Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Yas Marina, 2021

Mercedes will not appeal Abu Dhabi GP result, Verstappen to be confirmed as champion

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Mercedes have announced they will not proceed with an appeal over the outcome of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, meaning Max Verstappen’s confirmation as world champion is no longer in jeopardy.

The team lodged two protests immediately after Sunday’s race following the controversial late restart after which Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton to win the race and clinch the title. FIA F1 race director Michael Masi took a contentious decision to remove lapped cars ahead of Verstappen but not behind him, giving the Red Bull driver a clear run at Hamilton on the final lap of the season.

The stewards rejected both Mercedes protests. However the team swiftly gave the FIA notice it intended to appeal one of the rejected protests concerning the handling of the restart. The result of Sunday’s race was therefore listed as being subject to an appeal when they were issued.

Having waited until the final day of the 96-hour window in which it had to make a decision, Mercedes has opted nor to appeal. Verstappen can therefore be confirmed as champion and awarded his trophy in the official FIAprize giving ceremony which is due to take place today.

In a statement announcing its decision not to appeal, Mercedes said it had been left in “disbelief” by the events of last weekend’s race. They believe the Safety Car rules “were applied in a new way that affected the race result”.

The FIA yesterday issued a statement yesterday acknowledging the race had “generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans” and “an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the championship.” It said it would begin a “detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future.”

Mercedes said they “welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1.” It vowed to “hold the FIA accountable for this process.”

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Mercedes statement in full

Dear Formula 1 community and fans,

We left Abu Dhabi in disbelief of what we had just witnessed. Of course, it’s part of the game to lose a race, but it’s something different when you lose faith in racing.

Together with Lewis, we have deliberated carefully over how to respond to the events at the Formula 1 season finale. We have always been guided by our love of this sport and we believe that every competition should be won on merit. In the race on Sunday many felt, us included, that the way things unfolded was not right.

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

We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced. Thus, we welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1. We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.

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

To Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing: we would like to express our sincere respect for your achievements this season. You made this Formula 1 championship title fight truly epic. Max, we congratulate you and your entire team. We look forward to taking the fight to you on the track next season.

And lastly, even though this drivers’ championship did not end the way we hoped, we could not be prouder of our team.

Lewis, you are the greatest racer in the history of Formula 1 and you drove your heart out for every lap of this incredible season. You’re a flawless sportsman on and off the track and you delivered a faultless performance. As a pure competitor and as a role model for millions around the world, we salute you.

Valtteri, you have been such an important part of this team, delivering five constructors’ championships in five seasons. Thank you for your remarkable contribution to our motorsport history. Kiitos, Valtteri.

Finally, to every one of the skilled and passionate women and men of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in Brackley and High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth: you’ve written an historic chapter in the Silver Arrow story by winning the eighth constructors’ championship – in a row. This is an unprecedented achievement. In simple words: it’s awesome. You are awesome.

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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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215 comments on “Mercedes will not appeal Abu Dhabi GP result, Verstappen to be confirmed as champion”

  1. Expected, really. But they should, as everyone else in F1, keep pushing for clarification.

    1. The clarification is that the officials can do no wrong.

      1. They wouldn’t have supported the FIA commission if they believed that’s what they’re gonna find.

        1. Nope, you can already see the difference in language between Mercedes and FIA.

          to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1

          FIA mentioned nothing of the sort, simply a clarification that we are wrong and all was right.

          I’ll eat my hat if the report comes to Mercedes’ conclusion.

          1. Fia kangaroo court. Obviously they will find no wrong in there actions. Look at the statement. It read like it was the fans fault for not understanding.

    2. I would love to know what’s actually been agreed behind the scenes as I’m guessing there was a fairly strict list of demands the FIA would have to agree to before Mercedes were willing to drop their appeal.

      1. That Mercedes ever had the upper hand in negotiations is an assumption.

        1. Agreed. Merc had no case to change the result, that’s obvious to anyone who looked at the Sporting Code.

          1. Except it really isn’t obvious, and yes I’ve looked at the sporting regulations. I think that was the point Alan but anyways it doesn’t matter.

          2. Nice try, but someone did respond with a good counter.

            Either way, I will not recognise Max as the champion for 2021. Should Lewis fail to win any more championships, Max will need 9 to overtake in my book.

          3. Max will need 9 to overtake in my book

            Still harder to beat Alonso’s ten WDCs and Schumacher’s twelve (in f1metrics book). Comparatively, beating Hamilton’s or Vettel’s two is a piece of cake.

            Well, in fact Max may have beaten them already. Max was the 2019 fimetrics wdc. The 2020 and 2021 results have not been posted but I would not be surprised if Max won them both.

        2. @skipgamer – If they had appealed, it would be a huge embarrassment for the FIA who would be unable to crown Max as champion tonight. They could have appealed and then gone further to seek financial compensation afterwards as well. The FIA admitted in their statement that all of this was doing damage to F1.

          I don’t think Mercedes would have won an appeal but it was massively in the FIA’s interest to keep this out of the courts.

          1. ” If they had appealed, it would be a huge embarrassment for the FIA ”

            F1 is a franchised entity, not a massive sport like football etc… Merc embarrassing the FIA devalues their OWN brand. The FIA know this as do Merc so that was never going to happen, especially when Merc will know they had zero chance of changing the result of the championship.

          2. By the same token the FIA could have taken the stance of “You know that such a decision could have benefited you just as much as it could have benefited Red Bull, go ahead with your protest but you know it will drag your name through the mud worse than ours.” released their statement and now Mercedes are saving face making it look like they forced FIA’s hand.

            I’m not saying that’s the way it went but to say that Mercedes somehow have had any kind of opportunity to make demands is just as feasible.

      2. @petebaldwin Also Toto doesn’t want to burn the bridges with Verstappen. Have you seen the latest interview by Nico Rosberg? He doesn’t seem to have given up having him at Mercedes one day.

        1. @cobray interesting and valid perspective

        2. @cobray what interview is that?

          1. @hahostolze

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os9AZsCAZ1k&ab_channel=NicoRosberg

            From 31:00 onwards. I meant the latest interview he did ‘with’ Nico Rosberg. Not Toto’s latest interview. Sorry for the confusion.

        3. If RB doesn’t produce the goods next year Max will be banging on Mercedes door. To think otherwise is naive.

          1. That of course assumes that Merc are top performers rather than Ferrari, McLaren, Alpine or Aston etc….
            Total unknown who is going to nail the new aero regs. If you had to back anyone though it’d be RB or Merc, but nothing guaranteed.
            Also I expect Wolff will move on Not long after Ham decides to hang up his suit so may not be him hunting his replacement if it’s end of season. Also assumes Russel isn’t good enough to be defacto no.1 and they don’t just take a promising rookie or someone else on the grid wanting an opportunity but far cheaper than Verstappen eg gasly

      3. Dropping an appeal and get a commission as result…
        Not sure if you ever played poker, but this means you lost big time.
        Bluffed and get called and showed a meagre hand.

        1. “Lost big time.”
          As always, Erikje a big fan of Mercedes. Thanks for your amusing comments once again. I think Hamilton didn’t want to win a title like this, but of course I presume that viewpoint you don’t agree with and instead it was a bluff all along.

          1. @john-h You shouldn’t bother replying, I have never seen someone who is so blinded by their hatred that they could never be impartial.

            What happened on the weekend was a big scandal and its residual effects are longer lasting and even worse.

            Susie Wolff’s criticism is spot on: https://twitter.com/Susie_Wolff/status/1471400042527346689/photo/1

            But here are some things to consider.

            1. The FIA’s response to Mercedes initial complaint was inadequate and wrong, the ability for the RD to override is in fact related to the Clerk of the Course’s decision to deployment and return of the safety and not the rules. The Rules state two things, that is; All cars that have been lapped must unlap themselves (or all cars don’t) and that only after this the safety car comes in on the next lap. Masi has made statements earlier and in other races that he is fully aware of this.

            2. Masi should be asked why he decided that only some cars should unlap themselves, did he consider other participants in the race? Was it a safety concern, surely any safety concern would in fact mean extending the safety car period not truncating its deployment ? I think he would find it hard to give an appropriate answer because not all cars were permitted to race in fact only two were, that displays an extreme bias. Can there ever be any genuine reason for only some cars to unlap themselves ?

