Mercedes protest the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix results

Mercedes protest Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result

Mercedes have an issue accepting the results of the 2021 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as the team has protested, against the final classification of the season finale.

The Stewards have dismissed the protests Mercedes has lodged, and Max Verstappen has been confirmed as 2021 Formula 1 World Champion.

This concludes our live coverage, press here for the detailed story.


Awaiting the decision on the second Mercedes protest

Chris Medland on twitter:

Chris Medland on twitter:

Jennie Gow on twitter:

BBC F1 just tweeted:

Damon Hill for Sky Sports F1: “We’ve come so far now, this is the final decision we think of what the stewards think,” says Sky F1’s Damon Hill.

“Whether the protest will be successful or the result will stand.”

Jennie Gow on twitter:

Craig Slater for Sky Sports F1:”We are expecting a decision on that second more significant protest at 6.45pm UK time.

“Red Bull will head to the stewards in person to receive it.”

BBC F1 has just reported that the final decision is expected in five minutes.

Chris Medland on twitter: “2230 has become 2245 for a return to the stewards.

“After the first protest was dismissed, what it has come down to is whether the title was influenced by a race control error.

“It’s not an error by either team or driver.”

FIA dismiss Mercedes Protest about Verstappen overtaking under safety car:

Sky Sports F1 just confirmed that the FIA have dismissed Mercedes’ protest that Max Verstappen has overtaken Lewis Hamilton under the safety car conditions.

As we await the Stewards’ decision

Craig Slater for Sky Sports F1: “My understanding is we should get a verdict here from the stewards here tonight within the next half an hour.

“I think there is an understanding that this needs to be done tonight after the race was held. It’s bad enough that it’s dragging on several hours after the race concluded so that should come pretty soon.

“The question is what happens after that. There is an appeals process if Mercedes or Red Bull are not happy with the decision. The loser in this case has the option to go to the FIA’s Court of Appeal – but there’s a cut-off for that and it’s quite soon as well.

“Thursday is the FIA Prize Giving ceremony and any appeal would have to be heard and decided upon by Thursday because there is no recourse after the trophy has been handed over to the world champion.”

A decision in 15 minutes?

Chris Medland on twitter: “Mercedes asked to return at 2230, while Red Bull expect that to be when a decision is delivered, so in 15 minutes.”

Autosport just tweeted:

Alain Prost: “It’s going to be commented in terms of rule about safety car. Very difficult for me to have clear judgement, I can understand they are not going to be happy about that.

“It was exceptional for the show. Always going to be controversial. I try to feel the happiness for Max and the sadness for Lewis.”

Martin Brundle tweeted: “Christian Horner just said to me nothing decided yet but he expects a decision tonight. Presumably the losing side will then appeal anyway.”

Red Bull quoted by Autosport: “We are a race team. We did not come here with a QC. We did not come ready to protest.”

Craig Slater for Sky Sports F1: “Both teams were summoned to the stewards, then they were given a little bit of a break and they were instructed to go back and get their evidence together. This is a continuation of that earlier meeting.

“We could have a decision from the stewards, whether or not they uphold or don’t Mercedes’ protest, tonight. Mercedes would then have licence via FIA protocols to go via their appeals procedure, but only until Thursday as I understand it because the Prize Giving Ceremony at the FIA to crown the world champion is the cut-off point for all of that.

“There would be further recourse via the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Mercedes do think the more serious of the two matters, is the issue of the protocols not being followed. They think that last lap should not have occurred.

“Key to this could be how much discretion Michael Masi had personally to make these calls or to judge when a situation is right or wrong within the framework of the rules.”

Chris Medland on twitter:

Sky Sports F1 on twitter:

Jenson Button for Sky Sports F1: “It’s very serious for both of these teams and they’re not going to let up until they’ve won or lost.

“For Mercedes, they think that they are right and if the rules say that they are right they are going to push it as far as they can.”

Chris Medland on twitter:

Jennie Gow reported for BBC F1: “The teams went into a meeting with the race director. I can tell you that Mercedes took a barrister with them.

“The head honchos from both race teams appeared before the stewards.

