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Official: Mercedes will not appeal Abu Dhabi stewards decision

NEWS STORY
16/12/2021

In its first communication since Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes has announced that it will not be appealing the stewards' decision to dismiss its protest.

The team's official statement reads as follows:

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.

To Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing: we would like to express our sincere respect for your achievements this season. You made this Formula 1 Championship title fight truly epic. Max, we congratulate you and your entire team. We look forward to taking the fight to you on the track next season.

And lastly, even though this Drivers' Championship did not end the way we hoped, we could not be prouder of our team.

Lewis, you are the greatest racer in the history of Formula 1 and you drove your heart out for every lap of this incredible season. You're a flawless sportsman on and off the track and you delivered a faultless performance. As a pure competitor and as a role model for millions around the world, we salute you.

Valtteri, you have been such an important part of this team, delivering five Constructors' Championships in five seasons. Thank you for your remarkable contribution to our motorsport history. Kiitos, Valtteri.

Finally, to every one of the skilled and passionate women and men of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in Brackley and High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth: you've written an historic chapter in the Silver Arrow story by winning the eighth Constructors' Championship - in a row. This is an unprecedented achievement. In simple words: it's awesome. You are awesome.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Pavlo, 17/12/2021 10:36

"@Redphyve - just for the sake of fairness, I will answer to your points:
"2. For whatever reasons, Masi ignored it and made his own decision."
The reason is well known - it was discussed, requested by the teams and promised by the director that they will try to finish the race under the green flag. This clearly means the promise to "bend" the rules, because if "1. the established procedure" foresees the green flag, there is no need in neither request from the teams nor a discussion.
We don't really know whether Masi told it explicitly to the teams, but he in fact made the decision he pre-agreed and promised to the teams.
"3" is "formally" correct. Yes it did cost Lewis the championship, but director is not allowed to use it as a justification, and he did absolutely right by sticking to the previous agreement. And yes, Mercedes has a right to protest everything, as guaranteed by the rules. It just doesn't make sense as it obviously will be rejected and just confirm them wrong.
Another problem that is clearly made visible here, and I hope it will be discussed: the teams should not be allowed to discuss the rules. Here the rules were drafted and changed on request of the teams, incl. Mercedes and Toto personally. But they didn't analyze all the possibilities and just asked for what looked good to them. E.g., when discussing "not finishing under SC", Toto definitely didn't think what would happen if it is the last lap of the year. Now it did hit them badly. To be fair, neither did RB, and it could have cost them the title as well."

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2. Posted by kenji, 17/12/2021 0:55

"@ Redphyve... Emotional,biased, sneering,condescending,name calling and finally insulting...Wow that's quite some baggage that you're carrying there! But wait, it gets better, apparently I get personal, promote conspiracies,rumour and hearsay! I would suggest that like Mercedes you back off your prosecution as it has no substance. Obviously no facts or logic in the world will give you clarity so I will now draw a veil over our debate and hope that in the future your abstain from the 'ad hominem' attacks. They serve no purpose. Merry Xmas and may the '22 F1 challenge be as fierce and competitive as '21."

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3. Posted by Max Noble, 16/12/2021 22:45

"The FIA is getting more value for money out of this arguement than a good solid disputed off-side dis-allowing a critical goal…

In the heat of the moment Masi had seconds to make a critical decision in real time with both Toto, and Horner hammering him… The outcome was “sub-optimal”… but that’s racing…

Agree skipping the awards is poor form. Can you imagine the entire English cricket team missing the Ashes award ceremony just because they lost…?"

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4. Posted by Hondaunearthed, 16/12/2021 20:51

"@Redphyve you have hit the nail on the head 100% with your last post and all things included.

I applaud your response."

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5. Posted by Redphyve, 16/12/2021 18:55

"@Kenji

Thanks for the good wishes and a Merry Xmas to you too!

Sensitivity has nothing to do with it,the issue that I have with your posts are that they are entirely emotional and biased completely against MB and LH. Your remarks are often sneering and condescending and slide into name-calling and just plain insulting. You very seldom argue factually and logically.

I try and keep my posts based on fact and logic, where yours get personal and come up with conspiracies and rumour and hearsay and present it as fact.

The facts are simple.

1. There is an established procedure for safety-car restarts.
2. For whatever reasons, Masi ignored it and made his own decision.
3. This cost Lewis the championship, and MB were completely right to protest.

This was never about Max or RBR. This was about procedure and you can argue until you are blue in the face, but these facts cannot be disputed. LH asked for the protests to be withdrawn and they were. And he can be forgiven for not attending. He didn't lose a race, he lost a championship, not by a mistake or through a competitor out-driving him. He lost it in a room where a man made a decision that took skill out of the equation just to make a "great end to a show."

This was WWE racing, not a sport.


1


"

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6. Posted by kdxrider, 16/12/2021 15:26

"What I find interesting is that there are rules (obscure ones) that can over-rule another rule. So what's the point of the rule in the first place."

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7. Posted by Mad Matt, 16/12/2021 13:34

"If the FIA had followed their own rules then Merc not pitting wouldn't have mattered.

That's the frustrating part, I don't care if Red Bull or Merc won but I do care that the FIA didn't follow its own rules... it just leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

If there hadn't been a safety car, or if the rules had been followed I'd have walked away satisfied whoever had won."

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8. Posted by kenji, 16/12/2021 13:14

"@ Redphyve....Wow, what a sensitive person you are and that's a problem. Facts can sometimes have a very sobering effect and obviously you are hurting. Mercedes are the ones who blew all this out of proportion then, surprise surprise...they back out after publishing the biggest load of self serving nonsense I've read for a very long time. What I do recognise is that your opinion is at odds to mine and that's fine by me. Good luck with that. I do think though that Wolff and Hamilton, by boycotting the FIA awards, are showing their petticoats in public. Petulance is never a good look ...especially in the public arena. Have a nice day and enjoy your Xmas."

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9. Posted by Redphyve, 16/12/2021 12:35

"One can rely totally on Kenji to spin this in a crass and completely one-eyed manner.

Every time you think he cannot lower the bar any further, he surpasses himself."

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10. Posted by kenji, 16/12/2021 11:04

"Mercedes backsliding at an accelerated rate. Some people assume that Mercedes were a shoe in for a turnover but I would suggest that they did not pursue this any further because they may well have lost their case leaving them with a bigger pile of 'doodoos' than they started off with.They were outwitted in Abu Dhabi by not pitting and they paid the price. It's time for them to slink off into the night and lick their wounds in private. Maybe this one time issue disproves the old adage about publicity....when all said and done one guy had the fastest tyres and a slower car and the other had the faster car with slower tyres. It was closer than a lot of people will admit."

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11. Posted by TokyoAussie, 16/12/2021 10:25

"I applaud this statement fully. "

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