            3. The safety car was probably brought in prematurely and for the spectacle of ‘racing’ he took a great risk with drivers safety.

            4. Whether you like LH or not (with all the spurious claims of living in a tax haven, virtue signaller, eco-warrior etc. – curiously all other drivers are free of fault according to some) the world has been deprived of probably the greatest achievement in motorsport, F1. The first eight time world champion it may be unsurpassed and if that is the case that will make it even worse. If he doesn’t reach eight titles it will be a travesty and if he does then rightfully he should have one more than whatever final figure that is!

            5. It would be very difficult to remedy Masi’s decision, annulling the race would not have the desired affect. Nor would it be possible to just give LH the title. Although I could see one legal argument; that is to determine lap 58 will not count as a racing lap as it was not under proper racing conditions.

            6. It is also damning that after announcing that no car will unlap themselves he changed his mind/direction and allowed them to do so and immediately brought the safety car in. This happened after Red Bull asked for just one lap; surely a race diecrtor should not be influenced in such a manner. Granted Toto Wolff made a plea, but in his defence I think he was thinnking of the last race were after a few laps under the safety car a red flag was deployed and many perceived that as unnecessary and it handed track position to none other than ?

            6. Had the decision been changed in an appeal, I have every confidence that Lewis wouldn’t want it that way as he wants to win ‘the right way’, making a very bad and wrong decision lasting.

            The whole thing stinks and it leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth. However much of an anticlimax it was, finishing under the safety car was about the only option there was that would be in accordance with the rules.

            You cannot change rules mid-race even if that does enhance the spectacle

      4. @petebaldwin
        I think it’s more about the power the FIA have on the technical regulations that no one dares to publicly challenge them outside of their institutions. From what I have observed through the history of teams disputes with the FIA over the years as the casual fan I’m, I have expected that Mercedes will yield and will not play ball with the FIA.

        The FIA can nullify any advantage they have with a simple technical directive and this year for example they could have lost the championship earlier if for example if the FIA have agreed with RBR who lobbied hard to get Mercedes targeted with regard to their PU (intercooler), front wing, rear suspension setup, rear wing…

        Even Ferrari with their mighty political power behind the scenes – you just have to look at the names of their board of directors to realize how much of a politicized company they are – were severely punished by the FIA when they were caught and despite the fact that from a legal standpoint the FIA didn’t have proof to prove that Ferrari were bypassing their fuel-flow meter.

        Some might argue that the settlement was a joke but in fact the FIA was able to negate Ferrari’s power advantage and compromise their next 2 seasons – as per Binotto admission in 2020 that for them to develop a new PU they need at least 2 years – without having a single element to prove what they were doing.

        Wolff as the megalomaniac he is was carried by the events and though he can play politics with someone like Jean Todt. The only thing he will get from this is a slap on the face and an implicit warning not challenge the FIA like he did in the future.

    3. I’d think that given the exact way both the FIA statement and the Mercedes statement were formulated @fer-no65, @skipgamer, @hunocsi, that the F1 team, but more importantly the company itself will have told the FIA very clearly that things will HAVE to change for the company to be interested in F1 for the longer term.

      Also, given that Todt and his team are leading the FIA only until the end of this week, and a new FIA president and their team will be able to pick this up.
      So we might see that new president actually embracing some changes and present them as a positive “look, we are a new team, we have now clarified issues of the last bunch and are happy to reformulate a few bits for a better future together”.

    4. Expected but not good for the sport, IMHO. I never wanted the result changed, but Mercedes have just given up their strongest lever to force change. I will believe things will improve when I see it, now.

      1. Why would they want change? They win almost everything, and it’s great for ratings, which is what powers the teams. They also want to get Verstappen when Hamilton retires, so why ruin that chance.

  2. Good. Constructive rather than destructive. No matter what you think about what happened, this could only ever be the solution that actually benefitted the sport.

    1. F1 isnt a Sport.

      1. This is a conclusion more need to come to, and accept.

      2. Then why are you so upset? If it’s not a sport, but entertainment, then surely this was the perfect final race?

        1. I think he’s upset precisely because F1 has become less of a sport.

          1. @gsagostinho he says isn’t, not has stopped being.
            And I’d love to hear the moment it has become less of a sport. Was it in 1990 when a driver took out another at the first corner to settle the championship, or 1997 when the same was attempted? Was it the soul-detroying dominance of 1989, 2002, 2014? Was it the appeal of McLaren in 2007 after the title was lost, Crashgate in 2008? Was it the lottery of tyres in 2012, or the randomness under which Pirelli tyres would stop working all through the early noughties? Was it the tyre rule of 2005? Was it the political wars between FISA and FOCA in the 1980s? Was it Rosberg and Hamilton barging each other off at every turn in 2016? Was it double points at the final race in 2014? Was it the death of Senna, in part caused by the fact that he was fighting a clearly illegal Benetton and pushed his car too far? Was it the increasing television attention, streaming, was it Netflix? Was it Jacky Ickx going for a final race against a dead title rival? Was it Stirling Moss helping Mike Hawthorne win a title Moss deserved in 1958? Or, just maybe is everyone being a bit silly about how this has doomed F1 forever?

          2. I have finally realised that F1 hasnt been a sport for a very very long time, the actual moment is hard to say as it so subjective but after watching what can only be called a ‘made for TV’ ending to sundays race any semblance of a sport is not what F1 is.

          3. @hahostolze CotD!!! It’s more of the same, a part of why F1 is such a fascinating sport, nay, competition, to follow. Really, F1 transcends sport, to call it a sport is a belittling.

          4. Yes, at times there have been unsporting moments and incidents, but it has still been a competition overall. This year has seen a step change. It is the first time that it seems decisions are being made on the basis of prolonging the championship battle and giving the correct result from an entertainment perspective. It feels like this approach will affect every race in the near future. And judging by the FIA response, and just like with sprint races, there’s no going back. So, I’m not sure if I want to keep paying Sky to watch car-based entertainment when I can watch Top Gear for free.

          5. @hahostolze CotD
            The Netflix generation does not sees the past but only the present. They seem to think there was something new.

          6. And further to my point, what happened in DTM’s season finale (also between Mercedes and Red Bull!!) was far, far more farcical, unfair and detrimental to motorsport. But fewer people watched, so nobody cared.

          7. @hahostolze the examples you cite are the result of poor driving, cheating, manipulation on a teams part, changes in equipment, drivers choosing a specific path or unforseen circumstances out of officiating’s control, not the FIA making up the rules during a race.

            This is the first time I can think of that race control have directly affected the outcome because they interpreted the “desire to finish under green” as “must finish under green under any circumstance, regardless of fairness”. Any other option would have been fairer, regardless of legality under the rules (I don’t buy the red flag argument and would say that it wasn’t an option but it would certainly be fairer).

            In 1990 the FIA didn’t directly manipulate the result, other than ignore Senna’s (somewhat valid) request to have pole on the side of the track he wanted it to be on (i.e. the racing line, as it is for most races). He lost the lead on the drag race to turn 1 and took out Prost to make the point. I’ve seen the start hundreds of times but only last week did I watch the extended highlights and specifically the formation lap, where Murray Walker was talking about Senna’s request for some time prior to the race. Arguably the FIA were in the wrong, but less so that Senna was and the FIA choosing not to act after the race, or acquiesce to Senna’s request before, certainly wasn’t a direct attempt to change the result.

            Arguably the same goes for 1989 – the crash happened before the FIA decided to DQ Senna. That one is a bit more suspect (especially if you watch the Senna film, which while maybe not objective it still shows Ron Dennis highlight many drivers cutting chicanes without penalty) but again, a crash happened that needed to be investigated. Senna retired from the following race which may/may not have this academic.

            That’s the problem with Abu Dhabi – race control, through their own actions, changed the outcome of the event. That’s where it fails as a sporting contest. Yes Latifi’s crash triggered the situation, but unlike the other cases you’ve mentioned he wasn’t involved in the championship.

            Nothing changes for me. I won’t recognise Max as the 2021 championship.

