Toto Wolff on Safety Car finish: ”This time they followed the rules”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says that contrary to what they did at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, at Monza the FIA  “followed the rules and they accepted that the race finishes under the safety car”.

The Italian Grand Prix finished behind the Safety Car, with Max Verstappen in P1. Contrary to what happened at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this time the FIA followed the full Safety Car procedure, which means all lapped cars had to be allowed to unlap themselves, and the race could then be restarted only after one additional lap under the Safety Car.

Since the FIA determined there is no time to do this procedure, the race ended under the SC. At Abu Dhabi these rules were broken by the race director, who only allowed lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves, and restarted the race immediately on the following lap.

This, of course, led to Verstappen overtaking Hamilton on the last lap, on fresh tyres, winning the race and the 2021 championship in the process.

Well, after the Italian Grand Prix, Toto Wolff noticed the similarities.

“The race direction is always going to be under criticism, but this time they followed the rules,” the Austrian said.

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“Maybe they could have done it a lap earlier or let George [Russell] through but at least they followed the rules and they accepted that the race finishes under the safety car.

“And this is how it should be, should have been…”

Toto then gave his thoughts on George Russell finishing the race in P3 and Lewis Hamilton in P5

“You can see we are third on the road so that was the maximum. It was enjoyable at the beginning. I think it’s all to play for, we are 35 points behind with six races left.

“We just need to do the best and see if we come out second. It would maybe soften the blow, but there is more blows when we end up 30 seconds behind the leader.

“That is the gap we need to catch up,” Wolff concluded.

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