Safety Car, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021

Mercedes give notice of intention to appeal decision they believe cost Hamilton title

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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The destiny of the 2021 world drivers championship remains in doubt as Mercedes are preparing to appeal after losing a protest aimed at changing the result of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team notified the FIA of their plans shortly after the stewards dismissed their protest over the handling of the last-lap restart in today’s race.

Max Verstappen claimed victory in the race, clinching the drivers championship, after passing race-long leader Lewis Hamilton on the final lap. This followed a contentious restart at the end of the previous lap.

Mercedes claimed multiple aspects of the regulations were not complied with when the race was restarted. They requested the stewards amend the classification to reflect the penultimate lap of the race, before the track returned to green.

The protest was rejected by the stewards four-and-a-half hours after the race finished. Soon afterwards a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed: “We have lodged our intention to appeal document 58, the decision of the stewards to dismiss the team’s protest.”

The team gave notice of its intention to appeal under article 15 of the International Sporting Code, which governs appeals, and article 10 of the Judiciary and Disciplinary Rules.

Mercedes also lost a separate protest, alleging Verstappen overtook Hamilton during a Safety Car period, but are not appealing against that decision.

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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445 comments on “Mercedes give notice of intention to appeal decision they believe cost Hamilton title”

  1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    12th December 2021, 20:01

    Just let it go Mercedes. This is a bigger yoke than the 2021 championship.

    1. I mean, It won’t change anything but it shows that the rulebook needs updating. For example why was lapped cars allowed to unlap between Ham and Ver but lapped cars between Ver and Sainz were not. Is Sainz not as important, is he not allowed to race for the win or 2nd? This decision today showed faults in the FIA and although it looks petty from Mercedes, I want them to push it if it at least causes some rules to be simplified and applied more consistently in the future.

      1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
        12th December 2021, 20:11

        Masi is a yoke and has been the whole time as race director, but he’s like Mike Dean in football. It’s not the F1 drivers who should be punished, he should go and that’s it.

        1. He’s the John Moss of formula one. He applies rules inconsistently and tries to be the teams friend. Instead he loses all respect from drivers and teams

        2. All very well calling for Masi’s head @come-on-kubica, but who the hell you gonna replace him with?
          There’s a plethora of Footy Refs sadly however there’s very few possible candidates qualified to be race director of the incredibly complicated circus that F1 has become.

          1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
            13th December 2021, 16:31

            (@f1johns) ill happily take the job. And I promise to make it even more confusing to get more netflix views.

            Seriously, there are other race directors from other motorsports. They shouldn’t keep someone just because they haven’t got an alternative. He’s made countless odd decisions in the last 2 years. Changed is needed and he does not seem adequately qualified.

      2. How is it petty by Mercedes? If the FIA had adhered to their rules Hamilton would have won under yellow. Fact.

        1. If the FIA had adhered to their rules, they would let the cars unlap themselves 2 laps earlier like they normally do (Vettel and Alonso have pointed that out also). And there would have still been enough time for a racelap. Fact.

          1. You don’t understand the rules then. The lapped cars couldn’t unlap themselves until the track was clear. They were let through as soon as it was clear on the penultimate lap meaning the safety car should have returned to the pits at the end of the following lap.

          2. I didn’t think they could start / allow un lapping until the issue that brought the Safety Car out was cleared

      3. @rob8k The idea that Mercedes are protesting out of some kind of magnanimous noble desire to improve the sporting integrity of F1 is as nauseating as it is ridiculous.

      4. Yeah but there is more to that story. Like why didnt Masi let the cars overtake 2 laps before that decision. Alonso for example was already asking on his teamradio why they weren’t allowed to overtake yet. Then a lap later they got the message that lapped cars wont be allowed to overtake which in itself didnt make sense. Then 1 a 2 laps later Masi let those few cars through.

        If Masi had been decisive early on he would have not caused the contraversy as all the lapped cars would have been able to overtake and there would have been 1 lap left to race.
        Instead he was indecisive, waited too long and because he really didnt want the season to end behind the safety car, he decided to not allow those cars to overtake. Which was unfair for Redbull.
        Then I guess he realised it would be unfair for Verstappen, seeing how they normally do allow cars to go through, Masi decided to fix his mistake by letting those few cars through.

