Toto Wolff launches personal attack after Lewis Hamilton comment – ‘Rules got broken’ | F1 | Sport

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Toto Wolff launched a scathing attack on Michael Masi by branding the sacked FIA chief an ‘egomaniac’ following the controversial 2021 Formula One title decider in Abu Dhabi. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton missed out on the world championship title in dramatic fashion, following a controversial last-lap overtake from fierce rival Max Verstappen.

It remains one of the most memorable moments in the sport’s history. Hamilton and Verstappen entered the final race of the 2021 campaign locked on points, but after a stellar showing on the Yas Marina Circuit, it looked as if the Brit was set for his eighth world championship win. That all changed in the dying moment of the contest, with the race director Michael Masi calling a halt to proceedings after a Nicholas Latifi crash forced a safety car onto the track.

Not that anyone of a Mercedes persuasion needs reminding, but after the race restarted, Hamilton lost what had previously looked to be an unassailable lead, with Verstappen snatching the championship title away from his grasp. And while reciting his memories of the day for the book ‘The Formula’, Wolff remains adamant that race director Masi didn’t adhere to the rules in Abu Dhabi.

On the incident, the Mercedes team principal said: “When I think back, it is very unfair what happened to Lewis and the team on that day. That individual did not follow the rules and allowed it all to happen. He is a completely unimportant person: he lives on the other side of the world and no one is interested in him. He was really a pathological egomaniac.”

He added: “It’s drama and glory. That’s what makes the sport so irresistible. Everyone saw the drama that an eight-time world champion…they took the title away from him. I would have preferred to see it end differently, but there’s no denying that the race has left its mark on history.”

It’s a sentiment shared by the day’s main protagonist Hamilton, who recently admitted it still stings whenever he sees a clip of the fateful last lap. But unlike Woff, Hamilton has revealed he’s made peace with the incident. He told GQ: “Was I robbed? Obviously. I mean, you know the story.

“And I obviously went to congratulate Max [after the race], and not realising the impact that would have, but also I was really conscious of, like, there’s a mini-me watching. This is the defining moment of my life. And I think it really was. I felt it.

“I didn’t know how it was going to be perceived. I hadn’t, like, visualised it. But I was definitely conscious of: these next 50 metres that I walk is where I fall to the ground and die – or I rise up. If I see a clip of [the race], I still feel it. But I’m at peace with it [now].”

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