        2. Who cares whether it’s a sport or not, F1 is entertainment loved by the millions!

      3. It might not always look like it on TV, but go to a race and watch the extraordinary skill of the men and women who go to the very edge – to the last millimetre with pinpoint accuracy again and again and again – and then you see that this is the ultimate sport.

        1. With drivers whose parents pay millions and buy teams to compete. Very sporting indeed.

          1. @skipgamer maybe I was born with the potential to be the best ever tennis player, or the best ever snowboarder, or flying suit diver, but guess what, my parents couldn’t pay millions either. Oh, you thought car racing is the only sport where you need to be a literal millionaire to thrive?

          2. O.o Sorry to inform you but, you don’t need to be a millionaire to play tennis at the club level and rise the ranks. Snowboarding is a bit more pricey but again, not millionaire level, there is local competitions and the olympic route with good results. Flying suit diver? I guess but I think most start that well after childhood with their own funds.

            car racing is the only sport where you need to be a literal millionaire to thrive?

            That wasn’t my argument, just that F1, not car racing, certainly has a lot of shortcuts for the rich, connected and DNA. It’s far from the olympics bar maybe equestrian.

            Hamilton is a great example of not having to be rich to enter, but Stroll is a great example of how being rich helps.

          3. Good point there @omarr-pepper. I know how much some families are putting into their kids doing stuff like Ice Hockey as hopefulls for a career. And it is a LOT (most all free time, the equipment, travel to training and games, training camps, some even moving just to get their kids to enter a high rated club program). And I know relatively simple football can have some of the same.

            Sure, motorsport (and things like sailing, etc) is probably even more expensive, but you are right that supporting any child into a (potential) career in sports is expensive, needs a commitment from family members as well as some sacrifices.

          4. @skipgamer

            “Sorry to inform you but, you don’t need to be a millionaire to play tennis at the club level and rise the ranks”

            While I agree that you dont have to be a “millionaire” to play tennis and rise, you certainly need to have a bit of cash. Tennis coaching is pretty expensive, and to get really good, you have to train many hours, with a top line coach. And thats just the start of it.

            When I was growing up, I always hoped to get private coaching, never had the chance due to costs, my parents couldnt afford a coach….let alone the fancy gear, which was a lot more expensive back then.

            Racing is another level of course, but a lot of sports, generally require a fair bit of upfront investment from families.

        2. A sport needs solid rules and officials which enforce them. The FIA have shown they are not willing to do so, and my reading of the statements is that they’ve offered a sop to Merc but don’t plan to do anything meaningful.

          I hope I am wrong, but I will believe that things will improve only when I see it now.

      4. Go watch F2 if you want to watch a sport.

        Imagine footballers having to score in a smaller net than their opposition, because the opposing team spent £200m more on their goal post technology 😂

        1. F1 is a technical competition as well as a driving competition, but the technical aspect is incredibly strictly regulated and everybody operates under the same rules.

          Even so, other competitions make use of technology and innovation where they can, too. Millions is spent on the design of golf clubs, tennis rackets, football boots, running shoes… Heck, even clothing for sports people involves massive amounts of R&D.

          Even with spec cars in F2, there is a massive amount of work involved in setup and tuning which benefits those with the deepest pockets.

          None of this makes it right for a race director to ignore or make up rules on the spot in the middle of a race, especially the title-deciding final race of the year.

  3. And thus the circus continues, wonder if all those who said it’s the end of F1 and they will turn off will carry through.

    Realistically, this has always been the way F1 is run. It’s not worth the cost to change.

    1. With what millions witnessed. Do you believe that was good for f1?

      A true f1 fan knows full well. That was f1 biggest embarrassment.

      1. Do you believe that was good for f1?

        If I was looking at social media engagement…

        Undoubtedly yes.

        1. It’s the argument of “any publicity is good publicity” vs “no publicity is bad publicity”. Which shouldn’t be the case.

          I’m very much on the fence on F1 but considering I’m now US based, I’ll probably stick to Indycar. It’s been far more interesting for at least the last decade.

      2. Millions witnessed the title decided on the last lap. Nothing better could have happened to F1. This will be an enormous boost.

        The very few people, who are so invested in the minutiae of safety car rules, and will stop watching over this are so few that they will not make the slightest dent in the viewing figures.

        1. Millions witnessed the title decided by the race director on the second-to-last lap.

          FTFY

        2. Even if it had been a fair fight, 2008 still tops it for me. Mainly because Lewis only moved into championship winning position after Massa had crossed the line. But also because there weren’t as many races. 22 is too many as it is, I think I’ve watched maybe 3 races live this year vs 12-15 through the 90s.

      3. Wrong. Deliberately crashing your car was a much bigger embarassement. That also contributed to the outcome of a world championship. (Singapore 2008…) Even more embarassing is the fact that race counted towards the championship. Alonso has one more win due to that race. A cheated race.

        Leaving 5 lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen would have been as unjust as the solution they came up with.

        1. Not really. It would not have been fair, but at least it would be following an established procedure laid out in the same rules as applied in every other race this season. It wouldn’t have been exactly fair, but much better than throwing the rulebook out and inventing something new on the spot.

  4. Finally.

    Sanity prevails.

    1. When the FIA claim there is significant misunderstandings what do you think they mean?

      1. Particularly when they say that there were misunderstandings only by the drivers and fans. That doesn’t give me any hope that anything will improve.

      2. The definition of “misunderstanding” can be either “a failure to understand something correctly” or “a disagreement or quarrel.”

        There is certainly significant disagreement so perhaps that’s what they mean? Otherwise, we already know that they believe they followed the rules – that’s why they rejected Mercedes’ appeal on Sunday. Bearing that in mind, I suppose it follows that they would feel people don’t understand the rules correctly as to many, what they did was illegal.

        This is why things need to be clarified and it needs to be decided if people are happy to carry on with the rules as they are or whether they need reformulating.

        1. What hasn’t been addressed is that even if this was legal (and I still strongly disagree with that interpretation of 15.3), it certainly wasn’t sporting or fair to deviate from established procedures in a way which significantly favoured one driver, and it also isn’t right for the race director to have such absolute and unrestrained power.

          1. @drmouse – Totally agree. I hope this is something that is changed for 2022. F1 desperately needs to get away from “concepts” that seem to be applied to it’s rules. The rules should be written plainly and should be measurable. If you want to “let them race” then this must be incorporated in the rules. If you want every race to finish under a green flag, this must be driven by the rules…

            I want to see the scope for decisions to be made by the race directly massively reduced – his decisions should purely be on the grounds of safety. The rest should just be spelled out in the rules. If they want races to finish under green flags then what happens? Does the race get red flagged with 3 laps remaining every time if the track isn’t clear? Do they want lapped cars out of the way if we’re behind a safety car? If so, this should be done every time and it should be documented exactly when they are allowed to overtake.

            The other key thing is that whilst there is clearly a major issue with how this race ended, they need to not get tunnel vision and only look at the safety car process. There are major issues across many of rules for F1. It almost needs them to do a “ctrl+f” and search for “discretion” and wherever that word appears, look to put a solid rule in place that can be followed 100% of the time…

          2. @petebaldwin That would be amazing, will be interesting to see if the work is done to make it happen. I feel the competition benefits too much from controversy and having a story to tell.

          3. @skipgamer I agree, that would be amazing to see, and I hope it (or at least something close) happens. Looking at the FIA statement, though, I cannot see it happening. If anything changes, I expect it to be a clarification to everyone that the race director can do anything he wants. I hope to be proved wrong.

  5. Chances of success would be approximately 0% and chances of disgracing themselves a certain 100%, irrespective of the outcome. So, a sensible decision in the end, only four days late.

    1. Exactly, after four days of trying to find a way to change the outcome, the only somewhat sensible possibility would have resulted in the annulment of the event, leaving Verstappen the champion regardless. And as the protest against the safety car “overtake” showed, never mind Mercedes’ own use of Bottas to back up the field at the previous race, this was never about the rules and always and only about trying to change the outcome of the WDC.

      The FIA, like all international political organisations, solved it by creating a commission. They will have a report, everyone will get to have their say, and in four months time F1 will be back to racing.