        So I dont think the decision to let those cars through was a mistake. It was just taken too late. The fact that other lapped cars werent allowed to overtake means those cars should have the right to appeal.

        I think if Masi had done a proper job, he would have let those cars through sooner, then we would have had 1 lap to race and the end result would be the same with Verstappen winning.

        1. agreed. while i wouldve been sad that ham gets passed, at least it would be under legit circumstances. you cant just arbitrarly change the protocol for no good reason with what is 1/2 a lap (lap 58 under sc seals it). especially under such circumstances. red bull wouldve accepted that the sc gambit did not work and that would be that because he failed to do that we have this mess, and he had the gall to say its racing….. thats not a race. ham was like an lmp2 car trying to defend against the toyota hypercar on the last lap.

        2. I rewatched it, and it’s clear that only about 9 seconds before the penultimate lap started, marshalls could be seen hopping over the barrier to safety, with Giovanizzi’s car looking like it’s been safely tucked away. Presumably it would have taken a bit longer than 9 seconds for Masi to be then told that the track is clear. So maybe he could have made the call to unlap early enough to allow all cars to unlap themselves, but not early enough to allow racing after the additional lap the unlappers are typically given to get away.

        3. You nailed it. That lack of good decision making is Masi’s flaw in all of this. if was the same thing in Spa. He red flagged the action prematurely without thinking about the possibility that the weather would never improve.

      5. The rule book is fine.
        It’s the match fixing by breaking the rules that is the problem!

      6. Well said Sir. Exactly Masi needs to go and get someone to rewrite the rule book or at least (simplify it)

      7. I know mine is just another in a sea of opinions, but with the race director seemingly openly stating his actions were to clear the lead 2 cars of any interference and facilitate a racing lap seems, to me at least, to be an absolute crazy position for an official to take. As stated by @rob8k, what about Sainz. Even if he proved unable to attack Ver, SURELY he should have been offered the same opportunity to do so, as Ver was provided against Ham. Ver was only so close to Ham because of SC’s and VSC’s, and fair enough as these are clearly understandable consequences that ultimately favour one or other driver. We all understand that drivers can ‘get lucky’ by dint of the application of rules, or of course ‘get unlucky’. However, to be leading the race, to accept the poor luck that sees the pursuer able to make better use of pit stops, to understand that a SC cuts your gap. These are hard enough to deal with despite ultimately being the way the cookie crumbles. But then to have one individual decide that if they apply parts of the rules that suit them then he can put that person who had the good fortune to have much fresher much faster tyres right on your tailpipe with not even a ‘hint’ of competition from behind. That’s not bad luck. That’s just succumbing to another’s whim.

        It seems an utter nonsense that documented rules are even allowed to be ‘interpreted’ outside of their obvious intent. As many have stated, let all cars unlap, or none. Not a hastily made up version of the rule to suit one individuals desired scenario. If this can be done, why have rules at all?

        I feel compelled to say that I am a HAM fan. But I don’t believe he is a perfect person or a perfect driver. I believe he was fortunate with the early incident (despite the fact that I continue to disagree with Ver’s view on what constitutes an acceptable overtaking attempt.) And now some time has passed I am also happy to say that I am not even that miffed that Ham lost the title. However I do believe that this should quite rightly be contested even if not for the purposes of overturning the result, but to establish what the point of the rules are, and to what extent they should be followed. To bend them with a justification of improving the show is no justification at all. Even trying to finish under a green flag should not be ‘forced’ when doing so would so obviously impact the result. Why cant the driver’s cut corners, and then rebuff any penalisation on the basis that their actions were to improve the racing so are not subject to any rule in it’s entirety.

        And surely, anyone with an ounce of common sense doesn’t buy this ‘any’ doesn’t mean ‘all’ BS. If they expect me to believe they really think that, then I have to re-evaluate how much of anything RB have said may be grounded in reality. Not that I was that impressed with Merc’s overtaking behind the safety car complaint, though at least the rationale for that exists in the same dimension that I reside in.

