Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, call, stewards, updates, result, reaction, Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, safety car, decision
Mercedes saw both appeals regarding Max Verstappen’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix win dismissed, seeing him confirmed as Formula 1 world champion.
Mercedes challenged the safety car procedure, which saw Verstappen overtake Hamilton on a frantic final lap to win the world championship.
Sky Sports reported that Mercedes took a lawyer to the flight attendants’ hearing.
While Mercedes may not have been successful, they are expected to appeal again, with the drama set to drag on for the next few days.
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Mercedes’ complaints concerned alleged violations of Articles 48.8 and 48.12 of the FIA Sporting Regulations.
Of particular interest is Article 48.12, which states that “all cars which have been overtaken by the leader will be required to overtake the cars in the lead and the safety car”.
Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Mick Schumacher had been passed but were not between Hamilton and Verstappen.
Unlike the other five cars, they were told not to pull away.
Mercedes also appeals to Verstappen’s driving as part of the safety car, pointing specifically to section 48.8 which states: “No driver may overtake another car on the track, including the safety car, until ‘he crossed the line for the first time after the safety car returned. in the pits.
This referred to complaints from Mercedes that Verstappen had passed Hamilton behind the safety car.
The stewards dismissed the claim, although they admitted that Verstappen was ahead of Hamilton for a short time.
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“The protest is admissible”, concluded the commissioners.
“After examining the various statements made by the parties. The stewards determined that although car 33 moved at one point, for a very short time, slightly in front of car 44, at a time when both cars were accelerating and braking, it backed up behind the car. 44 and she was not forward at the end of the Safety Car period (i.e. at the row).
“A big cheer erupted from Red Bull but they are not out of the woods yet,” journalist Craig Slater said from the Abu Dhabi paddock.
The second, centered on the decision of F1 race director Michael Masi to allow a few cars to split.
This too was dismissed, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner describing it as the “right move” while Verstappen said it was a “very stressful day”.
Stewards said that race director Masi was authorized to control the use of the safety car and that taking the results of the penultimate lap “effectively shortens the race in retrospect, and therefore not appropriate”.
Masi had been under increased surveillance, having already been called “too soft” by Fernando Alonso after a tragedy during qualifying.
“Michael Masi needs more people around him,” Martin Brundle told Sky F1.
“He has too many things to focus on, he needs support”
EXPLAINED: WHAT MERCEDES WAS ATTRACTIVE
As for the thought behind Mercedes’ call, experts at Sky F1 have explained exactly what boss Toto Wolff and Hamilton are looking to argue.
“What bothers Mercedes is that the other cars behind, so Ricciardo, Stroll and Schumacher, were not invited to pass,” said Karun Chandhok of Sky F1.
“So they say all cars should have been allowed to pass, not just these.
“From an FIA point of view, I think if they had waited for these three cars we would not have had the last lap of the race.
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Martin Brundle, however, questioned the fact that even if Mercedes’ appeal was deemed valid, it might be difficult to settle an adequate penalty.
“The question for me is if the procedures weren’t followed, what is the cure? ” he said.
“Mercedes will say they want a lap back, I don’t know where the precedent would be for that. Letting overtaken cars unravel themselves has been made to prevent them from interfering in the main race.
“I think the doubled teams were pushing like crazy for information, and Michael Masi didn’t want to let them pass when there was a breakdown and marshals on the track, because when you release someone, you go like a hell.
“There is a lot of technicality in there, but I come back to my point, what is the remedy if the FIA did not follow its own procedures? It is a lawyer’s job to fix this problem. It is not sporty. “
Sky F1’s Nico Rosberg added, however, that this was just a case of Masi breaking the rules.
“It’s the fact that they let half of them get away with it, and then also, according to the rules, you have to wait for another round and then start,” he said.
“So there are a lot of things where he [Masi] did not follow the rules.
Hamilton had spun to victory, his eighth world title apparently in the bag.
However, with four laps to go, Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams, knocking out the safety car and prompting Verstappen to come to the pit for new tires.
When the race resumed for the 58th and final lap, Verstappen passed Hamilton to win the checkered flag and the title.
Confusion seemed to be common among the rest of the pilots.
Lando Norris, who was one of the self-defeating drivers, said: “I’m not too sure what has been said about the FIA.
“At first we weren’t allowed to overtake, as latecomers, so if that influenced Mercedes and Lewis’s decisions and that’s why they didn’t make their pitstop.
“But then the FIA suddenly changed their mind and they were allowed to let us through. That’s where I’m not so sure. For it to end like this I’m not so sure.
George Russell, who will join Mercedes next year, called the move “unacceptable”.