Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021

Verstappen keeps win and championship as stewards reject both Mercedes protests

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix win and world championship victory have been upheld by the stewards after they rejected two protests from rival team Mercedes.

Mercedes claimed the sporting regulations had been violated on two counts when the race was restarted with one lap to go. These were the requirements that “any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the Safety Car” and that “once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.”

The team argued that because these rules were not complied with, Lewis Hamilton lost the race to Verstappen. The Red Bull driver overtook him on the final lap after the five lapped cars between them had been moved out of the way.

Red Bull attended the hearing as an interested party and made arguments against Mercedes. FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi also gave evidence.

The stewards ruled that article 48.12 cited by Mercedes “may not have been applied fully” but in their view “article 48.13 overrides that”, and so Masi’s decision to summon the Safety Car in took precedence.

“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,” they added.

The stewards dismissed Mercedes’ request to amend the result of the race to reflect the standings at the end of the penultimate lap, before Verstappen passed Hamilton, stating it would be “effectively shortening the race retrospectively, and hence not appropriate.”

The protest was one of two Mercedes lodged in reaction to the race. The other, claiming Verstappen overtook Hamilton under the Safety Car before the restart, was rejected earlier in the evening.

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Mercedes lodged the protest after the race, arguing Verstappen had overtaken Hamilton briefly before the first Safety Car line, and thus committed an offence under the regulations.

After a hearing, the stewards have dismissed Mercedes’ protest. While accepting that Verstappen had “at one stage, for a very short period of time, move[d] slightly in front of car 44 [Hamilton], at a time when both cars where accelerating and braking, [Verstappen’s car] moved back behind car 44 and it was not in front when the Safety Car period ended (i.e. at the line).”

The decision reflects Red Bull sporting director, Jonathan Wheatley’s defence of the incident that there have been “a million precedents” of cars pulling alongside, or even in front, of other cars ahead, then retuning their positions before reaching the Safety Car line marking the official restart of the race.

Mercedes may appeal the decisions and have not yet indicated whether they will do so.

Stewards verdict on Mercedes’ Safety Car restart protest

The claims of Mercedes:

Mercedes claimed that there were two breaches of the Sporting Regulations (Article 48.12) namely that which states “..any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car” and “…once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.”

Mercedes argued that had this been complied with, car 44 would have won the race.

They therefore requested the Stewards to amend the Classification under Article 11.9.3.h of the FIA International Sporting Code.

Red Bull’s arguments in defence:

Red Bull argued that

1. “Any” does not mean “all”.
2. The article 48.13 of the Sporting Regulations states that the message “Safety Car in this lap” is the signal that it will enter the pit lane at the end of that lap.
3. That therefore Article 48.13 “overrides” article 48.12.
4. That article 15.3 gives the race director “overriding authority” over “the use of the safety car”.
5. That even if all cars that had been lapped (eight in total, of which five were allowed to overtake the safety car) it would not have changed the outcome of the race.

Race Director’s Evidence

The race director stated that the purpose of article 48.12 was to remove those lapped cars that would “interfere” in the racing between the leaders and that in his view article 48.13 was the one that applied in this case.

The race director also stated that it had long been agreed by all the teams that where possible it was highly desirable for the race to end in a “green” condition (i.e. not under a Safety Car).

Conclusions of the Stewards:

The Stewards consider that the protest is admissible.

Having considered the various statements made by the parties the Stewards determine the following:

That article 15.3 allows the race director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal.

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

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

Accordingly, the protest is dismissed. The protest deposit is not refunded.

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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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253 comments on “Verstappen keeps win and championship as stewards reject both Mercedes protests”

  1. Okay this done, which appeared alright to me. The other one though, I believe that will go into court, and I will be really surprised if that gets decided tonight.

    1. can we have by exception two champions?

      1. Hahhaa finally that sounds good to me. I mean seriously.

        1. I think on the balance of everything, hamilton wasn’t much worse than verstappen this season, I don’t remember if he was 3rd or 4th (norris – leclerc) on the first half, but I believe he’ll take 2nd this time on this website.

      2. Terrible idea when you have a deserved champion

        1. The questions is whether that is a fair assessment or not. Thinking objectively, I disagree.

          Intentionally or otherwise, race control decided the race. They could have:

          1) Waited until everyone had passed the pits under VSC before throwing the safety car, allowing everyone a pit stop without losing time or position to anyone else.
          2) Red flagged the race, giving everyone a free tyre change and maybe 3-4 laps of green flag racing.
          3) kept the safety car out until the final lap and waved the green and chequered at the same time, like in Monaco 2010.
          4) Let either no lapped cars, or all lapped cars, pass before ending the safety car period, letting Lewis keeping a fairly built advantage on old tyres vs Max on new tyres.

          Any of the above would have been acceptable and avoided this outcome. Not giving Lewis the opportunity to pit without him losing any advantage just doesn’t pass the BS test. Neither does denying Carlos Sainz a fair opportunity to have a go at Max for 2nd on the final lap when Max has been given that option for taking the win.

          Regardless of how this plays out, this season ends in a farce and regardless of whether the courts flip the result or not, I suspect there will be an asterisk against whoever is declared the winner of this season due to race control’s actions.

  2. This thing is not gonna be changed anymore. The only worst case for FIA is to let masi go, but championship result will not change. Move on.

    1. Ross Brawn would strongly disagree. Masi has been a kind of source of controversy which is good for the show. Imagine if the race direction being fair and consistent. The team radio channel between the FIA and the teams has been a source for entertainment and especially with Masi onboard.

      1. Rubbish. He has not been good for the show. This is not a lottery or roulette.

      2. (@tifoso1989)

        Massi has been hopeless. I’ve never seen so much confusion and lack of clarity about the rules.

        Having only a few lapped cars go after the safety car was bizarre – but then again so was letting Hamilton gain such a huge advantage on lap 1. Generally terrible decision making all around.

      3. Only problem – most of controversy come from stewards, not Masi. He doesn’t penalize anyone. He doesn’t have any authority on this. Only rare occasional controversy from him is this one and Spa decisions. But everything was legal. Mercedes wanted it to be illegal, or either finish under saftey car, which is bad for racing.

    2. I doubt the FIA will tell Masi to pack it up and leave, because even the investigation into Bianchi’s death wasn’t enough for them to sack Whiting over his lack of yellow flag enforcement. But it would be a good thing for the new FIA president to take a serious look at the now long-standing dissatisfaction about F1 officiating and instruct his head of Motorsport affairs to determine and implement ways to improve the situation.

      They have a good comparison in their own WEC series, where race director Eduardo Freitas’ word carries a lot of weight and he’s basically only ever faulted for being a bit too eager with Full Course Yellows – which some will, perhaps rightly, argue is partly due to the high number of amateur Bronze drivers in sportscar championships.

    3. Indeed. FIA messed up big and it cost Lewis a win and WDC but changing the result at this point is very unlikely, but Masi should resign soon and F1 and FIA should discuss ways to improve stewardship of races, it’s been too much lately.

