Safety Car, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021

Mercedes give notice of intention to appeal decision they believe cost Hamilton title

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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The destiny of the 2021 world drivers championship remains in doubt as Mercedes are preparing to appeal after losing a protest aimed at changing the result of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team notified the FIA of their plans shortly after the stewards dismissed their protest over the handling of the last-lap restart in today’s race.

Max Verstappen claimed victory in the race, clinching the drivers championship, after passing race-long leader Lewis Hamilton on the final lap. This followed a contentious restart at the end of the previous lap.

Mercedes claimed multiple aspects of the regulations were not complied with when the race was restarted. They requested the stewards amend the classification to reflect the penultimate lap of the race, before the track returned to green.

The protest was rejected by the stewards four-and-a-half hours after the race finished. Soon afterwards a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed: “We have lodged our intention to appeal document 58, the decision of the stewards to dismiss the team’s protest.”

The team gave notice of its intention to appeal under article 15 of the International Sporting Code, which governs appeals, and article 10 of the Judiciary and Disciplinary Rules.

Mercedes also lost a separate protest, alleging Verstappen overtook Hamilton during a Safety Car period, but are not appealing against that decision.

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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445 comments on “Mercedes give notice of intention to appeal decision they believe cost Hamilton title”

  1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    12th December 2021, 20:01

    Just let it go Mercedes. This is a bigger yoke than the 2021 championship.

    1. I mean, It won’t change anything but it shows that the rulebook needs updating. For example why was lapped cars allowed to unlap between Ham and Ver but lapped cars between Ver and Sainz were not. Is Sainz not as important, is he not allowed to race for the win or 2nd? This decision today showed faults in the FIA and although it looks petty from Mercedes, I want them to push it if it at least causes some rules to be simplified and applied more consistently in the future.

      1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
        12th December 2021, 20:11

        Masi is a yoke and has been the whole time as race director, but he’s like Mike Dean in football. It’s not the F1 drivers who should be punished, he should go and that’s it.

        1. He’s the John Moss of formula one. He applies rules inconsistently and tries to be the teams friend. Instead he loses all respect from drivers and teams

        2. All very well calling for Masi’s head @come-on-kubica, but who the hell you gonna replace him with?
          There’s a plethora of Footy Refs sadly however there’s very few possible candidates qualified to be race director of the incredibly complicated circus that F1 has become.

          1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
            13th December 2021, 16:31

            (@f1johns) ill happily take the job. And I promise to make it even more confusing to get more netflix views.

            Seriously, there are other race directors from other motorsports. They shouldn’t keep someone just because they haven’t got an alternative. He’s made countless odd decisions in the last 2 years. Changed is needed and he does not seem adequately qualified.

      2. How is it petty by Mercedes? If the FIA had adhered to their rules Hamilton would have won under yellow. Fact.

        1. If the FIA had adhered to their rules, they would let the cars unlap themselves 2 laps earlier like they normally do (Vettel and Alonso have pointed that out also). And there would have still been enough time for a racelap. Fact.

          1. You don’t understand the rules then. The lapped cars couldn’t unlap themselves until the track was clear. They were let through as soon as it was clear on the penultimate lap meaning the safety car should have returned to the pits at the end of the following lap.

          2. I didn’t think they could start / allow un lapping until the issue that brought the Safety Car out was cleared

      3. @rob8k The idea that Mercedes are protesting out of some kind of magnanimous noble desire to improve the sporting integrity of F1 is as nauseating as it is ridiculous.

      4. Yeah but there is more to that story. Like why didnt Masi let the cars overtake 2 laps before that decision. Alonso for example was already asking on his teamradio why they weren’t allowed to overtake yet. Then a lap later they got the message that lapped cars wont be allowed to overtake which in itself didnt make sense. Then 1 a 2 laps later Masi let those few cars through.

        If Masi had been decisive early on he would have not caused the contraversy as all the lapped cars would have been able to overtake and there would have been 1 lap left to race.
        Instead he was indecisive, waited too long and because he really didnt want the season to end behind the safety car, he decided to not allow those cars to overtake. Which was unfair for Redbull.
        Then I guess he realised it would be unfair for Verstappen, seeing how they normally do allow cars to go through, Masi decided to fix his mistake by letting those few cars through.

        So I dont think the decision to let those cars through was a mistake. It was just taken too late. The fact that other lapped cars werent allowed to overtake means those cars should have the right to appeal.

        I think if Masi had done a proper job, he would have let those cars through sooner, then we would have had 1 lap to race and the end result would be the same with Verstappen winning.

        1. agreed. while i wouldve been sad that ham gets passed, at least it would be under legit circumstances. you cant just arbitrarly change the protocol for no good reason with what is 1/2 a lap (lap 58 under sc seals it). especially under such circumstances. red bull wouldve accepted that the sc gambit did not work and that would be that because he failed to do that we have this mess, and he had the gall to say its racing….. thats not a race. ham was like an lmp2 car trying to defend against the toyota hypercar on the last lap.

        2. I rewatched it, and it’s clear that only about 9 seconds before the penultimate lap started, marshalls could be seen hopping over the barrier to safety, with Giovanizzi’s car looking like it’s been safely tucked away. Presumably it would have taken a bit longer than 9 seconds for Masi to be then told that the track is clear. So maybe he could have made the call to unlap early enough to allow all cars to unlap themselves, but not early enough to allow racing after the additional lap the unlappers are typically given to get away.

        3. You nailed it. That lack of good decision making is Masi’s flaw in all of this. if was the same thing in Spa. He red flagged the action prematurely without thinking about the possibility that the weather would never improve.

      5. The rule book is fine.
        It’s the match fixing by breaking the rules that is the problem!

      6. Well said Sir. Exactly Masi needs to go and get someone to rewrite the rule book or at least (simplify it)

      7. I know mine is just another in a sea of opinions, but with the race director seemingly openly stating his actions were to clear the lead 2 cars of any interference and facilitate a racing lap seems, to me at least, to be an absolute crazy position for an official to take. As stated by @rob8k, what about Sainz. Even if he proved unable to attack Ver, SURELY he should have been offered the same opportunity to do so, as Ver was provided against Ham. Ver was only so close to Ham because of SC’s and VSC’s, and fair enough as these are clearly understandable consequences that ultimately favour one or other driver. We all understand that drivers can ‘get lucky’ by dint of the application of rules, or of course ‘get unlucky’. However, to be leading the race, to accept the poor luck that sees the pursuer able to make better use of pit stops, to understand that a SC cuts your gap. These are hard enough to deal with despite ultimately being the way the cookie crumbles. But then to have one individual decide that if they apply parts of the rules that suit them then he can put that person who had the good fortune to have much fresher much faster tyres right on your tailpipe with not even a ‘hint’ of competition from behind. That’s not bad luck. That’s just succumbing to another’s whim.

        It seems an utter nonsense that documented rules are even allowed to be ‘interpreted’ outside of their obvious intent. As many have stated, let all cars unlap, or none. Not a hastily made up version of the rule to suit one individuals desired scenario. If this can be done, why have rules at all?

        I feel compelled to say that I am a HAM fan. But I don’t believe he is a perfect person or a perfect driver. I believe he was fortunate with the early incident (despite the fact that I continue to disagree with Ver’s view on what constitutes an acceptable overtaking attempt.) And now some time has passed I am also happy to say that I am not even that miffed that Ham lost the title. However I do believe that this should quite rightly be contested even if not for the purposes of overturning the result, but to establish what the point of the rules are, and to what extent they should be followed. To bend them with a justification of improving the show is no justification at all. Even trying to finish under a green flag should not be ‘forced’ when doing so would so obviously impact the result. Why cant the driver’s cut corners, and then rebuff any penalisation on the basis that their actions were to improve the racing so are not subject to any rule in it’s entirety.

        And surely, anyone with an ounce of common sense doesn’t buy this ‘any’ doesn’t mean ‘all’ BS. If they expect me to believe they really think that, then I have to re-evaluate how much of anything RB have said may be grounded in reality. Not that I was that impressed with Merc’s overtaking behind the safety car complaint, though at least the rationale for that exists in the same dimension that I reside in.

        1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
          13th December 2021, 5:24

          @cairnsfella
          I agree with your general assessment here. I think “lead cars” should include Sainz in 3rd. But I think the fact that Masi has Toto and Horner constantly squealing at him all the time when things don’t go their way (team principles should not be able to talk to race control during sessions as they do). Resulting him just focusing on the two rivals only. Lets be honest, Masi has done a poor job all year. IMO, the last race with a lap to go after a SC period with two drivers championship hopes on the line…. I think this was a reasonable call (aside from hanging Sainz out) to allow the two drivers settle this championship on track. Granted, I agree the process was not followed to the letter and agree this should be re-addressed and spelled out better. I also second the your thoughts on the as in the “red flag should not be forced to finish under green flag conditions”.

          I think the FIA really needs to take a hard long look at overtaking and clearly spell out what is deemed acceptable or not. Max’s standard of driving was and is unacceptable more times than not IMO. He expects ALL of his opponents to back out or make corrections to avoid contact. His standard is not fair play nor is it racing! Max is the most “unsporting” and entitled driver I’ve seen come through F1 (yes, more so than Senna and Schuey). Brazil and Jedah was dangerous from Max! In any sense, the FIA needs to crack down on this ASAP!

        2. Good reasoned analysis and comment here

      8. Cas do have the power to overturn the results ..if Mercedes can prove that FIA didn’t follow there own rules. And acting in poor judgment. I can’t wait to see how this shakes out. Either way there are no winners in the MASI Cheated everyone!!!

    2. its a ‘yoke’ that race stewards/masi make up rules on the fly to artificially benefit one driver over another.
      Mercedes have a huge case going on the letter of the law regarding the restart fiasco

      1. If you go by the letter of the rule, Mercedes have no case at all because 48.12 fails to apply for lack of one of its conditionals.

        1. Not really, read in context. The message that lapped cars may overtake MUST be sent to ALL competitors, and the context strongly indicates that “any”, here, means “all”. Then the safety car is to be brought in at the end of the following lap, which would have been the end of the final lap.

          Instead, Masi sent a message that only certain, specific cars may overtake, and ended the safety car period early. This is not following the procedure set out in the regulations, it’s making it up as he goes along. It’s a farce.

          1. 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

            These are the two conditionals that are required for rule 48.12 to apply. Unless both are met, it is immaterial what follows in the rest of 48.12.

          2. But that’s the only provision for lapped cars to overtake. This just adds more fuel to the fire that Masi completely made up an arbitrary rule with a massive effect on the result. It isn’t just ignoring a couple of points in the rules, it’s completely throwing the rulebook out of the window and doing something new and unprecedented. Surely you can see that’s completely unacceptable.

          3. @drmouse

            48.12 describes the procedure to be followed if the two conditionals are met.

            They were not, as far as I know.

            Protesting that 48.12 wasn’t applied fully or correctly when it didn’t apply at all is going to have your complaint dismissed when following the letter of the law.

          4. @proesterchen
            If that’s the case, then there was no legal grounds for Masi to let any lapped runners through at all. That’s the only provision in the rulebook which allows for it.

          5. @drmouse

            So Mercedes would have protested on the wrong grounds, then.

            The point is if Mercedes insisted on a ‘letter of the law’ approach as suggested by the post I replied to, they’d rather have no case at all.

      2. If the race had been one or two laps longer then all cars would be allowed to clear, return to back and then SC in.

        Hamilton would then have lost out. But if it had been one or two laps longer he may have pitted.

        That was the gamble RB took and lost, knowing the end of race was near, got timed out with lapped cars between.

        FIA intervened & broke rules moving RB from loss to win.

        1. +1

          And that’s an important fact. If Merc knew how liberal Masi was going to be with the restart, they would have pitted

        2. A couple more laps (or lapped cars clearing earlier) and Hamilton would have had time to pit for tyres too – and then very likely won. The fact is, in normal conditions either all the lapped cars would have been cleared, or none of them would have been cleared. In either case Hamilton would almost certainly have won.

          1. The only way ham would’ve won is that merc would’ve taken the right strategic decisions

    3. No one would have bat an eye if this happened at the first race

      1. If this had been the first race of the season Masi would never have changed the rules to SC procedures
        As someone said above, half carrying out the rule only gave Max a chance at Lewis, but what about Carlos having a chance to go at Max, or even both?

        1. Indeed. This would’ve never happened at the first race. Either they would’ve finished the race with the SC or none of the lapped cars would’ve been allowed to overtake. Masi bended the rules only because it was the last race of the championship.

        2. You really think Sainz would want to attack Max or Lewis? You are delusional.
          All other drivers, except Bottas and Perez, tried to stay out of the way at this stage.

          1. “You really think Sainz would want to attack Max or Lewis? You are delusional.”

            You really think Max had a chance to attack under correct ruling of safety car periods? You are beyond delusional! Rule says all cars to unlap, then next lap SC goes away, or no cars unlap it start as it is! 5 cars in between, do you really think Max even with a rocket ship couldnt do miracles… only miracle needed was a made up rule by no other than masi to clear the way for max and let him come behind max and start the race instantly? do you think ham would drive as slowly as he did if the rule changed just a few corners before the final lap? yeah these are the delusions max fan bois see as reality!

            This was the third biggest farce after SPA 08 and Brazil 21! I could call Jeddah Farce 4th but they tried to make up for it somewhat vaguely!

          2. YES they came to race, if not they may as well stayed in the pits, maybe LAT should not have crashed and messed up the race?
            Or do you keep out of HAM and VER from race 1 of the championship because it might effect their title hopes??

          3. I absolutely think that each and every one of those drivers would have gone for victory if they had a chance. They stayed out of the way when they were being blue flagged, but fighting for a race win is a completely different thing.

          4. That’s not how rules work Chris.

        3. very clever about the same chances for carlos Sainz

        4. If Masi was thinking clearly he would have allowed all cars to unlap themselves early in the SC period. And we would have ended up with the same result.

    4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      12th December 2021, 20:01
      Just let it go Mercedes.

      If a burgler steals your money and laugs at you then you cannot let a burgler go!

      1. unable to lose .. then RB will appeal for Silverstone? – however it is rather embarrassing … don’t they realize that if they continue like this they will sell fewer Mercedes cars?

        1. they did appeal silverstone. they lost that appeal.

          1. I think he means in court which is ridiculus to me when the steward close it it’s done and over.

        2. Mate, this will not affect whether or not they sell cars.

    5. So you can then say see Mercedes agrees that the race was fair? Mercedes needs to exhaust all avenues.

    6. I just can’t wait for Toto Wolf to retire.

    7. Good luck with that, Toto. You might be banned from the sport for life, for bringing it into disrepute.
      Go hang with Flavioi. Separately, ans Ben Franklin famously said.

      1. Stop commenting on this site please, you contribute nothing.

        1. Sure, just to please you. Get lost

      2. Well said Sir. Exactly Masi needs to go and get someone to rewrite the rule book or at least (simplify it)

    8. Would you let it go? The rules were clearly broken in order to change the outcome!

      Now I feel sorry for both Lewis and Verstappen as this is not their fault. But no matter how you look at it this was a trash result and the FIA need to be taken to court. The rules can not be changed mid race.. the rules are clear and they were obviously broken. The FIAs argument that the spirit of the rule it to clear backmarkers from the leaders is total rubbish. I have never heard this argument and it makes a mockery of the rules. Surely all competitors matter not just the two at the front? Then the argument that the race director has control over the safety car is smoke and mirrors. Yes he has control over when he calls it out and when he ends the period but the rules clearly state how the end should be handled, otherwise there is no point in having those rules at all. It is utter tosh and the FIA know it. The courts will see through those weak arguments in a flash.

      The FIA had a chance to restore faith in their handling of Motorsport and they threw it away.

