Toto Wolff on Safety Car and Abu Dhabi: “This time, they followed the rules…”

Toto Wolff has said “this is how it should be” after the F1 Italian Grand Prix ended behind a Safety Car, in a clear hint at the conclusion to last season.
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes

The 2021 championship was won by Max Verstappen in the finale in Abu Dhabi when race director Michael Masi's incorrect application of the Safety Car rule meant Lewis Hamilton was overtaken and denied a record eighth title. Masi has since left his job with the FIA.

In Monza this weekend, the race again ended with a Safety Car but the rule was applied differently - and correctly - by not permitting any overtakes. Verstappen was able to win the race ahead of Charles Leclerc.

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“The race director’s call will be criticised,” Mercedes team principal Wolff told Sky afterwards. 

“This time, they followed the rules.

“Maybe they could have done it a lap earlier or let [George Russell] through. But at least they followed the rules.

“They accepted that the race ended with a Safety Car. This is how it should be.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-75 and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16,
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-75 and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull…

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said to Sky: “It’s the polar opposite of what happened in Abu Dhabi.

“They had more than enough time to get it going.

“We don’t want to win a race under a Safety Car.

“It’s something we’ve spoken about for years. We should finish racing. There was enough time to get racing.

“We had the faster car, we would have liked to win the race on the track, not behind a Safety Car.

“We share the disappointment of the fans.”

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