Mercedes Have Lodged An Intention To Appeal Their Dismissed Protests – WTF1
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Mercedes Have Lodged An Intention To Appeal Their Dismissed Protests

You think it’s all over…well it isn’t. After having their protest against the Safety Car restart on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix dismissed by the stewards, Mercedes have now lodged an intention to appeal that decision.

The Silver Arrows claimed that the restart breached Article 48.12 of the Sporting Regulations, which states that “..any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car” and “…once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.

However, in their dismissal the stewards ruled that the purpose of the article was to remove lapped cars that would interfere with the racing and that the teams had agreed that ending the races under ‘green flag’ conditions was highly desirable.

Therefore, they would not amend the classification to reflect the results at the end of the penultimate lap.

The intention to appeal now means that Mercedes have 96 hours to decide whether to formally lodge an appeal, which could see the championship decided in the FIA’s International Court of Appeal.

Is this the right decision from Mercedes? Let us know in the comments below.

50 thoughts on “Mercedes Have Lodged An Intention To Appeal Their Dismissed Protests

  • If it does go to Court of Appeals how long will it be until they appear in court? When could we know a ruling on that? What happens if Mercedes were to win the appeal? Could Red Bull counter appeal?

    • There really is not a set timeline. This is what I can find in the guides:

      10.6.4 The Appellant will be granted at least fifteen days
      to submit its grounds for appeal, and the Respondent will
      be granted a further fifteen days to present its response.
      There will be a period of at least fifteen days between the
      submission of the response and the hearing. When
      circumstances so require, the President of the Hearing,
      after consultation with the main Parties, may reduce the
      time limits for the receipt and exchange of the grounds.

      So minimum of 45 days, unless the “President of the Hearing,” decided otherwise.

      RedBull has a right of review. But I am going to assume it needs new information in that case. Else that would be pointless. Considering this is about a rulebook. I doubt you find new information after the appeal. IT is FIA International Tribunal

      8.3.2 The IT may decide to re-examine a case, either on
      its own initiative or following a petition for review by
      either one of the Parties and/or a party that is directly
      affected by any decision handed down, or by the
      President of the FIA. In order to be admissible, the
      petition for review by a party or by the FIA must be
      submitted to the IT within 12 months of the decision to
      be reviewed. If the decision has an influence on the result
      of a championship, the petition for review must be
      submitted before 30 November of the year in which the
      decision to be reviewed was initially taken.

    • If Mercedes wins the appeal what do you think the outcome will be? Do you actually think the FIA is going to do anything other than nullify the results of the race? Its the cleanest way of resolution. Merc wins the challenge and Max is still the champion. Then they can say, “Toto you got what you asked for twice now. Anything else you want to cry about?”

  • Richard Jackson says:

    Can we just agree to replace the race director next year. This guy just isn’t working for anyone. Very nervous and not ready for the big time yet. The last race was a shit show and this final lap handling very messy despite best intentions.

    • Why? Toto and Horner asked for and probably demanded they race at all costs in the event of a safety car. Its been well reported in the pre-race meetings with the director. The director gave them exactly what they asked for. He did a fine job navigating the two principal jerks within the bounds of the rules.

      Toto telling Masi no safety car was a window to his soul. Basically, “I don’t give a rats behind about the men on the track making minimum wage risking their lives moving my broken toy out of the way.”

      Toto and Horner need to be fined many millions for their actions.

    • Ya loved him when all decisions went against max, now all of a sudden he has to go… Come on people… True the inconsistentsy are not great, but at least there condistant at being inconsistent…

  • so much wasted energy, mercedes will need to have new evidence, otherwise any appeal makes no sense, interpretration of the rules they will loose, that already has been done. it is a bitter pill to swallow, but in the end mercedes made the wrong call to not switch the tires from Lewis. and it would have been better if the red flag was raised, but that is only discussing afterwords. Only thing Mercedes should do is to celebrate their construction champonship, give Bottas the honors to thank him for his work. and close the book , and concentrate on next year.