      1. Lee 1 I am as outraged as you are.
        This is a rigged result. There is something deeply disturbing and sinister about what happened today.
        I am starting to feel that there is a white supremacist element within F1 that were prepared to do anything to make sure Schumacher’s record is not broken by a Black.
        Max can jump for joy but when he looks at himself in the mirror he will know that he never won today.
        He never beat Lewis today.
        It was gifted to him and that would gall any true sports person.
        There is more to what happened today and in time it will come out and something quite sinister Masi’s actions this entire season

        1. “White supremacists” at work? Grow up.

        2. Is that you Toto.

        3. Stop, please.

    9. Does anyone have any past examples of a safety car coming in before the end of the following lap? Has it happened before?

      Were any of the lapped cars behind Max robbed of a chance to catch the car in front?

    10. The race result will never be over turned. The FiA just wont do that. It wouldn’t be fair on Max as he just played the cards that fell in his lap. Masi does need to be made accountable for his atrocious decisions throughout this season though! Hopefully this Merc appeal and any subsequent legal challenges will mean changes are made within race control. Us Lewis fans can hark all day and night about how unfair it may be but… it’s done. It’s not going to change anything. Merc should just focus on ensuring Masi and his team are held accountable.

    11. I told Toto not to forget the kitchen sink. Yet, here we are…

  2. No surprise here then. if there’s a rulebook FIA needs to stick to it. They cannot allow the Race Director to make things up as he sees fit. How can teams and the sport function like that?

    Regardless of the outcome at the very least, Masi needs to go.

    1. I don’t believe trying to get the ref fired from the association is an acceptable aim for any competitor.

      1. But he’s simply not up to the job. He is not capable of interpreting his own organisations rules. There has been many controversies with him. I don’t really see how any of the teams can have faith in him going forwards. You only had to listen to the comments of some of the other drivers not involved. They mostly seem to think it was a poor interpretation of the rules.

        1. Alexander McFarlane
          12th December 2021, 20:47

          At this point I’m finding F1’s controversies are wearing thin, they have time to discuss gimmicky ideas like sprint qualifying and taking the sport to questionable locales like Saudi Arabia but the fundamentals like stewarding and race directing have got worse this year. If the rules can be interpreted in such a wide manner they are simply not good rules.

          How is it that what is supposedly the pinnacle of motorsport barely a race goes by that we’re not talking about something other than the actual racing?

      2. If the ref makes consistently inconsistent rulings, why not?

      3. What is the point of rules to govern this sport if one man can interpret these how ever he see’s fit for a given point in time.
        and the term “any car lapped cars” doesn’t mean 5, 4 or 6 surly it means the lapped cars.

    2. Exactly. Mercedes will not get satisfaction. But there is one tiny thing that can be done – kick Mask out.

      He shouldn’t be near a formula 1 track again unless he’s wearing a dunce cap and cleaning the porta potties with a straw.

    3. yup. you can say baku was race fixing as well. that 1 lap shootout was clearly not warranted.
      ironically he shouldve red flagged the race if he wanted a shootout thats fair. see….even masi is inconsistent with his own rule bending.

  3. They should let this one go I think.

    1. No they should not. At the very least this will give us better rules for future and better race director. This is still a sport for many and in a sport Masi’s decision was not fair because it was not according to rules.

      1. They should because they were mute whenever those decisions suited them. Masi is consistently inconsistent (as are the stewards) the entire season and beyond that.

        1. Dex, Thats not a good reason. Two wrongs dont make it right. Both teams are terrible at being consistent with their views but they are competitors , they don’t need to be. FIA needs to be, especially when their own regulations don’t agree with their decisions, and here they didn’t. FIA agreed 48.12 was not followed. 48.13 to me can be overriding in some cases but it didn’t need to be in this instance. Masi didn’t need to break 48.12 to get the race restarted.

          1. Ivan Vinitskyy you miss the point, the theory that does not need to be proven in court is that masi meddled in the race to make max win, what CAN be proven is his actions breaking FIA protocol at the end of the sc period towards the end of the race to artificially benefited one driver over another.

            Masi could’ve restarted the race with unlapped cars in the pack, that was an option but masi didn’t do this because imo it would obviously harm max’s chances as there would be cars in between lewis and max and lewis could sprint to drive over the line to start the last lap whilst max cannot overtake lapped traffic under yellow flag conditions until he crosses the line, this scenario would mean Lewis would win.

            Masi didn’t want to use the other logical option to ALLOW all cars to unlap themselves as he was running out of laps and couldn’t restart the race with a train of unlapped traffic just ahead of Lewis and that would’ve triggered another lap under sc thus Lewis would win..
            The biggest case against masi is that he conspired to not adhere to standard restart protocol because it didn’t benefit the ‘right’ driver and allowing only the cars in between max and lewis to unlap themselves so Max could have a clear shot at Lewis under the restart is more than enough evidence Mercedes needs to protest and a slam dunk ruling to overturn the result.

            Its hard and not really necessary in this case to prove the intentions of fixing but it is totally clear that masi panicking seeing the laps count down did not use standard protocol to restart or finish under yellows and hastily made up rules to benefit max who was on new soft rubber and almost guaranteed to overtake lewis if he restarted under green directly behind him.

            Its a no brainier for merc to go all the way and take this to court to overturn the results, if not whats the point Daimler spending €100’s millions to lose a title because of clown stewarding and rouge fia officials wanting the ‘other’ guy to win so makes up rules that don’t exist in the FIA rule book..
            This is extra important because If the FIA does not follow its own rules F1 loses all legitimacy and corporations are not going to throw billions at a wwe ‘sport’ with fake netflix drama and random rulings..

          2. @ccpbioweapon I agree with what you’re saying although those points weren’t ones I was addressing in my post. It was specifically whether 48.13 gives Masi the right to ignore other rules (48.12). “his actions breaking FIA protocol at the end of the sc period towards the end of the race to artificially benefited one driver over another” is not going to be provable. Intention is hard to prove. If they can prove 48.13 should not have overridden 48.12 then it should be enough.

          3. @ivan-vinitskyy
            I don’t think intent needs to be proved, only the result. He did not follow rules, procedure or precedent, and arguing that a rule which tells them how to inform the teams the SC is ending overrides the procedures set out in the rules is bonkers. Why bother having the rules and procedures in that case?

        2. But that’s kinda the point. Mercedes should take this further, not because it will overturn the result, but because this cannot be allowed to happen again. Progressing the case will shine a spotlight on the terribly inconsistent and often baking behaviour of the race director and the stewards.

          If Mercedes just drop the case, nothing will change.

          1. *often baffling

          2. @ccpbioweapon well put and with no bias do you want a job as race director, has to be the most sensible thing I’ve read about the farce that took place.
            @SkysportsF1 should take note too as you asked Geri Halliwell for her view on this, omg seeing that tells you all you need to know about the future of F1.

        3. You are confusing things here. There are certain rules which have grey areas (not good but it is what they are). Then there are rules that are black and white. The rules that were broken today we’e the latter and therefore were obviously broken. The FIAs reasoning for rejecting the appeal is a joke and hence court is the only answer. The FIA and Massi brought this on themselves. The fair way to end the race was to end under SC. It may not have been great for TV but it was fair and more importantly abided by the rules…

      2. They protested and the stewards clearly and within reason rejected the claims. To keep pushing this will lead to nothing, it was very unlucky for them and Lewis but the situation could very well be reversed if they took fresh tyres, which they should have, unless they had reason to believe that with 6 laps remaining there won’t be any racing. Max passed Lewis on the track, we keep forgetting that.

        Lewis took defeat as a champion should: with sportsmanship and grace, they should take note. To try to take the championship based on something Massi did doesn’t look good.

        1. Within reason? What was reasonable?

          The rules were never written only to favour the top two drivers as they seem to be stating.

          The rule regarding SC ending is written to make race restarts fair. The rule regarding the control of the race director over safety car calls is not to override the rule in question but simply gives them the authority to call a SC and end a SC. The rule that was broken it to control how the SC ends.

          1. Having said that, I just watched the replay and it seems that the SC lights are on when the lapped cars overtake. That contradicts that the call to end the safety car was made before deciding to let the cars through.

            Besides, the cars between Max and Sainz never overtook the SC, meaning Sainz couldn’t fight for the win. What a mess…

        2. @afonic – My disagreement is with your statement that HAM should have taken fresh tyres. Both Merc and RBR made the best decisions at the time they took them.

          HAM didn’t have the gap needed for tyres (est. 14s under SC), VER did. Neither team had a huge amount of time to decide, and Merc chose position. If the race ended under SC, it’s a win. And if they had a couple of laps, HAM had a faster car.

          Meanwhile, RBR had the gap to pit (to Perez even) and were guaranteed to NOT win if they didn’t pit. The only hiccup was lapped cars, which they presumed would clear.

          In my mind, both sides did what they had to do, given the circumstances at the time. If Merc had 14sec instead of 12, then pitting would have been smart.

    2. Actions have consequences. I expect the FIA to have to pay Mercedes millions in compensation for their error in not applying the rules.

      1. yeah, I think so. The Mclaren fine in 2007 sets the size of recompense in this sport at this level.

    3. I agree there @afonic. Not much to win for a company like Mercedes.

    4. Then the future of F1 is doomed.

      You will have more and more contrived conclusions to suck all the pathos out of the sport.

      The fans will move on, find more rewarding ways to spend their time. The farce will become
      so paper thin it will lack all credibility. Motor sports would become like horse racing with its
      poinently named horses winning for their influence.

      You’ll have race wins decided in commitees for those ‘deserving’ drivers to win with eleborate
      ways to dupe a gullible public.

      Yeah it would still be entertaining, but in a cynical self referencing way. A cliche of a sport.

      1. Your probable correct. It will become a orchestrated system. All in the name of entertainment. Liberty only goal is to chase the dollar

  4. Incoming call from Stuttgart to Toto? Not good for the Merc AMG brand to proceed I’d say

    1. How is it not good for the brand to fight to compete in a fair sport?

      1. If Merc never bended the rules, that would have been fine. But pictures show they did with their flapping wing, just to mention one. So they are in the same game and now they are simply cheeky and hypocritical. Some people even say – terrible sports persons and sour losers, but I’d stop short of that.

        However, I welcome their decision. If they go to court there will be a lot of investigation going on not limited at all to this particular situation. A great opportunity for another diesel-gate story to unravel and perhaps scare away a bit the corp interests in this enterprise, so it becomes a genuine sport again with genuine competitive players.

        1. @nnachev. That was Max’s wing flapping. Hamilton’s wing had too much gap supposedly due to broken bolts.

        2. Well I would love to see your upcoming technical essay on how they broke the rules. If you are on about the so called marking of the wing… It turns out it was actually simply a dirt mark formed by the airflow. If you are on about the strange video supposedly showing the end bending down, that is more likely the end plate bending outwards due to the pressure.

    2. Ola Källenius was present in Abu Dhabi, wasn’t he?
      I think it wasn’t a surprise that Mercedes protested. Neither is it that they’ve notified to appeal. But now they’ve got time to think. And with that, emotions are allowed to settle. They might yet still accept the situation and move on, or chose to engage in under-the-radar discussions with the FIA this winter on how to improve stewarding.

    3. Mercedes could save lots of money by pulling out of this “netflix circus”
      so I hope Merc’s will go all the way until no bridges are left unburned

      1. I’m sure Mercedes will be reconsidering its future in this ‘sport’, the same way Honda decided its had enough.

        if there’s no integrity there is no reason to commit to this endevour.

    4. Mercedes amg are not selling cars to people who watch drive to survive, their market is pensioners who remember that mercs never went wrong in the 80’s. I doubt the brand managers are panicking.

      1. Are they planning to wind up the business in the next 15 years then once said pensioners are no longer buying cars?

        1. I don’t know what their 15 year plan is, but I doubt their target demographic will care about an appeal in a sport a decade and a half ago. Probably selling electric cars to Beijingers.

  5. Knowing when to stop is important.

    And hey, Toto, you passed that point several hours ago.

    1. Mercedes HR is waiting for your call btw…

      1. You should know that he is the co-owner of Mercedes racing along with Mercedes and Ineos.

    2. @proesterchen Say, I stole your money and your trophy and was crowned champion, would you stop?

      Now imagine the courts agree with me and find that I was entitled to all your property because I’ve brown eyes or my name is Masi.

      Would that upset you? What if I invited you to your house and threw a party? Would that make you feel better?

      Once it involves you, it’s a different matter, right?

      Toto’s responsibility is to fight this especially since theft was involved. He should be doing that on behalf of the sport with the full support of Red Bull and Max.

      1. Once it involves Lewis, it’s a different matter, right? If this was the other way round, you’d be rightly calling Horner an embarrassment.

        1. Once it involves Lewis, it’s a different matter, right? If this was the other way round, you’d be rightly calling Horner an embarrassment.

          So it would make it right that it wasnt horner who was wronged… great logic.

          1. so avoiding the point made is your “”answer”… LOL

          2. You are avoiding reality so you buzz off mate. It is only not fair to you guys if it is horner wronged. If Mercedes is robbed, that’s totaly fair all of sudden. What do you think if the roles changed Horner would do? Redbull would be at court’s door or do not let masi leave until he accepted his fault and let redbull win. Oh wait, he already spared redbull from actual penalties now 3 times in a row,this must be the icing on the cake. If masi is not sued for game fixing, I don’t know how the f1 can continue as a sport or Mercedes and ham should just give up racing altogether since races are won by director ‘s decision like in movies…

        2. I can tell you that I would support Red bull if they were in the same situation. This is not sport this is WWF wrestling style entertainment. Rules are rules, they are there for a reason. I would be okay with Max as champion if he had won it fair and square. I don’t blame him for this and I feel sorry for him if he ends up losing it in court, but this is entirely of the FIAs making. And the result was not a fair one due to the rules not being adhered to by the FIA themselves!

    3. Unlikely, Mercedes have been wronged by the FIA not applying their own rules. Expect millions in compensation. They have to go through the agreed process first.

    4. ‘Mercedes give notice of intention to appeal decision they believe cost Hamilton title’

      That summs it up quite nicely. That decision did not cost him the title. It cost him the victory. They should never even have been allowed to compete for the championship at that final round in the first place. It was staged beyond believe. The season should have been wrapped up races ago without all the questionable actions from FIA. I am not sure it will work in Mercedes favour to open the can of worms called FIA, but bring it and let’s go a bit wider than just last night please.

  6. Sore losers. Mercedes had two opportunities to put Hamilton on fresh tyres and didn’t take it. No wonder Hamilton failed to defend his position with such a sore loser team putting him on an inferior strategy.

    1. IVAYLO, go back to strategy school, then come back once you’ve understood why things unfolded the way they have.

      1. Right. I’m sick of idiots who do not understand saying why did Hamilton not put for fresh tyres. Because then Verscrashen would have stayed out and had track position. Also the race director had already said that lapped cars COULD NOT unlap themselves meaning there would be five cars between the front two. MV who had nothing to lose pitted anyway and Masi changed the rules to suit him.

        1. I saw Masi favouring Mercedes once again but then was caught out and made a clumsy repair. Yet the intend was clearly to let Hamilton have it. It was just too obvious. Why on earth would you otherwise not let cars unlap themselves? That has never happened before. Overall the FIA needs to be replaced/restructured as they tainted the whole season. Complaining now will do Mercedes no good as an investigation will harm them more than RedBull when all is brought to light.

      2. Strategy school would have brought Lewis in under the VSC costing about 14s, because he would have been on new hards with 20 laps to go, 3 – 6 seconds after VER. (I’m going for the plan where VER does the opposite of HAM, here) No way VER would be able to keep him there on his +25laps older tires.
        Then, at the SC Hamilton would’ve probably been on a better tire, making it impossible for VER to overtake.
        Mercedes might be mad at the FIA, but they should be mad at themselves for digging their own grave!

