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Toto Wolff Ridicules Michael Masi as Mercedes Face Yet Another Championship Decider at Abu Dhabi in 2023

Anirban Aly Mandal

Two years after Lewis Hamilton’s devastating loss at Abu Dhabi, Mercedes are all set to take part in another championship decider at the Yas Marina Circuit. This time around, however, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is cautiously optimistic about his chances given the absence of one particular man in the paddock: Michael Masi, per reports on X.

Mercedes and Ferrari are locked into an intense battle for P2 in the Constructors’ championship. With just one race to go now, Wolff was quoted as saying, “I think we’re going there pretty much equal on points. With a proper race director, that should be fine. And then let’s race. It’s all down to the last weekend.”

Back in 2021, Hamilton and Max Verstappen went into the finale at Abu Dhabi equal on points. Until the very end, it looked like Hamilton was on course to clinch a historic eighth title.

However, a late Safety Car and a highly controversial decision by the then Race Director, Michael Masi, meant that Verstappen pipped Hamilton on the very last lap to secure his maiden F1 title. Since then, Masi’s lost that position.

Now, Niels Wittich assumes that role. That being said, despite a relatively disappointing Las Vegas GP, where the Silver Arrows lost more ground to Ferrari, Wolff is hopeful of sealing P2 in the championship next week.

Toto Wolff hopes Mercedes can finish second in the championship

The duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished 7th and 8th, respectively. Meanwhile, Ferrari registered a solid P2 with Charles Leclerc and a respectable 6th with Carlos Sainz. Now, with only four points separating Ferrari from Mercedes, Toto Wolff believes that the race for supremacy in the standings is still on.

During the race, Mercedes never really looked as pacey or comfortable as the Prancing Horse. Wolff yet believes that the data had predicted otherwise.

He explained, “[Ferrari] are very quick and done a good job. I think we could have been on par today. But the result shows something different. So let’s race.” Irrespective of the results, both teams will hope to bridge the gap to Red Bull even further in 2024.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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