        1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
          13th December 2021, 5:24

          I agree with your general assessment here. I think “lead cars” should include Sainz in 3rd. But I think the fact that Masi has Toto and Horner constantly squealing at him all the time when things don’t go their way (team principles should not be able to talk to race control during sessions as they do). Resulting him just focusing on the two rivals only. Lets be honest, Masi has done a poor job all year. IMO, the last race with a lap to go after a SC period with two drivers championship hopes on the line…. I think this was a reasonable call (aside from hanging Sainz out) to allow the two drivers settle this championship on track. Granted, I agree the process was not followed to the letter and agree this should be re-addressed and spelled out better. I also second the your thoughts on the as in the “red flag should not be forced to finish under green flag conditions”.

          I think the FIA really needs to take a hard long look at overtaking and clearly spell out what is deemed acceptable or not. Max’s standard of driving was and is unacceptable more times than not IMO. He expects ALL of his opponents to back out or make corrections to avoid contact. His standard is not fair play nor is it racing! Max is the most “unsporting” and entitled driver I’ve seen come through F1 (yes, more so than Senna and Schuey). Brazil and Jedah was dangerous from Max! In any sense, the FIA needs to crack down on this ASAP!

        2. Good reasoned analysis and comment here

      8. Cas do have the power to overturn the results ..if Mercedes can prove that FIA didn’t follow there own rules. And acting in poor judgment. I can’t wait to see how this shakes out. Either way there are no winners in the MASI Cheated everyone!!!

    2. its a ‘yoke’ that race stewards/masi make up rules on the fly to artificially benefit one driver over another.
      Mercedes have a huge case going on the letter of the law regarding the restart fiasco

      1. If you go by the letter of the rule, Mercedes have no case at all because 48.12 fails to apply for lack of one of its conditionals.

        1. Not really, read in context. The message that lapped cars may overtake MUST be sent to ALL competitors, and the context strongly indicates that “any”, here, means “all”. Then the safety car is to be brought in at the end of the following lap, which would have been the end of the final lap.

          Instead, Masi sent a message that only certain, specific cars may overtake, and ended the safety car period early. This is not following the procedure set out in the regulations, it’s making it up as he goes along. It’s a farce.

          1. If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW
            OVERTAKE” has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system

            These are the two conditionals that are required for rule 48.12 to apply. Unless both are met, it is immaterial what follows in the rest of 48.12.

          2. But that’s the only provision for lapped cars to overtake. This just adds more fuel to the fire that Masi completely made up an arbitrary rule with a massive effect on the result. It isn’t just ignoring a couple of points in the rules, it’s completely throwing the rulebook out of the window and doing something new and unprecedented. Surely you can see that’s completely unacceptable.

          3. @drmouse

            48.12 describes the procedure to be followed if the two conditionals are met.

            They were not, as far as I know.

            Protesting that 48.12 wasn’t applied fully or correctly when it didn’t apply at all is going to have your complaint dismissed when following the letter of the law.

          4. @proesterchen
            If that’s the case, then there was no legal grounds for Masi to let any lapped runners through at all. That’s the only provision in the rulebook which allows for it.

          5. @drmouse

            So Mercedes would have protested on the wrong grounds, then.

            The point is if Mercedes insisted on a ‘letter of the law’ approach as suggested by the post I replied to, they’d rather have no case at all.

      2. If the race had been one or two laps longer then all cars would be allowed to clear, return to back and then SC in.

        Hamilton would then have lost out. But if it had been one or two laps longer he may have pitted.

        That was the gamble RB took and lost, knowing the end of race was near, got timed out with lapped cars between.

        FIA intervened & broke rules moving RB from loss to win.

        1. +1

          And that’s an important fact. If Merc knew how liberal Masi was going to be with the restart, they would have pitted

        2. A couple more laps (or lapped cars clearing earlier) and Hamilton would have had time to pit for tyres too – and then very likely won. The fact is, in normal conditions either all the lapped cars would have been cleared, or none of them would have been cleared. In either case Hamilton would almost certainly have won.

