Toto Wolff’s brutal Masi view after leaving Hamilton like a ‘sitting duck’

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff claimed Lewis Hamilton was left as a 'sitting duck' by FIA race director Michael Masi – and admitted he does not want to speak to the Australian.

Red Bull star Max Verstappen secured a maiden world title in dramatic and controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. Both he and title rival Hamilton went into the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit tied on points.

The Dutchman passed the seven-time world champion – who had dominated for much of the race – on the final lap after a late Safety Car and tyre change swung momentum in his favour. The 24-year-old made the move on the Brit early in the lap and held on to secure the first championship of his career.

The controversial ending saw Mercedes lodge two protests that were quickly dismissed by the FIA. Last night, the World Motor Sport Council appeared to make peace with Mercedes by announcing their commitment to learn lessons from the 'tarnished' 2021 season.

Mercedes have since announced they were withdrawing their formal appeal – confirming Verstappen as the 2021 world champion – as Hamilton, who is tied with Michael Schumacher for the most titles in F1 history with seven world championships, reportedly does not want to win the record-breaking title in court.

Masi made a series of questionable calls throughout the year but none more so than the decision to not allow cars to unlap themselves, as is tradition, only to change his mind to set up the final lap showdown between Hamilton and Verstappen on Sunday.

When asked if he had spoken to Masi, Wolff was stone cold in his response.

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"I am not interested in having a conversation with Michael Masi," said Wolff. "The FIA needs to decide if they are going to bother going forwards.

He also added: "It was a freestyle reading of the rules and it left Lewis like a sitting duck."

The FIA recently released a statement following talks between President Jean Todt and secretary general Peter Bayer with Mercedes.

Wolff appeared to be at least pleased that the governing body will seek to ensure that such a moment will not happen again.

"Most stakeholders in the sport share my frustration on the decisions that have been made all throughout the year,” Wolff added. "They [FIA] have taken the right step.

"The President has convinced the World Motor Sport Council to set this commission in place to look at the incidents of the Abu Dhabi race and to avoid any such situation in the future."

Meanwhile, the Austrian also confirmed that neither he nor star driver Hamilton – who was knighted at Windsor Castle by the Prince of Wales on Wednesday – will attend the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony in Paris tonight.

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