Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has acknowledged that it was not easy to accept what happened at last year´s Abu Dhabi GP. The Austrian maintains that it was really hard to realize what Lewis Hamilton had lost his eight tittle in that way against Max Verstappen, whom he considers a fair champion.
The end of the 2021 season was one of the most exciting and, at the same time, controversial in all of history. The decision of Michael Masi, which would end up costing him his position, to restart the race with one lap to go to have green flag finish did not please Mercedes and Wolff is still thinking about what happened in Abu Dhabi. The Austrian had a hard time accepting it, but feels that Verstappen was also worthy of the tittle.
“I think about it every day. At the beginning, for all of us, it was not a very pleasant experience. As time went by, we accepted that Max won the World Cup, he is a fair champion who has what there is to have,” Wolff said in an interview with Motorsport Italia.
“I think we have important values like sporting honesty that sparked my love for the racing world. Unfortunately, on that particular day that value plummeted. After the first few races in 2022 we had the competitive spirit back and Lewis was totally focused on being back in the top positions”, he added.
Wolff remembers that the first days after the Abu Dhabi GP were very hard for Hamilton, but once racing returned in 2022, he has regained his motivation and that desire to win the eight tittle. In addition, Toto believes that if he has a car capable of fighting for the World Cup, he can even think about reaching ten.
“Lewis went through some very difficult days, but he has always been the most positive person in the team. This year the goal is to return to the best performance as soon as possible and if we give him a good car, he can even think about the tenth World Championship. Anyways, he can be very proud of having seven tittles, just like Michael, it is a historic and very important achievement“, Toto expressed to close.