    4. Why would we move on. There’s always the next race, but the win here is Masi gone forever.

  3. Right call on this one. Agree with Wheatley’s assessment.

    Will be interesting to hear the outcome and rationale of the big verdict – even if the result is upheld, major changes need to occur from within the director and stewards camp.

    1. Masi needs to go, but other changes to the rules and the quality and consistency with which they are followed need to be assessed.

    2. even if the result is upheld, major changes need to occur from within the director and stewards camp

      I don’t think any real F1 fan will argue with that, regardless of who their favourite driver is.

      1. Indeed, even as someone who likes this result for the overall fairness of the year, as a standalone race it was unfair to hamilton and surely you can find someone better than masi, that change of mind with lapped cars was ridiculous.

        1. As a dutch F1 fan, totally agree !

          Lewis was awesome today and the last 3 races and Max was lucky and handed the win today

    3. Definitely need to hear the Rationale

  4. “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.”.

    This did not happen, the SC pitted on same lap. Last lap is void and Hamilton wins on countback to end of previous lap.

    That’s if there is any integrity in F1, not just hunting out drama and controversy. An amazing season with two amazing drivers descends into farce.

    1. @switchback The problem is there is no explanation of what happens if this rule is broken. There’s no procedure for what happens. Do they call it back a lap (I’m not sure the stewards are allowed to do that unless there’s a premature chequered flag or similar), or annul the race completely, or do they have to pay damages. The question isn’t “Did something go wrong?”, because the answer to that is a firm YES, the question is “How are we supposed to fix it?”

    2. No, not the last lap is void – the complete race is void, because we do not have a legal result. It is wrong to assume that the race ended on the last lap under safety car, there is no logical reason to assume that. Nowhere do the rules suggest that.

      1. If the lap is void Ham wins. If the race is void Max wins. They could have also restarted without lapping cars so Max could have still had a chance. Which one is it? They made a mistake and its not the first one of the season. The result has to stand.

        1. For a restart you need a red flag. The strict rules about red flag do not apply here.
          A sc is to clean up the track and resume the race.
          The track is clear and Masi decide to race till the end.
          This has nothing to do with max, who won because a strategy error by Mercedes.

          1. It seems the strategy error was to rely on rules. Safety car wasnt allowed to end in the lap it did. If Merc would have pitted, then Masi would have ended the race under SC. This obviously was a made-up result. Liberty/FIA/Masi wanted a new Champ, and thats what they try to achieve, even against the rules.

          2. You mention “strict rules” about red flag, when they clearly state that it’s up to the clerk of the course (who can be overruled by the race director) to red flag a race if he/she (quote) “deems circumstances are such that the track cannot be negotiated safely, even behind the safety car”, but you somehow miss that Masi decided to race by ignoring the actually strict rules about safety car and lapped cars.

        2. The previous mistakes, all of them was different interpretation of what happened on the track by the stewards. Did Hamilton leave enough space in Silverstone? For Mercedes/Hamilton fans yes, for Red Bull/Verstappen fans no. Or in Sao Paolo did Verstappen deliberately push Hamilton off the track? Same story.

          However this is different. There is no interpretation here. The stewards broke the rules that they are hired to empower and they are just benefitting from the fact that there is no turning back from this point. It will be a headache for a couple of weeks may be months, and may be Masi will have to resign but nothing will change.

          F1 is a business not a sport. And it is not news. If need be we can see Stroll or Mazepin declared to be the World Champion.

        3. Restarting in a rush for the show was their big mistake, Masi was to eager to provide a dramatic ending he forgot the leading team made their call not to pit based on written and usually applied rules and their last minute change of mind unfairly favored a competitor.

          Formula 1 should not be treated like WWE or a reality show.

      2. @uzsjgb voiding the whole race would have consequences for other drivers as well. Namely Carlos Sainz, that got up to 5th in the WDC standings with his 3rd place.

    3. I imagine FIA a are going to try and keep the result the same by whatever means possible. If that means sacking Masi and ensuring rules not broken in future. But I don’t think this will be enough. Mercedes have many resources, board members and employees to think of and then finally their fans who feel left down by the inconsistent ruling.

      1. Mercedes also has an image to think of, and the image of sore losers with the first real competition after 7 championships might not be appealing for the board.

        1. They would be losers, if they simply accept go be cheated

    4. @switchback

      imagine spa race, it didnt officially start yet declared finished before even any official lap is done

      1. didnt expect any more disgusting decisions could be made, but hey, maFIA when in doubt, make up their own rules just like spa 08!

        i hope ham retires before tomorrow, because these disgusting money mongers, will start blaming ham for the crash

        1. oh, get over it already…

        2. Pretty please!!!!!!!

        3. Please retire soon. He can be a politician.

  5. Right, one down, one to go. This protest was a very silly anyway.

  6. Thinking about it Masi brought the sport into disrepute, unless there’s another rule that allows him to “change” the rules in the sporting regulations, during a race then he should just go and keep everything the same. Rbr and Max didn’t break any rules so shouldn’t suffer.

    1. @icarbs According to Article 11.10.3 of the International Sporting Code, the race director has “overriding authority” when it comes to the use of the safety car. This provision may be used to justify Masi’s decision to depart from the sporting regulations.

      1. Overriding against the Clerk of the course, not overriding the rules.

      2. Yeah, I actually think this decision makes sense. The Stewards confirm that the overriding thing is the responsibility of the race director to decide on things to get racing to go on and do so safely and within reason. Which means he can interpret how to use the tools at his disposal to that end @red-andy.

        1. No, Clearly that rule is not meant in that way…

          “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, sprint qualifying session 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, suspension of a sprint qualifying session 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.”

          It is clearly that the RD has the overriding authority to use a SC even if the Clerk does not think one is needed. It does not mention ending the SC however if it means that too then fine. However it does not give him override of the rules on how to restart the race after a SC as that is handled by the following rule.

          “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.
          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.
          If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message
          “OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging
          system.”

          This rule was clearly not adhered to. However they somehow claim that the next rule overrides it.

          “48.13 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR
          IN THIS LAP” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system and the car’s orange
          lights will be extinguished. This will be the signal to the Competitors and drivers that it will be
          entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.
          2021 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations 51/98 8 DECEMBER 2021
          ©2021 Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile Issue 13
          At this point the first car in line behind the safety car may dictate the pace and, if necessary, fall
          more than ten car lengths behind it.
          In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the
          point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves
          no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other
          drivers or impede the restart.
          As the safety car is approaching the pit entry the SC boards will be withdrawn and, other than
          on the last lap of the sprint qualifying session or the race, as the leader approaches the Line the
          yellow flags will be withdrawn and a green flag and/or green light panel will be displayed at the
          Line.”

          This rule clearly is not meant to override the previous one. It also does not make it mandatory for the safety car to come in once the message is displayed. It is simply to show that this is the meaning of the message not that the message can not be withdrawn and the SC has to come in under any circumstances. (Imagine if there is a crash under these circumstances… would they race or would they keep the SC out?)