  6. Moving all of my support to Mclaren. Hopefully Mercedes fail from now on. I simply can’t support a team without a backbone.

    1. Does Red Bull not have a backbone?

        1. I’d say that an energy drink company that has managed to take in the might if Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren to name a few, and prevail has a backbone. Do they have one for a protest? I guess we’ll never know 😃

          1. I think they would have the guts for a protest, purely opportunistic to get the best out of it @deliberator. Look at the money behind the Red Bull drinks and media/sports world, they have quite a bit of might behind them theirselves, if not manufacturing might.

          2. Just like being the POTUS it only takes the one with the biggest pot of money apparently.

            It doesn’t matter what your roots are you just need lots and lots of money.

  7. Gentlemen,
    this is from a slightly biased person. Nobody could be absolutely unbiased.
    Can no one remember that BOTH drivers have benefited from Safety cars??? I remember one of them actually unlapped himself and got POINTS as a result. That seemed to be extremely unfair as well.
    The only reason there is so much heart burn is cause it happened in the last lap of the deciding race!
    If one looks dispassionately, it was Mercedes pit crew that actually lost the race. Hamy had a clear opportunity to come in and change tires when Max did the First Time.. Then with less older tires Hamy would have held off Max even with all this drama! Track Position was the key! It was only the extreme age of Hamy’s tires that let him down.
    Stop and think!

  8. Gentlemen,
    If one looks dispassionately, it was Mercedes pit crew that actually lost the race. Hamy had a clear opportunity to come in and change tires when Max did the First Time.. Then with less older tires Hamy would have held off Max even with all this drama! Track Position was the key! It was only the extreme age of Hamy’s tires that let him down.
    Stop and think!

  9. Good. Ultimately I think they knew that there was 0 chance of getting the result of the Championship changed so their options were to a) do nothing, b) work with the FIA to get the rules sorted or c) appeal through the courts, damage F1 (which also hurts themselves) and ultimately, at best, end up with the same results as option b.

    I have no doubt that they would have kept the threat of a appeal live until the FIA satisfied their requirements which will be what the FIA announced yesterday – an enquiry into this and a re-working of the rules with full team and driver involvement.

    1. They cannot keep the threat of an appeal live, because the time period to lodge an appeal ends today. Threatening a partner in an ongoing discussion is not very conducive to a positive outcome.

      I do not like this reworking of the rules with “full team and driver involvement”. Over time this approach has eroded the authority of the FIA and has lead to bad rules, because they are often built on compromise. This also leads to everybody thinking they can perpetually discuss the rules.

      1. Yeah the appeal is done now – I mean they kept it open until this point (after the FIA announced they would carry out an enquiry into what happened).

      2. My guess is that part of why the FIA and Mercedes took this long to get to some kind of agreement @uzsjgb has to do with the company as such, not just the team, putting their weight behind wanting to see change, or … (pulling the “Ferrari card”).

        They kept the appeal on the books until the FIA announced what they agreed. Now a new FIA president can pick it up on Friday afternoon and happily announce in January/Februari that they have sat down with stakeholders and ironed out issues to happily venture forth into new seasons together.

        We might hear some rumours of Mercedes having told the FIA that without changes, the company would not feel very positive about F1 in between depending on where the talks about those “clarifications” are going. But the company doesn’t need, or want an acrimonous relation to the FIA leadership. They saw what that looked like between Mercedes-McLaren and Mosley/Ecclestone a bit over a decade ago. Nobody wants that.

  10. I dislike this immensely.

  11. I’m all for giving Masi a keyboard with buttons to set off sprinklers and various traps and whatnot. If Masi is allowed to make the race more entertaining in whatever way he sees fit, then at least give him some entertaining tools to do it.

    1. Yep thats the future of F1, sprinklers, fan boost, boost areas off line like formula e, the list of entertainment avenues is only limited by the imagination, the series known as F1 will be the pinnacle of entertainment with drive to survive renamed ‘ keeping up with the verstappens ‘
      Millions will tune in to see the latest gossip an intrigue with random race fabricated endings to keep the gravy train rolling, drivers will be encouraged to drive more dangerously with the ‘ verstappen dive bomb ‘ being the manoeuvre of choice that will be put to a vote for the best as voted by the audience for an extra point, who’s got 90 minutes to watch a race? Where just have three 30 minute races over 3 days with a reverse grid thrown in for good measure as everyone likes a good dive bombing race, have you got billionaire parents and cant drive for toffee then why not join in, seats available now for the right price.

      1. Nope, it won’t happen that way either. If it happens all the time it isn’t special, between every 5 years to once a decade or so, a title deciding controversy seems about right. Enough to keep us addicted, but still getting the pay off.

        If they are smart they no doubt have gaming psychologists behind the scenes figuring out how to keep us hopeless and hooked. Not even joking.

    2. Masi did what his job description told him to do. All teams spoke in favor of trying to determine results by racing, not ending it under SC. It’s not as if a race hasn’t been decided by a safety car near the end of a race before. When you’re leading the race – you’re in a tough spot when the SC comes out. Nothing new here. I feel sorry for Hamilton, but Masi was looking to apply rules & agreements as if it was any other race. As he should.
      People should be mindful of trying to look at this if it was just one race, irrespective of it being a championship decider or not. And not utter all this needless hyperbole about a championship being stolen in this one moment or whatever.
      Just be thankful for a great year of great racing between 2 great racers!

      1. His job is the run the race as per the rules. He did not and this along with the many other huge inconsistencies he’s been behind has smirched this season.

      2. Masi was looking to apply rules & agreements as if it was any other race. As he should.

        To answer that is to look at Eifel 2020 GP.

      3. Masi did what his job description told him to do. All teams spoke in favor of trying to determine results by racing, not ending it under SC.

        Then just don’t allow any lapped cars to unlap themselves. Therefore you still allow for green flag racing to the chequered flag as agreed upon with teams, whilst applying the rules in a manner that is at least consistent for all runners (not one rule for 5 lapped cars, another for the remaining lapped cars). It’s not rocket science.

        1. whilst applying the rules in a manner that is at least consistent for all runners

          Not only that, but also in a way which (technically) is available as an option to him within the rules.

    3. Bernie suggested sprinklers years ago, maybe in the late 2000s.

  12. No !
    No !!
    Nooooooo !!
    Why, god, why ?

    I had allready prepared my gif memes !
    They wont serve anymore now !

    Damn 😁

  13. Max Verstappen – WDC on paper only and the #1 on his car will be motivation for everyone at Brackley.

    Sir Lewis and Mercedes have taken an extremely high road and I don’t blame them.

    1. Was certainly a high road across the run off on lap 1… Not to mention the high road at Copse.

      1. those instances both have 1 thing in common; Vestappen trying to dive bomb. In Silverstone he tried to dive around the outside and slam the door on a car that was already there while in Abu Dhabi he dive bombed from miles back and forced Hamilton off the track.

        1. Each time Verstappen does an overtake coming from way behind it’s labeled ‘a dive bomb’, when Ricciardo does it, everyone’s like ‘oooh, he’s such a late braker’. It was hard racing, but fair. Verstappen neatly made the corner and it wasn’t so different from Tsunoda’s pass on Bottas on lap 58.

          1. Each time Verstappen does an overtake coming from way behind it’s labeled ‘a dive bomb’,

            Well that is because Verstappen very rarely engages in hard but fair racing. If you still don’t get teh difference, rewatch Perez vs Hamilton in Abu Dhabi. Note how both cars are able to stay on track without the breaky bits flying off.

          2. messed up the quout obviously.

          3. Ruben, Assuming you’re talking about lap 1 on Sunday. We must have been watching different races though, “neatly made the corner” is an interesting description of missing the apex and nearly running wide on the outside of the corner. Max’s left tyres were close to, and maybe even were, touching the white line on the outside of turn 6. Lewis had no choice but to miss the corner.

            Your comment is also a classic whataboutism. You’re essentially arguing that 2 wrongs make a right.

