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Wolff relieved FIA 'freestyling' at an end with Masi axe

Wolff relieved FIA 'freestyling' at an end with Masi axe

Wolff relieved FIA 'freestyling' at an end with Masi axe

Wolff relieved FIA 'freestyling' at an end with Masi axe

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes "the right steps have been taken" by the FIA with the removal of Michael Masi as race director and the implementation of what he sees as a "more robust structure".

New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem revealed on Thursday that Masi would take up a new role within world motorsport's governing body after three years at the helm.

Ben Sulayem also announced the appointment of two new race directors in Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich, supported by Herbie Blash, along with the introduction of the F1 version of VAR in a virtual race control room.

Wolff feels such moves bring an end to what he sees as a 'freestyling' of the rules under Masi's reign.

"I believe the right steps have been taken and I'm optimistic about the changes that have been implemented," said Wolff.

"Certainly the role of a race director is not easy and now with having two very experienced guys up there, that is good.

"But the support structure that has to be built around them is essential, not only in the race director's room but also with a remote control room where the race director can rely on feedback and input to make the decision-making process easier for them.

"I believe over the last couple of years we have seen a little bit of freestyle in the interpretation of the regulations so I'm happy with what has been implemented by the new president.

"It is very encouraging to see this action has been taken. There is a much more robust structure now and support structure for the race director."

Wolff denies Mercedes appeal rumour

Wolff, meanwhile, has strongly denied the rumour that Mercedes only dropped its appeal following the events in Abu Dhabi on the basis that Masi would be removed from his position.

The Australian's decision making in the closing stages of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit were pivotal to the outcome of Lewis Hamilton missing out on an eighth F1 title on the final lap to Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

An initial protest was rejected, following which Mercedes declared its intent to appeal, only to withdraw hours ahead of the deadline.

An insistent Wolff said: "Us dropping the appeal linked to anyone leaving the FIA is not true. I don't know where that came from.

"The restructuring with how decisions are being made in Formula 1, sporting decisions and also technical decisions, was necessary.

"Last year was a great season but it created a lot of polarisation with decisions that were not easy to understand."

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