        I’ve got a mixed feeling, feeling sorry for LH to lose like this, but I’m more than happy Mercedes got what they deserved… And it’s not that they didn’t have some big favors due to safety-cars or neutralisations themselves this year. Where would Lewis have ended up if not for that gift in E-Romagna?
        On another note, I’ve got an issue with their super engine in Brazil… AFAIK the customer teams should have the same spec engines as the main team, but I doubt this was the case since Brazil.

        A suggestion: Instead of the lapped cars getting the chance to unlap themselves and wait until they’re back, why not move them backwards by letting those in the lead lap past and give them an enforced 3-5 second gap to the car in front (A cost for the virtual lap not driven)?

        1. @George.be

          Strategy school would have brought Lewis in under the VSC costing about 14s,
          Interesting strategy on hindsight unless you knew there will be a sc period 4 laps from the end… in that case, hello Flavio Briatore is that you?

          Ham def could get by max easily but on hindsight only… because you wouldnt know about the SC at the end and made up rules would still create the same situation! i dont remember a single race in the past 35 years that they changed the SC rules to suit one driver in a way just a few corners left to proceed normally esp when they already said what they were gonna do before hand! every part of the world, this is called game fixing and illegal!

          1. You didn’t want to hear the expletives I’ve uttered in front of my TV screen.
            First @ the 1st stop from Hamilton. What was that about? Covering Verstappen who could just about match the speed on the new tires? They should’ve told Lewis to go Full Hammertime for 5-10 laps, creating a window to Perez. Don’t bother about VER until he gets closer to negative…
            Then @ the VSC: By coming in with the 20+ lap old tires was a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter what happens later on in the race, the chance on a red flag situation here is close-to-none, so it doesn’t matter what VER does, you’ll eat him up twice on a new set of hards, if VER stays out.
            In case of a second VSC or SC, Mercedes would then have been in a comfortable position:
            Or they’re ahead, and can chose to pit if that is faster (because VER would have no choice, being on +30 lap old hards)
            Or they already have the fastest tires to the finish line.
            This is no hindsight but pure maths. I have to agree, I’m not always right (for instance Jeddah went against my calculations due to the red flags)

          2. Do you really believe max had any realistic chance of overtaking ham without taking ham out of ham didn’t take avoiding action. The pitstop call is great on a hind side. They were burned just last race or didn’t you watch? How do you know red flag is out of question? With the director we saw today and whole season, do you think if ham was the one behind he would do what he did with the lapped cars? Seriously asking, do you really believe that was even a possibility in any of the races you have watched before? Anything close to this stupid? Just let the cars in front of second car pass and make that decision only few corners before tha last and then call it racing? It is unbelievable to think otherwise… But whatever rock your boat mate. Seen perez retired, I have every reason to believe redbull was ready to create an artificial rf/sc situation using perez if ham did indeed pit.

    2. It didn’t matter. The SC was checkmate with Masi in control. He could choose either outcome.

      1. Yes, Masi became the puppet master and milked it.

    3. IVAYLO obviously an f1 novice not looking at the facts, If Lewis pitted 100% chance rb would tell max to do opposite to gain track position and looking at the farcical ending to this race what would stop masi from finishing under yellows to hand max the win? Similar to saudi race(lew pitted max didn’t and masi a few minutes later put out red flag which give max a free tyre change) masi waits until merc make the move inder caution before making decisions so merc was screwed whatever they did today.

      Maybe research more into F1 instead of basing f1 knowledge off drive to survive and astroturfed F1 subreddit page…

      Daimler should take this all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, its clear that the FIA are not going to investigate themselves..

      1. You are working under the grand conspiracy presupposition that race direction is making their decisions to favour Verstappen. You are just like anti-vax people or Q-Anon at this point.

        1. Not really. They have a good point. Given the rule seems to be arbitrary now, it is impossible to know what will happen the next time a SC is called out near the end of a race.

          1. That doesn’t mean that they make choices to favor Max. Fact is that the choice they made was optimal for ‘the show.’

    4. You need to sit down and think a little harder about the strategies. Mercedes played it correctly if the rules were worth anything.

  7. The race director can make things up as he sees fit. That’s what the rules say, as explained in the decision. The decision also states that all teams agreed that is is highly desirable to end a race under green. Masi was doing what Mercedes wanted.

    1. @uzsjgb There was a way to follow all the rules. Get safety sorted > sort unlap cars > remove safety car > race. If you can’t get it done in allocated laps – tough luck. You don’t bend rules because you want to end under green.

      1. @ivan-vinitskyy Indeed. Races have ended under SC conditions before, so this obsession of wanting green-flag running at all costs is unnecessarily big.

        1. Also, if they want green flag running, get rid of the safety car! VSC will cover most incidents, and those that don’t would be better handled under red flags. The safety car just wastes racing laps.

          1. @drmouse That would also be wrong. We agreed, for safety reasons, no VSC with crane on the track. This leaves either red flag of safety car. Red flag would be terrible too because it’s a gamble, it resets everything. Good for the show but terrible for fairness. Safety car was the right call, only rules on how to deploy it and how to remove it weren’t followed. More importantly however safety measures deployed have to be proportional to severity of incident on track, no way should race be stopped because 1 car touched the barrier. It’s not severe enough.

            I can’t wait until safety events stop giving teams an opportunity to gain an advantage. It should be a rule, if you pid under SC or VSC then you need to stay in the pit box for extra 10sec to ensure no advantage can be gained. Similarly no tyre change during stoppages.

          2. I can’t wait until safety events stop giving teams an opportunity to gain an advantage. It should be a rule, if you pid under SC or VSC then you need to stay in the pit box for extra 10sec to ensure no advantage can be gained. Similarly no tyre change during stoppages.

            SC will always penalise some and help others, as will a red flag, unless you’re going to ask the field to spread back out to their relative positions before resuming the race.

    2. I think Mercedes might have a leg to stand now the fia dismissed the appeal on the grounds that not letting a cars to unlap them self’s would not have likely change the outcome the race they don’t seem to consideration that p3 could have change the outcome of the race attacking max in to the corners

      1. Nathan Totten perfect point, also don’t forget IF the race restarted with NO cars allowed to unlap themselves that would give Lewis more breathing room to pull an early gap on Max as he would be ‘stuck’ behind lapped cars on old tyres and cant blue flag overtake until he crosses the line, those extra seconds would’ve meant that Lewis would’ve been safe to max.
        But masi wanted to fix it for max to have the best chance on fresh softs and ordered ONLY the cars sandwiched in between him and Lewis to unlap so he is directly behind lewis, this would be fine under normal circumstances if ALL cars unlapped themselves but NONE of the cars behind max could unlap which unfairly penalized drivers like Carlos Sainz.
        So its ok to move traffic out of the way under sc to benefit 2nd place runner max but not 3rd?
        masi didn’t bother with cars behind max because if ALL cars unlapped themselves that would mean another sc lap hence Lewis would win under yellows and masi knew this which is why he panicked and made up discretionary(FIA speak for he made it up) rules to suit the driver he wanted to win…

        This is where Mercedes have a massive case. the FIA cannot allow their stooges to get away with making up artificial new rules on the fly when it suits them, there is too much money on the line and investment for Daimler/Toto not to challenge rule breaking by officials. if Lewis can be excluded from Brazil quali for a 0.2 mm slot gap infringement the FIA can be challenged for blatant corrupt practices like the farcical stewarding shown in Abu Dhabi!

    3. @uzsjgb
      Masi had several options to end the race under green while not bending the rules:
      – Allow lapped cars to overtake earlier (might have been unsafe though).
      – Don’t allow lapped cars to overtake (probably would’ve ensured that Hamilton wins the race, but then again, the goal shouldn’t be to let Verstappen win).
      – Red flag the race (would’ve been a controversial decision just for the show also, but at least it would’ve ensured that neither Hamilton nor Verstappen had a huge advantage at the end of the race).

      If none of the above was possible, then the race should’ve ended with the SC out.

      However, Masi bended the rules and made a decision that ensured Verstappen’s victory.

      1. The power went to his head today.

      2. @hotbottoms
        Always interesting to see that bending the rules to profit lewis is not problem.
        A red flag situation can only be called when there is danger on track. That was not the case.
        A SC is called to clear the track and to resume the race as soon as possible.
        That is exaclty what masi did and i understand you do not like the outcome (same with me regarding the passing outside the track by lewis early on)
        Its the directors discretion to call for the start and ending of a SC.
        A Vsc is no option because there will be personal and towtrucks on track.
        Ending under SC is something you should not wanted. Its racing, not processional driving behind a SC.

        1. btw, the advantage Max gained was because of the decision to pit him for softs. Something Mercedes could have done also, but was riskier losing track position. But still, its racing!!!

        2. I was addressing Masi’s response that he made the decision, because the teams had wished that race ends under the green. As I pointed out, there were several options do that while following the rules. If they weren’t possible, then the race should’ve ended with the SC out. The way Masi ended the race wasn’t done according to the rules.

          For some reason, several comments today have claimed that I am a Hamilton fan. I’m not, even though I would’ve preferred Hamilton to win. I’m actually a Finn and the Finnish drivers are the only ones I support. But I just very much dislike the stewarding of Formula One these days. If Formula One is supposed to be a sport, it should follow the rules and not ignore them for a better show.

        3. The director can decide when to end the SC. He did that and always does that. There is no rule to govern when a SC period should end. However once the Director decides to end the SC there are rules on how that is done. It is those rules that were not followed.

          It is sort of like how in Rugby the referee decides when to call for the end of the game (Within certain boundaries) however he then has to follow the rules on exactly how that game is ended (By a ball going out of play). The referee can not arbitrarily just abruptly end the game just because he feels like it.

    4. I am not sure the teams gave the race director freedom to ignore the rules. They just said if there is something that is close to the line then to err on the side of racing. That is not a free pass to make up the rules as you go.

      If so then the rule book should have one rule.

      Rule 1: The race director can do whatever they want.

      End of rules…

  8. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    12th December 2021, 20:07

    If you love the sport you will need clarity as much as Mercedes AMG. Right now we have none. The rules can apparently be changed by the Race Director on a whim, which means there is no sport. No-one wnats that, surely? Not even the Max fans?

    1. Exactly. With this interpretation of the roles, there would be nothing to stop the race director throwing a safety car without an incident to bunch up the field “for the show”, or bringing the safety car in without informing anyone, or letting just one lapped runner unlap themselves, giving them an advantage. It’s wide open to abuse.

      I’d give him discretion, but it should only be on safety grounds.

    2. I agree – trouble is, this has been the case all season so to protest it when it goes against you leaves a bit of a sour taste. I don’t believe for a second Mercedes would be pushing for clarification if the same situation benefitted them.

      1. Honest question, why does it leave a sour taste. Surely you don’t want people to be able to break rules with no repercussions? They even admitted the rule was broken in the hearing we’ve had – the bare faced cheek of the fia, they literally said “We broke the rules but we’re not going to do anything about it.”

        That leave the sour taste to me and I’m sorry, they need to be brought hard down to earth for that insult to all fans of the sport.

      2. To me, it isn’t the appeal which leaves a short taste, but the way the season ended. It was a farce.

        Any team in this situation would appeal. The FIA broke their own rules, and in doing so decided the championship. Mercedes will lose millions from this, with sponsors often paying bonuses for winning races and the championship. If the situation was reversed, Horner would certainly be appealing it, as would any team principal.

        I have no doubt the result will not be changed, but I still support this appeal and any further legal action Mercedes take. We need to shine a spotlight on this. We can’t have the officials breaking the regulations like this. If Mercedes just drop it, nothing will change.

      3. You are perfectly right there yeah @petebaldwin. The procedures and stewarding have been bafflingly inconsistent this year. That is really something where we need more clarity and more transparency.

        I think Mercedes calling the FIA to clear the rules would work (they would have most drivers including a very vocal Alonso and probably a majority of teams as well as fans on their side for that), but I wholly expect them to quietly inform the world that they won’t actually be pressing on with this appeal later this week (after the MB board has had a word with the by then cooled down team leaders), since an appeal is not really going to bring them any good.

        They have already won the constructors championship anyway, so it is not about money. And even if the FIA would be told to annule the decisionmaking for breach of proper procedures in this race, that in itself would not mean Hamilton would win. And even if it would, would that actually satisfy the Brand image. Would it satisfy Hamilton? Would it be fair in the eyes of the fans?

        It rather would end up in a messy long-winded procedure (surely the FIA would appeal to the appeal) that reflects badly on the Mercedes brand (fighting with the rule makers doesn’t generally makes for positive image for big companies) and distract from their next season.
        Instead they can turn it into a positive to just drop the appeal and galvanise the feeling of being treated unjustly by coming back better next year.

        1. I honestly believe that, if Merc drop the case, nothing will change. Merc need to keep this going to force a change, because dropping the case would be taken as an admission that it is perfectly acceptable for Masi to invent new rules on the spot and ignore the rulebook.

  9. Really had hoped they were only protesting to try and get clarification on the rules or the thinking of their application but no it would appear they’re very set on reversing the classification to elevate Hamilton to champion. As ungracious in defeat as they are in victory.

    1. @rocketpanda How about you spent 30 years working on something and then someone else steals it from you. I’d like to see you gracious in defeat then.

      1. I mean 2021’s been a long year but 30? Querying the application of the rules and why choices were made is something that absolutely needs to happen as they’re certainly questions that need answering, but protesting? Would they really be happy winning a world title off the track like this?

        1. @rocketpanda 30 years to approximate the total amount of men days spent running the season by Mercedes stuff. This decision undone all the work by 800 strong workforce. Of course they will be upset if decision is not fair. I get upset when I don’t get the right of way as a pedestrian. The magniture of unfairness fustifies protesting.

          1. Well those men and women very deservedly earned their unprecedented straight constructor’s championship, for building what will remain in history as arguably the greatest racing car ever made. What this circus is now is at the end of the day for the benefit of just one (extremely well paid) employee. HAM has been a long time in this sport to know sometimes luck and decisions come your way and others its not and he showed some grace in defeat. Yes, this might hurt a bit now, but it was very bad luck, same bad luck that MASSA felt in 2008, same bad luck that VER had, where he was hit by BOT earlier this season. What fate gives you sometimes it takes it away. Its about time they let it go and focus on coming back stronger next year.

          2. They still won the consturctors championship though @ivan-vinitskyy

          3. nico_speed, @bascb You can’t compare constructors to driver’s title. Everybody, team included feels for driver’s title more. Rightly or not, that’s how it is.

          4. @nico_speed

            This was not luck though… Luck would be your competitors engine gives up, or your competitor has a puncture, luck is not the Officials bending the rules for TV ratings…

          5. If ham had a puncture or engine blow up gearbox gave way, that would be luck, if there was 20 laps to go and safety car came, that would be luck last time around. But 3 laps to go? And despite the rules, masi made a decision against the rules against every safety car situation and protocols went down the drain. This is pure murder of the sport. Clean violation of the rules, and it should be challenged all the way. This is not luck, this is pure race fixing.

          6. Off course the PR and feel good value of the drivers championships is by far the most attractive to anyone @ivan-vinitskyy. I am sure most of the people at Mercedes will feel they did not get a fair chance to win it.

            But when you bring in those 800+ who worked towards this, they ARE also rewarded for winning that constructors title. And the team also gets their F1 money based of that one too, so it is just not true that they are left empty handed.

          7. Surely Mercedes and its fans are capable of looking beyond a single race? There was a whole season leading up to the final race. You can’t dismiss that and say you were cheated out since you didnt win the last one. The fact they were still in it wasn’t right in the first place. And Masi tried everything to help them but was caught. I mean, you always let the cars unlap themselves. By his initial statement to let them be, he truly showed his colours.