          1. The only way ham would’ve won is that merc would’ve taken the right strategic decisions

    3. No one would have bat an eye if this happened at the first race

      1. If this had been the first race of the season Masi would never have changed the rules to SC procedures
        As someone said above, half carrying out the rule only gave Max a chance at Lewis, but what about Carlos having a chance to go at Max, or even both?

        1. Indeed. This would’ve never happened at the first race. Either they would’ve finished the race with the SC or none of the lapped cars would’ve been allowed to overtake. Masi bended the rules only because it was the last race of the championship.

        2. You really think Sainz would want to attack Max or Lewis? You are delusional.
          All other drivers, except Bottas and Perez, tried to stay out of the way at this stage.

          1. “You really think Sainz would want to attack Max or Lewis? You are delusional.”

            You really think Max had a chance to attack under correct ruling of safety car periods? You are beyond delusional! Rule says all cars to unlap, then next lap SC goes away, or no cars unlap it start as it is! 5 cars in between, do you really think Max even with a rocket ship couldnt do miracles… only miracle needed was a made up rule by no other than masi to clear the way for max and let him come behind max and start the race instantly? do you think ham would drive as slowly as he did if the rule changed just a few corners before the final lap? yeah these are the delusions max fan bois see as reality!

            This was the third biggest farce after SPA 08 and Brazil 21! I could call Jeddah Farce 4th but they tried to make up for it somewhat vaguely!

          2. YES they came to race, if not they may as well stayed in the pits, maybe LAT should not have crashed and messed up the race?
            Or do you keep out of HAM and VER from race 1 of the championship because it might effect their title hopes??

          3. I absolutely think that each and every one of those drivers would have gone for victory if they had a chance. They stayed out of the way when they were being blue flagged, but fighting for a race win is a completely different thing.

          4. That’s not how rules work Chris.

        3. very clever about the same chances for carlos Sainz

        4. If Masi was thinking clearly he would have allowed all cars to unlap themselves early in the SC period. And we would have ended up with the same result.

    4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      12th December 2021, 20:01
      Just let it go Mercedes.

      If a burgler steals your money and laugs at you then you cannot let a burgler go!

      1. unable to lose .. then RB will appeal for Silverstone? – however it is rather embarrassing … don’t they realize that if they continue like this they will sell fewer Mercedes cars?

        1. they did appeal silverstone. they lost that appeal.

          1. I think he means in court which is ridiculus to me when the steward close it it’s done and over.

        2. Mate, this will not affect whether or not they sell cars.

    5. So you can then say see Mercedes agrees that the race was fair? Mercedes needs to exhaust all avenues.

    6. I just can’t wait for Toto Wolf to retire.

    7. Good luck with that, Toto. You might be banned from the sport for life, for bringing it into disrepute.
      Go hang with Flavioi. Separately, ans Ben Franklin famously said.

      1. Stop commenting on this site please, you contribute nothing.

        1. Sure, just to please you. Get lost

      2. Well said Sir. Exactly Masi needs to go and get someone to rewrite the rule book or at least (simplify it)

    8. Would you let it go? The rules were clearly broken in order to change the outcome!

      Now I feel sorry for both Lewis and Verstappen as this is not their fault. But no matter how you look at it this was a trash result and the FIA need to be taken to court. The rules can not be changed mid race.. the rules are clear and they were obviously broken. The FIAs argument that the spirit of the rule it to clear backmarkers from the leaders is total rubbish. I have never heard this argument and it makes a mockery of the rules. Surely all competitors matter not just the two at the front? Then the argument that the race director has control over the safety car is smoke and mirrors. Yes he has control over when he calls it out and when he ends the period but the rules clearly state how the end should be handled, otherwise there is no point in having those rules at all. It is utter tosh and the FIA know it. The courts will see through those weak arguments in a flash.

      The FIA had a chance to restore faith in their handling of Motorsport and they threw it away.

