Brundle: Wolff's actions in Abu Dhabi 'completely unacceptable'

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Sky F1's Martin Brundle has called Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's attempt to sway the decisions of race director Michael Masi in Abu Dhabi "completely unacceptable", insisting F1 needs to end in-race radio lobbying by team principals.

The events the took place last month at F1's title decider at Yas Marina have been well chronicled but the fallout from the controversial 2021 epilogue continues.

Ahead of the race's dramatic final lap that shifted the title from the Mercedes to the Red Bull camp and from Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Wolff radioed Masi to express his ire at the Aussie's decision to allow only a handful of cars to unlap themselves in order to manufacturer a one-lap shootout between F1's two title contenders.

But earlier in the race, when Antonio Giovinazzi's Alfa Romeo was left stranded on the side of the track and brought out the yellow flags, Wolff intervened to request that Masi not deploy the safety car as the action would have eroded Hamilton's then comfortable lead.

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In the weeks that followed the dramatic showdown, Wolff admitted that F1's interests would be better served in the future if team principals were barred from communicating and intervening with race control, a restriction Brundle wholeheartedly agrees with.

"A hundred per cent," said Brundle, speaking on The F1 Show on Sky Sports F1.

"In the first Safety Car incident when Giovinazzi's Alfa Romeo broke down some way from a service road, we had Toto on the radio to Masi saying, 'Hey Michael, no Safety Car!', trying to influence a safety decision.

"Completely unacceptable! And Toto knows that. We can't have that.

"What used to happen in the Herbie [Blash] and Charlie [Whiting] days is they'd get on the radio to Charlie, Herbie would go, 'He's busy at the moment, he'll get back to you'.

"Of course, he didn't, because Charlie was busy sorting out the mess that was on track and working to understand when the race could be restarted."

Abu Dhabi was hardly an isolated case of lobbying by one or more team principals, with multiple episodes involving Verstappen and Hamilton occurring over the 2021 season.

"For me, that was one of the most uncomfortable aspects of the season," added Brundle.

"We saw it in Saudi Arabia, Silverstone, team principals up in the stewards' office, trying to remonstrate with them mid-race โ€“ that's got to stop.

"Can you imagine a manager running on the pitch, remonstrating and telling a referee the decisions he's gonna be making next? No, you can't have that."

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