Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 12, 2021 Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship with the Netherlands flag on the podium as Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton looks dejected after finishing second REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Mercedes: We left Abu Dhabi in disbelief

Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates winning Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton looks dejected after finishing second REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

In the wake of a highly controversial season-ending 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after three days of media silence, Mercedes F1 Team have put out their reaction to what transpired on Sunday at Yas Marina Circuit.

A grueling 22-race season was decided on the final racing lap of the year with Max Verstappen pipping Lewis Hamilton to claim his first Title and denying his rival an eighth.

The manner in which the race ended, after Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams sending the title decision into disarray and confusion, tarnished F1’s greatest season and injustice to Verstappen’s hard-earned Crown, the young Dutch ace deserved a better coronation; as did Sir Lewis Hamilton deserve a dignified defeat and the multitudes that tuned into F1’s Race of the Century.

Instead it turned out to be the Farce of the Century, with the FIA, F1 bosses, Michael Masi and Race Stewards with egg on their faces.

This is what Mercedes, who nevertheless won their eighth F1 Constructors’ Title in a row,  had to say today:

Dear Formula 1 community and fans,

We left Abu Dhabi in disbelief of what we had just witnessed. Of course, it’s part of the game to lose a race, but it’s something different when you lose faith in racing.

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.

We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue 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, governance 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 actively work with this commission to build a better Formula 1 – for every team and every 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.