Toto Wolff claims F1 chiefs’ ‘inconsistent’ decision-making led to controversies throughout 2021 season

Decision-making must improve from those in charge of Formula One, says Toto Wolff, if the off-track discussions and controversies from this year are not to be repeated in future.

Much of the recently finished season was embroiled in recriminations, appeals and complaints, with drivers and team chiefs alike unsure of how or why certain rulings were handed out.

The biggest and most obvious of those was of course in the finale at Abu Dhabi, where Max Verstappen won the race and the title in the final lap after Michael Masi’s decision to take the safety car away after unlapping only the cars between the Red Bull driver and then-leader Lewis Hamilton, who ultimately finished second.

Wolff and Mercedes were furious at the call which was season-deciding and appeared to have no precedent, and the boss says it was symptomatic of what went on throughout the entire campaign.

“It is a wider problem. If you look at most of the controversies that have happened this year, it was about decisions, sporting decisions on the track, the inconsistency of the execution of the regulations on track,” he explained.

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“It is one thing to drive hard and to have differences of opinion among the drivers and the teams, it is in the nature of the game.

“But inconsistent decision making leads to controversies, leads to polarisation and that was the grounds for many of the totally unnecessary controversies on the track.”

While Masi and the FIA have come under scrutiny for their part in the season outcome, Wolff himself has not been exempt from criticism.

He and Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner were frequently at loggerheads throughout 2021, often to the detriment of focus being on the drivers and the race, and it was recently recommended by F1 director Ross Brawn to ban the pair from being able to communicate directly with the race director due to the potential influence they could have.

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