      2. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
        12th December 2021, 20:18

        Don’t worry in the England we live with a Tory Government so we all know that feeling.

        1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
          12th December 2021, 20:24

          +1

    2. It would have been gracious of race control to stay within the rules. One cannot blame a competitor from appealing against such shameless decisions, favoring their opponent and taking away a WDC title.

    3. Based on the conclusion of the stewards’ decision, teams are now more vulnerable to the whims of the race director. He ignores rules and is also allowed to override or interpret them in protests as he deems fit. He is judge, jury, and executioner.

      1. Yes @gufdamm, that’s what “overriding authority” means.

        1. You should have the mental capacity to understand that overriding authority doesn’t mean right to ignore the rules, but the unquestionable authority to carry them out.

          1. It does not mean “right to ignore rules”, no @gufdamm. And it does mean that the race director is now interpreted to have more leeway to decide how the rules exactly are best followed to enable safe and fair racing.

            We will see whether Mercedes go through with the protest, and what the result of that might be. For me, I think it would be good to get back to basics, define the core idea of what we (the FIA, Liberty, in conversation with drivers and teams, I guess) want to achieve – safety, more clarity and a core idea of letting a battle play out in general – and then give the stewards (and race control) solid guidelines and do away with most of the pages of rules that are inconsistent and so detailed that almost nobody even is capable of knowing all of them

          2. @bascb

            it does mean that the race director is now interpreted to have more leeway to decide how the rules exactly are best followed to enable safe and fair racing

            If it was down to safety, I’d be OK. If a situation is unsafe, the officials need the power to make it safe.

            This wasn’t anything like that. This wasn’t even “we want to finish under green flags”, as there were multiple legal ways to do that within the rules. It certainly wan’t for “fair racing” either, as fair racing happens under the rules.

            This was purely to give an exciting finish for TV, even though it handed the win to VER on a silver platter. Changing the rules in a way which changes result of a race just for the spectacle isn’t very far off match fixing.

          3. @drmouse, I think that when things settle down, there are not going to be many fans who really feel good about the mess in deciding about the SC ending, how etc. yesterday.

            I actually do think that it is good if we get rid of some of the rules and just give responsibility to the race director. But that can only work when we first define what the goal should be. As you mention, safety should be clearly foremost (and probably is, at least this year we saw less risks taken there than we got last year), I do think there is a place for “try to get as much real racing laps in as reasonable” as a general target right next to that.

            We now suddenly find ourselves in a situation where the Stewards are highlighting that in their view Race Control is actually allowed to pick and choose how exactly to do things with regards to the SC, when in the past these exact procedures were followed, used as excuses for things and often changed afterwards when “it looked odd on tv”.

            To me, had it finished behind the SC (or with Verstappen stuck behind the lapped cars) I would have probably felt almost as much deflated as I felt now after the conclusion.

            I even had thoughts going through my head about how big of a % in Mercedes Benz the Abu Dhabi wealth fund holds and whether they were just spraying the fire exthinguisher on Lafiti’s car to make sure the SC holds until the end to make sure Hamilton wins (pretty ridiculous, I know. Kuwait does own about 7%, Abu Dhabi does not, and even then, surely no marshalls would do that).

            I think Hamilton did show during the race that he/his car were the better this weekend and deserved to win, but that ending was going to be really unsatisfactory a way to end this great season.

          4. @bascb Had the rules been followed, I could have accepted either result. I do accept Max as WDC, but I don’t accept that the behaviour of the race director is even close to acceptable.

            I actually do think that it is good if we get rid of some of the rules and just give responsibility to the race director.

            I completely and vehemently disagree. This would just lead to more inconsistency and more controversy. It would be like removing the pit lane speed limit and just saying the cars must drive at a safe speed in the pits: There would be arguments about what a safe speed was, people would get penalised when they were driving at a speed many considered safe.

            Wherever possible, there need to be black and white rules, or as close as possible. If discretion is allowed, it should be in defined ways and for defined reasons.

        2. Koddamn answers your point. Also the wording implies this is authority over the track clerk not authority over the rule book.

      2. There is a simple retort to that decision.

        What was the justification for overriding the usual safety car rules?

        1. Safety?

        2. Let them race ?

        3. Something else ?

        If no1. then surely to keep the safety deployed was the best recourse

        If no2. then surely that should be for all the field to race and not just one (Verstappen) or two drivers, so the logical decision would be to permit all the cars un-lap themselves ?

        No.3 then surprise us all, because I can’t think of any other reason not encompassed in the above two considerations.

        Mercedes should continue with the appeal, of course if the decision is overturned it won’t be satisfactory to win in such a manner but besides that small victory, it should really help in turning things around in F1.

        Yes other bad decisions have been made during the season, including no investigation decision against Hamilton earlier in the GP and Verstappen at Brazil.

        But the difference with those is that the rules can be interpreted differently. Today the race directors decision was not in accordance with clear rules set by the FIA themselves !!!

        1. If FIA really rejects the appeal, then the rule book is for show, it does t exist in reality. There is no reason to race at all if race director decides to choose the wdc. Why do they even bother racing 60 laps if the race director can make up decision to change the winner.

          Being a worthy driver doesn’t mean a deserved driver. Anyone saying otherwise is pure troll or hooligans.

      3. and drives several Mercedesses. That much was clear already earlier in the season

    4. Well they have not got clarification so the only route is appeal….The FIAs response was bizarre and utter tosh and if allowed to stand basically says the race director can do what they like regardless of the rule book

      For the sake of F1, Merc need to take it to court.

  10. None of what you’re saying has anything to do with their belief that obvious rules were broken. Let the appeals process decide whether they have a case or not.

  11. The integrity of the sport has taken a huge hit today sadly. Irrespective of who the cars and drivers involved are, you simply can’t have a race director overriding the written rules just to falsely create a racing lap for “the show”.

    It would almost be understandable if the fight was fair, but the lap time difference between scrubbed softs and 40 lap old hards must be several seconds. It wasn’t overriding the rules to “let them race”, it was to facilitate shooting fish in a barrel.

    Whether the right driver won the title could be argued about forever. But the right driver did not win this particular race. And not because of luck or skill or strategy, but by the race director overriding the written rules. The worst possible outcome.

    1. I think the simple point is this. The rules state that at the restart, race control can allow lapped runners to pass the safety car. On this particular occasion, they only allowed lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to do so. The only possible reason for this is that they feared the other lapped cars would be unable to pass the safety car in time to get one more lap of racing. Therefore, race control deliberately bent the rules to allow for an exciting conclusion to the championship, and it changed the outcome of the championship. And this is not something I agree with in Formula 1.

      1. Even if the rules somehow allowed only certain cars to pass. The other rule states that after the last car unlaps itself the the safety car will come in on the next lap…

        1. This is butchering the sport in its finest… Either there is a rule or there is not. There is no half rules quarter rules or benefiting only one person rules. Incredible that masi even entertainer horner (we need only one lap) every one needs one lap, not just redbul!!!!

  12. I don’t see this going anywhere, mainly because of the line about overriding authority. No court will overturn the Race Director’s decision based on a rulebook that is written to allow wide latitude to the Race Director. For a court, it is not about what seems fair.

    1. Spot on mate.

      I suspect our counterparts are not aware, or possibly overlooked that language in the rule book

    2. I doubt the Concorde agreement gives the race director the authority to ignore any rules for any reason. If they put that in the rule book regardless – and reading it, it does not seem to apply, at least to me, but then English is a third language. The point is, if they did put it in, then it’s still not legal! Ferrari alone would have veto’d that till the cows come home even if every other team in the paddock agreed – which they wouldn’t.

      1. The International Sporting Code says that the race director has “overriding authority” in respect of certain matters, including the use of the safety car. According to the stewards’ decision this phrase must also appear in the F1 sporting regulations as well. So the rule book does not give the race director free rein in relation to everything, but it does appear to give him plenty of leeway when it comes to the safety car procedure.

        1. They also say that any car that is a lap down is required to overtake the safety car if that is the race directors decision. Only instructing 5 cars to do so _is not using the safety car_, it’s breaking the rules.

          1. But the race director is the one who decides.. that’s in the rulebook!!
            So no rules bend and the bad strategy by mercedes is the cause of lewis losing.

          2. That’s probably stretching the meaning of the words in the rules – and I think the ISC would probably take precedence over the Sporting Regulations, if it came down to it.

          3. No erikje, it’s not in the rule book. You saw a rule saying that the race director has authority over the clerk and decided it meant he can ignore any rule that suits him. It does not.

        2. so a rogue or compromised race director ..can do anything….

    3. I disagree. The rule does not say that the race director can do what he likes. The rule states that he has the authority to call out the SC and to End the SC. Under the latter then the other rule then comes into play in order to restrict exactly how the SC then comes in. The rule then gives the director two clear options to choose from. No rule gives the race director free reign over this. If it did then why is there a rule to control how a SC period ends? This is why a court will see through the FIAs argument.

      1. Also, that section is on determining the relationship between the race director and clerk of the course. It is basically saying that they must cooperate but, for those listed areas, the race director has final say and the clerk cannot operate without their consent.

    4. So are you saying the tace director has the power to manipulate the result?

      This should be a sport not a circus. Millions of dollars are involved here and Masi will be facing huge consequences, easpecially if investigations revealed that he was paid off by RedBull!

  13. For me this is the ultimate proof Mercedes and Toto Wolff just can’t deal with losing. Interesting psychological phenomenon!

    1. @rinodina Interesting psychological phenomenon is you reading this situation so badly.

      1. Weird…it just reads that way. Smells like it too. Grasping at straws here.

      2. You give me the impression you’re one of those sore losers yourself. Interesting!

    2. NPD: Narcissistic personality disorder

    3. why should they?
      I guess police work will be much easier if in any robbery case they just go “oh let it go, you have to know how to loose”

      1. I read somewhere Merceds want to shorten the race by one lap, givinbg Saint Lewis the win.

        Talking about bending the rules…

        1. There is precedent – when the flag was waved a lap early by some celeb, the race length was reduced.

          1. I think there is specific provision for that in the rules, i.e. there is an actual rule to cover what happens if the chequered flag is waved early. However there is nothing in the rulebook as far as I’m aware that would allow the stewards to decide that the race results are to be taken from an earlier lap when the race finished normally.

          2. I thought they had to fall back on the “race stopped within 25% rules” last time? Either way, if the rules don’t specify what to do if the race director broke the rules and by doing so benefitted some drivers and disadvantaged others, then how can you continue beyond that point?

          3. Yes, but can you do that afterward? Cutting the race short in retrospect would imho be absurd.

          4. The chequered flag incidents are decided after the race, so yes, they can do it after the race

          5. So bending the rules favoring lewis is alright… good to know. Then at least your position is clear ;)

          6. As I’ve endlessly told you erikje, I don’t support Lewis. I used to support max, it was you, solely you and you alone who caused me to stop. Shall we take this opportunity to remind anyone who reads this that erikje has never posted on this site while there is a power cut at the Red Bull technology centre, where their pr department work. I’m sure it’s unrelated that even pre pandemic he posts here as if it was his full time job.

            Now we’ve dealt with your dishonesty, it’s not ok for the rules to be broken, by anyone. But it’s worse when they are broken by the race director. I don’t care who benefits, particularly not when it’s one of the two least interesting drivers on the grid, who I go to great pains to avoid watching, and try to enjoy every other racer’s race on the grid.

            Go on, accuse me of being British again, I dare you.

        2. so how this is relevant?
          or just angry kid pointing dirty finger in all direction failing to answer properly?

    4. its a question of procedure..lets talk to latifi..find out if the gods of racing made him crash at turn 14….

      1. Latifi drives a Merc-powered car, unfortunately. If the SC had been caused by Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly or Checo, all the fanchildren would be clamoring the accident was fixed. Such a pity.

    5. This really doesn’t prove anything, apart from Mercedes preparing themselves so that they CAN decide to appeal if they really feel it will achieve something Jonathan.

      We don’t even yet know whether they will acutally appeal. But if they do not inform (signal their intent) the FIA that they might want to appeal, then they cannot later decide they would want to. They can however decide not to push through.

  14. FIA tells Mercedes that if they had pited LH, they wouldn’t have lost, and they wouldn’t have complained for the restart

    1. If Merc had pitted LH, Max would’ve stayed out, inherited P1 and won the championship if the race had not resumed (as most expected and as the rules stipulated if backmarkers were released). It would have been seen as throwing the championship away by trying to be too clever.

      1. They never thought about pitting Lewis after it was announced that lapped cars would not be allowed to unlap themselves because they knew they would have the five car buffer between themselves and MV but then they changed that statement when it was too late for LH to put and MV already had.

      2. The REAL mistakes Mercedes made were:
        Bringing Lewis in so soon after Max. They were as fast on the Mediums as Verstappen on his new hards. They could’ve offered up 5 seconds of the lead, and still be ahead after the first stop. add to that the time lost behind Perez. Just plain stupidity from the pitwall.
        Keeping Lewis out during VSC: For that alone, they deserved to lose, IMHO. Had he come in, (8s in the lead I think, where are the tables, Keith ?), he would’ve been on VER’s heels with new tires, overtaken him in 3-4 laps. And they wouldn’t have to doubt on what to do:
        In case of a late SC: Come in for soft or medium from a lead, big enough to retain the position. VER would’ve been safe (too far behind)
        In case of a SC earlier on (between -L15 and -L5 to go), they would’ve had the knowledge that VER needed new tires too, and could’ve chosen in function of actual track position and tire-availability to come in and get the fastest solution.
        In case of no SC: Win on track with a large margin.
        Had Mercedes been a bit strategy-smarter, it would not have mattered what happened.

        1. Ah the joys of hindsight.

          I agree in theory that their conservative calls were relatively uninspiring and inadvertently contributed to their demise, but you also have to remember that shortly before the SC occured that this race was practically over in large part due to the safety-first strategy deployed by Mercedes and Hamilton’s excellent tyre-management. They deliberately avoided putting Hamilton into direct competition with Verstappen for fear of a contentious incident i.e. race-ending contact (something everyone predicted might happen) – which is what you’d risk by pitting Lewis under the VSC… as I say, in theory it’s a good plan, but it could easily end in tears.

          The crash came at a time that was borderline with regard to the race finishing under SC conditions, they made the right call for the circumstances as pitting would have seen Max inherit P1 and potentially see the rest of the race out, essentially throwing the Championship away. A lap or two earlier might have seen Merc pit LH safe in the knowledge that he would have every chance to attack Max at the end, but again, the lead car has it all to lose, whereas the challenger has a free shot at a contra strategy. Max was gifted not just a free stop, but a clear shot without backmarkers against an opponent with tyres at the very end of their lifespan, because Masi butchered the SC restart rules in the name of ‘fair racing’ by artificially inducing a 2-car sprint lap to the detriment of the 17 other runners and their respective positions in the order.

    2. “IF”….
      If Masi would follow it’s own rules Lewis would win, IF Masi followed it’s own rules ALL SEASON Lewis would win….

  15. I can’t see Masi going any time soon over this season’s furore, it would be an admission of unintentional guilt, but the writing’s certainly on the wall. If the word on Twitter is anything to go by, rumour has it that FIA low-key know they messed up.

    1. 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.”

      Looks like they admitted they broke the rule, but refuse to rectify or address it.

      1. “ A document released by the FIA on Sunday night read: “Article 15.3 allows the Race Director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal. “

        1. If article 15.3 slows the race director to do whatever the hell they like with the safety car, why bother having any of the other safety car rules? This is just preposterous.

      2. You can’t ‘rectify it’ by nullifying green flag laps for what would amount to a procedural error.

        The race went green, that’s all that matters.

