Toto Wolff tells F1 CEO Lewis Hamilton is ‘owed’ an 8th championship

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff alluded to Michael Masi's controversial ruling while speaking with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

Toto Wolff, the Silver Arrows principal, aimed a subtle dig at F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, when discussing Lewis Hamilton’s chances of an eighth championship.

Lewis Hamilton holds a joint record with Michael Schumacher for the most World Championships, with seven in the bag.

He came closest to securing an eighth under controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi GP two years ago, where he lost out to Max Verstappen.

The pair discussed F1 live on air for Sky Sports, and Wolff had nothing but praise for Hamilton when assessing the 38-year old’s career in the sport.

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He commented: “Lewis Hamilton is clearly the most important personality in our sport.

“He’s so multidimensional, not only a racing driver and a world champion but he’s trailblazing for diversity and sustainability.

“I think he’s one of the most spectacular personalities and characters that I have ever met.”

Domenicali chimed in to say he would like to see Hamilton extend his stay at Mercedes, with the Brit’s contract set to expire at the end of this year.

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Domenicali agreed with Wolff that Hamilton had an “incredible personality” that was important to F1.

“He has shown that he has raised the bar of interest in a lot of topics, but for the short-term I would say to Toto, make sure that he’s running with a good F1 car.”

It’s unclear if Wolff took this as a dig at Mercedes but he looked Domenicali in the eye and said: “We owe him an eighth championship.”

Many interpreted this as a reference to the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, where the FIA had to concede that “human errors” played a part in Hamilton’s loss to Verstappen.

The race director at this controversial GP, Michael Masi, was relieved of his duties.

The FIA found that he broke the rules in Abu Dhabi by allowing only some lapped cars to overtake the safety car during the closing stages of the race.

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It was also found that he “ignored” standard procedure by resuming the race on successive laps, rather than completing another full lap behind the safety car once the lapped cars had repositioned.

World champion Sebastian Ogier agrees that Hamilton was cheated on that fateful day in Saudi Arabia.

Ogier remarked: “He had the impression of being robbed, and he has been robbed. Let’s not be afraid of words.”