          Plus the message is clearly meant to be displayed once the previous rule has been completed. Otherwise someone could accidentally press the button to display the safety car ending and activate this rule and not be able to retract it which would clearly be very dangerous.

          The FIA have not got a leg to stand on with regard to this farce…

    2. Sorry @icarby, tagged you wrongly above.

    3. Massi needs to go…his pally behaviour with Redbull live on radio is a disgrace to the fairness of the sport.

  7. Merc need to let it go now. They’ve had seven years of uninterrupted, unchallenged success, they need to step back and realise being given the championship now will do more damage to their image, than holding their head high and being gracious.

    1. indeed. and they still have constructors anyway , which is the more important one for Merc.

      1. Yes, losing the driver’s title and winning the constructor’s is a fair reflection of the performances this year for merc.

        1. Like Bottas’ stunning speed in the Merc today. I think we’ve seen that Lewis is the faster racer than Max the last few races, a faster car but slower in the race.

    2. And accept that, because the race director didn’t follow the rules, they lose millions (sponsorship bonuses etc)?

      I reckon this is going to go further, probably to CAS. I can also see Mercedes suing the FIA for damages.

      1. I get what you are saying there @drmouse.

        But honestly, if/when the team announce they will lodge an appeal (yeah, that one is going to happen, actually by now it they have announced it already), I fully expect the Mercedes Benz boss to call up the team leadership and tell them to not go ahead with it.

        There is no money actually in it for the team – they won the Constructors championship already (the base for handing out money from Liberty). Apart from maybe some sponsorship benefits. But there is no money to gain. And there is a lot of reputational loss to risk to doing so for a big automotive company. Nobody likes a sour loser.

        Lewis will certainly take his skill level another step forward based on this defeat, just like he always did when he was losing somewhere. And there is no reason Mercedes cannot do the same. The reputational loss of getting into a messy spat with the FIA and even just the effort and attention they will have to put into it alone, make it just not worth it since even if the FIA are wrong, does that really mean they should

        1. I seriously doubt the result will change, but something needs to be done to stop anything like this happening again. The race director cannot be allowed to break the rules and decide the race result of F1 is to retain even the smallest pretence of being a sport.

    3. no they need to push this so that we never have the likes of massi deciding things on the whim and fly..

    4. So any and all breaking of rules should just be ignored in future?

  8. BBC are reporting final decision in a few minutes…. Obviously it’ll all be appealed and go through courts after this though.

  9. The problem with the second one is that ending the race under the sc was not the only other alternative. They could have legally allowed the race to restart without having the cars lap.sure it would have been harder for Max to blue flag 4 cars and then go by Hamilton but it seems like an error to say that the race would have ended under the SC even if there was an error. Also, Hamilton could have crashed warming up his tyres, etc. I just dont see how they can give this one to Lewis even if we can admit a mistake.

  10. BTW interesting bending the rules to support Lewis does not seems to be a problem.

    1. 😂 the British commentators and Mercedes seemed pleased with an inconsistent rule threat to max regarding points deductions, and even during the race that it was fine not to leave the cars unlap themselves… But as soon as the inconsistency turned in Max’s favour literally all toys fell out of the pram. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 hilarious. My new wallpaper is Lewis punting max off in Silverstone! #StillWeRise

      1. Not sure what you watched but the moment they (fia) changed the ruling about lapped car merc was happy but also the first decision red bull was not happy. The difference is when redbull was not happy it was within the rules but when merc embassy not happy the rules were not followed.
        Big difference

        1. When the stewards decided not to penalise lewis for passing off track and gaining a lasting advantage Red Bull was not happy. Of course not… who would be with such inconsistency.
          But they accepted it and went on… something to learn for Toto and co/

          1. Max clearly forced him off the track. The stewards were obviously satisfied that the advantage he had before the crazy lunge by Max was maintained and therefore no punishment necessary. That is very different from the FIA breaking a very black and white rule over safety cars…

  11. Good, that Toto farce at an end.

  12. An expectable outcome.

  13. Official: Verstappen keeps win and championship as stewards reject both Mercedes protests

    Of course he does… Shameful!

    1. Maybe shameful for this one race, not on the balance of the season, when you include silverstone, baku and hungary, otherwise would’ve been shameful.

      1. +1 @esploratore1 That’s true

  14. Correct decision, would be scandal to have that precedent, and riped off champion after final race results. Toto choose to ruin Mercedes AMG f1 image, he might have some calls from Stuttgart also to stop it.

    1. And it is not shameful that the FIA broke their own rule to make the show better for TV audiences?

      This is no longer a sport. This is mora kin to Professional Wrestling than it is sport…

  15. Off to the courts we go.

    1. +1 wonder if this will be decided before the next “race”.

    2. The last two races have done nothing for the good of the sport….Massi has to stand down…We have 2 sets of rules..Verstappens and the FIA….and I would be amazed if this is not finally settled in the courts

    3. That was obvious the fia has just ruled its self to not have breached its own regulations. Kangaroo court style. That’s like going to the ecj 🤣🤣🤣.
      It will go to the courts the result won’t change as redbull did nothing wrong but the decision will and Liberty will have to pay my off merc.
      The sport is what lost today and many fans will leave

      1. How many will replace them? Outside us fans what everyone has heard is “last overtake to win a championship”
        It’s like that Barcelona 6-1 comeback against PSG, all everyone remembers is Sergi Roberto’s goal, not the decisions

  16. And people asked me why I’m not paying to watch this crap anymore. If the FIA won’t even play by the rules they made up, what’s the point?

    1. +1 there’s zero chance I pay 25 a month for sky “sports” to watch an entertainment program. I’m genuinely unbothered by Max being champion ( I actually won some good money on a pre-season bet) but the sport is ruined.

      1. I thought the coverage today from Sky Sports superb. Multiple world champions, Martin Brundle, Karun Chandok, Ted Kravitz – what’s not to like ??!!

        1. If they don’t want to watch the sport anymore , why would they pay any money to the carrier of that sport?

  17. I’m a big fan of LH, but have to give it to Max, he’s been the better driver and deserves the championship.

    1. Absolutely, hamilton hasn’t been that bad across the season either and I think he’ll be 2nd in the rankings here, unlike in the first half, which is mostly why verstappen was better.

    2. “I’m a big fan of LH”

      Thats very weird, because every other post of yours says otherwise.

    3. This is a lie.

    4. “My new wallpaper is Lewis punting max off in Silverstone! #StillWeRise” ????????

  18. If the courts rule mercedes favour redbulll better return lewis trophy

  19. F1 should hang its head in shame. The most exciting season in years and it has ended with race fixing by not following procedures. F1 will have lost viewers after today and the rest of us no longer know or understand what the rules are or mean.

    1. You speak only for yourself. F1 has likely gained many more fans after today.

      1. What fan are you talking about mate?

  20. Should the FIA have red-flagged the race after Latifi’s crash? That would have given a few more racing laps and equal tires for Lewis and Max. Given how late in the race the crash happened, It seemed like the better option.

