Toto Wolff says Mercedes has been a “victim” of the FIA’s decision-making “in 2021 where everything was down to the entertainment for a quick decision, and it robbed the greatest driver of the championship”.
At the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the FIA once again confused everyone with their flawed decision-making.
First they handed Fernando Alonso a ten second post-race penalty for failing to correctly serve an earlier penalty for lining up incorrectly on the grid, which dropped him from the podium and promoted George Russell to P3, and then they reversed their decision some time after the race.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says he is ok with the FIA taking their time to make the right decision, which is different from what happened at the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Back in 2021, race director Michael Masi disregarded the rules that govern the use of the Safety Car, which basically handed Max Verstappen and title win, and robbed Lewis Hamilton of winning his eighth championship. After the race Mercedes lodged a protest, but it was quickly dismissed by the stewards.
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“First of all, the penalty was super harsh,” Wolff told Channel 4 when asked about Alonso’s penalty.
“From the pure driving performance, Fernando and Aston Martin deserved to be on the podium. We have to look at those regulations and see is there is anything we can tweak, because it didn’t affect his race.
“I’d rather have the FIA come to the right decisions than be too quick and obviously fall into something that’s wrong.
“We’ve been victims of that in 2021 where everything was down to the entertainment for a quick decision, and it robbed the greatest driver of the championship.
“So in that respect, I think I’d rather not go to the podium and have the correct result afterwards,” the Austrian concluded.