Wolff satisfied to see a race director 'apply the regulations' at Monza

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The Italian Grand Prix ending under the safety car was a disappointment for F1 fans, but Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff praised the race officials for "applying the regulations" at Monza.

An engine failure on Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren just eight laps from the end of Sunday's race triggered a late safety car.

But difficulties in evacuating the stranded car prolonged the neutralization, potentially setting up a situation similar to the conclusion of last year's controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

However, whereas former F1 race director Michael Masi overruled the regulations at Yas Marina to manufacturer a one-lap shootout between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, race control went by the book at Monza which led to a prolonged safety car period that last until the checkered flag.

While Red Bull's Christian Horner and Ferrari's Mattia Binotto - and indeed the tifosi in the grandstands - believed there was ample time to get the race going again, Wolff was simply satisfied to see race director Niels Wittich follow the rules to the letter.

"I’m really satisfied to see that there is a Race Director and colleagues that apply the regulations against the pressure of the media, and the pressure of the fans and everybody to just be in breach of the regulations," said Wolff after the race.

"So at least Abu Dhabi, in that sense, gave the FIA more robust confidence to apply regulations."

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Contrary to his Red Bull and Ferrari counterparts, Wolff saw no cause to call into question the epilogue of Sunday's race at Monza.

"It’s very clear," he said. "There are rules and they are written down. And from my perspective, whether I am Abu Dhabi, traumatised or not, these rules have been followed to the dot today.

"There was a car on track, there was marshals and a crane out there. That’s why they didn’t let anybody overtake. And then there was not enough time to restart the race once all the cars caught up."

It was suggested that because the safety car at Monza was deployed in the closing stages of the race, the event should have been red-flagged in order to allow for a proper finish and showdown between the race's leaders, Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Wolff wasn't against the idea, but believes that the prerequisite for such a decision should be defined in the regulations.

"If one is not happy with the regulations and you want to have a big bang show and two laps of racing and mayhem, I’m absolutely up for it," he said.

"But they need to change the regulations. So I don’t think we should complain about anything that happened because this is the rules.

"I think we need to say ‘do we want to have a race finishing under green?’ And then reverse-engineer it from there.

"So you can say ‘five or ten laps to the end, if we have a Safety Car, let’s red-flag it and make sure that we are racing at the end’. If that’s in the regs, good.

"But I think there’s much more clever people, the sporting directors, that would have some ideas."

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