    1. Absolutely correct @dedischado. That’s what they should’ve done and because they didn’t this whole stupid situation unfolded

    2. Yes, in hindsight that would have been a better decision.

      1. That would not really have been within the rules.

        “50.1 If Competitors or officials are placed in immediate physical danger by cars running on the track,
        and the clerk of the course deems circumstances are such that the track cannot be negotiated
        safely, even behind the safety car, the sprint qualifying session or the race will be suspended.
        Should it become necessary to suspend the sprint qualifying session or the race, the clerk of the
        course will order red flags to be shown at all marshal posts and the abort lights to be shown at
        the Line.

        It was obviously safe to negotiate the crash under a SC.

        But then who cares about the rules. The race director can do what the hell they want apparently!

  21. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    12th December 2021, 19:16

    Red Bull argued that

    1. “Any” does not mean “all”.

    I just love that one. That in those very tense moments, with the clock ticking, you have the patience to sit there and think: ‘hang on a second, it says Any and not All’. Even though it may not have the the argument that won the case, it got a giggle out of me. Which is more than could be said about the farce that Mercedes is making out of this entire season. A disgrace for such a large car-company.

    1. @barryfromdownunder I coincidentially pointed out the same on this tweet, much before this appeared. Hahahaha
      https://twitter.com/omarRpepper/status/1470087723750989833

    2. @barryfromdownunder that’s what F1 teams do, though. Twist the rules as much as they possibly can to their own benefit. Wouldn’t be the first time that a team exploits an ambiguous wording of the regulations. I’m honestly more surprised that Red Bull had a say at all in that protest, since they weren’t involved in it (although they were undoubtedly affected). Hope the FIA learns something from this and fixes the wording so that there’s no ambiguity, because the use of article 15.3 seems even worse than a witty argument about “any” and “all”. Reading it, it would seem the spirit of the rule is that the Race Director has overriding authority about the decisions of the clerk of the course, rather than about the procedures of the rule book. That sets a really dangerous precedent in my opinion.

  22. Max unworthy champion with your one title lewis will be there 2 more seasons and doing his best

    1. Hamilton would’ve been a less worthy champion this year.

    2. Max is an awesome driver and would be a worthy champion, we don’t need this sudden death contraption.

  23. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    12th December 2021, 19:17

    We have the outcome, and I personally think it’s a good thing, however the damage has well and truly been done… F1 has shot iteslf in the foot here.

  24. Absolute cheats are FIA. No respect.

  25. #STOPTHESTEAL

  26. Shocking. So Michael Masi can crown anyone despite the existing regulations. Lewis won the race on track in all ways possible today, except the F1 sanctioned version.

    I’m putting 20 quid on Mazepin being WDC next year.

    Shame on you F1. And shame on you Ross Brawn for backing this nonsense last week. 48 years watching this sport. Epic fail.

  27. Cry me a river :)

    1. Ferrari fans will be crying constantly, dont worry

      1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
        12th December 2021, 19:45

        Lol

      2. Nah, they got a podium and 3rd in the constructor!

        1. good to see how legendary team is happy with breadcrumbs from the champions table….so its fans

  28. So now totos hysterical reactions and the resulting appeal are gone we can enjoy a well deserved champion.
    Two great drivers battled on track and two less important men battled in court.
    Let’s hope fia will learn from this.

    1. What will the FIA learn? Not to mess with the result? Not to break their own written rules? What are they going to learn?
      They have not learned anything in the time Lewis has been in F1 (Remember when he was given a 25 second penalty for simply leaving the track at Spa?) They do not learn. They have harmed the sport today and neither Driver deserved this. Maxs championship is now tainted. Lewis feels robbed. How is this sport anymore?

  29. Wait until people here find out that officials make mistakes in other sports and results are not changed. They will be shocked!

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      12th December 2021, 19:22

      I know right. And saying f1 is a disgrace now – it’s been like this for years and years. If anything this is more likely to get liberty the fans they want.

      1. The ones talking about “a disgrace” are mostly newcomers with little or none knowledge of F1.
        That’s no problem, everyone has a learning curve. But the toxic additions are not nice to read.

    2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 19:44

      Norris seems to think it was deliberare, for the TV ratings. Not a mistake.

    3. It’s not quite the same though, is it? This isn’t like a football referee using his judgement and arriving at a disagreeable decision. This is a race director not just misapplying rules but flat-out inventing new ones to orchestrate an outcome. I can’t think of an analogue to this in any other sport, can you?

    4. The problem is that other sports make mistakes in the heat of the moment on a split second decision when the referee has limited sight of the incident etc. In this case the race director had a long time, a team of people and a black and white rule to adhere to that has been adhered to perfectly fine for many many years! There was simply Zero reason for breaking this rule and not only that, Other sports admit that the rule was not enforced properly and try to make it better next time. The FIA however have come out with some tripe regarding other rules which clearly are not mitigating.

  30. The greatest scammed result in F1 history.

    1. As a single race very questionable, but not over the course of the season when you have silverstone, hungary, baku.

      1. Nonsense.

        Silverstone was a racing incident that one driver could have avoided and the other driver served a penalty.

        Hungary was wet/damp/greasy conditions and if you look onboard Bottas you can see how that mistake unfolded, he got a bad start and was crowded by other cars and jumped on the brakes a bit too hard, again, thats racing.

        Baku, tire blow out, thats racing, but also due to how Redbull run their tires, maybe they would have come across that issue had Verstappen not put it in the wall in Free Practice, again, thats racing.

        1. still?
          get over it.

        2. f.off
          100% on purpose.
          Tapping the right rear…. Hamilton didn’t even try to make the corner.
          Every driver on the inside would go to the apex… Lewis was meters away from the apex, knowing fully well he would tap the RBR

    2. with knowing you saying this… you don’t know the history

  31. Good. Glad this is resolved today. Mercedes can try and take this to court but that will largely be financial in nature – no-one is going to change the result of this race as it can be demonstrated that the rules were applied correctly. Obviously it’s open to interpretation but if the FIA are able to explain their decision as they have, it’s highly unlikely a court would ever over-rule them.

    1. Not it can’t. The FIAs explanation of the the rules is at odd with what they actually say and where they appear. If you actually read them it is obvious what they mean and it is not what the FIA are claiming…

  32. So, we have the team that won 8 consecutive titles, protest a driver win because he won it on track?
    Massi words to Toto i think sum’s it up.

    1. @bluechris Of all the great historical quotes in regards to wars or famines or anything worthy of note, no more emboldening words can be said except for, “today we went racing”.

      Really wish something so poetic could’ve been said about the moon landing, ending world wars, felling a wall, ending of the Soviet Union, etc.

  33. The full wording of the decision is laughable. The FIA does simply state they decided to abide by Art. 48.13 AND not by Art. 48.12. As if it would be either one or another that must be enforced. They basically failed to address either of the two points made by Mercedes and yet proclaimed the matter as closed.

