FIA offers explanation for rejecting both Mercedes protests and explains why Verstappen won fair-and-square

The FIA rejected both Mercedes protests submitted to them after the Abu Dhabi GP, with the irony in it tragically hilarious.

Mercedes filed two protests against the FIA for what they deemed as illegal judgment calls during the race. The first one was regarding Max Verstappen overtaking Lewis Hamilton when the Safety Car was still in front of the pair.

The second one was regarding the championship itself, with them challenging the intent behind letting only a few cars unlap themselves.

The FIA rejected both Mercedes protests, which is strange considering they are essentially clearing themselves of any wrongdoing.

As per, the first statement read, “Red Bull argued that Car 44 was not ‘overtaken’ by Car 33, that both cars were ‘on and off the throttle’ and that there were ‘a million precedents’ under Safety Car where cars had pulled alongside then moved back behind the Car that was in front. 

“Conclusions of the Stewards: The Stewards consider that the protest is admissible. Having considered the various statements made by the parties, the Stewards determine that although Car 33 did at one stage, for a very short period of time, move slightly in front of Car 44, at a time when both cars where accelerating and braking, it moved back behind Car 44 and it was not in front when the Safety Car period ended (i.e. at the line).”

The top two if the FIA hadn’t messed it up. Source: Getty Images

Two down

The second rejection read, “Having considered the various statements made by the parties the Stewards determine the following: 

That Article 15.3 allows the Race Director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal. 

That although Article 48.12 may not have been applied fully, in relation to the safety car returning to the pits at the end of the following lap, Article 48.13 overrides that and once the message “Safety Car in this lap” has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap. 

That notwithstanding Mercedes’ request that the Stewards remediate the matter by amending the classification to reflect the positions at the end of the penultimate lap, this is a step that the Stewards believe is effectively shortening the race retrospectively, and hence not appropriate. 

Accordingly, the Protest is dismissed. The Protest Deposit is not refunded.”

Mercedes will appeal the decision to the higher courts. There are talks of them approaching the CAS, which is the court Manchester City appealed to overturn their Champions League ban.

Read more: Verstappen hits FIA with scathing rant for showing partiality towards Hamilton

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