Mercedes confirms: 'Dropping the appeal didn't link to anyone leaving FIA'
Mercedes Media

Mercedes confirms: 'Dropping the appeal didn't link to anyone leaving FIA'

18 February - 11:00

It was announced on Thursday that Michael Masi will no longer be the race director of Formula 1. In a series of structural changes that are going to be implemented, there is no longer a place for the Australian who was in charge of all Grands Prix from 2019-2021. Mercedes firmly denies that they have been responsible for Masi's departure.

Immediately after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes filed two protests against the final result. These were eventually rejected by the FIA hours later, but Mercedes still had the possibility to lodge an objection with the Court of Abitrage within the motorsport federation. However, that would have been so bad for the image of Formula 1 and Mercedes itself that the German formation decided not to do that.

Wolff denies rumour

There were rumours that Mercedes would not appeal when heads would roll within the FIA. This has now happened to Michael Masi. Toto Wolff, however, said that there is no question of the scenario outlined.

"Us dropping the appeal, linked to anyone leaving the FIA is not true," Wolff told GPblog and others in a press briefing. "I don’t know where that comes [from]. I think that the restructuring within how decisions are being made in F1, sporting decisions and technical decisions, was necessary. Last year was a great season, but it created a lot of polarisation with decision that were not always easy to understand. 

Wolff does not believe that things happened on purpose on that particular December 12 that were to the disadvantage of Mercedes, allowing Max Verstappen to take his first world championship. "No, nothing is fixed. It was just circumstances and decisions that were unprecedented and how they came about, for us, was a shock," the Austrian tells us via video link.

Mercedes focuses on 2022

Wolff is still not satisfied with the fact that some drivers were allowed to unlap themselves because something else was communicated from Masi three laps before the end. However, the Mercedes chief now wants to put it behind him and look ahead to next season. "We have to move on from that. It’s in the past, and with the messages announced yesterday we need to put it aside. We don’t forget it because that’s not possible, but we need to look into 2022."

Video player

More videos