    They did not adopt any of the points made in defence by Red Bull on top of that.

    1. Mercedes may appeal the decisions and have not yet indicated whether they will do so.
      Mercedes must appeal and put an end to the farce in F1.

    2. They looked for a way out rather than address the fact that the rules were not followed.

      1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
        12th December 2021, 19:42

        +1

  34. 3. That therefore Article 48.13 “overrides” article 48.12.
    4. That article 15.3 gives the race director “overriding authority” over “the use of the safety car”.

    The basic premise of any good legal document is that for any situation, there should be only 1 unambiguous way of interpreting the document and coming up with the solution. Which article over-rides the other should also be enshrined in the said legal document by adding the requisite conditions under which a particular article will be applied. Unfortunately, the FIA rules do not satisfy these conditions. Hence, Red Bull is able to dictate which rules ‘override’ or take precedence over others. Its a shame.

    I find this comment particularly damning:

    The race director stated that the purpose of article 48.12 was to remove those lapped cars that would “interfere” in the racing between the leaders and that in his view article 48.13 was the one that applied in this case

    Why is the race director being asked which article – 48.13 vs 48.12 – should be applied here? Isn’t he one of the accused parties in this protest. Shouldn’t it be an independent authority that decides which article takes precedence?

    1. Because Masi and FIA are corrupted.

    2. Well, they’re protesting the decision of the race director so of course the stewards are going to ask the race director why he made that decision.

  35. Mercedes/Lewis fans. You have won 7/8 drivers and 8/8 constructors. It’s okay to lose something. I’m sure next year your team will be back to winning.

    Toto needs to move on. Further protests just make Mercedes look like the ultimate sore losers.

    1. Masi manipulated the result!
      The race would finish under SC if Lewis pitted and Max did not, thus handing him the title. Mercedes team was screwed either way.

      1. Races should never finished under safety car unless some serious crash. There should be a rule extending a race for 10-15 km and extending qualification session for 5-6 minutes, if qualification session was stopped during last 2-3 minutes, depending on track.

        1. Well maybe that should be the case, However that is not the case right now…

        2. unless some serious crash

          And those races can be stopped with red flag, so no extending rule to be applied. In case of minor incidents there would be no reason to apply red flag.

      2. that’s just an assumption, of which you don’t know the outcome.
        You now suggest it will have this outcome, just to make your statement ssound stronger

    2. I guess if you have basic food and clothes you don’t need anything else, i’ts ok to lose some, kid’s logic….
      Hamilton was winning clearly this race, but…we need show right? maybe next time Mercs will install machine gun on Lewis car, just for the sake of the show and screw the rules?

      1. I just don’t understand how after so much success, and now this small defeat, how it can be such an emotional thing for you. Having Mercedes not win 1/8 drivers championships is okay. If you are a Mercedes/Lewis fan you should be grateful for the incredible amount of success that they have had.

        This is the first time in my life that the driver or team that I wanted to win something actually did, in any sport, and I am in my late thirties. And this single victory enough so that I can tolerate watching Mercedes/Hamilton dominate the next set of regulations. I hope they don’t, but if they do I think I can tolerate it.

        1. I guess it’s ok for you to win by cheating?
          don’t bother answering, this is rhetorical question….

    3. They have 6/8, they also lost one to Rosberg.

      1. @afonic haye to tell you but Nico was also a Mercedes driver…

        1. Absolutely, and damn it, they won every constructor’s title for 8 years in a row, that by itself means they had the overall best car (give or take some close cases like 2018) for a whole era, that’s plenty, and even the driver’s title here was close with a driver who overall drove worse.

  36. I can hear Toto whining from the US.

  37. FIA is a joke right now

    “Any does not means All”
    really???

    1. It does not.

      Semantics, and maybe not in the spirit (or maybe the only correct interpretation!) of that rule.

      We’d have to find the people who wrote it.

      1. “any car that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and safety car”
        it’s not “some of the cars” or “cars selected by the masi” or something like that

  38. Toto is just a sore loser. Can’t stand the man.

    Lewis on the other hand, I’m not a fan of him, but he took the defeat as a man. So did his father. Big points for the both of them. He brought grace to his defeat.

    I hope people will only remember the last, but I don’t think so.

    Also..
    Teams and drivers should stop playing marionettes of the engine supplier. George Russell made a fool out of himself. Lando was not able to speak freely. All afraid for the consequences of Toto.

    1. Last part is very true, and yes, hamilton drove and spoke well this time, deserved this win but not the title more than verstappen imo.

    2. If it were for me, give this race to hamilton, restart the race in silverstone from the grid, baku ends before verstappen’s puncture, hungary allow time for repairs for everyone who got crashed out in the initial carnage, then I want to see who wins when you remove all the bad luck!

      1. And dont forget the timing of the red flag in Imola, whilst Lewis was in the gravel.

        Extremely deciding for the championship aswell

  39. I kinda hope Mercedes pull out of F1 over the winter and take their engine supplier obligations with them. Enjoy dealing with that mess FIA.

    1. Porsche and Audi step in. Perfect. Furthermore Mercedes HPP have contractual obligations to the teams they supply which cannot be justified broken because of an essentially unrelated company ( Mercedes- Benz Geand Prix Ltd) throwing a hissy fit. Nice try though!

      1. @spencer you must be relatively New if you believe any F1 contract is worth more than the paper it is( probably still) printed on

        1. @mrboerns You must be new to F1 if you think that the huge damages Merc will have to pay for braking said contracts both with the teams and with the FIA will not be enough to arrange for some more engines to be made by Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault to supply the teams left without an engine. And you must be really, really new to F1 if you believe there’s more than one in a million chance that the Daimler board will approve an immediate withdrawal under such circumstances, especially with all the money they’d invested in 2022 style rules car and 2022-2025 engine already

          1. Mercedes may decide that what’s written down actually doesn’t need to be followed…

      2. Are you sure Porsche and Audi would like to step in if F1 can run its sport according to its own rules? I doubt it, if anything today might discourage large car manufacturers from investing massive sums of money into it. (not that I would be in favour of car manufacturers in F1, I think the series would do better without them all together)

      3. @spencer

        Porsche and Audi step in

        You have no idea what it takes to build a factory in a matter of months do you? Nevermind the fact that the VW group considered entering during this hycrid period but pulled out at the last moment. That said you do have a point about Merc’s contractual obligations- but I am sure if they really wanted to, they can just claim

        “following the adverse outcome of the FIA 2021 World Championship, it has become financially unfeasable to continue our F1 operations

        “. Good luck proving otherwise in court whether you’re a customer team or the FIA.

      4. @spencer No one can step in on such a short notice. However Renault, RB/Honda and Ferrari can produce some more engines of course. In fact they must do so by the rules. And the huge damages Merc will have to pay for breaking contracts will be more than enough to pay for these extra PU’s. But Merc won’t leave, with all the money they’d invested in 2022 car and the new engine, only a lunatic with zero understanding in business would suggest it’s even possible

  40. I guess this is the right outcome, fixing one controversial decision with another one would have just made the whole situation even worse. However, we absolutely need way more consistent stewarding next season. The amount of weird and inconsistent decisions this year was simply unacceptable.