      1. Lee 1 I am as outraged as you are.
        This is a rigged result. There is something deeply disturbing and sinister about what happened today.
        I am starting to feel that there is a white supremacist element within F1 that were prepared to do anything to make sure Schumacher’s record is not broken by a Black.
        Max can jump for joy but when he looks at himself in the mirror he will know that he never won today.
        He never beat Lewis today.
        It was gifted to him and that would gall any true sports person.
        There is more to what happened today and in time it will come out and something quite sinister Masi’s actions this entire season

        1. “White supremacists” at work? Grow up.

        2. Is that you Toto.

        3. Stop, please.

    9. Does anyone have any past examples of a safety car coming in before the end of the following lap? Has it happened before?

      Were any of the lapped cars behind Max robbed of a chance to catch the car in front?

    10. The race result will never be over turned. The FiA just wont do that. It wouldn’t be fair on Max as he just played the cards that fell in his lap. Masi does need to be made accountable for his atrocious decisions throughout this season though! Hopefully this Merc appeal and any subsequent legal challenges will mean changes are made within race control. Us Lewis fans can hark all day and night about how unfair it may be but… it’s done. It’s not going to change anything. Merc should just focus on ensuring Masi and his team are held accountable.

    11. I told Toto not to forget the kitchen sink. Yet, here we are…

  2. No surprise here then. if there’s a rulebook FIA needs to stick to it. They cannot allow the Race Director to make things up as he sees fit. How can teams and the sport function like that?

    Regardless of the outcome at the very least, Masi needs to go.

    1. I don’t believe trying to get the ref fired from the association is an acceptable aim for any competitor.

      1. But he’s simply not up to the job. He is not capable of interpreting his own organisations rules. There has been many controversies with him. I don’t really see how any of the teams can have faith in him going forwards. You only had to listen to the comments of some of the other drivers not involved. They mostly seem to think it was a poor interpretation of the rules.

        1. Alexander McFarlane
          12th December 2021, 20:47

          At this point I’m finding F1’s controversies are wearing thin, they have time to discuss gimmicky ideas like sprint qualifying and taking the sport to questionable locales like Saudi Arabia but the fundamentals like stewarding and race directing have got worse this year. If the rules can be interpreted in such a wide manner they are simply not good rules.

          How is it that what is supposedly the pinnacle of motorsport barely a race goes by that we’re not talking about something other than the actual racing?

      2. If the ref makes consistently inconsistent rulings, why not?

      3. What is the point of rules to govern this sport if one man can interpret these how ever he see’s fit for a given point in time.
        and the term “any car lapped cars” doesn’t mean 5, 4 or 6 surly it means the lapped cars.

    2. Exactly. Mercedes will not get satisfaction. But there is one tiny thing that can be done – kick Mask out.

      He shouldn’t be near a formula 1 track again unless he’s wearing a dunce cap and cleaning the porta potties with a straw.

    3. yup. you can say baku was race fixing as well. that 1 lap shootout was clearly not warranted.
      ironically he shouldve red flagged the race if he wanted a shootout thats fair. see….even masi is inconsistent with his own rule bending.

  3. They should let this one go I think.

    1. No they should not. At the very least this will give us better rules for future and better race director. This is still a sport for many and in a sport Masi’s decision was not fair because it was not according to rules.

      1. They should because they were mute whenever those decisions suited them. Masi is consistently inconsistent (as are the stewards) the entire season and beyond that.

        1. Dex, Thats not a good reason. Two wrongs dont make it right. Both teams are terrible at being consistent with their views but they are competitors , they don’t need to be. FIA needs to be, especially when their own regulations don’t agree with their decisions, and here they didn’t. FIA agreed 48.12 was not followed. 48.13 to me can be overriding in some cases but it didn’t need to be in this instance. Masi didn’t need to break 48.12 to get the race restarted.

          1. Ivan Vinitskyy you miss the point, the theory that does not need to be proven in court is that masi meddled in the race to make max win, what CAN be proven is his actions breaking FIA protocol at the end of the sc period towards the end of the race to artificially benefited one driver over another.

