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Mercedes withdraws protest

NEWS STORY
09/10/2016

Suzuka stewards have revealed that Mercedes has withdrawn its protest against Max Verstappen.

The German team, which today secured its third successive Constructors' Championship, lodged an official complaint relating to Max Verstappen's defence of his second place on the penultimate lap of today's Japanese Grand Prix.

However, since Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had left the circuit and were therefore unable to meet with the stewards the hearing was subsequently deferred until the next round of the world championship at the Circuit of the Americas.

Less than an hour after news of the deferment, Mercedes notified the stewards that it is withdrawing the protest, shortly after Hamilton took to social media to distance himself from the move.

"There is no protest from myself," he tweeted. "Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!"

"Speaking of the incident Verstappen told reporters: "The laps before he was closing quite a bit, but I saw already out of Turn 14 he had a good exit so I was using a bit of energy and I defended into the last chicane. All good."

"I thought it was firm but fair," added team boss Christian Horner. "I didn't really see any issue with it and Lewis didn't seem to have any problem after the race, apparently he said well done to him."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Suzuka, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by scf1fan, 11/10/2016 16:20

"Credit where credit is due. A class decision by LH."

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2. Posted by mickl, 11/10/2016 15:51

"Max will become a cropper with his defending as it all depends on the car behind being able to back out of the move having committed to it. There's a big difference between blocking and chopping. It doesn't take a genius to realise that one day, someone will go 'your ass is mine', won't back off and will run him of the road.

I've got dibs on Kimi doing it on his last race for Ferrari.

As it stands with Max's tactics, the stewards are effectively saying if you're going to overtake, the car in front is allowed to create a crash that the overtaker has to avoid."

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3. Posted by Spindoctor, 11/10/2016 10:51

"Personally I though Verstappen was over-doing the weaving and dodgy driving (again), but the stewards saw noting wrong, and Lewis sensibly made it clear that he wasn't going to make a fuss.

The issue with Verstappen seems to be that he's happy to rely on all the other drivers "playing nice" when he wants to overtake, but doesn't extend that courtesy when he's the one in front. Some of his best overtakes might have ended very differently had other drivers adopted his defensive tactics.

He needs to think about what makes for a great driver. Here's a clue: it isn't 'defending'"

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4. Posted by Stitch431, 09/10/2016 19:30

"Okay, despite his moaning on the teamradio, Lewis thought better of it afterwards. Good for him! Then he is not a bad loser after all. Thumbs up!"

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5. Posted by Kkiirmki, 09/10/2016 18:57

"What a ridiculous series of events this (non) protest has turned out to be. Verstappen defended, as he has done in the past, perfectly with in the rules (well, put it this way, he's not been penalised for it before). Only Mercedes, with a trillion points over the rest of the field would ever contemplate this? Seems rather reminiscent of McLarens protest back in 2007."

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6. Posted by testa rossa, 09/10/2016 17:52

"Lewis is boss , i like the guy"

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7. Posted by petes, 09/10/2016 17:31

"So, in other words he was telling porkies. Again."

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