Mercedes chief Toto Wolff says changing FIA race director Michael Masi would not be a quick fix for F1, arguing that "the whole decision-making system" needs to be improved. Masi's actions in Abu Dhabi were called into question when he pulled a safety car off the track after which only one lap of the race remained, clearing cars only between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton who were fighting for the title.
Toto Wolff expressed his anger at the move via radio, as it was against him in violation of FIA sports regulations, as not all drivers were allowed to return to their positions. Max Verstappen soon overtook Lewis Hamilton on fresh tires, which meant victory and winning the title, and the referees rejected Mercedes ’protests after the race.
Asked if appointing a new race director could solve the problems in Formula One and restore his confidence in the FIA's decisions, Toto Wolff said: "I'm afraid it's not just a decision to change the race director - the whole decision-making system needs to be improved."
"I think that the director of the race is certainly under a lot of pressure, and some of that is due to our own mistake. I would like (constant) decisions to be made that could avoid many controversies during the year, "he added.
"The last one (in Abu Dhabi) was the decision that had the greatest impact. From a sports perspective, it(had) a disastrous impact because it decided on the title." "But now it can be said that the whole season (it) went back and forth.
Sometimes we were under attack, and sometimes we were luckier. "
Toto Wolff wants to improve F1
A few days after the last race from Abu Dhabi, Formula 1 announced plans for a “detailed analysis” of the SC procedure during the final laps of the race, including feedback from drivers.
Toto Wolff hopes that if all participants work closely together, they can learn lessons and apply them for the future. "I am convinced that all of us together, teams, drivers, FIA, and sports, can change the way decisions are made and make sports stronger.
I think these situations, as painful as they are, are an opportunity to improve sports. " It is clear that Toto Wolff and the entire Mercedes team are not happy with the outcome. They lost the title in the worst possible way and are clearly frustrated.
We will see if the arrival of a new person at the helm of F1 will change things, but it is certain that Toto Wolff and his team will talk for a long time about what happened.