        1. If that is all that matters then F1 is open to systematic abuse by the race director…

  16. Who will review the appeal? Same incompetent people who already work for FIA that will defend their own incompetent people? Or someone unbiased, without a stake in the outcome?

    1. It will go to the court of arbitration for sport (CAS) an independent body. “Independent” as far as we know

      1. Sport…but it’s show biz right now, Netflix subsidiary

    2. A person somewhere
      12th December 2021, 20:23

      I believe, from the last time something like this came up (I forget what that was), that it’s the FIA’s “International Court of Appeal”. Or that might be the final body to deal with appeals – there may be an intermediary body – but the FIA’s site is struggling to cope with demand right now, and is trying to direct people to their Facebook page, so I can’t look it up.

  17. Twenty years ago, a former Mercedes-powered champion said upon losing the title to Ferrari that “to be a good winner sometimes you have to be a good loser too”.

    It’s unfortunate that Wolff and his bosses do not understand that today. Especially considering how earlier races this year very much played out in their favour.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with losing gracefully, of course, but when the race director behaves in this way I think they have some grievance don’t you think? Hamilton was pretty graceful in defeat today I thought anyway. I’m sad for F1 today.

      1. Mercedes absolutely has reason to be peeved about today’s race, but taken in the context of the whole season it would’ve been nice to see them accept a Verstapen WDC and Mercedes WCC as a pretty perfect outcome for the championships and reflective of the respective performances.

        I’ve only seen a brief bit of Hamilton and his father interacting with the Verstappens after today’s race, and have no reason to doubt that they handled it as well as you might expect anyone to so shortly after the end of the race.

        1. How is FIA manipulation of the result a perfect result for the championship?

          The perfect result for any sporting championship is the fair one. This one is not perfect by any means. If Max keeps it then it is forever tainted by this episode. If Hamilton is awarded it then it is also tainted. No one wins out of this and it is all down to one of the most bizarre decisions I have seen from a race director and the FIA then failing to enforce their own rules.

          The fair and perfect result would have to have finished under the Safety Car.

          1. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
            13th December 2021, 0:27

            Hamilton winning by less than the margin he gained at Silverstone and Hungary would have been far more tainted.

    2. Yep. I can’t help but think that this is bringing in a whole aspect of ugliness I to F1. They just so happened to have the team QC there. What a coincidence!

      1. Why wouldn’t they? They fully expected something like this to happen. Do not think for a second that RB did not have theirs on hand too. They did not take their Barrister to the Stewards as they were only there as observers…

    3. This I do not understand either. If you have just won everything there is to win for years and years and years why throw your dignity in the bin at the slightest sight of some competition? Competition you said you would encourage. Instead, you were favoured many many times and more times than your competitor. And luck came your way as well. This led to you, unrightfully, still being there at the end you ungrateful team. And then you do some more complaining? I honestly don’t see how anyone could have disappointed and failed more than Toto Wolff did this year.

  18. Mmm, my memories has some troubles ….
    Who whas the driver that slowed down to make his teamate been overtake by Vettel, some years ago ?
    Ah damn memories, really, just can’t get his name ….

    1. He did exactly what Perez did today, the same Perez that seems to be applauded by everyone so I really don’t see you point. What is your point exactly?

      1. 2016: The mysterious driver goes first, ahead of his temmate, who is second. But he needs his teammate to be third or worse or he will lose the WDC to him. He slows down in order to screw his teammate’s race getting him overtaken by the opposite team (it did not work). Does not smell like team spirit. Nor like sportsmanship, anyway. (Agreed: it was not against the rules. It was simply not cricket)

        Today, Checo defended heartily from the opposition (again the mysterious driver, coincidentially) in order to help his teammate (and it worked). Great team spirit, Kurt Cobain would have loved it. How this is exactly the same thing the mysterious driver (should I say chauffeur?) did in 2016 beats me. I’d say it was pretty much the opposite.

  19. If the race had been one or two laps longer then all lapped cars would have been allowed to clear, return to back and then SC in.

    Hamilton would then have lost out.

    But if it had been one or two laps longer he may have pitted for tyres.

    RB took the opposite gamble and lost, knowing the end of race was near, got timed out with lapped cars between.

    FIA intervened & broke rules moving RB from loss to win.

    1. correct, ALSO people say “why didn’t merc just pit under sc”….they couldn’t do that because If Lewis did pit RB would’ve told max to do the opposite to get track position and inherit 1st and what would stop masi from finishing under yellows handing max the win? it feels like merc was screwed either way!
      If masi can meddle in the finish to place max directly behind Lewis illegally moving ONLY the lapped cars in between them out of the way and not the others for 1 last green lap to benefit max on new softs compared to lews worn hards he could’ve easily meddled to finish under yellows if lewis pitted.

      It is great that Mercedes are protesting and hope it goes all the way to the CAS because F1s entire legitimacy stands on upholding the letter of the FIA rules and a sport with billions invested in it cannot have rouge officials making up rules to benefit one driver over another..

      1. .they couldn’t do that because If Lewis did pit RB would’ve told max to do the opposite to get track position

        so again..that is a CHOICE mercedes made.. A bad one for that so the lost.
        It was not the SC but the way Mercedes handled the situation.

        1. Did you even read his comment?

          1. I’m not sure he has the mental capacity for comprehension.

        2. A choice they made with regard to the rule book… That was subsequently thrown into a pile of rotten manure…

          Think if a football teams opponent used their last sub in the 60th minute and they decided to keep their own sub fresh for the last 15 mins, then the referee decided that he was only going to allow 70 mins of play… Would that be fair? The rules state that a game is at least 90 mins long… I am sure the team would protest that as much as possible…

          Merc did not bring in Lewis as they fully expected the race to finish under the SC which under the rules it should have done. Either that or it would have restarted with Max behind a bunch of back markers. The rules were changed on the fly for TV audiences…

      2. You may say what you want and you may be adamant that had Max been ahead the SC would have stayed all thw way to the flag. But you don’t have the slightest scrap of evidence for it, beyond your victimhood and loser complex.

        Now I can buy that Masi wanted to bend the rules a bit (which apparently is in his discretion) ir order to “improve the show” and finish the championship racing. Whatever the rules may say, to end the decider race under a SC looks terrible. Tough luck.

        What I don’t buy is that Masi wanted to bend the rules a bit in order to favour a particular driver. He has taken plenty of decisions that went against this driver and in favor of the opposite driver and team along the season, so that is simply not believable.

  20. I try, in spite being Mercedes die hard fan to be a centrist in all of F1, but today is really a horrible day for the sport. Stewarding has been quite crazy these last events. Last week we had an auction house or a black market style of negotiation over the radio. What was that? Just give the decision whether Verstappen needed to return the place to Hamilton and to Ocon or any verdict. Don’t go telling the teams I want to offer you these choices. Today it was even worse, we had Wolff on the radio telling Masi not to put a safety car and then Horner or I forgot the name of RB’s sporting director, asking lapped cars to unlap themselves. Then we had the ridiculous radio stating that lapped cars will remain in position and then suddenly they decide lapped cars to get out of the way. What is this? Get yourselves clear, and just decide based on what is correct and in the rulebook. I have been watching F1 since 2007 and skipped one year in 2009, and this has been a season that I could call asmore focused on the goal of entertaining people and publicizing the sport. This was not the ending that we needed.

    1. William A Whitaker
      12th December 2021, 20:32

      Nailed it.

    2. I love a good dig at masi, i think anything else than reversing todays result is unbearably unfair, but i can’t agree with you on the often maligned ‘auction house’ thingy. That was one of the few occaisons Masy got his Job about right. It was basically the same as in race, where you also ‘get the offer’ to return a position you gained by going off track and gaining an advantage. You can always stay in front, however, then the stewards will get involved and probably issue a penalty. That was well managed actually. @krichelle

      1. I disagree @mrboerns – the rules should be applied, not suggested, or negotiated with the teams. It shows weakness and inconsistency, the like of which I’ve never seen in my 20+ years of watching F1.

        1. but you have seen drivers give a place back haven’t you. In which case you have seen the equivalent situation. Giving the place back on track is not a penalty derived from failing to comply with the rule, it is an option given to the team/driver so that it is NOT weighed against the rules and penalised.

  21. In 2012, many Ferrari fans were just as outraged as some people are right now, and tried to conjure up things Vettel should have gotten a penalty for. In the days after, forums were full of low-res screenshots of Vettel supposedly ignoring yellow flags, etc. Goes to show that some people just can’t handle close title deciders. To Ferrari’s credit, they never jumped on that train and just accepted the loss.

    1. Good point @aesto. I seem to remember they did jump on that train though, and then got off in the morning so let’s see what happens.
      This case is slightly different as the race director has gone against the sporting regulations, but I kind of hop this isn’t drawn out too.

      1. I agree that Mercedes has more of a case now than Ferrari would have had back then. But even if the FIA admitted that they messed up, that still doesn’t leave any realistic avenue for changing the result. So what is the same is that people are clinging to their grievances because they can’t accept reality. That always seems to happen when fans get polarized, which always happens when the championship is close.

    2. @aesto @john-h
      I don’t think these two situations are the same at all. Vettel’s pass in 2012 was legal, but Masi clearly bended the rules today. Even the stewards decision to Mercedes protest admits that the rules weren’t followed.

      It’s another thing whether the outcome of the race can be changed even though it is obvious that Masi ignored the rules. But these two situations are not the same.

      And yes, Ferrari was going to file an appeal in 2012, but decided not to after FIA assured them that Vettel’s pass was legal.

  22. I see no reaon why mercedes will not protest this decision. They participate under a contract wich they hold with the FIA which states that the regulations govern the competition and there has definitely been a breach in that contract. They might have more luck with it going to the CAS as I think the FIA have a little bias in defending the decision of their race director in this case (be it the right or wrong decision).
    But this is in no way a fair outcome for either driver involved. Max did no wrong, it would be unfair for him to be stripped of the championship in that manner. Yet it is unfair on Hamilton too as if the rules were covered to the letter then it would have ended under a safety car.
    Lastly this is hugely unfair for the Fans, it was a thrilling end to the season, but it should have been a clear cut winner, none of this arguing over the interpretations of the rules. As f1 is advertised as a sporting league and I have a contract with them to watch a fair sporting competition (I pay for it) then I expect to see what I paid for. This was not that. The matter is now beyond me, the outcome does not impact my life, so I will not torn by the outcome whatsoever.
    There has been a lot of talk about the FIA favouring Max, or favouring Lewis, or Red Bull, or Mercedes. However, I think the FIA have overly favoured keeping the championship battle alive and close over duration of the year, and although it has brought in massive amounts of new viewers its straddling the line between manufactured entertainment and a legitimate sporting championship.

    1. You nailed it.

      1. I also agree with this above.

    2. +1. I don’t want to believe that F1 is slowly moving towards contrived ‘sports entertainment’ but it has certainly started to look that way of late.

      1. Unfortunately that line has already been crossed imho. Tainted season. Staged, Unfair. Unworthy. The money grabbing lunatics have taken over. This has nothing to do with being a sport. It’s a game show.

  23. Masi might have gotten away with it if he didn’t initially announce that no one could unlap. In hindsight it looks like that was part of his scheme because if he announced the unlap then instead it would have been chaotic. Instead he announces no unlapping and then just before the last lap pulls a switcheroo. Don’t think it will be changed but everyone knows what happened.

    1. @jimfromus My theory is that masi didn’t know at the time that max couldn’t overtake lapped cars until he crossed the start finish line when the race went green and he would be held up too much giving Lewis breathing room and clear to win the race. This is my theory why masi suddenly changed his mind and panicked making up new ridiculous rules only ordering lapped cars in front of max to get out of the way when he realized this as he wanted to give max best chance possible to win.
      This is clearly the case because Carlos Sainz could’ve challenged max at the restart but did not get the same treatment and lost time behind lapped cars like max should’ve but he got special treatment and magical new rulings(!)

      Intent does not need to be proven and is hard to prove anyway but what can be argued is the timing of the deliberate rule breaking making arbitrary rules on the fly to try and unfairly help one driver.

      The great thing about appealing and going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is the discovery process and more time for the legal team to build a case using all the data available, a rushed appeal 30 minutes after the race asking the fia to investigate themselves will always be shot down.

  24. This does not look for good on the Mercedes brand.

    1. why?
      If Lewis finished 11 sec behind Max it would be OK , because he lost the race for the duration of the “real race”, but when FIA admitted they “manipulated” the field before the restart-this is another story, beside, it’s not last year of racing, so if you back off today-you will be destroyed tomorrow…

    2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 20:28

      My Mercedes is safe. I would never buy a car made out of fizzy pop cans.

    3. If it goes thier way then it will be 8 times consecutive world constructors and drivers champions. If it doesn’t then nothing changes. So yes, they can only win in pursuing it further.
      The majority of people who buy Mercedes products don’t watch F1, Merc uses its success via advertisement to sell cars, coming second to Max doesn’t sell cars, saying “this is the brand an 8 times champion drives” does.

      1. so what’s wrong with the idea that best team with best preparation and opeations wins?
        this is how SPORT operates, but if you manipulate last lap “for the sake of the show” then why bother and put millions in the car and operations when you can deal with netflix and fia for a lot less?

    4. Can’t stomach Mercedes cars since 2013

    5. Says who? Every reasonable person who watched that race, even the diehard Max fans, saw that clear-cut rules were broken. How does appealing that reflect badly on the Mercedes brand? Even those that didn’t and only get to know about the scandal because of the news about Mercedes going ahead with the appeal will surely come to the conclusion that they were robbed if they actually read up on exactly what happened. Of all the things about this, the Mercedes brand is the one thing that has nothing to lose by them proceeding.

      1. If you look at a single race.. this last race, maybe. Although Masi did want to favour Mercedes again initially (by not letting lapped cars unlap themselves.. would be the first time in F1 history and I can only explain it as to give Lewis an unfair buffer) but was caught out. More importantly, a whole year preceded this race. I would like to see all episodes in front of a court please. I think it would be good for the sport, maybe even a requirement to be able to continue, but will not alter the outcome when playing the plus and minus game. I feel Mercedes have been given quite some gifts this year which allowed them to still be there at the final race. Should have been wrapped up races ago. So I guess that’s where the ‘sore loser’ and ‘potentially bad for the brand’ feeling comes from. It has a high degree of hypocrisy in it. In truth FIA and Liberty scripted so heavily to get the viewers in, to me it doesn’t even matter anymore who won. We lost, thats for sure. F1fanatics lost. The new circus loving crowd won.

  25. The problem here is that we have a team who have won so much that they forgot how to lose

    The FIA responded with a clear response that addressed each of Mercedes topics.

    “We have lodged our intention to appeal document 58, the decision of the stewards to dismiss the team’s protest,” a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed.

    Notice they’re not appealing to any of the responses from the stewards but they’re appealing the dismission of their protest, despite the FIA addressing their complaints

    Mercedes are not after “clarity” Mercedes are after turning the race result to what it was before the green flag.

    1. There is nothing to “clarify” they didn’t follow the rules.

      1. Clarity not clarify. @gufdamm
        Merc don’t want clarity from the FIA on what rules Masi allegedly broke in the guise of “fairness” (as some are saying), merc just want to change the result. As evident from their spokesperson that I quoted.

  26. Highly unlikely that this will result in Max being stripped of the title. And to be fair to Max he doesn’t deserve that, he raced pretty fair today and took advantage of the opportunities that came his way.
    Lewis was hard done to but sometimes that’s what happens.

    However the absolute farce that FIA, and particularly Masi, have made of this race ending just makes a mockery of the sport. Every time they are faced with challenging circumstances the FIA seem to mess it up. But F1 survives and continues on. I think
    Masi has to go, I’d say Todt too if he wasn’t going anyway.

