Susie Wolff says F1 needs ‘governing body with integrity’


Susie Wolff said Formula One needs “a governing body with sporting integrity” by the start of next season after seeing how the championship was decided at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes announced on Thursday they will not appeal the result of the race, following two protests on Sunday, which were both dismissed by the FIA.

During a late safety car period, FIA race director Michael Masi appeared to ignore certain parts of the sporting regulations in order to ensure the title battle was decided by a restart on the final lap.

That decision gave Verstappen the opportunity to pass Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who had led from the opening lap of the race, and snatch the championship from him in dramatic fashion.

The FIA has promised to conduct a “clarification exercise” to explain why the final laps of the race unfolded the way they did.

Posting to Twitter on Thursday, Susie Wolff, wife of team boss Toto Wolff, said: “Going into this final race weekend, I believed both teams and both drivers deserved to win. It was going to be a spectacle, an historic race that we all hoped would end without controversy. That wasn’t to be.

“What happened is still hard to comprehend and still leaves me with a sick feeling. Not the losing — and not Max or Red Bull — they are deserving winners and we always knew it was a strong possibility we may not win — but the way in which Lewis was robbed has left me in utter disbelief.

“The decision of one person within the governing body who applied a rule in a way which has never been done before in F1 single handedly decided the F1 Driver World Championship. Rules are rules, they can’t be changed on a whim by one individual at the end of a race.

“Lewis Hamilton, you have shown incredible integrity and dignity in the face of injustice. You are the greatest there has ever been. The outcome of the last laps on Sunday? Those who know, they know, even those who can’t quite bring themselves to admit it.

“Congratulations Max and congratulations to each and every member of Mercedes-AMG F1 on your record breaking eighth constructors title — I hope my March of next year there is a governing body with sporting integrity and fairness at its core so I can fall back in love with F1.”

On Thursday evening, Verstappen will formally receive his F1 championship trophy. Hamilton will also be attending — one day after being knighted by Prince Charles at Windsor Castle — as the runner-up.

Toto Wolff will also be attending to collect Mercedes’ constructors’ championship trophy.

It will be the first time either of them face the media since Sunday’s race.

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