Wolff believes the fallout from last year’s controversy in Abu Dhabi gave them the confidence to withstand any outside pressure to finish the race under green flag conditions.
The safety car came out late in the race after Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren stalled on track with an oil leak.
Marshals couldn’t push the car because it was stuck in gear, and it took some time to get a crane from the other side of the track as it had to wait for a gap in traffic.
Meanwhile, with some leading cars pitting and others not, and cars not allowed to overtake the safety car while the crane was in action, it took driver Bernd Maylander several laps to get all the cars behind him in the correct order – after he had picked up George Russell in third place when he came out in place of leader Max Verstappen.
By then it was too late to resume the race, under safety car conditions.
Fans on the track made their reaction clear with booing and whistling. However, while rival team bosses wondered how events unfolded, Wolff was adamant that everything was done by the book.
“Very clear, there are rules, and they are written down,” Wolff said. “And from my perspective, whether I’m traumatized or not, these rules have been followed to perfection today.
“There was a car on the track, there were marshals and a crane out there. That’s why they didn’t let anyone overtake.
“And then it wasn’t enough time to start the race again when all the cars had caught up. So if someone isn’t happy with the regulations, and you want a big bang show and two laps of the race, then chaos, I think that I’m all set.
“But then we have to change the rules. So I don’t think we should complain about what happened because these are the rules.”
He added: “I am very pleased to see that there is a race director and colleagues who are applying the regulations against the pressure of the media and the pressure of the fans and everyone to just break the regulations.
“So Abu Dhabi, in that sense, at least gave the FIA more confidence to apply the regulations.”
Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG
Photo By: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
When asked by TBEN whether race management could have red-flagged the race to get a green flag, Wolff declined the suggestion.
“Why give the race a red flag? If someone is in a wall, if the track is blocked, you red flag a race because you can no longer pass. Something happened. Why do you mark a race just because you want a one or two lap show?
“I think we need to change the regulations and discuss with the FIA: ‘let’s change the regulations, we really want a top race on the last race lap’. I raise my hand for that. But it’s not what the regulations say today.”
Wolff insisted he did not want to be seen as a driving force behind such a change, which could be added to the agenda of a previously scheduled sporting regulations meeting in Monza on Monday involving team sport directors and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem. .
“I don’t want to make a headline here that Toto wants to change the regulations because racing is shit. I think we should all sit down and say is there anything we can do better?
“But what happened today is in the regulations, and that’s why it was applied. Would I have liked to drive one last lap with a pile of cars on top of each other in the chicane? Yes, hell yes. Good television. But…
“I think we should say if we want to have a race under green? And then we reverse engineer it from there.
“So you can see five or ten laps to the end, we have a safety car, let’s give it a red flag. And make sure we race at the end. If that’s in the regs, fine. But there are much smarter people, the sports directors, who will have ideas.”