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Mercedes Withdraws Appeal Against Max Verstappen Decision And Release Statement

by : Julia Banim on :
Mercedes Withdraw Appeal Against Max Verstappen Decision And Release StatementAlamy

Mercedes has made the decision to withdraw its appeal against Max Verstappen’s controversial F1 championship win during the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton under controversial circumstances on Sunday, December 12, overtaking Hamilton after a safety car entered the track in the aftermath of Nicholas Latifi’s crash

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Under the orders of race director Michael Masi, only the five cars between Verstappen and Hamilton were allowed to un-lap themselves, rather than all lapped cars as is the usual procedure. Hamilton remained on the track to keep his place, while Verstappen changed his tyres during the delay.

After the race, Mercedes argued that Masi’s decision did not meet sporting regulations, however their protests were dismissed by stewards. The team has now withdrawn its appeal, expressing a wish to to work alongside FIA to help ‘build a better Formula 1’.

The FIA today issued a statement in response to the controversy, pledging that it will carry out a ‘detailed analysis and clarification exercise’ regarding the procedure.

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Mercedes has now released a statement of its own on the matter:

Together with Lewis, we have deliberated carefully over how to respond to the events at the Formula 1 season finale.

We have always been guided by our love of this sport and we believe that every competition should be won on merit. In the race on Sunday many felt, us included, that the way things unfolded was not right.

Mercedes went on to explain that they protested Sunday’s result because the Safety Car regulations had been ‘applied in a new way that affected the race result, after Lewis had been in a commanding lead and on course to win the World Championship’.

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The team said they ‘appealed in the interest of sporting fairness’, and has ‘since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced’.

Mercedes went on to state that the team welcomes ‘the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1’, adding ‘we also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part’.

Expressing a desire to ‘actively work with this commission to build a better Formula 1 – for every team and every fan who loves this sport as much as we do’, Mercedes pledged to ‘hold the FIA accountable for this process and we hereby withdraw our appeal’.

Addressing Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, the team concluded:

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To Max : we would like to express our sincere respect for your achievements this season. You made this Formula 1 Championship title fight truly epic. Max, we congratulate you and your entire team. We look forward to taking the fight to you on the track next season.

The withdrawal means that Verstappen will remain as 2021’s world champion, set to be awarded the title during Thursday evening’s FIA prize giving gala in Paris.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, F1, Lewis Hamilton, Now

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Sky Sports
  1. Sky Sports

    Abu Dhabi GP: Mercedes withdraw appeal against F1 title-deciding result and want to work with FIA to help 'build a better Formula 1'