Mercedes man was seemingly cruising to the title at the Yas Marina when with five laps to go, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi crashed, prompting a safety car. In a chaotic few minutes that followed, race director Michael Masi altered his initial instructions to ensure a final lap of racing, where Verstappen overtook the British driver to take the chequered flag.
The Silver Arrows duly launched a protest, but that was dismissed before Wolff and co signalled their intent to appeal. They later dropped that course of action, after the FIA agreed to hold a full enquiry into what transpired.
That resulted in Masi being sacked from his position before leaving F1 for good, with ‘human error’ deemed the reason for what transpired. And now Wolff, 50, has claimed it was his values around ‘sporting fairness’ that caused him to be so enraged.
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Toto Wolff was incensed by the events at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Image: GETTY)
“I think about it every day,” said Wolff, during an interview with Motorsport.com. The Austrian did praise Verstappen though, adding: “But I have my peace with Max winning the championship because he’s a deserving champion.
“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 that was kicked with the feet on that particular day.”
Max Verstappen celebrates his victory in Abu Dhabi (Image: GETTY)
Regardless, it seems that both Wolff – and Hamilton – will have to wait for revenge. Verstappen is currently 80 points clear in the drivers’ standings, with a second successive title for the Dutchman already looking a formality.
Hamilton himself embarked on a public vow of silence after the race in Abu Dhabi, fuelling speculation he was set to retire. However, in February he finally confirmed he would be racing again in 2022.