Mercedes withdraw appeal to end Lewis Hamilton Abu Dhabi dispute 5 months ago

Mercedes withdraw appeal to end Lewis Hamilton Abu Dhabi dispute

It's official: Max Verstappen is definitely, definitely the world champion

Mercedes have withdrawn the appeal they submitted in the wake of Max Verstappen's controversial world championship win on Sunday.

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Lewis Hamilton had led the Abu Dhabi grand prix for most of the race before being overtaken by Red Bull's Verstappen on the final lap.

The Dutchman breezed past after a safety car had earlier come onto the track following a crash involving Nicholas Latifi. That allowed 24-year-old Verstappen to change tyres, giving him a distinct advantage. Hamilton, 36, had been on the same tyres since lap 14.

Having lodged appeals immediately afterwards, a statement from Mercedes has now confirmed that they have withdrawn them, removing any doubt that Verstappen will remain world champion.

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"The reason we protested the race result on Sunday was because the Safety Car regulations were applied in a new way that affected the race result, after Lewis had been in a commanding lead and on course to win the World Championship," the statement explained.

"We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced.

"Thus, we welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of riles, governance and decision making in Formula 1. We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.

"The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team will actively work with this commission to build a better Formula 1 – for every team and every fan who loves this sport as much as we do. We will hold the FIA accountable for this process and we hereby withdraw our appeal."

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The statement also congratulated Verstappen and the Red Bull team on their victory:

"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."

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