Toto Wolff, Mercedes F1 director, has returned in the German press to the investigation by the FIA that has finally begun.
The Austrian spoke to the new FIA president on Friday, and while he did not reveal what he had said to Ben Sulayem, he said the extent to which Mercedes F1 and Lewis Hamilton had been bruised by the FIA’s actions.
“How deep is the disappointment after Abu Dhabi? It’s too deep, it’s not a media game. I’m still very disappointed for Lewis, me and the whole team.” Wolf asserts to start with him.
“We love the sport because it is honest in the sense that the clock never lies. But if the basic principle of justice is violated and the clock is no longer appropriate, you doubt the sport. Especially when all your work, blood, sweat and tears can draw from you, like that.”
“We said that, it will be a long time to absorb. I don’t think we will ever recover from this, especially Lewis as a driver. At least we can try with the FIA to perform better in the future.”
Do these observations indicate that he still depends on Lewis Hamilton?
“It will depend on lessons learned. I expect actions, not just words, from the FIA. In a sport that is supposed to be a sport, you can’t freestyle like that with all the rules.”
“Before the start of the new season, the rules should be clear so that every driver, team and fan knows what is allowed and what is not. At the end of the day, we provide entertainment, but no decisions should break the show’s rules for.”
Mercedes F1 season 2021 review
Mercedes F1 has yet to announce its eighth constructors’ title. Was the season successful despite Max Verstappen’s drivers’ title?
“If you lose, it’s not an achievement. The positive thing in 2021 was the performance, the way we were able to come back. After disqualification in Brazil, I would have said the Drivers’ Championship lost, however, we started the final with the same number of points in Abu Dhabi.”
Red Bull has developed its car much longer than Mercedes. However, W12 did better in the second half of the season.
“We understood our car better. Our setup was better and we had less tire wear. It was also reflected in the race results. We understood a lot of things in Austin, where we got it wrong, and then in Brazil.”
“We thought we could handle the cut on the flat bottom in front of the rear wheels. With the progress we’ve had in 2020, we thought we could make up for that. We saw that as a bit of a challenge. It was an error of judgment. In the private tests, we noticed how far behind we were.” I think it cost us again.”
“We didn’t use development codes. We wanted to create a new nose, but then, as part of the cost cap, we put our resources elsewhere.”
The other concern was the reliability of the motor. Did this play in Hamilton’s title loss?
“No, we didn’t lose the championship because of the engine, but it’s true that we had problems for the first time in eight years. At first it only affected one component of a bad production cycle. It turned into an epidemic in which engines lost their power in a certain period of time more than before.”