    2. And the high road of running Max onto the curb at Monza T1.

    3. The new number on Max’s car wouldn’t bother me as much if it also were required to include the Asterix. ;)

      As I said in a different thread, I really hope Red Bull gets it wrong with the new regulations and that 1* car ends up wallowing at the back of the pack while the other new kids (Norris, Leclerc, and Norris) are at the front battling it out with clean wheel to wheel racing not the cheap torpedo turn tactics that Verstappen seems to be overly reliant on.

  14. Glad to see the mercedes nonsense disappearing for good. They really polluted the sport since 2014 and their deeds in 2021 are the most appalling.

    1. What galls me about MB is the artificiality they bring – a totally dominant car for most of that time under limited engine development. The opposition had no chance. And then they profess to be so great when, quite honestly, most of the grid could have won multiple titles in their cars. Then enter RB and MV who beat them on track over 22 races (not only the last lap at Abu Dhabi), and suddenly it’s a scandal.

      1. So you want a spec racing series where everyone has a chance to win?

      2. MV and RBR beating them is not a scandal. The race director ignoring the rules and making something up which benefitted only one driver is.

    2. Polluted? What are you talking about? I’m also curious what their apparent ‘deeds’ are that were appalling.

  15. Well the lawyers were wrong then… shock.

    1. Alan Dove: You are joking of course? This has nothing to do with whether Mercedes could’ve successfully appealed or not.

      1. This has transpired exactly as those who knew Merc didn’t have a case to change the result predicted. There’s no provision within Sport Code to change the result without an egregious abuse of power by the ICA that’d undermine the Sporting Code which the ICA were never doing to do. Merc knew this. Anyone who spent 5 minutes looking at the regulations knew this. Anyone who has spent any time watching how the FIA and F teams deal with things and commercial arrangements knew this.

        1. Alan Dove: You might be true that they couldn’t have changed the results anyway, but winning the championship by the court wouldn’t have looked good anyway. Even if they thought their appeal could’ve been successful, they might have anyway decided not to appeal and instead take whatever FIA offered them.

          1. If they thought the case was that strong, they’d have moved forward. They spent a couple days looking into it… and their lawyers, who I assume are better than the ones writing articles on the internet, realised that the case for result change was not existent. Though their initial appeal made a BIG error with regard to lap deletion request. That automatically would nullify the whole race result.

          2. If they thought the case was that strong, they’d have moved forward.

            I’m not sure this was the case (although I’ve read your arguments and they may have merit). I suspect it was more down to Lewis and/or higher ups/owners of the team deciding that it was better, from a PR PoV, to attempt to work with the FIA to improve things.

        2. Not true they certainly had a case. The problem is the FIA have numerous ways to disadvantage a team over a season within the rules, therefore teams and drivers just toe the line. As per usual FIA conducts deals behind closed doors to prevent themselves looking bad. They all do it, the FIA, FIFA, UFEA the IOC all have being involved in breaking their own rules.
          Some of us really hoped Mercedes would be brave enough to take this all the way to shine a spotlight on how the FIA is conducting itself, but I cannot say I am surprised by this unfortunately. It is the same old way the FIA and F1 has always conducted itself and here I hoped that we were in a brave New World after Max and Bernie moved on how naive was I.

          1. There was no case in appealing the result. A cursory looks at the Sporting regs confirms this.

            The Merc have no interest in embarrassing the FIA because F1 is franchised. It’s worse ow in terms of how the sport is constructed as a sporting entity than its ever been ($200m buy in for new teams for example). It’s not a massive ‘sport’, it’s just 10 teams on the entire planet. SO to embarrasses the FIA would not make any sense for Merc .

          2. Incorrect Alan the FIA is the sporting regulator. The FOM is the commercial operator of F1 and legally they are different as this was forced on them by the European Commission in the late 1990’s early 2000’s. The teams are dealing with the FOM. I do wonder what was involved in the deal for the appeal to be dropped.

        3. @Alan Dove – All a moot point now, of course. However, you might want to consider:

          (i) Article 10.10.1 of the FIA 2021 Judicial & Disciplinary Rules – “The ICA has all the decision-making powers of the authority that took the contested decision.”;

          (ii) Article 11.9.1 of the FIA 2021 International Sporting Code (‘ISC’) – “The stewards shall have supreme authority for the enforcement of the Code, of the regulations of the FIA if appropriate, of national rules and Supplementary Regulations […] within the framework of the Event for which they are appointed […]”

          (iii) Article 11.9.3. of the ISC – “Within the framework of their duties, they notably: […]
          11.9.3.b may amend the Supplementary Regulations. [sic.] […]
          11.9.3.h may amend the classifications;”

          It is open to the stewards to change the classification retrospectively (see: Senna, Japan, 1989 – disqualified post-race for re-joining the track illegally; Schumacher, Spain, 1997 – stripped of all championship points after collision with Villeneuve; Verstappen, US, 2017 – 5 second penalty and demoted to 4th due to an illegal overtake). As such, it is open to the ICA to do so. As such, it is open to the ICA to do so.

          This was also confirmed in ICA decision no. ICA-2014-04, para’s 20-21: “20. […] [The ICA] has full power to review the case de novo, with respect to all available information, facts and evidence, and to the applicable law and regulations […] 21. The [ICA] thus has full authority to substitute the Stewards’ Decision under appeal by its own decision in full scope.”

          The fact that Mercedes has since withdrawn its appeal does not mean that it did not have a good case. In litigation the vast majority of cases settle without hearing (c.85% in the English civil courts in 2019).

      2. @hotbottoms Of course it is. All legitimate court cases only proceed if they believe they have a chance of winning. It absolutely was considered here.

        1. @ivan-vinitskyy
          Yes, I believe they considered it while negotiating with FIA. After FIA announced the commission yesterday, it was quite obvious that they had reached a deal with Mercedes. Mercedes obviously thinks that whatever FIA offered them is more valuable than what they could win by appealing. Winning the championship in a court wouldn’t have looked great anyway.

          1. What’s obvious is Merc had NO case to change the result. The lawyers were all wrong on that because a lot of them failed to actually read the Sporting Code.

            The FIA knew they have don’t have to ‘reach a deal’ with Merc. The FIA aren’t totally dumb. They’d look into procedural changes even without an appeal anyway. The threat of Merc going to the ICA wasn’t going to motivate that.

            Everyone who KNEW they didn’t have a case KNEW they’d withdraw their case. It was obvious as soon as they lodged their intention to appeal after it their initial appeal was dismissed so strongly.

          2. The FIA knew they have don’t have to ‘reach a deal’ with Merc.

            Okay, but don’t be shocked when Masi is replaced before next season starts.

            The appeal process wouldn’t have looked great on FIA even if they’d win. It would have made it obvious that Masi’s actions were against the rules.

          3. Hopefully they’ve offered them Masi’s head on a spike……metaphorically of course….

    2. Even if they had a case to overturn the result of the championship I’m not sure there was that much support for it, even from the most ardent Lewis/Mercedes fans.

      The most important thing to come out of Mercedes’ appeal would be to have a new/revised set of rules that are clear and agreed upon by all, mainly removing the power of one person to overrule existing regulations other than when safety requires it. And also tightening things up on driver standards and overtaking/defending. Hopefully that’s where we’re heading this winter.

      1. The FIA and teams don’t need an appeal to tighten up obvious procedural issues. Merc were never going to win. So it would be a big fuss over nothing if they tried.

        1. Lewis would have won if race control didn’t change the rules mid-race. So they would have had a good case if it had gone to CAS.

    3. They should have hired you Alan and saved themselves a fortune in legal fees.

  16. 240 articles in support of an appeal while Mercedes was moving on.
    Laughable

  17. Finally.. it took them forever….

    Merry Christmas everybody

    1. Merry Christmas.
      Only 94 days until the next race.

      1. Until the next episode of the motor racing gameshow, you mean.

  18. This is not what fans wanted, at least those who still value f1 as a sport over entertainment factor. Keith, this might be a good last poll of the year.

  19. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    16th December 2021, 10:27

    Understable, given the rancour that a legal case would generate. Reading the statement it appears that Hamilton might have played a significant role in ensuring the matter was dropped. What I don’t understand is how Mercedes could let the FIA get away with making such an appalling statement to settle the matter, effectively: “Everyone outside the FIA was wrong, the FIA followed the rules, we’ll establish a commission so that we can communicate more effectively in future”. Those aren’t the words of an organisation which views itself culpable for the mess of Abu Dhabi, nor one willing to make reforms.

