Mercedes Makes Big Decision About Controversial Abu Dhabi F1 Race

Formula One / Comments

The FIA admits the actions taken in the Abu Dhabi race "tarnished" the image of F1.

The 2021 Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi will go down as one of the most controversial races in Formula 1 history. With Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton fighting for the World Championship on equal points, the tension couldn't be higher.

It was looking like an easy victory for Hamilton who had gained a considerable lead until Nicholas Latifi lost control and plowed into the wall, resulting in the Aston Martin Vantage Safety Car being deployed to bunch the drivers up. In a surprise move, race director Michael Masi allowed only five lapped cars to unlap themselves behind the Safety Car and restart the race for the final lap, despite FIA rules suggesting that any lapped car could be allowed to unlap itself.

Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing

With Verstappen racing on fresher tires, there was nothing Hamilton could do. In bizarre circumstances, Verstappen was crowned the new World Champion, preventing Hamilton from beating Schumacher's record and claiming his eighth world title. It was one of the most dramatic finales we've ever seen, but the decision sparked a considerable backlash from F1 fans.

After the race, Mercedes challenged the stewards, lodging two protests about an earlier incident where Verstappen passed Hamilton under the Safety Car and the final lap controversy. Both were dismissed, but Mercedes intended to appeal the decision. While the FIA has admitted the actions have "tarnished" the image of F1 and is launching an investigation, Mercedes won't be taking further action.

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Mercedes F1
Mercedes F1

"We hereby withdraw our appeal," the Mercedes F1 team said in a statement. "Together with Lewis, we have deliberated carefully over how to respond to the events at the Formula 1 season finale. 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 analyze 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."

Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing

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