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FIA Stewards Explain Decision To Dismiss Mercedes Protest And Uphold Max Verstappen World Title Win

Josh Lawless

| Last updated 

FIA Stewards Explain Decision To Dismiss Mercedes Protest And Uphold Max Verstappen World Title Win

Featured Image Credit: Image: PA

FIA stewards have explained their decision to dismiss two protests from Mercedes following Max Verstappen's controversial Formula One world title win.

The Red Bull driver won the world title for the first time in dramatic circumstances after overtaking seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in the final lap.

But Mercedes were not happy with the way in which the result was achieved and lodged two protests.


One was regarding Verstappen overtaking behind the safety car that was introduced following Nicholas Latifi's crash, while the other was in relation to why only a certain number of lapped cars were allowed to pass by before the restart.

Both protests were turned down and the verdict was announced on Sunday evening, with Verstappen remaining the winner following his last-gasp dash in Abu Dhabi.

A document was published and sent to all teams from the stewards to clarify the call, outline the arguments from both parties and ultimately the conclusion.

"The Stewards consider that the protest is admissible," the conclusion read.

"Having considered the various statements made by the parties the Stewards determine the following:

"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.

"Accordingly, the Protest is dismissed. The Protest Deposit is not refunded.

"Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits."

However, the matter is not completely closed as Mercedes have already lodged their intention to appeal the decision.

"We have lodged notice of intention to appeal the decision of the Stewards under Article 15 of the Sporting Code and Article 10 of the Judicial and Disciplinary rules."

Topics: Formula 1, Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton

Josh Lawless
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