    1. @slightlycrusty I’m Ham’s fan but I sort of wish he didn’t come back for 2022 season to make a point to FIA.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        16th December 2021, 10:59

        @@ivan-vinitskyy honestly, without a complete overhaul of stewarding I can’t see why he would come back, or why Mercedes wouldn’t give notice of their intention to withdraw at the end of 2022. The current rules seem to be that the race is controlled by the whims of the race director and illegal overtaking is allowed at the discretion of the stewards. Farcical.

      2. There is a zero percent chance Hamilton doesn’t come back.

    2. Mercedes did not have any leverage over the FIA, so they could not “let the FIA get away with” the statement.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        16th December 2021, 11:12

        @uzsjgb Had Mercedes won the court case the FIA would have faced intolerable pressure to reform.

    3. @slightlycrusty Agree with this. I too think Lewis has had a big role in this decision. I’ve gained even more respect for him after this last weekend. His response jmhas been impeccable.

      I just hope that with the teams and drivers involved the inquiry can actually be conducted properly and thoroughly, resulting I some positive outcomes for the sport.

      Merry Christmas, and I hope you get a well-deserved break from F1 for the next few weeks, and enjoy the Esports tonight ;-)

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        16th December 2021, 14:05

        RandomMallard, thanks I hope your optimism is proved correct. I think I’ll take a bit of a break too, Merry Christmas! I hope to see you around next season.

  20. Disappointing

  21. Good! I like the wording in this statement, they stated their case, did not diss Max nor RB, appealed to emotions and put some ground rules for the future. There could not have been any other outcome, as was obvious for whomever was observing this whole debacle without emotions clouding their judgment.

    This really was a perfect Formula 1 season. Great battle throughout, many ups and downs for both competitors, and ended with a controversy which will be argued about for years to come. Classic F1.

    1. That’s it! Spot on!

    2. This really was a perfect Formula 1 season.

      I see this season like the TV series Grimm: It had it’s faults, but I absolutely loved it… right up to the point they completely screwed up the ending. Now, I can’t watch any of it again, or even think of any part of it in a positive light, because I know what is coming at the end and how terrible it is.

  22. An excellent statement and obviously it takes time to think about what to do so comments such as some of the ones above are unfortunately just to be expected now on racefans.

    Congratulations Max, a great championship battle and he definitely deserves it. I don’t agree with his driving style but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he deserves it, he’s been immense this year. Relentless.

    1. @john-h Agree 100% with this.

      1. Apologies for my comment below, it was not well spirited. I just think this particular thread, and indeed most of the comment threads in the last couple days have actually been quite civil, with lots of valid points worth considering. Far from the average post-race thread. Hardly worthy of criticism.

        1. @skipgamer Don’t worry. The degradation of the comment section was far from the only reason I deleted my account; I’ve had a few changes in circumstance in the rest of my life outside F1 as well that made me consider deleting the account the best option for the time being.

          I too will admit I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the comments on recent articles, especially since Abu Dhabi, and the fall out has not been as bad as I expected.

        2. @skipgamer I do appreciate the apology though, so thanks for that.

          I hope you and @john-h have a very good Christmas/holiday season.

    2. are unfortunately just to be expected now on racefans

      The quality of comments here are far and above just about any other community. Careful, don’t take it too seriously or you might end up having a breakdown and deleting your account like the one above.

      1. I think you’ve just proven my point @skipgamer seen as Mallard has actually been one of the most thoughtful commenters on this site for while. Things went downhill this year in all kinds of ways, and whilst indeed _still_ being one of the best places for debate, so did the standard of comments and it’s quite sad that those that think longer about what they write have been marginalised further.

        1. #wecommentasone

        2. I still see the comment section on its lowest it has ever been.
          And unfortunately the way articles and headlines are picked and written doesn’t really help to stop that.

          I now fondly think of the days when there were only fans of the sport or of specific drivers (the Finnish guy voting Kimi DOTW every race, and Canadian Robbie having thoughtful comments but always in favour of Verstappen); they kept it clean and merely spoke positively about their driver.
          Currently the comments are full of Verstappen fans badmouthing Hamilton and his fans, Hamilton fans returning the favour, and whoever it suits on the day badmouthing FIA and Liberty.

          My glass remains half full, and the less I read here the more I can revisit races of this and previous seasons.

        3. @john-h

          Mallard has actually been one of the most thoughtful commenters on this site for while

          The same to you too. Thank you as well, although I can admit there were points this season where I did overstep the mark. But I do still feel this is one of the better comment sections, although I do think the quality has degraded a bit this season. It’s still much better than many you’ll find elsewhere on the Internet, and I do hope it stays this way.

          Also I like the idea of being addressed “Mallard” ;-)

  23. Really feel deflated on this in that I expected the FIA to be put to task on why the regulations were not followed and bring some sanity and consistency to the sport, yet at the same time totally understand their position.

    1. Part of me feels this was Lewis’ decision

      1. @lems Part of me feels the same way. Lewis has gained even more respect from me recently for how he’s handled himself in the aftermath of all this.

  24. As predicted yesterday, they backed down. Classy statement from MGP and let’s hope there are some constructive reforms at the FIA to make the rules and enforcement clear for everybody.
    On to ’22!

  25. Yeah, I expected this but I’m still disappointed.
    …clearly this is the best decision for the sport and has absolutly nothing do with the fear of negative publicity for Merc, F1 and the FIA. But hey, it was all a giant missunderstanding anyway…

  26. To be expected. They (FIA) cannot have a repeat of this. Hopefully, the fact we have new regulations, new car concepts, etc will hopefully put this unpleasantness behind us. Hopefully, the actions FIA promised Mercedes (and the rest of the F1 community) will take will hopefully bring some element of respectability and integrity back to the sport.

    I’ll just avoid watching the 2021 last race highlights…

    1. @icarby Agree. Despite how epic most of this season was, I just don’t want to relive the end of it. Not just this farce, but races like Saudi Arabia and Brazil really sucked the joy and enthusiasm I have for this sport out of me.

      I too hope that a new generation of cars also sees a new generation of rules and regulations in a sporting sense as well as technically.

  27. It’s perhaps fitting that, in listing the people they thank, Mercedes left the fans out. Lewis makes it a point to thank the crowd and the fans wherever and whenever he is interviewed after a race, but Mercedes’ deal with the FIA blatantly leaves the fans out.
    I struggle to imagine that Lewis went along with this willingly, but it is what it is.
    The most insulting thing would be if Masi keeps his job, so let’s hope his sacking is among the concessions Mercedes demanded and received for this farce of a process.

  28. This doesn’t do much for those who feel the sport is putting entertainment over clean racing. What happened in Abu Dhabi after all, was an outrageous example of other smaller controversies that took place over the year. I really don’t see this changing and really have no faith in FIA. Max is the new champion, enjoy all the arrogance and anti-sportsmanship you can get.

    1. @petrucci yes F1 is dead to me now, i have ZERO interest in watching WWE liberty media gameshow netflix drama alert racing when rules can be broken at will and invented on the fly to produce fake exciting racing.
      There needs to be some form of accountability and closure for fans regarding the farcical end and race control meddled race that robbed lewis of a title, like i said before fans who hate lewis said what happened was bs and he was robed.
      Also Lewis and Mercedes end up looking weak and basically making an admission that its ok to be screw over a competitor changing the rules on the fly to suit the ‘drama’ and hype.
      Lewis always mentions the teams hard work when he wins but this spits in the face of the 800 staff back in Brackley who spend 1000s hours working on the car to win, whats the point spending 80 hour weaks building a super concept racing vehicle just to have your hard work undone by a random FIA appointed bureaucrat who can invent new rules and move the goal posts at the last minute.

      Liberty media might get more new ‘supermax’ newbies and drive to survive zoomer casuals but this result will drive away the loyal neutral fans who have been watching for decades, who are not lewis or max fanboys and just watch the so called sport where 10 different teams try to build the best car and drivers race over a season to decide WDC in a fair manner.
      This title will forever leave a sour taste and go down in history as the title the FIA deliberately meddled in the race to give the title to max, this farce makes 94, 90 title deciders trivial in compassion.