    1. Two wrongs don’t make a right…
      If a decision by FIA changes the title winner-then it’s a farce, not sport and not even a show…

      1. Every decision has had influence on the championship. The red flag in Imola and the lack of penaltys for lewis on several occasion.
        You only look at one decision and cry wolff ( toto perhaps?)

  41. I actually wonder if the constant bickering to Masi from the team principals impacted in how late the decision came in? That obviously doesn’t dissolve Masi’s inconsistent application of race management (even though I think the intent was good to let the two drivers decide the championship among themselves). Just curious if the decision to let lapped cars through earlier to keep within the rules would have been possible if the team principles laid off the radio to Masi. If so, then I think team principles should not be allowed to bother race control while a situation is being dealt with. I mean, both Wolff and Horner have been super annoying per the little nuggets we hear at these races! Earlier in this race we heard Wolff ask Masi no SC when racing went VSC which I view as influencing race control decisions.

    1. Just to clarify, a full SC was not necessary as the VSC was the right call at the early situation in the race. But race control has been very wish washy this season. I think team principles need to lay off the radio button and not interfere with race control efforts. All they are doing is being distracting while trying to influence their decisions in their favor. Which is unsporting IMO.

      1. I guess Masi has “mute” button anyway, if he thinks that answering calls may disrupt his direct work…

        1. Even so, he can only press so many buttons at once!

          1. it is not a mandatory to answer Horner or Toto’s call btw…

      2. a full sc was necessary.. there was a car blocking the raceline. you need towing equipment to remove it. do not invent stupid arguments..

    2. I think the lapped cars (in this instance only those that were in Verstappen way) were only released once the Williams car was out of the way (and that this is a procedure to make sure marshals have as large gap as possible to manipulate unhindered with the car). So the Horner/Wolff chatting probably had no impact on that.

      1. Agreed, but race control’s job isn’t procedurally complete when the car has been cleared.

        1. Sorry, I dont follow. Could you explain a bit more what you mean by it?

  42. Well that’s it for me. I’m only following indycar from here on out. This is a fantastic website and thank you all for the great opinions but there’s zero chance I’m going to continue to support this series. Until masi resigns I won’t be watching at all.

    1. I just cancelled my subscription from all F1 “Paying” services. Not a single cent from me for those Cheaters FIA!

      1. same here

        1. 100.000 British leave
          20.000.000 join…
          well done F1

      2. nice, it will be less toxic the coming season. I like it!

    2. Crying me a river for all the fanchildren leaving F1, might I drown?

      1. Oh another comment about crying… keep being original champ!

  43. ‘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.’

    So basically the FIA decision is that the decision was open to the interpretation of the Race Director (under pressure from one of the teams) and therefore we refuse to overrule this because it would mean the result would be reset to one lap before the official end of the race.

    This is pathetic. So in a nutshell we messed it up but we’re too embarrassed to overrule ourselves. One of the worst decisions in F1 history.

    1. You have the Comment of this tragic Day!

    2. That depends on interpretation but.
      The decision to only allow some lapped cars to unlap themselves is unusual as Article 48.12 suggests that the message ‘LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE’ should be sent to all competitors.
      The regulation is then explicit about when the race can be restarted.
      It states: “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.
      “If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message “OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system “
      This clause suggests that with the lapped car message having come out on lap 57, then the restart could only come at the end of the ‘following lap’- so lap 58, which was the end of the race.

  44. Kimberley Barrass
    12th December 2021, 19:33

    I think Mercedes will think they have a very good case for the CAS if they intend to go that route – personally – I hope they focus on next year – and then win another three off the trot!

    1. It’s a multimillion dollars investment and if you will get sidelined no matter how much you spent or how good you are-then what’s the point?

      1. I agree. If they don’t challenge this then how can they turn up to any future event and have any faith the regulations will be followed, what would be the point of ‘racing’?
        And another point, if nothing changes how will Masi’ behave towards them in the future?

    2. the interesting part is that you all seem to think Mercedes will win.
      The most likely outcome is a verdict where Mercedes again will lose.
      The article mentioned gives the right to Masi to call out and in the SC to his discretion.
      So apart from damaging the sport and the mercedes brand, they can only loose.

  45. We’ve really gotten to the point where people are clamoring for the safety car to remain on track longer despite the track being clear huh?

    1. People are clamoring for clear and understandable rules, no matter how long safety car is staying if everyone know rules of the game it’s ok…and moreover honest and clear application of that rules…
      RB and FIA bent this last race as far as they could without punching Lewis tires with a knife. Perez out just to keep distance clear, all other cars ONLY between Max and Lewis are allowed to pass etc…

    2. People are clamoring for no ad hoc decisions outside the rule book that are clearly arbitrary and prejudicial.

    3. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 19:40

      No, just for the rules to be followed consistently. For each time and every driver. That’s what everyone wants. If they’re not, you can’t implement strategy or plan a thing. It’s simply a free for all, not a sport, a game of chance.
      Today it was a TV show, and for a lot of us, a waste of time and money. The decison provides no clarity – which is what the sport needs right now.
      Well done Max and RBR.

    4. only if lewis profits.. then there is no problem whatsoever.

    5. Of course, if you can’t drive you want the SC to win the race for you. No rocket science there

    6. You are entirely missing the overall scope of the situation.

      Mercedes made the decision to stay out after the Williams crash based on the situation, and the rules that SHOULD have applied in the situation. The rules stated that the lapped cars SHOULD have been allowed to overtake, then at the end of the following lap, the Safety Car comes in. Mercedes placed their bet to stay out and not get tires based on those facts.

      So, Yes, everyone is upset about a Safety Car not coming in the very lap that the track is cleared. The rules state otherwise, and racing decisions Mercedes made were based on those rules. Not following those rules made the Mercedes gamble to stay out the losing bet.

  46. So they are not defending the restart call they are saying it falls in the 48.13 Masi can do whatever he wants catch all. What’s left is for them or Masi to offer a rationale for the decision besides, I’m the boss.

    1. well, for the starters…FIA is a “self governing” organization, that means that as long as it’s playing by the set of rules it’s ok to deal with most of the questions inside the organization without courts, governments etc. however if you starting to “I’m the boss and I can bend the outcome” thing-you clearly breaking the rules of your own organization and regulations about “self governing”…so go figure…

  47. ok see you in court as Mercedes have a strong case, its sickening seeing the stewards make up rulings out of thin air. The FIA hasn’t got a valid defense as the race director simply tore up the existing rules in arbitrary fashion and made up new ones regarding the restart.

    what the point spending €100’s millions to be in F1 or following the sport if the stewards can meddle in the race artificially to favor one driver over another?

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 19:47

      I think this is precisely the point… it will be a game of chance, not a sport, and therefore no point in competing.