  • I think it just taints the sport this type of behaviour that if you don’t win its gets decided by the court and the fia and not on track. This will have a lasting negative effect on future world championships. The situation was very messy and i think massi is to blame and should step down, there is should also be a intensive investigation into the fia and they should inprove next year. The fia is to blame but to take away the championship from max would be unfair

    • Obviously you feel that Massi and the FIA were to blame for this debacle. Subsequently you cannot argue that Lewis Hamilton, because of their decisions, had the ‘championship’ unfairly taken away from him.

      • Lewis had “his” championship taken away because Mercedes didn’t put him for new tyres under the safety car. There was entirely the possibility of the race going green & this happening.
        Plot twist; FIA didn’t “rob” Lewis of an 8th title, his time did

        • No it wasn’t rob by his luck. It was rob by the FIA because they let the lapped car ahead of Verstappen to pass instead giving all lapped cars to unlap themselves

        • Daniel Tilbury says:

          So Lewis pits, max doesn’t and takes track position and wins under the safety car. That’s why they couldn’t pit him.

        • Lewis didn’t have pit opportunity without losing track position. MV still had good tyres and therefore a real advantage.

      • None of this was the driver’s fault. This was FIA entirely not following there own guidelines. Spoilt the end of a great season of racing.

        • Spoilt the end for Ham fanboys.. the fast majority of neutrals enjoyed the twist, and of course so did Max fans…

    • timor Burmensky says:

      If you want it decided at the track than verstappen hadn’t won because he was slower the whole race he has only won because he had fresher and softer tires.

    • If they don’t take it to appeal, the FIA remain unpenalised.
      Though it’s harsh for Max it’s the same the other way, Lewis was well ahead and couldn’t possibly have pitted so it’s clear the advantage max had could only be increased doing as was done.
      And it contravenes not just the regulation, but the words out of Masi’s own mouth after the 2020 French GP.

      I doubt Max wanted to win that way, though probably just glad to win, and no doubt, Lewis would not relish being bestowed the title after appeal.
      However there has to be clarity and consistency.
      Already this year there’s been dubious calls and drivers left confused as to just what’s ok or not now. That has to stop, and when they cite things like “Let them race” well they were not the only ones, under safety car and with no cars between, what about 3rd and 4th ?

      It won’t change hands now,the FIA won’t want to admit it was wrong, what will happen is heavily interpreted rules,and possibly a clarification quietly next year to ensure no repeat of that.

      Either way ending up unfair for one racer whatever the outcome

      • If they take it to appeal, it should reflect on the constructors championship, like Dock them points for being bad sports… put them second too, might make them stop being so childish, maybe trow them out next year, Mercs are really setting a bad example for future sports. I expect that kind of thing from Lewis, but actually Lewis showed a bit of class which is nice to see after all these years. MECEDES THOUGH COME of all your talk, I really thought you were better than that…. True colours shown I suppose…

    • Yeah in fairness we don’t really know what kinda of pressure there is being put on Massi in order to keep races interesting… certainly teams moaning over radio doesn’t help. Like telling Massi not to bring out safety car is so so so much out of order. This has to be Masi decision and him alone. If someone, marchells or driver get hurt because Masi is under pressure from teams and makes wrong call, do you think Toto will take any responsibility, no he’ll say its Masi decision… I think the Mercs have really lost themselves without the guiding hand of Nikki Lauda….

  • Yes! the stewards had other options that were within the rules but decided to make up their own to create a racing finish, that is not in the rules or in the spirit of racing, Max was fortunate to be able to change tyres and Lewis was not so was at a disadvantage, then the stewards gave Max another advantage by removing the 5 lapped cars which created the only possible outcome.

  • To be honest i would do the same as Mercedes and I’m sure RB would do too.Mercedes decisions not to pit Hamilton was based for either lapped cars not passing the SC or ending the Race under SC conditions which were based under the current regulations. If Director can override regulations on the spot then we will have anarchy and personal bias . Lets put it this way if an AI software that knows the regulations would make the decision we would have a different outcome , hence i believe the protest is justified. I am not againt Max winning he was the best driver of the season , my issue is that FIA incompetence made F1 experience worse for me as a loyal F1 fan for more than 20 years

    • If AI software were to be used then Hamilton would have had to give the position back from the first lap and the outcome could have been quite different. He benefited from rule “breaking” on lap one and Max benefited from rule “breaking” on the last lap. However you feel like looking at it both gained benefit. They didn’t pit because of track position and said so over the radio. The rest, from the peanut gallery, is pure conjecture.