    1. Bonzer, Max raced fair (ish… again with his stupid late break on lap 1 that forces competitor out of the track is not OK) and he deserves his second place. There is no way can you claim he deserved first place today. He didn’t have enough pace nor were RB strategy moves sufficient.

      1. But he also didn’t deserve what happened earlier in the season, on balance he’s deserved it more than hamilton.

        1. @esploratore1 @petebaldwin Deserving should almost always be synonymous with results. It isn’t so when factors out of driver’s / team’s control occur. That does make it unfair but we accept it because these things can’t be controlled. When you have control and you choose to excercise it to make things unfair is what I and many here have trouble with. Today we saw that unfairness being inflicted by race director, when he had no business interfering with it. He should have followed the rules regardless whom it would benefit.

          1. and the same can be said about numerous earlier races this year. I understand Mercedes focus on this last one but really you can not see it without the whole years context. So in terms of outcome of the WDC the final race was not the decider. It happened way before.

      2. @ivan-vinitskyy Max didn’t deserve to win today – I don’t think anyone would argue that. Having said that, if we gave them points for what they deserved throughout the season, the gap at the top would be even larger.

      3. To clarify, Max just raced today, his passing Lewis was on the limit, as was Lewis’ response, Howeverbeyond that Max did nothing wrong. He was just in the right place at the right time when others made questionable decisions.
        Max clearly wasn’t fastest today , except on the last lap, when thanks to a somewhat contrived situation he had the opportunity to be.

        I’d rather Ham had won and I think Merc need to pursue this, not to overturn the result but to ensure that the FIA/ race director in future can’t just change the rules on a whim, and claim it’s fine ‘cos we say so’ otherwise what’s the point? And that to that goes for decisions like Brazil too. Clarity and consistency.

  27. Rigthy so.
    This was the most ridiculous, outrageous, outrightly fixed farce ever.

    1. @liko41
      Cry me a river :)

      1. @tifoso1989
        Oh, it was a full decade you dislikers waited for a little sunshine, yet you have to thank the fia for putting up the biggest farce in history…
        Must be a tough life. :)

        1. @liko41
          Never thought that the combination of cringe and toxicity is going to be that funny but you never disappoint.

          1. @tifoso1989
            Oh, dislikers, how much more of a fool can you do of yourselves :D

        2. Nah – been laughing my head off tonight at the tears on here. It’s been more enjoyable that race was.

          1. That’s a bit much Pete, thought you were a bit better than this.
            @petebaldwin

          2. That is sad. How old are you?

          3. @john-h – not he’s not. Barely above hyoko and erikje level.

  28. I very rarely comment on articles but I feel very disappointed by today.

    The reality is, the championship is not decided by one corner or one lap or one race. It’s decided over the course of a season and there were various flashpoints in the season where either driver could have accumulated more points and changed the final result. Both were valid world champions this year and Max deserves his championship (albeit if I personally would prefer he changes his driving standards slightly). But the reason I’m disappointed is twofold, here the FIA clearly dictated the outcome of the race in the name of the “show”. Masi had the option to throw a red flag and ensure tyre parity, he had the option to keep the lapped runners there and give Max a shot at the win or he could have ended the race under the safety car which realistically would have likely upheld the result sans safety car. But instead, seemingly after lobbying from Red Bull, he made the decision which ensured the result was in their favour. I don’t believe he was biased or wanted this result but I do believe there is an unpalatable trend of favouring the show over the sport. It is also clear with the sprint races that FOM prioritise their commercial results over the sport and it’s just sad. They are taking avid fans for granted at the expense of casual viewers.

    I really feel that the death of Frank Williams last week was a cruel metaphor for the death of a more pure version of F1.

    The second reason I’m disappointed is by the partisan comments I’ve seen from all sides. This also is not in the spirit of the sport we were all drawn to as kids and in more recent races I have been to I have felt a shift in the atmosphere from the amicable festivals of motorsport that they once were. I suppose it is symptomatic of the world we live in but today I’m dismayed by F1 and saddened by the world we live in. Even if that sounds a bit dramatic!

    1. I agree with the first party about the sport degradation.

      The second part, however, is not a new thing. Partisanship have always been part of F1 and is part of the spirit of F1. I don’t like that either, but it is not new.

      The degradation as a sport being this bad though, yeah, that is reaching new lows.

      For the record, I don’t care who gets the title (apparently this may go on a while). I’m not really a “fan” of any driver or team in F1.

  29. I’m slapping “My other car is a Redbull” on my MB SL500.

    1. Haha, good one!

  30. What can they achieve? Race annulment? Max still wins.

    And nobody wants to be known for winning wdc in court.

    Atleast Lewis did the sporting thing and moved one. He has a championship to attend to next year.

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 20:31

      The sport is dead if the rules can be changed on a whim. It’s a gameshow. No one wants that. Not Mercedes. not me, Not Red Bull. When the FIA get fed up of Max winning, will it just be the next money spinner who is gifted the win?

    2. @jureo You think Ham moved on? Have you noticed how he answered about next year? “we’ll see” I think deep down he is sick of FIA, sick of dangerous driving by Max, sick of controversies and drama. I’m not 100% sure he will be coming back next year.

      1. I’m not 100% sure he will be coming back next year.

        Let’s hope so. The sport needs new blood.

        1. @rinodina How much of a non-F1 fan are you to have seen his performances in the past few races and think that he needs to go? I hope he carry’s that form through to next year and schools all your “new blood”.

      2. I heard the ‘we’ll see’ as well. Would be a pity. I like him (albeit as a driver only these days). Totally understand his feeling about it all though. I do think when he sits down in a few weeks and reflects the total season he also will see both parties were done wrong this year and counting it all up he actually was lucky to still be in competition at the final race. So he will come around. He let himself be surrounded by toxic people that do necessarily support his cause. I would advise him to act as an employee (only) & star player and distance himself from the Mercedes team when not on track. Or even better, see who gets the car right next year and leave Mercedes.

    3. That’s the problem isn’t it? Break the rule and make the guy who calls you out on it the bad one. The race, as per rules, should have ended under safety car. Masi decided to change those procedures.

      According to the rules:
      1. Any car that is lapped “is required to” overtake the safety car. This did not happen.
      2. Safety car should come in the following lap. This did not happen.
      3. If Masi feels safety car should be necessary even after that, he can keep the safety car around. This only states he can prolong the safety car period; but he cannot shorten it — especially if 1 is violated.

      In my opinion, take it to the court, nullify the race results. We still have the same WDC and WCC. And just fire Masi from the role.

      1. @macademianut So you’re ok with it going to court because you agree rules have been broken. But for how to put it right, you think invalidating race results altogether is more correct than simply taking results before the last lap? Strange logic!

        1. @ivan-vinitskyy It really doesn’t matter what I want, but I am ok to accept the decision to nullify the results.

          As far as what I want, I want them to put back the race result as per lap 57 (as if the race finished under the safety car). FIA has done mistakes in the past of waving the checkered flag one lap before. Treat it similar to that. However, the mess Masi made is that he violated and now anyone who appeals is made to look bad. It’s just bad for the sport.

          There are only three options when it goes to court:
          1. Appeal is denied.
          2. Appeal is accepted and the race order is as per lap 57. Hamilton wins the title.
          3. Appeal is accepted and the race results are nullified.

          If it is (3), it is possible that some teams/drivers can argue that their rankings have been affected. Particularly for the teams — as their prize money depends on the standing. Not sure if any final team orders have been affected due to this or not.

          1. @macademianut what you want is all that matters here :) That’s why this forum comments section exists, sharing opinions of others and to align ourselves on a more objective opinion.

          2. Agree Ivan. Let’s will make it official. :) I want the race results to be as of Lap 57.

      2. @macademianut 48.12 starts with the stipulation that cars may only overtake ‘if the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so’ (not race director Masi). A direct instruction was given to a select number of cars to overtake, and the FIA will no doubt state that allowing other cars to pass was not approved by the clerk of the course. The safety car should not necessarily come in after lapped cars have overtaken, it may only do so when the clerk of the course no longer deems its presence ‘necessary’. Usually the unlapping of cars happens late in the safety car period, but this isn’t always the case as doing it earlier allows for a faster restart. These days an expected long safety car period will probably lead to a red flag though.

        As for calling in the safety car, nowhere in 48.13 does it state that the decision of the clerk of the course to call the safety car in is dependent on anything other than his say so.

    4. What Horner is arguing is that according to Article 15.3, the race director can change any rule as he pleases. This is similar to the EULA agreements that they are allowed to change anything as they want. Effectively, we all agree that there’s nothing to agree.

      1. 15.3 governs the relationship between the clerk of the course and the race director. It doesn’t give the race director any special authority in relation to the regulations as a whole.

        Would be nice if Horner kept out of this. The protest is between Mercedes and the FIA.

  31. If we were in the situation where Max/Red Bull lost the race and title like Lewis/Mercedes did, we would have non stop complaining from Christian Horner. The rules are the rules and today they changed it today without thinking of the consequences just for the show.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. All these people slating MB and toto should think about Horner and Marko’s reaction if this had happened to them. Not to mention MV and his thug of a father. Don’t pretend they wouldn’t be raising hell now. It would be nice if Horner had the balls to say they would feel the same but then he probably doesn’t.

  32. Farce In Autosport! How can any (all for Red Bull lawyears) team participate in the sport where rules are made up on the spot?!

    1. Exactly. Why bother competing?

  33. Toto is real warrior, he fights like the Black Knight from Monty Python.

    1. Without arms and legs?

      1. Indeed, and screaming like a pig, loved it.

  34. “ A document released by the FIA on Sunday night read: “Article 15.3 allows the Race Director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal. “

    1. If this is taken as interpreted here, it gives him complete power. He could deploy the safety car without need or call it in without informing anyone. It’s so incredibly open to abuse that it cannot be allowed.

  35. I hope Mercedes wins in the court. And I hope never to see Masi again in any deciding position. To gift a WDC like that is such a disgrace to the sports.

  36. The first lapped car that didn’t get to go around should also appeal. What masi did was prejudicial to them too.

    1. @dmw Unfortunately, that timeline has passed now isn’t it?

  37. I’d love to hear the justification for letting only those 4 cars through. I don’t see a valid one unfortunately.

    1. Were any cars that were lapped left in the train? If yes, then the rule is broken. If I didn’t know better I would call you out as Christian Horner, that’s garbage on his level.

    2. Thanks Barry. I’m not sure any amount of comprehension of the English language on my part will help coherently explain the answer to my question. But if there is one I would love to hear it, In any language.

    3. Even though “any” is troublesome in that it can be used to be “at least one” as well as “all”, its context usually clarifies its meaning. In the case of the rules: it’s context indicates an “all” meaning (in case your English is lacking).

      1. The preceding and subsequent paragraphs of the rule clarify ‘any’. Anyone trying to argue otherwise is being devious and deliberately omitting wording that clearly establishes what and why ‘any’ is stated in the rules at that point.

        ‘All lapped cars’, being those that: 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.

        furthermore the rules state:

        “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.”

        I have borrowed the paragraphs from someone else and here is a bit more:

        “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.

        However from this it is clear it means ‘all lapped cars’ and what is meant by ‘any’ and ‘all’ is quite clear, additionally the rules state that the safety is called in at the end of the following lap after the last lapped car passes the safety car.

        This could also help with a proposed remedy for Mercedes, that is to seek to annul the last lap on the basis that the safety car procedures were not followed and therefore lap 58 was not under proper racing conditions and should not count towards final race classifications.

        They should also seek an explanation from the race director as to why he felt that he could override the rules as there had to be good reason to do so, not sure that letting them race applies here as he prevented all lapped and other cars from racing, this demonstrates a bias and therefore cannot be a justifiable decision

      2. The fact that this is being debated at all surely suggests that some people will argue anything for the sake of it. I mean it couldn’t be much clearer could it. Or is there really a belief that a rule was written that was explicitly intended to apply to an undefined subset of an already defined subset.

    4. The justification offered by the rules is related to matters of safety. The race director will argue that, having received the advice of the clerk of the course, only a select number of cars was cleared to pass. There isn’t really any way to disprove this. Of course the real reason is that it would take too long and make the race finish under Safety Car conditions.

    5. The most ridiculously unfair thing is that Max should have had the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz right up his ass on that restart with the possibility of a win or second place. BUT because only certain cars were allowed to unlap themselves Sainz still had lapped cars infront of him so was unfairly unable to take part in the shootout. I can’t believe that Ferrari aren’t protesting themselves.

      Absolutely contrived and artificial end to the race. Fire MASI immediately.

  38. I’m a 100% Max fan and I’ll gladly admit that Lewis was done over today.

    1. Done over by Masi but not Max.

    2. Yes, it’s not fair when it comes to the race, but honestly we’ve seen other races being unfairly decided by SC and such, what about the first race of 2018, where vettel, who was even slower then raikkonen, ended up ahead of hamilton thanks to a SC? It’s happened even the other way around, like imola 2020 with hamilton jumping bottas and verstappen I believe.

      When it comes to the title, when you have a luck swing of around 40 points across the season from driver A to B and it suddenly gets reduced to 25 with this race and driver A still wins, then it’s fair.

      Mercedes brought the best car and number 2 driver, so they deserve the constructor’s, hamilton drove well overall but not as well as verstappen, especially in the first half.

      1. @esploratore1 almost nobody argued in those races because it was clear decisions were not made to benefit any one competitor but purely on safety grounds.

        1. of course someone benefitted. But it was not championship decisive so they let it go.

          1. The difference is that, in all other cases I can remember, the rules have been applied as written and the correct procedure followed. That may benefit some and penalise others, but it isn’t prejudicial. It’s the application of the rules.

            In this case, Masi didn’t apply the same rules or procedures. He purposely changed them.

      2. The issue here is fortune/misfortune based upon improper rule application rather than appropriate rule application.

  39. If I were Ola Källenius (CEO of Daimler) I would tell Toto he is doing more damage to his brand than good.

    Take your loss, talk to the FIA and come up with better rules and procedures. Come out of this stronger.

    1. Ola was at the track yesterday and so I don’t think any of this is happening without his approval. I suspect he too knows what clear cut robbery looks like. The argument about the brand is rather weak to be honest.

  40. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    12th December 2021, 20:57

    If the stewards had come up with a half-baked reason, I could see this actually get anywhere. Seeing as the stewards countered it perferctly AND Red bull bringing some good arguments to the table (‘any’ not ‘all’ etc.), this is just dragging it through the mud for no reason.

    But hey, Mercedes making themselves look like a donkey, I’m all for it. Means Wolff will get sacked for making the car-brand Mercedes look bad for some pathetic vendetta against an energy drinks company. F1 could go without that loser.

    1. Wolff owns a third of the team. As much as Mercedes do.

      1. If I were Lewis I would tell Toto he is doing more damage to my brand than good.

        Let the blemish of this world title be on Max. I don’t want it.

    2. If you paid any attention at all to the decision and the regulations, and understood what its all saying, you would understand how little sense their conclusion makes.

      Red Bull pulled together some rules, and interpretations of rules, out of context, but made them appear related in a nice numbered list. It read well.

      10% of the conclusion addresses the fact the rule Mercedes is claiming was broken, was indeed broken. and they spent the next 90% explaining why they broke the rule, and how they didn’t want to discredit the succeeding rule also, so therefore we deem that rule overrides the preceding rule, forget the broken rule, it doesn’t matter anyway (Even though 48.12 sets up 48.13). For good measure they said the race director is the boss of the safety car, so screw the rules surrounding the use of the safety car.

      48.13 is there to let the competitors know the safety car is being called in and governs behaviour while the car is returning to the pits. It doesn’t override anything. I don’t even understand how it can be interpreted that way, but Masi was there to teach them the spirit of the rules.

