Mercedes F1 Team Withdraws Appeal, Congratulates Max Verstappen on Becoming F1 World Champion

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team have announced that they were withdrawing their appeal against Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen’s controversial title-winning victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes lodged two appeals immediately after Sunday’s dramatic finish where, after coasting to victory Hamilton suddenly found himself in a last-lap ‘shoot-out’ with Verstappen.

That arose after FIA race director Michael Masi ruled that the five lapped cars between Hamilton’s Mercedes and Verstappen’s Red Bull could unlap themselves.

It left Verstappen, who had pitted for fresher tyres, to streak past Hamilton and take the race win and his first title.

In a statement, Mercedes said they “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”.

Mercedes said “while it is part of the game to a lose a race, but it is 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.” 

Mercedes also congratulated Verstappen on becoming F1 World Champion.

“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.” 

Mercedes said it also welcomes 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.

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