Wolff Believes Mercedes Would Have Likely Won Abu Dhabi Appeal If Judged In A ‘Regular Court’ – WTF1

Wolff Believes Mercedes Would Have Likely Won Abu Dhabi Appeal If Judged In A ‘Regular Court’

Just hours after announcing that Mercedes would not be appealing the race result from the Abu Dhabi season finale, in which their driver Lewis Hamilton lost out on an eighth world championship in very controversial circumstances, boss Toto Wolff has been talking to the press about his thoughts on the whole thing.

After taking the lead on the first lap of the race, Hamilton looked set to finish ahead of his championship rival Max Verstappen and take a record-breaking eighth drivers’ title. That was until a late crash from Nicholas Latifi in his Williams triggered a safety car and meant Verstappen could pit for fresh tyres.

With a select number of cars between both Hamilton and Verstappen being allowed to overtake to get out their way, Verstappen was able to make a last-lap move for the lead of the race and won the championship in the process.

Mercedes immediately protested this decision by the FIA after the race results, saying it was an alleged breach of Article 48.12 of the Sporting Regulations and failed to follow the correct Safety Car procedure.

This protest, as well as another about overtaking under the safety car, were both thrown out by the FIA. It was after this dismissal that the Mercedes team lodged their intent to appeal the decision.

After a few days of silence from the Mercedes team, who also won their eighth constructors’ championship over the weekend, Toto Wolff has finally spoken out.

When asked by The Race on how close Mercedes came to actually submitting an appeal, Wolff said they “believed we had a very strong case and if you look at it from the legal side, if it would have been judged in a regular court, it was almost guaranteed that we would have won.

“The problem with the ICA (FIA’s International Court of Appeal) is the way it’s structured. The FIA can’t really mark their own homework, and there is a difference between being right and obtaining justice.

“So there is a lesson to be learned: how can we ensure that going forward, in situations like that, the right decisions are being taken?”

Wolff also added that Mercedes “cannot continue in a sport that is meant to be sport followed by entertainment and not the other way around.” Ooft.

Both Hamilton and Wolff will not be present at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony this evening.

Were Mercedes right to withdraw their appeal? Let us know in the comments below. 

16 thoughts on “Wolff Believes Mercedes Would Have Likely Won Abu Dhabi Appeal If Judged In A ‘Regular Court’

  • G and F Emmen says:

    I think it’s way below conventional social standards, to NOT show up to this Gala.
    Max was there every year that Lewis won. Every losing team has always cheered him/them on, even when they lost. That they can’t return the favor, even when they disagree with how things went, shows how emotionally classless they are.
    They may be hurt, but so were all losers in previous years. They all put on a smile, and politely celebrated the winner.
    I am so deeply ashamed of Lewis’ and Toto’s behavior. I don’t ever want to see either of them in f1 again. Even if they were RIGHT about the mess up of the race and it’s conclusion, you don’t throw a toddler tantrum and forget your manners while you could just as easily choose to show some class.
    Sometimes style is all you have left.
    Or, in this case…

    • “I don’t ever want to see either of them in F1 again”. Don’t you think that you are also throwing the so called”toddler tantrum and forget(ting’)your manners” when you could just as easily choose to show some class?

      • G and F Emmen says:

        I think I’ve shown class, and this is purely my opinion, and personal preference. I’m not calling them names, I’m not cussing anyone out, and I’m not excluding them from this Gala they ARE supposed to attend. Obligated actually.
        So that does rubb me the wrong way. And, I was discussing Toto and Lewis’ behavior, not mine. Yes, I am a keyboard warrior. Openly admitted. I’m also an intelligent human being who has seen the smear campaign Mercedes has activated all year against red bull and specifically max. That lost them my respect for them. Red Bull is not innocent in this either, but it was Mercedes who 1. started it, and 2. kept it going with a vengeance.
        So yes, they have lost my respect, and I’d prefer to not see them again in f1.

    • Tarush Agrawal says:

      I mean to be honest I think your perspective is quite narrow here. Consider the fact that this decision is one set without precedent, regardless of whether you think it was the best decision or not, as in no other race has had only half the cars overtake under a safety car. Yes, it may seem petulant, but when a director does something unexpected directly destroying your hope of a championship i can understand trying to send a message through the Gala. When you talk about previous years, I can’t remember another decision like this, without precedent, deciding a championship so I think it is unfair to compare such situations (if there are please forgive I’ve only been watching for 5-6 years). It’s not like Mercedes and Hamilton outright refused to accept Max as champion, they did congratulate them and Verstappen himself. You can claim that was a face saving manouvre, but pretty much every congratulation from a losing team will sound that way so it rings hollow.

      • The championship was decided when Latifi went into the wall man. But the FIA should’ve made the decision a lap before, they had 5 (FIVE) laps to think about it.

        The whole season, the lapped cars unlapped themselves every time a safety car was deployed. Alonso and Vettel said 2 3 laps before that they didn’t understand why they weren’t unlapping themselves.

        • Tarush Agrawal says:

          I mean they can’t unlap cars before the damage is cleared so they didn’t have 5 laps. and Al and vettel said that literally the lap before people did start unlapping which means even if they listened then there wouldn’t have been enough time to unlap everyone and follow the same rules. Again, I’m not really arguing over the decision, Masi decided and we aren’t lawyers to say he was wrong but I’m saying the decision had no precedent (half the cars only unlapping) so I can understand why this is more frustrating than other title deciding decisions.

  • Actually, yes, I think they would have won. BUT, because others had to suffer too (the 3 cars that didn’t unlap themselves), if I was redbull I would have pushed to cancel the whole race and the championship would have ended in Saudi, meaning Max would have still won.

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