    2. + 1. As I have said below the FIA had better hope Mercedes don’t soon decide the huge investment they make no longer serves their purposes. I realise it’s not all about winning but this really a farcical decision.

    3. I really doubt this was a decision made to favour verstappen, they’d have done the same in the opposite situation, they wanted a last lap of actual racing, many people wouldn’t have liked a SC ending.

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

    So all we need to know is that race director can overrule a standard procedure by a single arbitrary decision? Wow, that’s so smart and doesn’t set up a precedence for the following seasons at all…Michael, please pack your things and go.

  49. Mercedes have lodged their intention to appeal. And I can’t blame them.

  50. The other point is that there is no way Max deserved to win this race today. The Red Bull was the second fastest car and he was 11.1 seconds behind Lewis when the accident happened. He might have significantly reduced the gap but the chances of him being close enough to pass are pretty small.

    Because there was an accident and the race director takes an arbitrary decision which breaks the FIAs own rule book, Lewis loses the race and the title. Surely Masi must have the intelligence to realise that with his decision Lewis would be a sitting duck. One may very well conclude that this was only done to create spectacle and entertainment. Not in the interests of fairness and integrity.

    The FIA had better hope Mercedes don’t decide to abandon the sport in the light of this farcical messing with the rules.

    1. @phil-f1-21 yes, entirely unprecedented that someone wins a Formula 1 race because of a timely safety car. Never happened before, definitely not in favour of the man beaten here today…

      1. That’s not my point and you know it. The point is that the Race Director has arbitrarily handed the race victory to one driver over another in very dubious circumstances.

        I completely appreciate many drivers have been the winners or victims of an unfortunately timed safety car.

        1. i will fiks is for you

          The point is that the Race Director has arbitrarily handed the race victory to another driver then lewis over another in very dubious circumstances.

          i get it..

  51. Andretti dodged a bullet by not being allowed into this circus. To sum up the rules. The race director can do what ever he wishes with the safety car at any point. That means deploying the safety car after certain cars have passed the pits and as we saw today ending the safety car when the timing was right for a certain outcome. Sham of a sport.

  52. I guess the rules are just suggestions now. I’m all for finishing under race conditions, but not just changing the rules the teams operate under to do it. If they really wanted to finish under green they should have red flagged the race.

    1. Agree, @talus21, but red flagging is so last week.

      Massi was just following orders from Liberty/FIA. The Netflix fix was in. F1… er… Farce One is the pinnacle of motorsport manipulation: Made For TV Drama.

  53. So who’s next FIA boss? Briatore?

    1. I think Briatore could not be worse than what we saw in the last couple of races. But I think he would decline to not ruin his reputation, after all this shameless decisions.

  54. Again Masi initially said no unlapping. And then to defend his next decision he states that he only uncapped those cares to ensure that the top two would be side by side for the restart. So he admits to manipulating the race and the outcome as his defense. How much money did he bet on Max?

    1. Of course there was the no overlapping comment, what do you want, drivers to take the decision for them selves. That will help.

      Also…
      Don’t forget Race control can’t just blow a whistle and stop the match. It isnt football, he needs to make split second decisions.

  55. Givet it a rest Toto, you can not force your opinion on a Race.
    The SC was a lucky circumstance, and the cars could have gotten out off line èarlier, so we would have had 2 laps.

    And every race masi has tried to let the race end under a racing lap.
    The strategy didn’t go mercs way with not going for new tires.

    It’s been a great seaon, don’t throw yourself/mercedes and the F1 under the bus because you can accept the loss.

  56. And all those folk who claimed the stewards were biased against Verstappen!

    1. They’re probably not biased against either, I’ve seen controversial decisions on both sides.

  57. Race directors gave the fans all over the world what they wanted, a last lap battle for the championship.

    If roles were reversed, would we be reading these comments on this site? You all know the answer, get over yourselves. Yes Max got lucky, but lets not pretend Lewis didn’t have is fair share of luck this season..

    Here’s to a fantastic season, with two of the very best drivers on their peak. Bring on the next one, cant wait

    1. F1 it is not a “show” it’s a sport…if you manipulate last lap of the title decider “for the show” – then it’s a crime ffs….
      there’s no “Show regulations” in F1, it’s “sport’s regulations” and if Lewis would be 11 sec behind Max – I’m sure it would be different….

    2. Ohh, a wolfenstein 3d avatar, love that game.

      Also, indeed, this is at best a 14-15 points luck swing (at last), how about the 40 accumulated over the season in hamilton’s favour? Not only is it fair on balance, it’s still luck hamilton across the season.

  58. I’m just apathetic about the whole thing now. I’m really really saddened by the race direction today, and generally the whole way F1 is going which is towards more entertainment and less just pure motorsport. Max completely deserved the championship, but the behaviour of certain Red Bull team members has left a sour taste. I’m a Hamilton supporter as many know, but I’m also kind of pleased in a way he didn’t win the championship like this. The whole thing has been unsavoury since the lenient brake test penalty and I wouldn’t blame Hamilton for retiring to be honest because the way driving standards and race direction has declined this season to create drama just makes me sad.

    1. I was assaulted by last week’s race I thought it definitely could not get any worse. This was worse than Jeddah.
      I don’t mind that Max but how is this different from the free Spa win.

  59. My completely worthless view is that this evens out the rest of the season – Baku, Hungary, Monza, and that farce in Silverstone.

    But the less said about how Michael Masi did this, the better. Deplorable. Damaging.

    1. Agree on both terms, except I would say it’s not enough to even it out, we’re talking about like 40 vs 15 points, so hamilton has still been luckier, but don’t think verstappen can ask for more from this season, mercedes deserved the constructor’s given the horrid luck bottas had and that they had the best car.

  60. Atleast we get this stewards deciding the championship business out of the way.

    But for next season they should change race stewarding quite a lot.

    This whole business of leaving track limits and gaining advantage and then stewards deciding in 5-10 laps.

    1. Yes, stewarding was bad in general.

  61. Without the flexibility of the race director to use discretion in this situation, the marshals essentially hold the outcome of the race in their hands during a late safety car period.

  62. If Masi isn’t replaced by someone more competent then I really do think this “sport” is just that, Sport in inverted commas. All the investment and competition just for wildly varying implementations of the “rules”. It’s just ridiculous.

    I can’t imagine any other real sport being operated in this way. Things have gone downhill ever since poor Charlie Whiting passed away. F1 is a show but it was always a relatively well policed show. This is just a Wild West.

    1. @davidhunter13 Let’s have Kimi please! :)

  63. Justice prevails!
    For the sake of that all decisions against Max this seasons, for all that decisions in supporting only Merc (tyres, tracks, engines, wings …)

    1. I guess too much cheap heineken for you…

      1. or for you…
        Lewis should have pitted… end off

  64. Learn to lose gracefully Mercedes. That’s what’s shameful here.

  65. Of course.
    Why putting all the effort into fixing the biggest farce in history, if an appeal could restore things?
    At least Verstappen would go down in history as a fraud.