      Time for Toto to move on and stop crying. He told Masi to have a race in the event of a safety car before the entire thing started. Masi gave him exactly what he wanted. Now he is whining. The only adults in the room are Hamilton and Max while their bosses act like spoiled children.

  • Piss poor call by Mercedes to Appeal.

    They are the first to complain that all fighting should be trackside, first to throw RB under the bus for using CAS, yet they will happily go there to point their own finger at everyone but the guy responsible for the piss poor strategy calls that meant Hamilton was left on track for an extended period of time on worn rubber for 2 safety periods.

    It seems they’re forgetting that on Lap 1 their poster child decided to go for a mega corner cut, and the FIA allowed it despite previous precedent set between these two and position handling. If I were Mercedes, it’s time to take it on the chin like an adult and move on. They got some favourable calls this race and last, and they trashed their opportunities.

    • Their “piss-poor strategy” wins them the race if the rules are applied as written so that’s just a specious argument as is the suggestion that Lewis had anywhere else to go but off track. when Max ran the entire width of the track. Mercedes have squandered opportunities here and there (Baku for instance) but this one was all on Masi.

  • Piss poor call by Mercedes to Appeal.

    They are the first to complain that all fighting should be trackside, first to throw RB under the bus for using CAS, yet they will happily go there to point their own finger at everyone but the guy responsible for the piss poor strategy calls that meant Hamilton was left on track for an extended period of time on worn rubber for 2 safety periods.

    It seems they’re forgetting that on Lap 1 their poster child decided to go for a mega corner cut, and the FIA allowed it despite previous precedent set between these two and position handling. If I were Mercedes, it’s time to take it on the chin like an adult and move on. They got some favourable calls this race and last, and they trashed their opportunities.

  • That “highly desirable” is doing so much heavy lifting here. So basically they started with the desired outcome from a pure spectacle point of view and worked backwards towards it, fairness and consistency and the actual rules be damned. It’s not quite WWE but it’s trending the wrong way. Hopefully this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back as far as Masi is concerned.

  • David Cunningham says:

    If you apply a regulation you have to ensure it is fully implemented, not partially to favour one team over another. The FIA need to sort this out fully, or next year will be a disaster, no one will believe them.

  • The regs need to change so that car gaps are restored after sc comes in. Can do this with tech and message of steering wheel, telling each driver when they can go full speed again

  • Terence Beckett says:

    It was a shocking move by the FIA,
    They wanted to create a Roy of the Rovers / Days of Thunder film like fairy tale ending.
    Max being on fresh rubber ensures that the 2 contenders were just actors…
    Massi was the director..

    Bloody shameful for the sport.. the ending was contrived.
    It’s damaged the sport for me.

  • Matt Gehlhoff says:

    There are 2 questions, one easy to answer the other hard to answer.

    Was Masi decision in breach of Article 48.12?

    If so, what is the remedy?

  • Only possible resolution is nullify result and do a shootout. Just verstappen and Hamilton, winner takes all. . 30 laps or whatever of agreed track. How exciting would that be. I’m a WSBK guy myself, but I’d certainly watch that.

  • Congratulations on your knighthood Sir Lewis Hamilton the contributions and outstanding achievements as a global branding you are in motorsport is indeed irreplaceable GOAT

  • The solution to this problem is to stop cars pitting under the safety car ,they have the technology to control the speed of the cars at the flick of a button so there should be no need for safety cars anyway

  • The appeal is necessary in order to get the ambiguity out of the Regulations. Any = All.
    Plus, the Race Director should not have the authority to ignore the Regulations.
    Removing lapped cars to “permit raving” applies to more than the two lead vehicles. Other teams and drivers farther back were also racing, and their needs were being ignored.
    Under Caution, all gaps should be maintained whether under Virtual Safety Car, or full.

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