      Congratulations max your 2021 wdc that will always be remembered as fraudulent asterisk one handed on a plate to you by the FIA and liberty media(!)

      I’m out…

    2. Absolute +1 The season was full of stewarding incidents, what happened in Abu Dhabi is just a tip of an iceberg. I don’t see any chance for remedy in the near future.

    3. +2!!! They have created a monster and now added support and momentum for heading the wrong way even faster. If it weren’t for an interest in seeing the new spec cars I probably wouldn’t watch next season. I may still bail if the first few races are allowed to run like many this season.

  29. Respect to Mercedes. The FIA has some work to do this winter, Red Flag rules, track limits, rules of engagement, race director lobbying. Time for a rules tidy up.

    Also the more I think about it race control should have been more prepared for the type of scenario we saw unfold. A track blocking crash 5 laps from the end with the World Championship in the balance. You have to neutralise the race and clear the track so as Martin Brundle suggested a red flag with 5 laps of racing from the restart would have sat better with everyone.

    1. Considering their statement yesterday, I currently expect the only changes to be to confirm and clarify that the race director can do anything he wants with impunity. I hope I am wrong, but I will believe it when I see it, and won’t be watching again until I see that I am.

  30. Time to find a new hobby. I mean, I see where is this coming from and I’d respect that but there’s usually some shady deal behind such statement, so I’m not gonna bother myself with another season, let alone paying for it. This is going to come back and bite someone else in the ass in the future, Merc only gambling with the idea it won’t be them next time.

  31. Good decision, and I’m glad this was sorted before the awards tonight. However, I really hope that they actually do something about the rules and stewarding instead of just waiting for the dust to settle. There is a strong scent of PR BS in these statements by FIA and Mercedes, but hopefully I am proved wrong.

  32. Not unexpected if I’m honest. It was always going to be a difficult case to win in a court, even if Masi’s decision was clearly wrong (which it was). I think Merc have made a decision that, in the longer term, is probably better for them for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this doesn’t risk tarnishing their own, or Lewis’, brand or legend, which there was always a risk of if it went to court.

    Secondly, and more importantly I think in Merc’s mind, it clears their preparation for next season. Losing the title this season is one thing, but putting lots of resources into an appeal (which they could still lose) and compromise their preparations for next season as well. I know legal costs wouldn’t count towards the budget cap, but I think Merc would likely prefer to have a clear calendar for next year and not have Toto, Meadows, Allison etc. constantly travelling back and forth between Brackley and Paris.

    I think Merc and Lewis have handled themselves very well during this, and I can only commend them for that, especially with congratulating Max and RB, because I think Merc understand that RB and especially Max can’t really be blamed for the farce in Abu Dhabi. My respect for Lewis in particular has grown significantly after this weekend (on that note, I do wonder how much input he had in this decision. Having said before he didn’t want a title to be settled in court, I wonder if he’s towed a similar line this time around?).

    I hope the FIA inquiry is thorough and proper, and that they can admit fault for this, because they (I’m particular Masi) are the main party at fault here. I hope they’ll also be able to suggest/pass changes to the regulations, to clarify certain articles and remove contradictions that this past weekend has highlighted. I also hope Brawn follows through with his commitment to end team-to-FIA radio (although it should probably be kept for safety-critical scenarios).

    I will not be impressed if Masi is still Race Director next year. On that note, the BBC are reporting that the FIA are set to announce a new “Director of F1” role who will appear to take some kind of role similar to Whiting, but slightly less involved. There will still be a separate Race Director, Technical Delegate and other senior roles, but these will be oversee by the Director of F1. I think this could be a good move, as long as it doesn’t create too many hierarchies within the officiating ranks.

    And that’s it for the season! I have to admit, as gripping and close it has been, it has somewhat sucked the joy out of the sport for me, because it felt like every race weekend just became an extremely political and tiring situation. I think everyone deserves a bit of break, and for those of you returning for 2022, it’s time to look forward to a new era.

    With that, all that’s left is for me to wish everyone here at RaceFans a very merry Christmas or holiday season, wherever you are in the world.

    1. Nice post dude. Enjoy the holiday season and see you on the flip side

    2. I hope the FIA inquiry is thorough and proper, and that they can admit fault for this, because they ([in] particular Masi) are the main party at fault here.

      I agree with you that Masi was wrong here (and on many occasions before) as being inconsistent.
      But at the same time I do not want more or stricter rules. The underlying decision of letting them race and minimise running under SC is what I really wan to see.

      I would rewrite the rules as follows:
      – track limits are track limits, always and for everybody.
      – forcing off track to be penalised by the Stewards .
      – VSC to become slow zone
      – no more SC; Red Flag the race if a slow zone is not sufficient.
      – and if Red Flagged, don’t allow tyre changes or repairs (should be done under green) and keep the gaps which existed before the Red Flag

  33. Sports has lost.

    “Keeping up with the F1’ians” – every other weekend next season.

  34. I will remain extremely sceptical of any real change for the better occurring in F1’s governance, until we see it happen. I would have liked Merc to continue their appeal to force that change (though not to change the outcome of the WDC, since Max has no blame in any of this), but understand why they (and Lewis) might prefer to avoid it.

    The FIA Commission should be watched and scrutinised extremely closely. They cannot be let off the hook for the way they’ve allowed “the show” to be more important than fair and consistent governance, particularly this season.

  35. Totally expected, but no less devastating.

    As a direct result of this, I won’t be wasting my time following F1 any more. It’s now clear to me that F1 is not even partially a sport, but pure entertainment.

    I completely understand Mercedes stance, even though I disagree with it. They’ve been put in an impossible situation, and I wish them the best. I really hope Lewis and Mercedes crush Max and Red Bull next year, just to prove a point, but I won’t be watching it.

    1. If only we could post memes here. The Larry David ” you and I’ll see you tomorrow” meme fits perfectly!!

    2. I won’t be wasting my time following F1 any more.

      OK. Bye!

  36. I’m struggling with the ‘flawless’ and ‘faultless’ description of Hamilton. To me, this resolves him of any blame for any incident or accident this season. He is an excellent driver but he is not above criticism.

    1. Luckily this is a PR statement and not to be taken that seriously.

      1. It is an official statement from Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.

        1. So, you should not take it seriously.

    2. Of course Mercedes is going to say it like this, one wouldn’t expect them to say they appreciate Hamilton’s performance but are still disappointed about his lack of pace in Monaco or race win losing mistake in Baku.

      Their style is different from, say, Renault under Briatore. He frequently complained in public about his drivers.

  37. I feel this is damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Ultimately for me despite everything this championship was lost for Lewis at Baku. When the top 2 drivers are constantly finishing 1/2 they had to capitalise on Verstappens tyre blow out but they didn’t.
    Monza and silverstone were just racing incidents and both were worthy champions
    That being said the safety car situation and decisions in general have been very dodgy and it needs to be fixed. It seems for me that if theres gravel and a car forces another onto said gravel then the perpetrator is punished. Get that gravel down and then it’s easier to police and also to set track limits. Get rid of standing starts and tyre changes during red flags. And also repairs. For the safety car if cars are lapped, tough luck to the lapped cars. The safety car was only ever there to bunch up the field and let marshalls work without being killed

    1. @broke1984 – Picking a race, here or there isn’t really valid. They both went into the final race equal on points. Everything that happened before hand worked out in a way that was good for everybody, i.e. either driver can still win it and as fans we had no idea who was going to win. I was happily excited and nervous before the final weekend came. Either driver winning I was ok with (both delivered when they needed to or had the upperhand, on balance), the manner of which it came about was the biggest disappointment I’ve seen for a very long time.

  38. They got the FIA to say that Mistakes Were Made—-kind of. (“Misunderstandings”).

    The the fact of the inquiry establishes that they messed up bad. I can’t remember the FIA having to make an inquiry into itself. And I don’t see how Masi shows his face again, however this report whitewashes these events.

    Anyway, time to move on to wrapping presents* and day-drinking.

    *Santa brings Michael Masi only coal this year.

