Toto Wolff aims fresh dig over Lewis Hamilton controversy after Las Vegas Grand Prix

Toto Wolff aims fresh dig over Lewis Hamilton controversy after Las Vegas Grand Prix
Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 20/11/2023

- 10:36

The Briton finished seventh during the event in Nevada

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has aimed a fresh dig at Michael Masi ahead of Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Two years ago, Lewis Hamilton thought he'd won a record eighth F1 Drivers' Championship that would have seen him move ahead of Michael Schumacher.

However, Masi's incorrect application of the Safety Car rules meant Max Verstappen took the prize instead.

It remains a point of contention, with Wolff recently saying he was fuelled by 'personal anger' as he looks to make Hamilton a champion once again.

F1 news Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen

F1 news: Lewis Hamilton was denied victory by Max Verstappen in controversial circumstances in 2021


And the Austrian has now aimed another dig at Masi, saying there will be a 'proper race director' at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“I think we’re going there pretty much equal on points and we have a proper race director, so that should be fine," he said.

“Then let’s race. It’s all down to the last weekend.

"They are very quick and done a good job.

"I think we could have been on par [in Las Vegas]. But the result shows something different.

"To be honest, it’s good to have P2 as a positive to finish the season, but P2, P3 for me there is little… it doesn’t make me particularly cheerful anyway.”

Wolff is still livid at the way Masi oversaw the chaotic season finale in 2021.

He has aimed several digs at the former FIA director over the course of the year - and still feels Hamilton was denied what was rightfully his.

Ever since that race, Hamilton has been unable to compete with Verstappen with the 38-year-old lagging behind his Red Bull rival.

The 26-year-old has proceeded to win two more F1 crowns since winning the title in 2021.

And Verstappen is showing no signs of slowing down having won the Las Vegas GP this weekend.

The Red Bull star had been critical of the event prior to the race.

Yet he seemed to change his tune after reigning supreme, admitting he'd enjoyed his latest triumph.

"It was a tough one," said the three-time World Champion.

"I tried to go for it at the start. We (himself and Leclerc) both braked quite late and I just ran out of grip, so we ended up a bit wide.

"The stewards gave me a penalty for that and it put us on the back foot.

"I had to pass quite a few cars and there was the Safety Car, so at that point there was a lot going on.

"Then we went flat out. I had to pass a few cars to get into the battle with them.

"The DRS around here was very powerful. Even when you would take the lead, if the guy behind stays in the DRS, he would still have the opportunity to come back to you, so it created a lot of good racing today.

"Definitely a lot of fun."


F1 news Max Verstappen

F1 news: Max Verstappen won his 18th race of the season at the Las Vegas Grand Prix on Sunday


Red Bull chief Christian Horner added: "I thought it was a great race, exciting.

"You've got long straights, big braking zones and no grip.

"It's tricky for the drivers but I think it delivered a great grand prix today. The speeds round here are insane.

"That's the bit he loves. A race like that, he loved and revelled in a race like that.

"Even though he was on the end of a penalty and whatever, the way he came back, the way he fought. I think he might have changed his mind about Vegas."

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