            Masi could’ve restarted the race with unlapped cars in the pack, that was an option but masi didn’t do this because imo it would obviously harm max’s chances as there would be cars in between lewis and max and lewis could sprint to drive over the line to start the last lap whilst max cannot overtake lapped traffic under yellow flag conditions until he crosses the line, this scenario would mean Lewis would win.

            Masi didn’t want to use the other logical option to ALLOW all cars to unlap themselves as he was running out of laps and couldn’t restart the race with a train of unlapped traffic just ahead of Lewis and that would’ve triggered another lap under sc thus Lewis would win..
            The biggest case against masi is that he conspired to not adhere to standard restart protocol because it didn’t benefit the ‘right’ driver and allowing only the cars in between max and lewis to unlap themselves so Max could have a clear shot at Lewis under the restart is more than enough evidence Mercedes needs to protest and a slam dunk ruling to overturn the result.

            Its hard and not really necessary in this case to prove the intentions of fixing but it is totally clear that masi panicking seeing the laps count down did not use standard protocol to restart or finish under yellows and hastily made up rules to benefit max who was on new soft rubber and almost guaranteed to overtake lewis if he restarted under green directly behind him.

            Its a no brainier for merc to go all the way and take this to court to overturn the results, if not whats the point Daimler spending €100’s millions to lose a title because of clown stewarding and rouge fia officials wanting the ‘other’ guy to win so makes up rules that don’t exist in the FIA rule book..
            This is extra important because If the FIA does not follow its own rules F1 loses all legitimacy and corporations are not going to throw billions at a wwe ‘sport’ with fake netflix drama and random rulings..

          2. @ccpbioweapon I agree with what you’re saying although those points weren’t ones I was addressing in my post. It was specifically whether 48.13 gives Masi the right to ignore other rules (48.12). “his actions breaking FIA protocol at the end of the sc period towards the end of the race to artificially benefited one driver over another” is not going to be provable. Intention is hard to prove. If they can prove 48.13 should not have overridden 48.12 then it should be enough.

          3. @ivan-vinitskyy
            I don’t think intent needs to be proved, only the result. He did not follow rules, procedure or precedent, and arguing that a rule which tells them how to inform the teams the SC is ending overrides the procedures set out in the rules is bonkers. Why bother having the rules and procedures in that case?

        2. But that’s kinda the point. Mercedes should take this further, not because it will overturn the result, but because this cannot be allowed to happen again. Progressing the case will shine a spotlight on the terribly inconsistent and often baking behaviour of the race director and the stewards.

          If Mercedes just drop the case, nothing will change.

          1. *often baffling

          2. @ccpbioweapon well put and with no bias do you want a job as race director, has to be the most sensible thing I’ve read about the farce that took place.
            @SkysportsF1 should take note too as you asked Geri Halliwell for her view on this, omg seeing that tells you all you need to know about the future of F1.

        3. You are confusing things here. There are certain rules which have grey areas (not good but it is what they are). Then there are rules that are black and white. The rules that were broken today we’e the latter and therefore were obviously broken. The FIAs reasoning for rejecting the appeal is a joke and hence court is the only answer. The FIA and Massi brought this on themselves. The fair way to end the race was to end under SC. It may not have been great for TV but it was fair and more importantly abided by the rules…

      2. They protested and the stewards clearly and within reason rejected the claims. To keep pushing this will lead to nothing, it was very unlucky for them and Lewis but the situation could very well be reversed if they took fresh tyres, which they should have, unless they had reason to believe that with 6 laps remaining there won’t be any racing. Max passed Lewis on the track, we keep forgetting that.

        Lewis took defeat as a champion should: with sportsmanship and grace, they should take note. To try to take the championship based on something Massi did doesn’t look good.

        1. Within reason? What was reasonable?

          The rules were never written only to favour the top two drivers as they seem to be stating.

          The rule regarding SC ending is written to make race restarts fair. The rule regarding the control of the race director over safety car calls is not to override the rule in question but simply gives them the authority to call a SC and end a SC. The rule that was broken it to control how the SC ends.

