Mercedes withdraws Abu Dhabi GP appeal


Mercedes has confirmed it has withdrawn its appeal over the Abu Dhabi GP results


Hamilton leads across the line but Verstappen would take the chequered flag and championship

Cristiano Barni ATPImages/Getty Images

Mercedes has confirmed it has withdrawn its appeal over the outcome of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in which Lewis Hamilton lost the world championship on the final lap to Max Verstappen.

In a statement, Mercedes said it had protested because of the safety car regulations being “applied in a new way” that ultimately decided the winner of the drivers’ title.

Following the FIA’s statement on Wednesday, Mercedes said that it welcomed the decision to implement a commission to analyse the events in Abu Dhabi and to improve F1 regulations and rules application.

“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.

“The reason we protested the race result on Sunday was because the Safety Car regulations were 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.

Related article

“We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructivve dialog 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. 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 rules, governence and decision making in Formula 1. We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.

“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team will activvely work with this commission to build a better Formula 1 – for every team and 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.”

The withdrawal of the Mercedes appeal means that the FIA prize-giving ceremony will go ahead as planned on Thursday, crowining Max Verstappen as the world drivers’ champion.

Mercedes yesterday refused to take part in the traditional FIA champions photograph following its eighth-consecutive world constructors’ title.

In its statement on Thursday, the FIA admitted that the 2021 championship had been “tarnished” due to the controversial ending to the title-deciding race.

Out-going FIA president Jean Todt promised the team an in-depth investigation into the decision making process and events that led to the safety car being withdrawn early.

It also promised that the findings of the commission would be presented to the teams ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season.