Sport: Max Verstappen rips Mercedes boss Toto Wolff with cheeky Michael Masi joke

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  Max Verstappen's Lewis Hamilton comments labelled 'arrogant' by Mick Schumacher MAX VERSTAPPEN's previous comments suggesting most drivers could succeed in a Mercedes-built car have been criticised by the son of Formula 1's most celebrated star.Verstappen, 24, has shared a rivalry with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in recent seasons and finally ended his wait for a maiden championship in December.

Max Verstappen fired a shot at Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff by imitating the Austrian's infamous radio message to FIA race director Michael Masi during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Red Bull star Verstappen secured a maiden world title in dramatic and controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after he and title rival Lewis Hamilton went into the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit tied on points.

The Dutchman passed the seven-time world champion - who had dominated for much of the race - on the final lap of the season as a late safety car and tyre change swung momentum in his favour.

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Mercedes' fury was largely aimed at FIA race director Masi after he decided to not allow cars to unlap themselves, as is tradition, only to change his mind to set up the final lap showdown between Hamilton and Verstappen.

Mercedes withdrew their appeal against the result after the FIA pledged an investigation into the events surrounding the safety car procedures.

Verstappen has been enjoying sim racing during the winter break, participating in a 24 Hours of Daytona sim race with Team Redline.

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The sim racing team have several cars, including one which is being driven by the 2021 F1 world champion along with Gianni Vecchio and Chris Lulham.

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In an earlier race, Vecchio was run off the track rather aggressively by an opponent - and Verstappen's reaction over the radio will undoubtedly make his fans laugh.

"So instead of giving up his position, he just shunts you out of the way," Verstappen said immediately after the crash.

"No worries, I'll report it to Michael Masi."

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While his team tried to bounce back and continued the race in pursuit of victory, Verstappen decided to mimic Wolff as he pled with Masi when the title slipped from Hamilton's clutches.

"No Mikey!" Verstappen shouted.

"No!"

Wolff lost his temper as the final lap at the Yas Marina Circuit unfolded a month ago, yelling at Masi over the radio in disbelief.

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The FIA's secretary-general of motorsport, Peter Bayer, is leading the inquiry with new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem 'taking a personal involvement in the review'. Ben Sulayem, who succeeded Jean Todt in December, is dealing with the matter urgently.

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Hamilton, a seven-time world champion and F1 icon, will wait for the results of the investigation into the Abu Dhabi controversy before deciding on his future.

The 27-year-old is said to be 'disillusioned' with the sport following the incident.

Team principal Toto Wolff said last month that Mercedes would 'hold the FIA to account'.

Hamilton and Mercedes team members did not conduct any other media interviews after the season.

The Brit, who was knighted at Windsor Castle following the season, is yet to post on his social media accounts since the events of 12 December 2021.

The 23-race 2022 campaign begins on 18-20 March, with winter testing for the all-new generation of cars underway from 23 February.

Wolff Again Oranje National Trainer The railway sprinter .
Teamprint-Olympic champion René Wolff becomes the second time coach of the Dutch national team of the railway sprinter. © Picture Alliance / DPA Trains the Dutch railway sprinter: René Wolff. The 43-year-old from Erfurt adopts Hugo Haak's succession on 1 February, who had announced his retreat in autumn 2021. "I feel it as a glory to continue the work of Hugo," Wolff was quoted on the association side. The Dutch wheel sprinter has been determining the level of men for years.

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