Mercedes withdraw appeal against Max Verstappen’s controversial F1 title win

The team said they had made the decision following ‘constructive dialogue’ with governing body FIA

Mark Staniforth
Thursday 16 December 2021 14:45
Max Verstappen arrives at Red Bull Campus as Formula 1 World Champion

Mercedes have withdrawn their appeal against the outcome of Sunday’s title-deciding Formula One grand prix in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen won the drivers’ championship for Red Bull in a controversial final-lap finish, overtaking Lewis Hamilton to dethrone the Mercedes man after a safety car departed the track.

Mercedes said they had made the decision following “constructive dialogue” with governing body FIA with regard to establishing clarity for future scenarios.

The team said in a statement: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team will actively work with this commission to build a better Formula One – for every team and every fan who loves this sport as much as we do.

“We will hold the FIA accountable for this process and we hereby withdraw our appeal.”

Sunday’s season-ending race in Abu Dhabi saw Red Bull’s Verstappen claim victory and the title after the deployment of a late safety car led to the Dutchman being placed right behind Mercedes rival Hamilton, whom he then overtook on the final lap.

Mercedes had an immediate double appeal dismissed by the stewards, then lodged an intention to appeal against that decision, which they were required to trigger by Thursday evening.

Mercedes added in the statement: “We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula One to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced.

“Thus, we welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of the rules, governance and decision-making in Formula One.

“We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.”

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