Toto Wolff ‘overstepped’ with rant at F1 race director Michael Masi

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he “overstepped” during his rant at race director Michael Masi at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Wolff admitted his fault while backing a ban on teams being able to speak to officials during the race. The Mercedes boss and Red Bull chief Christian Horner were both able to speak to Masi while he was deciding what to do after a crash at the final formula 1 race of the season.

Their conversations have been criticised alongside Masi’s decision to allow some cars to unlap themselves and others not. The discussions have led to F1’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn to call for a ban and Wolff has supported the idea.

“I agree with Ross,” Wolff told Motorsport.com. “But I equally blame Ross and myself because we have been part of the decision making to broadcast more of the channels for the purpose of transparency and entertainment for the fans.

“There is so much going on on the intercom that giving fans a little bit of an overview of all the little dramas that happen, like is the car breaking down, are we having some kind of strategy discussions, was meant well. But I think we overshot.

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“I need to take myself by the nose, and Christian. We were given the opportunity to talk to the race director directly, and because we fight so fiercely for the interests of our teams all of us overstepped.”

Masi’s decision to restart the race with a lap to go and the situation around unlapping allowed Max Verstappen to overtake Lewis Hamilton to claim the F1 title.

Wolff was heard saying to the race director: “No, Michael, no, no, Michael, that was so not right.”

Mercedes lodged protests after the checkered flag but they were dismissed and the team have since withdrawn an official appeal against the result.

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