Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that he’s happy with what he’s “seen so far” from the FIA reform, after the governing body announced changes following the controversial 2021 season finale.
Had the rules been followed, then Sir Lewis Hamilton would’ve become an eight-time World Champion; however, as is well documented by now, they weren’t.
Race director at the time Michael Masi went against the rule book and brought in the Safety Car for Nicholas Latifi’s crash a lap early, on the penultimate lap.
Had Masi followed the rules, then the race would’ve finished behind the Safety Car, making Hamilton champion as he was leading the race.
Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap of the race to claim the title, a lap of racing that should never have happened.
Mercedes filed a legal challenge into the matter; however, they withdrew it after coming to an agreement with the FIA that they would internally investigate what happened and restructure the organisation.
The investigation found Masi guilty of ‘human error’, with the Australian dropped from his role and replaced by two race directors, Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.
The duo work on a race-by-race basis, reducing the amount of international travel and stress that Masi had to deal with.
This has faced its problems, with drivers becoming frustrated that the strictness of the rules seems to vary based on who is in charge.
The whole Abu Dhabi incident came at a challenging time for the FIA, with FIA president at the time Jean Todt stepping down from his role and being replaced by Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
It meant the first job on Ben Sulayem’s list was to solve the 2021 season finale fiasco and start the restructuring of the FIA.
Wolff has been impressed by the new FIA president’s first eight months in change yet claimed that some areas are yet to be “settled”.
I believe [he] has shown his approach to the way he makes decisions,” Wolff told the Italian version of Motorsport.com.
“Each person has their own characteristics, and I think the main goal is always to be transparent, then you have to provide for good management, and that’s what I’ve seen so far.
“There will be obstacles along the way. Mohammed’s organisation has yet to settle into some roles, but I am happy with how it is progressing.
“They are open-minded, they are not pointed and as far as I am concerned, they are transparent, honest and have integrity.”
Even though Mercedes still claimed the 2021 Constructors’ Championship, Wolff has revealed that he still thinks about the season finale “every day”.
The Austrian has “come to peace” with Verstappen being the World Champion but has struggled dealing with the unfairness and “manipulation” of the final few laps.