  39. Mercedes have probably taken the correct decision – if they intend to continue competing in Formula 1. They had an extremely good chance of winning their case. But that may have been the problem. In winning, they would have dealt a massive blow to the integrity of Formula 1 as a sport, and so damaging themselves too if they continue to participate in it.

    Yet there’s a fundamental issue for me. I don’t think FIA will act appropriately – its statement yesterday indicates it believes it has nothing to learn – and the pressure for show rather than sporting integrity and ethics will continue. I guess now we’ll just have to wait and see.

    1. This will be my last post on this, thankfully. Everything has happened in accordance with prediction by those familiar with the Sporting Regulations of F1.

      Merc DID NOT have a good chance of winning their case. People and some so-called ‘lawyers’ made the mistake that because the RD made a procedural error they could change the result. 5.4,5.6,6.5 supply mechanism to change the result that would favour Lewis in the championship. OUtside of the that ICA have power to amend result, but an actual change of order on Lap 58 would be an egregious abuse of power that no court in their right mind would support that as a notion.

      The lesson here is if you ever see a headline that read “x actually has a good case and can win – lawyer” remind yourself lawyers are 50% on the losing side.

      1. Edit:

        *5.4,5.6,6.5 DO NOT supply a mechanism to change the result that would favour Lewis in the championship.

  40. I don’t see how Michael Masi’s voice can legitimately be heard on a radio again. The whole F1 community knows he dropped a clanger, his authority diminished and his reputation is in tatters.

    Don’t lift that Drivers trophy too high Max, you know it belongs to somebody else.

  41. Max masi Horner go celebrate your fixed championship

  42. 🤣 just shows how many gullible Merc and Hamilton fans are on this site. This was never going to work, but they all convinced themselves it had a chance. Crazy!

    🤣 actually thinking they’re going to get the result overturned 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ delusional. It had about the same chance of success as Horner successfully protesting Lewis accelerating and braking after the safety car was already in, just mental.

    Tough luck, must try harder next year.

    Get on with it! I think the sore loser attitude is a result of the fact they don’t know how to be gracious in defeat after the benefits they’ve had from their engines for so long.

  43. Thanks to RaceFans for all its coverage this year, tremendous job by all of you. I think I’m going to take a break until next year now and try to reset for the new season. A happy and safe holiday season to everyone.

    1. A huge shame for the sport. What could have been the best championship, ended up being the worst championship in F1 with a driver being handed the championship from F1.

      What a race at Abu Dhabi. Well done Lewis! That’s the way you win championships!

    2. @david-br sorry, I accidentally replied here but yeah RaceFans deserves a championship this year. Happy Holidays!

  44. Good bye, F1! You will never ever receive a cent from me.
    Good bye my respect to Mercedes. Such a cowards to let cheating win!
    By the way, Michael Masi may override Mercedes appeal! He is the God!

    1. @bulgarian I can see your point – Mercedes definitely did the wrong thing by not appealing.

      Sadly, I have a feeling I’ll be following F1 with much less passion moving forward. It’s happened with MotoGP but that’s only because of the lack of competition, commentary, and the lack of Moto2 and Moto3 races. I guess it was a matter of time before it happened in F1.

  45. A huge shame for the sport. What could have been the best championship, ended up being the worst championship in F1 with a driver being handed the championship from F1.

    What a race at Abu Dhabi. Well done Lewis! That’s the way you win championships!

    1. A huge shame for the sport.

      “No Mikey, no! You’re so not right!”

  46. Mercedes will regret this decision.

  47. Good. Now let’s move on to next year with a clean slate and do the talking on the track.

  48. Board of Daimler stepped in. Was getting out of hand. What was amateur Toto thinking he was doing to the brand. Does he even realise why Mercedes is in F1?

    1. Mercedes have tarnished their reputation by accepting cheating and being involved in FIA cheating cover up.

  49. Thanks god they will not appeal. F1 has a long way to heal but at least it was saved from death. Revising rules and FIA’s decisions is much more constructive than turning the sport into a battle of lawyers.

    1. Dead cannot be saved from death.

  50. The part I missed are the excuses toto should offer for his behavior.
    An embarrassing moment in the sport and one that can not pass without consequences.
    But I guess the new team boss next year will solve this.

    1. “No Mikey, no safety car!”

      (That would be soo not right.)

  51. Well my thoughts are:

    I understand why Mercedes are not appealing – they will only tarnish their brand by doing so and that will cost them many millions more than what the F1 Drivers championship would gain them!

    But I so wish that they would have continued with it, as it does appear that those opposing them challenging the application of the correct regulations are predominantly Red Bull / Verstappen fans, those of us that are F1 fans (30+ years) would have liked to have seen the rules and regulations applied consistently throughout the whole year – including the last lap of the final race! and I find it incredulous that the appeal made after the race was rejected regarding the withdrawal of the safety car in contravention to the applicable rule.

    There have been controversial stewarding calls throughout the season, favoring opposing sides both ways, and I think that the race stewards and director all need to be applying the correct written rules to all teams at all times – even if that does make it painful to a driver of ANY team. (And even I was shouting at the tv for Lewis to yield the place back at turn 5 on the opening lap!)

    Both Lewis and Max are outstanding drivers, pushing their respective cars to their limits, as can be demonstrated by the way they pull away from their team mates. So just saying Lewis shouldn’t win because he had the “best” car doesn’t cut it – if it was just the best car Valterri (and Sergio) would have been much closer in terms of Championship points!

    And I hold no ill feelings towards Max for the outcome of the race and championship Sunday evening, that was purely the result of the end of the race being manipulated for excitement purposes! And I can only wonder who actually gave Michael Masi the instruction to remove the safety car early??

    it’s now history, and people can make their own minds up as to how they feel now it’s all decided/settled! Well done Max on your first WDC title, and to all the teams for next year with new cars and technical regulations – may the best team and driver win under less controversial circumstances!

    1. I think they should’ve continued despite being a verstappen fan cause there were other things to pursue, such as trying to get masi ousted, he doesn’t seem fit for the job.

    2. As for the “who gave masi the instruction to remove the SC early”, it was a foregone conclusion, I don’t get why many people don’t understand it: the race HAD to end in racing conditions, it was the last race of a very fought over season, unless a driver died or the conditions were so atrocious it was impossible to restart, there was no way they’d let it finish behind SC.

  52. This post is for Mercedes, Toto, and Lewis:

    If you cannot fix the mistakes of today, what is the point of trying to fix tomorrow’s mistakes?

  53. I think Mercedes always knew that an appeal wouldn’t change the result of the drivers championship, but there are other reasons that someone would go through a process like this. If Mercedes were looking for leverage to have changes made to how the races are officiated, having a drawn out public spectacle made over Abu Dhabi that shines a very bright spotlight on the FIAs shortcomings that is one way of going about it. I suspect a deal was reached between Mercedes and the FIA that will result in similar changes to what they hoped to accomplish, but without the public spectacle or the drain on all parties involved.

    I see a number of comments saying something along the lines that the FIA is more powerful than Mercedes and this appeal would only tarnish Mercedes. While in pure technicalities this is true, I’m not so sure in the age of Drive to Survive and all the emerging fan base in places like the US that the power base of F1 rests more with the teams and drivers now than with the FIA and F1. This is the double edged sword of social media and enhancing the profile of the teams and drivers. I don’t know anyone who follows the FIA on social media, but I know plenty who follow teams and drivers. How many stories has Drive to Survive done on the FIA? Zero? And with drivers and teams having that much power to talk directly to fans without limits I think we’ll see progress towards some actionable improvements in the sporting quality of F1. That is, as long as the teams can ever agree on anything. The FIA and F1 have been masters of playing the teams off each other to keep them divided for decades. If they are able to overcome that and realize the power they really have within the sport, things may shift. I’m hopeful they’ll shift because the action on track with the teams and drivers was really fantastic but the officiating controversies throughout the year have turned what should have been one of F1’s most triumphant seasons ever into a year that has to be seen instead as a very large black eye for F1.

  54. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    16th December 2021, 23:16

    No matter what happened with the appeal, Masi needs to go and the selection of stewards might need to be reconsidered. Race control was appaling during the final races of te season

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