Mercedes Have Lodged An Appeal Over The Abu Dhabi Final Lap – WTF1

Mercedes Have Lodged An Appeal Over The Abu Dhabi Final Lap

The chequered flag might have been waved, but the championship fight isn’t over yet. Furious over the conclusion to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes have launched two protests again Max Verstappen’s actions during the Safety Car and the race classification.

The first protest by Mercedes is against Verstappen for overtaking under the Safety Car, an alleged breach of Article 48.8 of the 2021 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

Article 48.8 states: “With the exception of the cases listed under a) to h) below, no driver may overtake another car on the track, including the safety car, until he passes the Line (see Article 5.3) for the first time after the safety car has returned to the pits.

“The exceptions are: a) If a driver is signalled to do so from the safety car, b) Under Articles 41.1c), 48.12, 51.6 and 51.12 below, c) When entering the pits a driver may pass another car remaining on the track, including the safety car, after he has reached the first safety car line.

“d) When leaving the pits a driver may overtake, or be overtaken by, another car on the track before he reaches the second safety car line, e) When the safety car is returning to the pits it may be overtaken by cars on the track once it has reached the first safety car line.

“f) Whilst in the pit entry, pit lane or pit exit a driver may overtake another car which is also in one of these three areas, g) Any car stopping in its designated garage area whilst the safety car is using the pit lane (see Article 48.11 below) may be overtaken, h) If any car slows with an obvious problem.”

The second protest launches is against the race results because of an alleged breach Article 48.12 of the Sporting Regulations, for failing to follow the correct Safety Car procedure.

Article 48.12 states that: “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, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.

“This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed. Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and make every effort to take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.

“Whilst they are overtaking, and in order to ensure this may be carried out safely, the cars on the lead lap must always stay on the racing line unless deviating from it is unavoidable. Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.

“If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message “OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system.”

More information to follow.

23 thoughts on “Mercedes Have Lodged An Appeal Over The Abu Dhabi Final Lap

  • Lazaros Ioannidis says:

    Don’t forget about paragraph 3 article 39.12 of sporting regulation. ” … once the last lapped cars have passed … “

    • What a shit show season… Freaking soap opera, I think I’ll watch next season on Netflix in drive to survive when it comes out.

  • If they’d change the outcome of thechampionship by a stewards decision that would make this season the season of jury scoring. I won’t watch next year, I’ll go for figure skating instead.

    • Abdulloh Mansur says:

      Allready did thought.
      Im not lewis fan but i hate this episode so much.
      Like how i hate how schumi got his 1st wdc.

      • Or how Senna lost his first WDC.
        The FIA is a joke, the stewards are a joke, and it’s always been like that.
        Took me a while to understand why that makes the sport unwatchable, but I did, a few years back.
        Now I’m just here to watch the trash burn.

  • I propose that in future the winner should be decided by getting a butterfly to flap its wings in the Amazon rain forest.

    Because they are already using chaos theory.

    Has nobody yet suggested that Latifi’s crash might not have been accidental?

  • the frustrating thing is the lack of consistency. If you allow lapped cars to overtake you should allow all of them to do so, or don’t allow any car to overtake. I feel this was just done for the show and hype. I’m sorry to say this but Michael masi needs to go.

  • How are you going to correct this? I was rooting for Max, so I might be biased. But if you revert the result what it was during safety car it seems unfair as well. While unlikely Max would have taken it. It would not have been impossible. Taking away the opportunity after the race seems more unfair to me then what Massi did. Especially when the driver or team is not at fault at all.

    I also think that what Massi did should not have been illegal, but that is an different discussion. It clearly was not correct as the rules are now.

    • I’m sure it’s awful for Max’s fans to see him lose it on the stewards’ office, but we have had a few races where the results were brought back one lap because of on-track mistakes. Fisichella’s first win was like that, I think. And red flagged races when the leading driver had last crossed the line second (only to make the overtake for the lead in the lap when the red flag was shown).
      It’s not unheard of, and, honestly, it would be the fairest way to do it. Rather than apply a time penalty to Max, which would be bonkers, even if achieved a similar result.

    • It’s an absolute travesty that this unbelievable season might end with both drivers having the title stolen from them by Masi’s incompetence, but there’s really no argument against Mercedes’ case. That’s how bad Masi’s screw up was. But the irony is Red Bull and Max were complaining about the cars not unlapping themselves when that was the only legal way to give him a shot at it. The cars ahead of him would’ve been blue flagged immediately so he might’ve had a chance, but by letting any car unlap themselves ALL cars were required to and the SC had to stay out another lap. But Max thought it was the FIA out to get him when in reality Masi’s original decision was the only way to benefit Max. Instead I’m not sure how any conclusion can be reached other than the final classification should be the order of the cars before the restart as that would’ve been their position had it finished under the SC as was required the instant the first car was allowed to unlap the leader. We should all be furious at Masi’s incompetence regardless who you were rooting for.

  • A messy (Masi?) decision by race control. First don’t allow lapped cars to overtake, then change their mind and do allowed lapped cars to overtake. It feels like they were pressured into making a decision because they didn’t want the final race of the season to end behind the safety car. Hamilton had the pace today and deserved the win, but the call to leave him out on old hard tyres is what ruined his race in the end.

    This season hasn’t been boring for a minute, has it? A wild, controversial finish is what sums it up perfectly. This is the “Is that Glock?!?!” moment of 2021. Verstappen performed amazing almost every race, and definitely gave us a thriller of a season. No one else has come so close to beating the G.O.A.T. Congratulations to Red Bull for winning the driver’s title, and congratulations to Mercedes on winning the constructor’s title!

  • I reckon the get out re lapped cars is the discretion under 48.8a. Not sure what the restitution would be anyway for a breach of rules by fia.

    Overtaking under safety car is more interesting as it would be a penalty against MV and it did mean LH had to drive off racing line (ie on a dirty part of the track)

  • Carlo Betancourt says:

    Don’t forget paragraph 33 article 11.00
    When the race is over and you accepted your trophy for second place and congratulated the winner and champion aka Max Verstappen.

    You can’t protest!😭😭😭

  • Whichever way it finished the teams would of objected. I wouldn’t want to be given it after a decision reversal. Mercedes made the wrong calls.

  • Xirlene DaSilva says:

    At the end of the day Mercedes won the biggest prize of all , Bottas and Hamilton work for team Mercedes and they won. Congrats to Max on a great race win luck was on his side today. My take is Toto and team Mercedes waited too long at the start of the season to put this out of RB’s reach by not updating the cars until they were in the hole.

  • There seems to be some misunderstanding here, maybe by me. If I’m the manager of a football team and I’m winning 5-0 then I might substitute my best players for some less experienced players to give them a run out because it’s safe to do so, the strategic thing to do. Then the referee says whoever scores the next goal wins.

    The Mercedes strategy guys weighed up all the options. Originally they figured that Max couldn’t catch up when he made the initial tyre change. And despite Pérez best efforts to slow Hamilton and the worry about a puncture it looks like they were right, although the chase was exciting.

    Then we had the crash and Max pitted, again the Mercedes strategy guys figured one of two things. 1. If they restarted without letting the lapped cars pass the safety car then there would be too much traffic for Max. 2. If they let the lapped cars through the race would finish under the safety car. These are the two options in the rule book.

    But to have the referee come up with a third option, some lapped cars, doesn’t follow either rule and seems ridiculous. In any sport anyone can win if the rules are changed during the game.

    I don’t think Mercedes should ask Max to lose his world title, they should ask for financial compensation and FIA organisation change.

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