      However this was all done so they wouldn’t break rule 48.15, I would hate to have to see Masi interpret that one.

      1. so now its Red bull in your opinion that caused all this…
        Please rewrite your story or read the stewards verdict again.
        This is very messy.

        1. My point was that Mercedes cited the rule broken. Everyone with something to lose, gave self serving interpretations of the rulebook instead of addressing why the rule was broken in the first place.

      2. So you think the greatest Max hater Garry Connelly would judge in favour of Max.

        Think again, if the rules are open for interpretation , MB should have addressed the matter sooner. Maybe the QC , which they brought for this occasion , had the time during the race to read the rules.

      3. So you think the greatest Max critic Garry Connelly would judge in favour of Max.

        Think again, if the rules are open for interpretation , MB should have addressed the matter sooner. Maybe the QC , which they brought for this occasion , had the time during the race to read the rules.

    3. So now the race director can select what cars to unlap themselves.?
      Are you serious.???

      1. Exactly. This interpretation would give the race director the power to let a single car unlap itself, and that wouldn’t have to be the first. He could literally choose a single backmarker, let him past all those on the lead lap and any other lapped runners ahead of him.

        Also, the regulations state:

        48.12 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.

        The context here is pretty clear: the message “LAPPED CARS MAY OVERTAKE” must be sent to all competitors, and any card which have been lapped must pass. Any, in this context, is clearly meant to mean all, and the message for lapped runners to over take just be sent to all competitors. I cannot see how any reasonable person could read it that the race director can pick and choose which cars can overtake, and interpreting the discretion of the race director as being able to do so is basically allowing the race director to massively interfere with the results with impunity.

  41. The annoying thing is those four cars would have dived out the way , Max would be a second or two at the most behind and we would have had a barnstormer of a last lap for the championship.

    1. Yeah, I thought this, too. Max would probably still have won, the last lap would have been way now exciting, and we wouldn’t have had this farce to contend with.

  42. Can you retrospectively nullify a green racing lap because the race director didn’t follow the sporting code. This is essentially the argument put forward by Merc. Seems a bit of a stretch to me. The implications of a successful appeal on how motorsport fundamentally functions would be huge. Green means green. It’s sacrosanct .

    What if it happened lap 10? Do you nullify all the subsequent laps?

    This isn’t a comment on the quality of direction today, I just can’t see how you can convince a court to retrospectively reduce the length of a race. The race ended on lap 58 come rain or shine.

    1. The point is if it were lap 10 nobody talk about it. They seem to forget the red flags that brought advantage to them.

      1. Well, if the ICA forced a change in result, then you certainly will see people protesting whole races for procedural errors by the FIA. In effect racing would be impossible.

        I am not sure people really grasp the magnitude of the what Mercedes would be putting forward here.

        1. Really?

          Everything is disputable.

          The first VSC was not deployed immediately but after a while. Several cars drove by very fast. I can’t remember who, but some driver complained about it. I thought it was because LH and MV were at the farthest point of the track.

          But what if you were just passing the pits entrance and missed the opportunity to pit while the field drove by slowly. And the rewards were moving up the constructors ladder.

          I never saw anybody dispute such decisions.

          Toto only complains because he knows he screwed up by not pitting Lewis for new tyres.

    2. Zoltán Tallósy
      12th December 2021, 23:19

      and also can you change the outcome of a race with bad decisions? this one should stand ?

  43. If this was Horner and Helmut doing this the fan sites would be full of people mocking them as sore losers. Toto needs to sleep on it and realise he isn’t going to win this one. Just let it go.

    Looking forward to next season so much now. This might be a start of a new era. Finally.

    1. Why don’t we just have a rule that no driver/constructor can win more than X consecutive championships. This is not equality for sharing the reward; we want level playing field and the better team/driver to win. I don’t want a new winner just because I am bored.

      1. But that’s just what happens, isn’t it? Think about 2005, I’d say mercedes is still very strong for the amount of championships they had in a row. Best car this year on balance, joint best with ferrari in 2018 imo.

  44. Just here to state how incredibly impressed I am that Max won today. Never a fan when he was younger, but he has matured these past years, and as an athlete, what a performance over the entire year! You just have to bow in repect to the determination, courage and ability he has demonstrated. Even as a non-Hamilton fan I can acknowledge that Hamilton drowe the pants off that Mercedes, but I firmly believe, hence the admiration, that Verstappen got even more from his Red Bull. Absolute boss.
    My greatest respect for Hamilton is not for the times that he won against what Ive judged to be less-than-equal competition, but for the time he lost to a truly exceptional performance. It goes to show how much it takes to beat him. A measure of him as a champion of his craft.
    For now though: Max deserved WDC! Bravo!!!

      1. No problem with Max wining but nice to hear Adrian Newey saying that over the entire course of the season they Red Bull had faster car. Makes all these people trying to make out Hamilton is not a formidable driver look stupid

        1. I’m surprised by this comment from newey, I think on balance mercedes was slightly stronger, I can find more races (at least in race pace, red bull was relatively better in quali) where merc was faster than the opposite.

          1. As an owner of Newey’s book “How to build a car” and a admirer of his ability to construct racing cars, I might speculate that Newey’s self-esteem is slightly related to his ability to build ‘the fastest’ machine. That is his job after all. Hence after years of playing catch-up it would be vindication for him to claim the machine finally did its part.. Subjectively, as Esploratore states, I also felt I saw Mercedes drive with some extra surplus in race trim, especially coming from both its drivers during a larger percentage of events this year – but will be interesting to see end of season stats to compare compiled stats.

          2. Or we could just accept that arguably the greatest ever F1 designer who had access to all the data is right in saying they had the faster car on balance.

          3. @ slowmo, we might and that may certainly be the case – Ive searched for, but not found the quote – but in the absense of that have you read the book? I simply react because Adrian Newey has always been great at building a fast car, but it doesnt mean it is the easiest to drive, or that the powertrain was class-leading. He’ll take pride is the results he is able to get with the material at his disposal. He is paid a fortune by RB, and they’ve struggled to unsettle the Mercedes hegemony. I’d not be surprised if this was an oppertunity for him to take a bit of pride from a job well done, even if he’d stretch the facts a tiny bit to get there to say: We finally did it.
            As an outsider: Hamilton in Brazil did not drive an inferior machine, not possible. Rather, it feels like its been several weekends of RB driving with zero wing, taking extra risk, to even try to compete with the MB overall package and powertrain. They pulled it off through exceptional driving, but lots of drivers have struggled to settle at RB because their cars are difficult. Newey doesnt care about both cars, he cares about the result of the winning car, with the most exceptional driver. Doesnt mean its the best package for a team overall, hence MB WCC.

          4. Adrian Newey said it live on Sky in the post race interviews.
            To be fair I’m not suggesting Max is arguably not the best driver…..I’m just fed up with the people saying the Merc is a rocket ship compared to the Red Bull. Both Max and Lewis and Alonso for that matter are renowned for getting the best out of any car. IMO.

  45. Backatitlikeacrackaddict
    12th December 2021, 21:25

    I don’t get it. Lot’s of people here saying that they are not hamilton fans but racefans. But still keep wining about rulebooks. I’ve been watching F1 on and off. Sometimes pauzed it because it was too boring. But this year, damn. It was epic. Coming down to the last lap. So much controversie. Battles on and over the limit. I just hope this year will rerelease the beast in Hamilton again. Let him work for it, a little bit dirty, yeah man! Now hopefully Ferarri en Mclaren are up in the mix as well next year. What a year.

  46. This is Latifi’s problem. This is what happens when you let billionaire kids race F1

  47. Food for conspiracionists: Latiffi – Williams, Albon -> Williams.
    Crashgate II !

    1. Yeah, the Mercedes customer team with the Mercedes-bound driver (who was *NOT HAPPY* with today’s spectacle, which of course has nothing to do with the identity of his future employers) who are planning to use the entire Mercedes rear end next season deliberately crashed their one remaining car in the race so that Verstappen could be WDC? File that one with “swapped engineer sabotage” for tinfoil-hatted ridiculousness, I think. Wake up sheeple!

  48. 15.3 The clerk of the course shall work in permanent consultation with the Race Director. The Race
    Director shall have overriding authority in the following matters and the clerk of the course may
    give orders in respect of them only with his express agreement:
    a) The control of practice and the race, adherence to the timetable and, if he deems it
    necessary, the making of any proposal to the stewards to modify the timetable in
    accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
    b) The stopping of any car in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
    c) The stopping of practice or suspension of the race in accordance with the Sporting
    Regulations if he deems it unsafe to continue and ensuring that the correct restart
    procedure is carried out.
    d) The starting procedure.
    e) The use of the safety car.

    article 15.3 FIA https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/2021_formula_1_sporting_regulations_-_iss_5_-_2020-12-16.pdf

    1. It means he is the overriding authority in enforcing the rules, doesn’t mean can ignore or break the rules, which are clear.

    2. That section related to the relationship between the race director and clerk of the course: they need to cooperate on most matters, but the race director has the final say on those listed matters.

      If we take the interpretation as used in the rolling today, it basically gives him unrestrained power over the safety car and other listed matters. He can change any rules related to them on a whim without reason or justification. Can you not see that that’s an incredibly dangerous precedent to set?

  49. Some really level headed comments here with logic to them so I applaud you all for your thoughtful passion.

    Will not lie I am a Hamilton fan and feel terrible for him tonight as he is a gentleman both on and off the track and dares to raise issues in society and the sport which I would contend is the mark of a sporting great.

    I think it was inevitable that the FIA would stand by Masi, and that it was an appalling decision but I cannot see the decision being overturned at second appeal. However Mercedes should rightly appeal (as undoubtedly Red Bull would have had the boot been on the other foot) if only to stop such stupidity happening in future.

    Yes we all want exciting racing but anyone who loves the sport and appreciates sporting genius ( I never buy this argument of it being boring the same team or person winning – they win because of their pursuit of excellence) wants clear consistent rules.

    Hamilton again tonight showed his class – kept a cool head and didn’t motormouth off in public as he seems to genuinely care not only for his personal valour but the reputation of the sport. Red Bull I notice were morning on radio about bias even in the last lap till it suited them. Says a lot about the win at all cost mentality of the team. I said it last week elsewhere – Verstappen could have killed Hamilton last week with his antics at a 200 mph race track. To me that is what needs to change and that only comes with clarity and transparency of what the rules mean. We are past the age where racing drivers regularly died on track.

  50. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    12th December 2021, 21:57

    Max fans are absolutey raging all over social media… Just blocked some chap on Instagram who came after me for quoting Lando Norris and his TV rating quip. Seems they’re still not at all happy. It’s all a bit odd.

    1. Nobody should be happy with this result. I am a Hamilton fan, and I wouldn’t be happy if he’d won by the race director breaking the rules to make it more exciting. This farce should have everyone up in arms, no matter who they support

  51. Such sore losers. Shame on them. Mercedes are an embarrassment to sport.

  52. Did you know that in Singapore ther’s a people’s ban on Red Bull drinks?
    If you buy a can of RB in a store-counter will replace it with another energy drink, because few years ago son of the RB’s directors killed a cop while speed driving in the city, of course they tried to play it down, bribes were paid, all officials tried to swipe it under the rug and make spoiled kid to walk away, but locals organized the movement, strikes, manifestations etc… so police had to reopen the case, so in the protest locals are not buying RB…so this speaks about RB’s politics…

    1. Kimberley Barrass
      12th December 2021, 22:33

      It was actually the founders grandson, and in the Panama papers and a couple of other press investigations, it looked like upwards of a billion dollars was spent to discredit the investigation, manipulate the press, keep him out of countries where there would be a problem, etc. And it’s basically worked.. He’s free to enjoy his money and ferraris and Propertyi all around the world. The family of the person killed have to live with the fact that they were killed. With no justice. Because of money and manipulation

    2. That is just horrible. Hope I won’t anything about Mercedes’ history on google:(

    3. It’s not Singapore. We can get both versions of Red Bull, be it the Thailand (Krating Daeng) or the Austrian (Red Bull).

      Source: I am in Singapore. Some retailers/supermarkets will have both in stock.

  53. Hopefully this will start a process to clarify the rulebook and how it is enforced. This fine season of F1 has been marred repeatedly by bad calls and if Liberty isn’t going to do anything about it then the FIA should take action. The ratio of “show to sport” has been tilting badly for the last few years, and I don’t like where it’s ended up. How these last few races have been handled is an embarrassment, and they will have to do better in the future to maintain any interest from fans of the sporting side of this entertainment.

    1. All these comments about it affecting either the Red Bull or Mercedes brand are ridiculous.
      I can guarantee your decision to buy a Merc is more based on whether you can afford it, not a controversial ending to a car race.. LOL!

      1. My comment says nothing about either Red Bull or Mercedes, or buying a car, or anything that you are on about. I think you are in the wrong place Gazza!

        1. Soz my mistake LOL!.

    2. Yes, I agree with your point that we are badly in need of the rules being cleaned up, simplified and responsibilities and competences redefined and procedures made more transparent @ferrox-glideh.
      Since the Stewards verdict now puts quite a big portion of authority with the race director directly, that room begs to be defined so that everyone who is racing can understand it and work with that.

  54. Not going to get too excited about it, it’s only an intention to appeal. No different to all the other protests we have had this year. Just keeping their options open as most of these are time limited.

  55. I wouldn’t blame Mercedes and Toto from selling the team in the off season. No point participating when the rules are ignored by those that are supposed to enforce them.

    1. Toys

      Pram

      Out they go

  56. British “people” are as sore as losers as they are as winners. LOL, my opinion of them couldn’t get any lower. Across all sports their behaviour is always disgraceful and aggressive, it’s actually embarrassing to watch them fail to cope with any situation where they aren’t handed a victory. Sometimes their childish outbursts devolve into their deep rooted racism, other times it’s all a conspiracy. Pathetic showing from the British public.

    1. As a “British person” and a Hamilton fan I would rather they didn’t protest it, the season is over and the result should stand.

      Your comment is actually racist, ironically. Lots of “British people” are racist too and they don’t like Hamilton.

    2. Yet toto is Austrian? Please elaborate further?

    3. When does a comment become racist? You should be banned.

    4. As a British person and a Hamilton fan, I’m not that bothered about the result. I’m a bit disappointed, but it isn’t going to change.

      I’m very upset about the farcical handling of the race at the end. I am absolutely stunned at what I saw, and something must be done. I cannot see anything changing with the stewarding or race direction without something like that Mercedes appeal shining a light on it. It’s typed the season over the edge, for me, and I’m just completely incredulous.

    5. I have read several of your comments on here @ivaylo and quite frankly all of them make you look foolish and lacking in any relevant knowledge. How old are you?

      Let’s just stop and think about this one shall we. So ‘British people’ are being racist by commenting in support of Lewis Hamilton, a black driver and Mercedes a German company. Ever heard of history?

      I suggest you only comment when you have something reasonably intelligent to add.

      1. Agreed. Some commenters are really outdoing themselves in the race to look stupid.

  57. Absolutely… Horner who is ” British people” tried to drag the name of Nikki Lauda into his argument about the outcome of the race. I found that that in extremely bad taste….how much lower can Horner go.

    1. How low? you mean lower than marrying Spice Girl?

      1. Oh no, I married a millionaire popstar. Please pity me…

        Jesus wept some people.

  58. The decision was made, the result is in. Even as an LH fan I think there’s no point chasing this further.

    But Michael Masi must go. At the very least they need to hire someone who has the guts to stand up to teams when they whine about stuff. Hearing Masi pussyfoot around in the radio comms was painful. And speaking about that, they need to ban teams from communicating with the director during the race.

