News 12 December 2021

Mercedes give notice to appeal after Max Verstappen defeats Lewis Hamilton at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

12 December 2021
lewis hamilton appeal

Mercedes will appeal after their protest over Max Verstappen’s F1 win was thrown out. ­­­­­

A four-hour long discussion to have Verstappen’s win overturned did not go in Mercedes’ favour following Hamilton’s defeat after a controversial car safety decision.

Mercedes lodged two protests after Verstappen overtook Hamilton during the last lap and five lapped cars that separated the two rivals were able to unlap themselves which arguably gave Verstappen an advantage.

The protest was raised after Mercedes alleged that Article 48.12 of the FIA Sporting Regulations – “any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car”, was broken.

Verstappen was able to stop for tyres and still remain in second place, a fact that has also riled up F1 fans and the Mercedes team.

The F1 stewards said in their verdict, “That Article 15.3 allows the Race Director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal.

“That although Article 48.12 may not have been applied fully, in relation to the safety car returning to the pits at the end of the following lap, Article 48.13 overrides that and once the message “Safety Car in this lap” has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap.

“That notwithstanding Mercedes’ request that the Stewards remediate the matter by amending the classification to reflect the positions at the end of the penultimate lap, this is a step that the Stewards believe is effectively shortening the race retrospectively, and hence not appropriate.”

Following the appeal, a legal challenge will follow.