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Wolff verdict on the FIA’s Abu Dhabi 2021 report

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Wolff verdict on the FIA Abu Dhabi 2021 report

I’m surprised to see an admission of human error in this executive summary but the bigger issue for me was calling the safety car in early because that unequivocally impacted the outcome. And that procedure is enshrined in the regulations.

Just like it was poorly justified at the time, it is addressed poorly in this report. I don’t think we have a satisfactory explanation of why this was considered a legitimate way to end the race. They are leaning on supposed ambiguities and misunderstandings.

On the positive side, we have now seen a reasonably detailed analysis. Pressure from various sources made that possible.

In summary, it’s probably more than I expected in some ways but it’s as disappointing as I feared in others. Toto Wolff said earlier that it benefits nobody to dwell further on this and this being published is the best chance to draw a line under what happened.

After the FIA released an “executive summary” of their Abu Dhabi Grand Prix report, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff gives his first comments.

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In their Abu Dhabi Grand Prix report, which did not reveal anything that wasn’t already known, the FIA admitted that former race director Michael Masi did not interpret some of the rules the right way, but they did their best to try and excuse this by using terms such as ‘human error’ and ‘acting in good faith’.

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After the report was released, Sky Sports F1 caught up with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff to get his comments.

“They have been very transparent in making it public,” the Austrian said.

“It says ‘human error’, that one rule was obviously not interpreted in the right way, but now we need to close the chapter.”

“It’s [the] 2022 championship, it’s full-on, we need to sort out our performance and then fight for another one.”

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Wolff also praised the FIA’s efforts to make the F1 ‘refereeing’ system “more robust” by bringing in alternating race directors and a system similar to football’s Video Assistant Referee [VAR].

“Decisions of referees can always cause controversies and I believe that will always be the case. But in that situation we [now] have a more robust decision-making process,” Wolff said.

The FIA also decided to employ a new “non-intrusive” communication process which will prevent teams from directly communicating with the race director during races.

“I think we wanted to provide a good show by broadcasting the interaction,” Toto explained.

“And then the team principals started to really talk a lot to him and that was, for sure, an additional pressure mechanism that wasn’t good,” he concluded.

Wolff FIA’s Abu Dhabi 2021 Wolff FIA’s Abu Dhabi 2021

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