          1. Having said that, I just watched the replay and it seems that the SC lights are on when the lapped cars overtake. That contradicts that the call to end the safety car was made before deciding to let the cars through.

            Besides, the cars between Max and Sainz never overtook the SC, meaning Sainz couldn’t fight for the win. What a mess…

        2. @afonic – My disagreement is with your statement that HAM should have taken fresh tyres. Both Merc and RBR made the best decisions at the time they took them.

          HAM didn’t have the gap needed for tyres (est. 14s under SC), VER did. Neither team had a huge amount of time to decide, and Merc chose position. If the race ended under SC, it’s a win. And if they had a couple of laps, HAM had a faster car.

          Meanwhile, RBR had the gap to pit (to Perez even) and were guaranteed to NOT win if they didn’t pit. The only hiccup was lapped cars, which they presumed would clear.

          In my mind, both sides did what they had to do, given the circumstances at the time. If Merc had 14sec instead of 12, then pitting would have been smart.

    2. Actions have consequences. I expect the FIA to have to pay Mercedes millions in compensation for their error in not applying the rules.

      1. yeah, I think so. The Mclaren fine in 2007 sets the size of recompense in this sport at this level.

    3. I agree there @afonic. Not much to win for a company like Mercedes.

    4. Then the future of F1 is doomed.

      You will have more and more contrived conclusions to suck all the pathos out of the sport.

      The fans will move on, find more rewarding ways to spend their time. The farce will become
      so paper thin it will lack all credibility. Motor sports would become like horse racing with its
      poinently named horses winning for their influence.

      You’ll have race wins decided in commitees for those ‘deserving’ drivers to win with eleborate
      ways to dupe a gullible public.

      Yeah it would still be entertaining, but in a cynical self referencing way. A cliche of a sport.

      1. Your probable correct. It will become a orchestrated system. All in the name of entertainment. Liberty only goal is to chase the dollar

  4. Incoming call from Stuttgart to Toto? Not good for the Merc AMG brand to proceed I’d say

    1. How is it not good for the brand to fight to compete in a fair sport?

      1. If Merc never bended the rules, that would have been fine. But pictures show they did with their flapping wing, just to mention one. So they are in the same game and now they are simply cheeky and hypocritical. Some people even say – terrible sports persons and sour losers, but I’d stop short of that.

        However, I welcome their decision. If they go to court there will be a lot of investigation going on not limited at all to this particular situation. A great opportunity for another diesel-gate story to unravel and perhaps scare away a bit the corp interests in this enterprise, so it becomes a genuine sport again with genuine competitive players.

        1. @nnachev. That was Max’s wing flapping. Hamilton’s wing had too much gap supposedly due to broken bolts.

        2. Well I would love to see your upcoming technical essay on how they broke the rules. If you are on about the so called marking of the wing… It turns out it was actually simply a dirt mark formed by the airflow. If you are on about the strange video supposedly showing the end bending down, that is more likely the end plate bending outwards due to the pressure.

    2. Ola Källenius was present in Abu Dhabi, wasn’t he?
      I think it wasn’t a surprise that Mercedes protested. Neither is it that they’ve notified to appeal. But now they’ve got time to think. And with that, emotions are allowed to settle. They might yet still accept the situation and move on, or chose to engage in under-the-radar discussions with the FIA this winter on how to improve stewarding.

    3. Mercedes could save lots of money by pulling out of this “netflix circus”
      so I hope Merc’s will go all the way until no bridges are left unburned

      1. I’m sure Mercedes will be reconsidering its future in this ‘sport’, the same way Honda decided its had enough.

        if there’s no integrity there is no reason to commit to this endevour.

    4. Mercedes amg are not selling cars to people who watch drive to survive, their market is pensioners who remember that mercs never went wrong in the 80’s. I doubt the brand managers are panicking.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        12th December 2021, 20:35

        Are they planning to wind up the business in the next 15 years then once said pensioners are no longer buying cars?

        1. I don’t know what their 15 year plan is, but I doubt their target demographic will care about an appeal in a sport a decade and a half ago. Probably selling electric cars to Beijingers