  66. Next thing mercedes fans will be storming the capitol building.

  67. I don’t think an appeal will be successful, but it’s nevertheless an interesting exercise to go through the relevant parts of the regulations in detail to hypothesise what the “correct” answer should have been. Below are all relevant excerpts from 15.3, 48.12, 48.13, along with my own thoughts on pro vs con arguments.

    [quote]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:
    […]
    e) The use of the safety car.

    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.
    […]
    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.

    If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message
    “OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging
    system.

    48.13.) When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR
    IN THIS LAP” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system and the car’s orange
    lights will be extinguished. This will be the signal to the Competitors and drivers that it will be
    entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.[/quote]

    [b]Does 15.3 override 48.12?[/b]
    I don’t believe there is anything in the regulations that makes this explicit one way or the other, so it’s down to interpretation. However, it could be argued that the way 15.3 is written seems to be aimed at race director authority vs clerk of the course authority. Furthermore, it would seem strange to me that the race director would be allowed to make decisions that contravene other clauses, since that would be akin to letting them make up and replace written regulations on the fly. I therefore think it more likely that 48.12 and 48.13 would need to apply regardless of 15.3.

    [b]Does 48.12 require a binary choice (all or none lapped cars must overtake) on each safety car restart?[/b]
    The first paragraph requires the message “lapped cars may now overtake” be sent to ALL competitors, if cars are to be allowed to overtake. It could therefore be argued that as long as the message is not sent to all competitors, then 48.12 does not apply and therefore the second to last paragraph (safety car comes in on the lap after lapped cars pass it) need not apply.

    To counter that, the second to last paragraph could be argued to apply to any cars that have been told to unlap the safety car, regardless of whether all or some were told to do so. The final paragraph also presents the situation where cars may not unlap, which states that ALL competitors will be notified. Taken as a whole, it could be taken to mean that each competitor must receive one of those two messages, and the regulation only allows for all receiving “unlap” or all receiving “do not overtake”.

    [b]Does 14.13 override 14.2?[/b]
    To me, this one is relatively simple, in that it entirely depends on the answer to the previous question. If 14.12 applies in this case, then logically 14.13 can’t be set in motion until the “following lap” element of 14.12 is satisfied. But if 14.12 does not apply in this case, for any of the reasons mentioned above, then 14.13 is valid. I don’t think it’s a case of 14.13 being able to override 14.12, just one of whether 14.12 applies or not.

    1. You can read this section in a different way:

      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.”

      Since the message was not sent to all competitors, that second condition is not true. So, no lapped cars can unlap.

  68. “Michael Masi :
    Go ahead, Toto.

    Toto Wolff:
    You need to reinstate the lap before, that’s not right.

    Michael Masi :
    Toto ?

    Toto Wolff:
    Yes ?

    Michael Masi :
    It’s called a motor race, okay ?

    Toto Wolff:
    Sorry ?

    Michael Masi :
    We want car racing.”

    I’m not a fan of Masi, but sometimes, Toto Wolff has to remind that he’s not FIA’s boss.

    His radio to FIA today were a bit … hum ….
    not neutral ?
    “please no safety car”

    I don’t care if Horner would have done the same.
    If you want to do the talk on race, do it.
    That’s not the case here.

    Corehence between words and acts.
    I used to find Toto Wolff lot bette than Horner, i find him as dishonest as him.
    Too much lobbying

    1. From the beginning of the year, it is clear that FIA wants a new WDC. To have VSC, then SC, then red flag — if these things happen in sequence (one or two or three), then the race order should be restored to the one before the first one came out. Otherwise, it allows FIA directors to game the system. Eg. Jeddah (SC followed by Red Flag). Even the VSC timings are questionable!

      The point of putting rules is to ensure fairness. If FIA leaves all rules for open interpretation, and according to Horner’s interpretation of Article 15.3, the clerk/race director can do whatever they want with Safety car means, there’s a whole lot of possibility to game the system.

    2. Horner did the same, though. “We only need one racing lap”.

  69. Mercedes hedged their bets on the safety car staying out and Lewis retaining track position. Irrespective of anything else, this was a huge gamble for a single car accident given Max was already on fresher tyres. Whatever Mercedes did, it was going to be a big gamble. I feel a bit for Lewis as he was simply better than Max in the race but his team messed up his strategy and left him with no ability to attack or defend.

    1. Also, I didn’t hear Mercedes complaining when lapped cars were allowed to unlap themselves in Imola. What goes around comes around I suppose.

      1. You didn’t hear it, because _all_ lapped cars unlapped themselves, you know, as per the normal application of the regulations.

    2. @tommy-c If Mercedes had pitted, VER wouldn’t have. They could have ended the race in a safety car situation — exactly what we are asking for right now — as per the rules. Mercedes took a gamble that the race will not restart given the procedure established by FIA.

      If you are talking about the first VSC period, sure. They could have pitted him after VER pitted. But, again, the timing of the VSC ending was close to HAM on the start/finish line. This means, he wouldn’t pit fully under the VSC, again losing position to VER.

      Unless it is raining at the time of safety car, lapped cars are allowed to unlap as long as there’s no safety issue. Clearly here either: (A) you allow cars to unlap and end the race under safety car; or (B) you classify as safety issue, don’t let the cars unlap, and green flag the last lap. Neither was done correctly.

    3. @tommy-c By the same token, Mercedes did pit during the safety car period in Jeddah and they turned it into red flag subsequently. RedBull took a risk — you could argue — that the barrier would need work, hence a potential for red flag the race to repair.

      So, by the same token, you can argue that Mercedes took a gamble — yes — that under the rules provided by FIA, the race could not be restarted before the last lap, hence not pit.

  70. I’m through with F1 the highs and lows through out the year all to end in a scam and lets face it Max can not be proud of taking a championship through a blatant cheat by Michael Masi

  71. To paraphrase Christian Horner from last weekend, the sport misses Charlie Whiting.

  72. No way does Masi lose his job, he executed it perfectly all season: Drama and controversy $ell$! He deserves a bonus from the FIA and Liberty!

    1. and what size bonus from Red Bull?

  73. Just watched highlights on channel 4.

    Commentators said that fifth corner was verstappens and Hamilton should have not kept it.

    It’s obvious that Max should’ve been given first place back.

    Also checo was very good. He did exactly what Hamilton did to rosberg in 2016. Again commentators said exactly this.

    Toto asking for no safety car so not to interfere with the race…. yet after a big shunt so very irresponsible. This likely will be considered by FIA and stewards when Merc moaning about how SC was dealt with… They said they don’t want it to interfere with the race…. Clearly meaning the championship.

    Merc clearly rattled after choosing not to have pitted under vsc or SC to get new tyres. Though hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Hamilton if cars not allowed to unlap then he would’ve had a free run and not good for the championship and would have interfered with the race…. Again Toto asked for this….

    Verstappen only did what others have done before in getting alongside Hamilton before the restart.

    Hamilton was caught napping when Verstappen passed him on both occasions in this race.

    Max deserves this.

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