Max Verstappen reveals what Mercedes’ Toto Wolff said in private text after F1 title win | F1 | sport
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has revealed the text message he received from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff following his spectacular Formula 1 title win in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman passed Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the race at Yas Marina after a controversial decision by race director Michael Masi.
After the race Wolff remained furious and retreated to his Mercedes office, refusing to speak to any media as he began to scan the news before filing two protests with the FIA.
It was an agonizing wait for Verstappen to be crowned before the stewards ultimately dismissed both protests and the Dutchman was officially announced as world champion.
“Toto texted me,” Verstappen began. “Congratulations on the season and I deserve to win it.
“So that was very kind of him, of course. Emotions run high in this last round for both teams. That’s what it is. We’ll see.”
Five laps from the end of the race between Hamilton and Verstappen, Nicolas Latifi hit the wall, sending out a late safety car.
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By rules, the Red Bull driver dove into the pits to put on a new pair of soft tires to give him the best chance of catching Hamilton.
At this point, under safe car conditions, overtaken cars are normally allowed to overtake the leaders and undo themselves so that they do not directly interfere with the lead cars, or no cars are allowed to come undone at all.
Yet Masi made the decision to allow some cars, especially those located directly between Hamilton and Verstappen, to come undone, but did not give the entire peloton enough time to do the same before the race. do not resume for a final round. run to the finish line.
The restart at this point was always going to favor Verstappen on cooler tires and he passed Hamilton, who had decided not to go to the pits, and won the race, and therefore the title.
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Mercedes and Wolff were pissed off by the magnitude of what happened for the team, with Hamilton missing at the FIA post-race press conference.
After the FIA dismissed the team’s protest, Mercedes then notified its intention to appeal, with a deadline on Thursday to decide to go further.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “First of all, congratulations to Max and his team. I think we have done an amazing job this year. My team, everyone at the factory, have worked so tough all year, it’s been the toughest of seasons.