  59. The decision was made, the result is in. Even as an LH fan I think there’s no point chasing this further.

    But Michael Masi must go. At the very least they need to hire someone who has the guts to stand up to teams when they whine about stuff. Hearing Masi being so careful not to offend in the radio comms was painful. And speaking about that, they need to ban teams from communicating with the director during the race.

    1. Masi is acting under instructions of his master. As such he is a problem but not the problem.
      This was the outcome the owners wanted.
      There is no point screaming, they can decide what they want at anytime, nothing you can do.

    2. I tend to agree.
      The finale as been ruined by the FIA for all concerned.
      Max has his first WDC he deserved it and yet I think the shine has been taken off it already sad to say.
      Lewis certainly won’t want to inherit this via a courtroom.
      FIA need to sort there rules out.

  60. It is not Red Bulls or Max’s fault that errors were made by the Race directors.
    If anything, the Rules and procedures need to be looked at and that there is consistency in the stewards room and Race Directing, and hopefully that is the only outcome out of that.
    But I think the biggest thing is that there should only be one designated person allowed to contact the Race Director for clarification. I think there is way too much pushing and prodding going on from the teams to persuade the Race Director/Stewards. They see what’s going on. They should have all the camera angles.
    Lastly, The only people we should hear from from the Teams are the Sporting Directors or Chief Engineers (for example Jonathan Whitley from Red Bull or Simon Cole form Mercedes).
    Horner or Wolf should not ever be allowed to reach out as it is clear that their intentions do not ever good for the sport.

    1. +1 on that.

  61. Mmm, this comment section has a good chance to make a record, at least in recent times, could easily hit 400 comments, which hasn’t happened at least in a while, I think some silverstone controversial article got to like 380 or more.

  62. Funny if this wasnt the last race of the season it wld have been brushed of as just an unlucky race for lewis.

    1. I’m afraid not. If this was any other race except the last one normal safety cars rules would have been followed have they have been for many years. Not changed ad-libbed.

  63. Mark in Florida
    13th December 2021, 2:54

    Yeah I definitely think there will be an asterisk in the record books. Saying how stupid and petty Mercedes is. They blew the call not bringing Lewis in for a pit stop and leaving him out so long on old rubber. That left him helpless in the end to Max not Masi. This is a classic example of how Mercs blew it and now they are blaming someone else for their mistakes. Grow up! Take your loss like a grown up person not a crying child. Regroup for next year come back better not bitter.

    1. It’s called entitlement. Merc and ham have had such an easy time for the last seven years with their paper titles that they just can’t accept others can beat them!

  64. “Nemo iudex in causa sua” so Merc should go ahead with the appeal to the fullest extent.

  65. Either the FIA has rules or it doesn’t. Mr Masi and his ‘team’ simply can’t change them simply to make the race ‘more exciting.’ The Abu Dhabi GP was a disgrace for F1 and motor sport in general. Furthermore this ‘spectacle’ was sadly on the world stage and follows the fiasco in Saudi Arabia… FIA FOR CHRIST’S SAKE GET A GRIP – AND FAST – or F1 will lose all credibility.

  66. Also, changing the results in any way wld be rly unfair for max. He pitted and won it fair and square on track. this is f1 and u have to change tyres not karting.

  67. It shouldn’t come to this in the first place after RB lost some serious points in Silverstone and Budapest. We all know who made those mistakes. I call this justice after alle that had happened. Mercedes 8 Times WCC. Just move on.

    1. BS, two wrongs don’t make a right..

      1. Max had all the luck this race I agree. But so did Hamilton in Imola. Sport is brutal. But we can debate all day. Nothing will change. Max rightfully is WDC based on his consistancy this season. 10 poles / 6 fastest laps /18 podiums (10x st / 8x 2nd) Amazing stats. In an dominant Mercedes era who ruled by iron fist.

  68. I thought after sleeping on I thought the bad taste in my mouth this race as left might go… its got worse.
    Not only did Masi’s decision remove the lapped cars between Max and Lewis it left the the lapped cars between Carlos and Max so he didn’t even have to worry about the cars behind him.
    How on earth us that considered fair to all the drivers in the race.!!
    Its looks manipulated even if it wasn’t intended. You can’t have race directors changing precedence on the hoof.
    A complete farce.

    1. Plus one. Spot on.

    2. Who cares. The useless backmarkers were out of the way and its not as though crappy Carlos would have challenged Max anyway.
      We got a fair last lap fight to end the season on a high. Instead of an empty Merc safety car gift.

    3. ‘Let them race’ only applies to Verstappen, apparently.

  69. @all the people accusing Masi of race fixing:

    If he wanted VER to win why didn’t he penalise HAM for his first lap overtake? Even Martin Brundle thought it was wrong.

    Masi acted in an unorthodox way, but I think that was to give a TV spectacle, not through bias.

    1. I personally think that was intended as a message to Max that his desperate lunges would no longer be tolerated. Regardless though, that is completely unrelated to the race fixing on the last lap. You comparing shoplifting with homicide there.

  70. Masi must resign, he’s a disaster and for me this debacle plus Belgium means an * next to MVs title. Utterly corrupt.

  71. Maybe Red Bull can protest Silverstone, Hungary, Pirelli for Baku and a few other times they lost out for no fault of their own….

    1. Silverstone was partially Verstappen’s fault too, you can’t have an accident without two cars being involved and while not found to be wholly to blame, Verstappen was certainly partly responsible for that accident.

  72. I have an opinion
    13th December 2021, 8:11

    I’m sure Mr Michael Masi performed all his duties satisfactorily as Deputy / Trainee Race Director. He has shown himself, in the past three years following his unplanned promotion, wholly inadequate for the position of Race Director. He is just not cut out for this job. He lacks the necessary foresight, diplomacy and plain nous. The recent broadcasting of his conversations during races has only confirmed his incompetence.

  73. Masi has to go after that farce. If Mercedes appeal fails, i wouldnt be surprised if Mercedes pulls out of the sport. The way this season ended with Verstappen’s driving going unpenalised, and the way Masi handled that restart suggest Masi favours Red Bull. absolutely disgusting end to a great season.

  74. Like Martin Brundle says “opinions are like noses – everyone has one” and although he is right it appears that some opinions are based on research and some are just based on emotion.
    I’m not a Lewis Hamilton fan or a Max Verstappen fan – I’m an F1 fan for over 40 years and after a year of inconsistent decision-making from Stewards and a Race Director it is F1 fans who have ended up as the losers of the Decider in the Desert.
    Stewards, Race Directors, Umpires, Referees etc should never ever be able to use their positions to decide who wins a race or a game and if their decisions do influence the result then they should be held accountable and there should be consequences to their actions. Also, if a wrong can be righted by a Court of Appeal then in the interests, and the integrity, of the sport that option should always be available and be tested otherwise what’s the point of participating in a sport if one person, who is not a competitor, can decide the winner/winners of any sport.
    Based on the above posts some people are happy with the result (and Christian got his miracle) and some are not happy but due to poor decision-making we all lost in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 12 December 2021.
    So, let’s think outside the box for a minute – if the Race Director followed the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and the FIA International Sporting Code Lewis Hamilton would have won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But they didn’t follow them and so Lewis didn’t win, and it appears that it is unlikely that any appeal will award him the win. So, seeing he should have won why not award him the win but do not allocate any points for the race (it appears that this would not directly affect any other driver’s/team’s positions in the Driver’s Championship and the Constructor’s Championship) and then Lewis and Max would finish the 2021 season on the same points and with the same amount of race wins and then they could share the title of 2021 World Champion. That’s called a win win for everyone. If competitors at the Olympic Games can happily agree to share a Gold Medal, which only comes around once every four years, why not rectify the poor decision making of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by having joint World Champions. Mercedes and their fans would be happy, Red Bull and their fans would be happy and so everybody wins. Not possible? Anything’s possible – just ask Christian.
    Then, during the winter break, all the F1 decision makers need to get together and ensure that 2022, and all future races, will consistently follow ‘any’ or ‘all’ of the rules and that the results of a race will never ever again be dependent on just one person’s interpretation (opinion) of the rules.

    1. If you’re a fan of F-1 and you say Masi favors RB, then why didn’t he tell Lewis to return the position Max got after he overtook Lewis at first lap? It seems like you’re a bit hypocritical. As for dual WDC – totally agree, great idea!

      1. I would hope that Masi doesn’t favour any driver or any team as his job is to follow the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and the FIA International Sporting Code. But if he can’t do that objectively he should move aside and give the job to someone who can.
        As to why Masi didn’t tell Lewis to return the position to Max on the first lap – well that would be because that was the first decision that Masi got right as far as the Lewis/Max battle goes (it took the last race but he did get there). But it appears that I might be watching different races to others as I have always wondered why is it that when ever Max brakes late and sticks his car up the inside of another car in a corner or tries to go around the outside of a corner he expects every other driver to give him space but when other drivers do the same thing to him he either runs into them or runs them off the track and he thinks that’s ok??? I’m all for hard racing but as they say ‘do unto others as you expect others to do unto you’. Every driver that lines up on the grid knows that Max will not yield and so he will either end up running into them if they don’t yield or he will run them off the track. I believe that the main objective of every driver on the grid is to get as many points as possible and/or at least finish the race in one piece so they don’t want to risk damage to their car and therefore they get out of Max’s way (I’ve lost count of the amount of times Lewis had had to yield or run off the track in order to avoid a crash with Max). This is a huge advantage for Max as he knows, based on his experiences on track, that he will get away with this tactic and that the Race Director/Stewards will not penalise him for it (except for on the first lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where Max finally found out that his actions do have consequences). Congratulations to Masi for finally sticking to the rules in regard to drivers running other drivers off the track but no congratulations to him for the way he didn’t follow the rules about safety cars. I’ve read and reread the safety car procedures in the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and no where does it say that only the lapped cars between the first position car and the second position car need to be allowed to un-lap themselves – its either none of them or any/all of them. The Formula 1 Sporting Regulations also states that the safety car comes into the pits one lap after the last lapped car has un-lapped itself, not on the same lap as some but not any/all of the lapped cars have un-lapped themselves.
        btw to everyone blaming Mercedes for not pitting Lewis to get newer tyres it wouldn’t have mattered because if Lewis had pitted he would’ve gifted Max track position and then, under those circumstances, I bet the race would’ve ended under the safety car because Christian would then not have needed to tell the Race Director that ‘they only needed one lap’. If, however Lewis did pit for fresh tyres and the Race Director decided not to follow the safety car procedures and only allowed some, but not all, of the lapped cars to un-lap themselves (like he did) and Lewis did manage to get past Max, Max would’ve done everything he possibly could, like he does, to get back past Lewis and as we all know that would have included braking late into a corner and running Lewis off the track or maybe even ‘accidentally’ running into Lewis and taking them both out thus giving him the World Championship by virtue of his race wins. As it turns out Max had no influence on how the race ended (kudos to him), besides passing Lewis with fresher tyres, so at least he won the World Championship without taking Lewis out of the race, but unfortunately the same can’t be said about the Race Director.
        I also wonder if it wasn’t Lewis in that position on the last lap but it was any other driver looking at winning their first World Championship if people’s reactions would have been different. I’m sure Lewis will be able to console himself with his other 7 World Championship trophies but when a Race Director lays down the law at the beginning of the Race/Race Weekend and he expects all the drivers to race fairly but then he doesn’t make decisions fairly and those decisions influence a World Championship, whether it be a driver’s first championship or their eighth, then the integrity of F1 has died and as fans we all lose.
        There will always be winners and losers but I think we can all agree that whether it be an F1 race, or any other sport, integrity and fairness in the sport is the most important thing so that then the best man/woman or team wins – otherwise why would people bother playing and more importantly why would people bother watching!

    2. Share lol.

      Even ham agrees that Max won, and I’m pretty sure hes got enough trophies to polish without needing half of one!

  75. Masi cant take trick at the moment. Wouldn’t solve anything getting rid of him. I think he’s done the best he can under so much pressure if you really look at it. Who would want his job now! Move on everyone, look forward next year

    1. Agreed, I can’t be entirely against Masi, not even this time, as it is hard to govern this situation, with the environment became so wealthy, corporate, and political with the arrival of the big corporates, and the biggest car manufacturers as participants. It is hard to regulate such pool of sharks. Probably F1 should convert itself to a league, where the organizers, stewards, scrutineers, and practically everyone around would be elected by the teams, with a bit lesser outer influence by the FIA, as now the entrants are so closely coupled to the whole organization that they want to have words in everything for their money. It is so closely coupled that it is practically a symbiosis, it renders a very hard situation for the stewards, race director, and the organizers. They are not in the same position as the “judges” and refrees of other tiers or sports. The respect towards them is a bit lower, the pressure is higher, and the participants have a strong will, and for worse we are living in a world where media generated hype and influence is stronger and stronger.

      I would say, decisions like the last lap SC restart, with letting only some cars through not looked good, with a lap before apparently planning and stating the opposite. I think the thinking pace should be quicker to look better, there should be some deeper comittment to be quicker by knowing and applying the rules in and out -even if it takes applying computer science and AI-, and they should apply some Ross Brawn like geniuses, F1 know-hows solely to rethink the book of rules. With the goals of having a thinner book, with less exploits, and more sport-like experience.
      Last race showed how dumb and exploitable is the DRS activation line as a feature by itself. I enjoy strategic and tactic efforts, but when something like this comes up after having this feature for a long while, it is not good. These entrants will come up exploits like that time by time, so it would be better to revise the rule set.

      1. Or make the participating teams and manufacturers to pay for a faster and more consistent decision making system, even if it initially costy.
        Or have a totally independent decision and rule making crew(alongside the faster systems) to which the entrants can not even talk to during the races, but that is quite utopistic. Actually I can even imagine a group of stewards, whose identity is not even known by the participants, if they are reliable, where is the problem? But that is even more utopistic.

      2. elected by the teams – or more like: delegated. Every team would have their own delegates to build up the decision making staff.
        Wtewarding could be done by a larger steward crew at every racem for example they could give a numerical score to the severity of the current incident, and thhe averaged number would mean the corresponding penalty.
        For example, considering a interval of real numbers 0 to 10: [0-1) : none/racing incident, [1-3): reprimand/warning, [3-4): B/W flag, [4-5): 5secs, [5-6): 10secs, …
        With many stewards voting at the same time, the output would be maybe less debatable.

        The race control could directly talk to the drivers, to tell them the results and consequences of the investigations, to avoid the outcomes, or suboptimal order of exectuing things, like when Max va told to let Hamilton by before Hamilton was told that he will/should be let by. The order of the notofication of the drivers/teams should have been reverse in that case at the penultimate race.

    2. Agree with this. He managed the situation not perfectly, but this solution is good for the sport in a medium term at least.

  76. I would take a look at the situation from the different angle. Political power in F1 always was and is a part of success. Mercedes got so much power last years, so it starts to destroy sport. I was shocked how Wolff talking with a racing director. Just lmagine how it was before they start to broadcast those conversations. This is just unacceptable. Even if Masi will resign, his successor must (and he will) do anti-mercedes politics to keep a balance of power.

  77. Liberty got exactly what it wanted.

    A really close season

    Lots of drama fit for DTS

    Enough controversy to keep discussions ticking along through the off season.

    Tune in next year for more of the same.

  78. How it could have been: Mercedes accept the unlucky defeat of Hamilton but celebrate 8th Constructors Championship in a row, big publicity, Stuttgart happy that Mercedes look like the best car manufacturers in the world etc.
    How its gone: 8th Constructors Championship in a now row totally obscured by an angry sulk about drivers championship, self-entitled Mercedes look like the kings of the petulant winge and bad losers and the Stuttgart board get nothing back.

  79. Wow, 437 comments, this is an absolute record, at least since I checked on the website ofc.

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