“They then came out, Christian Horner looked at me, winked, broke into a little smile and carried on walking.

“Then I heard they have just adjourned the meeting and will reconvene in eight minutes.

“I can say it’s highly unusual for Mercedes to have brought a barrister to the race track but it was for exactly this kind of scenario.”

Damon Hill on twitter: “A lot of not very happy people. And a lot of very happy people. This is a new way of running the sport where the Race Director can make these ad hoc decisions. Its been a bit too ‘guess what I’m going to do now’ I think.”

David Coulthard said to the BBC: “Max Verstappen is human but an exceptional one. He’s brilliant and divisive like Michael Schmacher and Ayrton Senna.

“Lewis has won the championship like Gary Lineker, without a red card. Max has come up with the approach of going into the door when it’s opened. Take away Max and this title was won in Budapest and not anywhere near as exciting.”

George Russell, Hamilton’s future teammate said on twitter: “Max is an absolutely fantastic driver who has had an incredible season and I have nothing but huge respect for him, but what just happened is absolutely unacceptable. I cannot believe what we’ve just seen.”

The moment of the race Mercedes are protesting against

Red Bull meeting with the Stewards is over

As reported by the BBC, the Red Bull management have just left the Stewards office.

Comments from former drivers/pundits

Martin Brundle speaking to Sky Sports F1,: “The question is: What is the remedy if it is found the FIA didn’t follow their own procedures?”

And added: “It’s a lawyer’s job sorting this one out. It’s not a sporting one.”

Damon Hill: “This is like running a motor race in a way we’ve not been used to in the past. They’ve kept us guessing all the time as to which way a decision is going to go.

“One team who is not going to be complaining about what happened is Red Bull.”

Nico Rosberg: “First they said you’re not allowed to unlap themselves, then they changed that messgae once they saw it was safe to do so.

“The thing is that in the document it says ‘all cars will be required to unlap themselves’ and yet they only let those five cars that were between Lewis and Verstappen unlap themselves. That’s where Mercedes are asking if it’s OK or not. But I guess in the end Michael Masi can decide what he wants, he’s the race director.

Jenson Button: “It definitely went Max’s way only letting those five cars past but earlier in the race it sort of went Lewis’ way. Michael Masi wants to get them racing, he doesn’t want to decide the world championship.”

Never ending season

The 2021 season just refuses to end, as after a “heart-attack-causing final” race in Abu Dhabi, where Max Verstappen finished first taking his maiden F1 Title, in circumstances, the best of Hollywood’s scriptwriter would not be able to concoct, the Dutchman, overtaking his rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap, after a safety car period that ended with one racing lap remaining.

Verstappen was all ready to go for it, as his team put him on a set of Soft tyres to launch a final attack on Hamilton once the safety car period ended.

With the FIA and the stewards confusing everyone, whether back-markers can unlap themselves or not, they were eventually allowed to overtake the safety car, leaving the stage clear for the two title contenders to slug it out one last time.

Mercedes refusing to accept the race outcome

But it seems that Mercedes weren’t happy. They immediately protested, on Sunday night Verstappen won the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and beat their seven-times Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 World Title.

Mercedes, who still secured the F1 Constructors’ Crown for a record eighth year in a row, protested an alleged breach of the sporting regulations when the safety car was deployed late in the race.

A statement from the governing FIA said Mercedes had protested “against the classification established at the end of the competition”.

Verstappen overtook Hamilton under the safety car

A second protest was also lodged by Mercedes according to F1 official website, regarding alleged breach of Article 48.8 of the Sporting Regulations that states that “no driver may overtake another car on the track, including the Safety Car, until he passes the Line (see Article 5.3) for the first time after the safety car has returned to the pits.”

A Mercedes revealed to the media: “As has no doubt been reported, we lodged a formal protest within the required 30 minute time window after the end of the race. We will not make any further comment on the detail of that until the hearing has been conducted.”

Red Bull’s Christian Horner said to the media in response to Mercedes’ protest: “We are disappointed there has been a protest, but we trust in the FIA.”

(Extra Reporting by Alan Baldwin/Reuters)