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Verstappen Hamilton Japan

Mercedes miscommunication led to Verstappen protest

Verstappen Hamilton Japan

At one point, shortly after the chequered flag waved to end the Japanese Grand Prix, Mercedes lodged a protest against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for his robust defense while battling with Lewis Hamilton for second place on the penultimate lap of the race.

The protest was withdrawn a while later. Mercedes team chief explained, “It was a miscommunication. When we left the circuit, I said that the Verstappen manoeuvre was a hard manoeuvre but probably what we want to see in F1.”

“It is refreshing and I think the drivers need to sort that out among themselves on track. We decided not to step in.”

“Then there was an unfortunate coincidence that we took off and left and the team had a minute to decide whether to protest or not. And that is what they did. Once we were able to communicate again, which was 30 minutes after take-off, we decided to withdraw the protest,” added Wolff.