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Toto Wolff attacks Michael Masi: He’s an utter pathological egomaniac

The Mercedes team principal still bears a grudge against former F1 race director Michael Masi


A new book about Formula 1 has seen Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff hit out at former race director Michael Masi as wounds from the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix remain.

The Formula, a new book by Jonathon Clegg and Joshua Robinson, takes a look at the commercial history of F1 — and takes time to revisit the controversial championship-deciding race.

Offering his opinion on this contentious chapter in F1 history, Wolff continues to remain unhappy with how events played out, and was candid in his assessment of the character of then race director, Michael Masi.

“When I think about it again, it’s so unfair what happened to Lewis [Hamilton] and the team that day,” Wolff was quoted as saying. “And that one individual didn’t follow the rules and just let it happen.

“He is a totally unimportant person: he lives on the other side of the world and nobody is interested in him. He really was an utter pathological egomaniac.”

Controversy brings engagement

Even more than two years later, the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP remains a matter of debate among F1 fans, as discussion continues around Masi’s handling of a late safety car.

The race ultimately went the way of Max Verstappen, seeing the Red Bull driver win his first championship, whilst Lewis Hamilton lost out on what would have been his eighth title.

Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, Masi has not worked in F1. Masi now serves as the independent chair of the Supercars commission in Australia

Wolff conceded that such controversies and high-level drama is beneficial for the growth and popularity of the sport.

“It is drama and glory,” said Wolff. “This is what makes the sport so irresistible.

“Everyone saw the drama of an eight-time world champion being robbed of his title. I would have preferred to see it end differently, but the race undeniably left its mark on history.”

Jasmine Hughes
Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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