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F1 must cut team lobbying of "referee" - Rosberg

F1 must cut team lobbying of "referee" - Rosberg

F1 must cut team lobbying of "referee" - Rosberg

F1 must cut team lobbying of "referee" - Rosberg

Former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg has called for a clampdown of team lobbying of the FIA race director Michael Masi after confusion reigned at the season-finale.

Max Verstappen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a controversial end to the championship that saw the FIA go back on its decision to keep cars in line behind the safety car and instead allow lapped cars to unlap themselves at the last possible moment.

This came after calls from Red Bull's pit wall asking Michael Masi for a hurry up to ensure racing could get underway for a final-lap shootout, whilst Toto Wolff's anguish could be heard as the title slipped from Lewis Hamilton's grasp.

Discussing the dramatic end to the championship season, 1996 world champion Damon Hill told Sky Sports F1: "We have to factor in the communications - that have been broadcast - between the two teams and the race director Michael Masi.

"It sounds like he is being pressured by Red Bull to do stuff."

Hamilton's former team-mate and 2016 champion Rosberg added: "Obviously, you hear Christian coming on the radio, to the referee saying 'hey, we just need one more lap of racing', that is not ideal.

"That is the type of thing we need to try and sort out for next year and get rid of that.

"They shouldn't even be speaking to the referee at all. It wouldn't happen in football.

"You can't have the manager during the match calling the referee all the time. That doesn't work.

"That is the kind of thing we need to really clean out for next year and also with the whole overtaking thing. There needs to be a proper framework where we can really keep things understood."

Jenson Button, champion himself in 2009, added: "Both Mercedes and Red Bull were talking to the referee if you like during the race.

"They can't be swaying the decision, it is difficult enough for Michael Masi."

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