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20 Jan 2022

Mercedes have withdrawn their appeal over Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy

Mercedes have withdrawn their appeal over Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy

Mercedes have withdrawn their appeal over Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy

Mercedes have withdrawn their appeal against the outcome of Sunday’s title-deciding Formula One grand prix in Abu Dhabi.

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

Mercedes said in a statement: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team will 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.

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

Sunday’s season-ending race at Yas Marina 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 Lewis Hamilton, who he then overtook on the final lap.

Hamilton appeared to be charging to glory at Yas Marina, easily holding Verstappen at bay in the closing laps only for a crash for the Williams of Nicholas Latifi to change the course of events.

Confusion reigned as under-fire race director Michael Masi changed his mind to allow lapped cars to pass the safety car – meaning Verstappen had a clear run at Hamilton in the final lap and, on much faster tyres, made his move to claim a first F1 title.

Abu Dhabi F1 GP Auto Racing
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner, right, celebrates with Max Verstappen, centre, after Sunday’s race (AP)

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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