Mercedes decline to participate in FIA champions photoshoot as appeal wait goes on

2021 F1 season

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Mercedes has refused to take part in an official FIA photoshoot commemorating the constructors champions of 2021 as the team considers whether to appeal the results of last weekend’s Formula 1 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team clinched the Formula 1 constructors championship on Sunday and won the Formula E teams championship in August. It was invited to join other title-winning teams as part of a group photograph commissioned by the FIA.

However RaceFans understands from multiple sources Mercedes refused to allow either of their cars to appear in the photograph. It is understood that all other category champions sent examples of their machinery.

Mercedes is considering whether to proceed with an appeal after its two protests over the controversial race were thrown out. It gave notification of its intention to appeal the rejection of one protest on Sunday and has until tomorrow to submit it.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021
Mercedes have “good legal basis” for appeal over Abu Dhabi GP – lawyer
Since issuing that notification on Sunday the F1 team has gone silent. No official material has been distributed to the press and its main social media accounts have not been updated. Lewis Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff did not speak to journalists at Yas Marina following Sunday’s race, though Hamilton gave a short interview to Jenson Button for Formula 1’s television broadcast prior to the podium ceremony.

Prior to the race the team took its usual end-of-season photograph of its cars, drivers and trackside personnel (pictured).

Hamilton is due to make his first public appearance since the race today at Windsor Castle where he will receive his knighthood.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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377 comments on “Mercedes decline to participate in FIA champions photoshoot as appeal wait goes on”

  1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    15th December 2021, 10:32

    Can Mercedes pull out of F1? They’ve nothing left to prove. Perhaps the contractual obligations force them to remain? ISTR a huge financial penalty is involved for pulling out early.

    1. They can – question is will they?

      I doubt it, but I wouldn’t blame them. They, like others, expected a sport to be based on ability and not on show business.

      1. They can reap investment made for 2022 season and just pull the rug from under FIA by announcing they are going away due to farce that is Masi and Race control and show middle finger to them.

      2. Like a safety car finish – very sporting

        1. What on Earth? How is that a safety car finish not sporting?

      3. Can someone get you a tissue?

    2. @slightlycrusty
      As explained by Dieter in a this article, there is a contractual clause that can let them pull out of F1 at the end of the season though it must be invoked before March 31st.

      The team is co-owned by Daimler, Ineos and Wolff and surely pulling the trigger on the F1 program isn’t as simple as it look. Besides, there is no way someone like Toto with a financial background would quit at this time now the F1 team franchises can be theoretically profitable.

      1. They could though change the team’s name @tifoso1989 if they want to make a point (and Mercedes still has some feeling it wants out as was reported last year and this year again).

        1. @bosyber

          They could though change the team’s name

          Would that be considered as a new entry and make them eligible to the $200 million anti-dilution fee ?

          1. No, see Renault becoming Alpine, Toro Rossa to Alpha Tauri etc. There are regulations around name changes but they don’t make the team a new entry.

        2. I was thinking the same. Reminded me of Ineos rumours from last year.

      2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        15th December 2021, 11:33

        @tifoso1989 thanks for the link, I’ll take a look at it. I know Wolff has been contemplating retiring for some time, and for Mercedes they’ve reproduced their 1950s dominance so the only way from here is down (although they could feasibly remain on top of the heap for a few more years).

        I feel the killer blow will be whether Mercedes feels that involvement in F1 adds lustre to their image or tarnishes it. Right now, as @sham says, they seem to be participating in a ‘sport’ which doesn’t apply its own rules (or rather applies them randomly), and which feels it can make new rules on the hoof. That’s hardly prestigious. Then, if they go through a legal process they must know that, rightly or wrongly, they will generate tons of negative publicity.

        Would they generate more or less negative publicity by withdrawing from the sport and either continuing the legal action or retracting it but making a public statement on the injustice of the FIA’s actions? I don’t know, but this must surely be something they’re contemplating.

        1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          15th December 2021, 11:40

          @tifoso1989 wow, that link was fascinating, there’s no longer any penalty for leaving. My guess is that Mercedes will trigger that either in 2022 or 2023 (i.e. when Hamilton retires). If the stewarding isn’t over-hauled this winter, they’ll give notice in 2022.

        2. Mercedes participates in F1 to sell road cars, and not just to F1 fans. Non-fans may be impressed with race and championship results but have no clue how they came about. So, for the vast majority of potential customers, WHY Mercedes was 2nd rather than 1st is insignificant.

          And while there is no doubt officials made questionable calls that affected who won this race, that is certainly not unheard of and will happen again regardless of the people and rules. People are fallible.

          This thing is blown way out of proportion for a LOT of people. Imagine if every race this season had happened exactly like it did BUT Abu Dhabi happened to be early in the season. Would any of the people who act like this is the end of the world now have been wondering then (or now) if Mercedes would leave F1 because Lewis should have won that race instead of finished second?

          1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            15th December 2021, 13:19

            Hoosier, earlier in the season the Mercedes line was “We disagree, but we won’t fight it”, but those were on decisions which were debatable, i.e. there were two sides. Wolff has always said that it’s more important to win it the right way than simply to win and the same goes for losing. Mercedes is in this sport for the prestige, if F1 gains a reputation for being corrupt (and any team could be the victim, not just Mercedes), then Mercedes might no longer see the appeal of participating. The cover-up over Ferrari engines would have infuriated Mercedes, even though it had beaten its rival, because it tarnished the image of the sport. If F1 keeps appearing in the sports pages of the general press as a dodgy sport, then Mercedes will likely pull out. That’s the problem F1 has, the fanbase might not be massive, but the wider public can gain the perception that it’s more like pro wrestling than a proper sport.

          2. Mercedes was 1st, not 2nd.

            Hamilton was 2nd

          3. Completely agree and very well put Jay

      3. FIA broke the rules MB signed up to first.

        The $100M Mclaren fine sets the scale of penalty in this game.

    3. Since they are in the sport for marketing purposes, and profitability is almost guaranteed with the budget cap, I doubt any of the teams are going to leave the sport out of their own free will.

      1. We all assume that but Formula E is struggling to attract brands at the moment for this reason. It is an interesting balance to strike.

    4. As a race team maybe. As an engine supplier I would expect the contracts they have signed with their customers is a bit more iron clad.

    5. @slightlycrusty That would just be Russell’s luck.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        15th December 2021, 13:07

        @qeki yes, a disaster. The FIA’s new president could come in and say “Masi needs to go, the whole system needs to be re-thought, I apologise to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, let’s void the last race and award Verstappen the WDC on count back”. Which would be entirely fair and I think enough to mollify Mercedes. But what the FIA is currently saying is: “What an excellent way to end the championship, congratulation Masi on a job well done”. Which is signalling that the sport isn’t governed by rules at this point.

        All season Mercedes complaint has been: “follow the rules”. The FIA’s current line is: “there are no rules, only suggestions for the Race Director to consider”. You’ve got to wonder whether Mercedes will tolerate this attitude.

        1. But what the FIA is currently saying is: “What an excellent way to end the championship, congratulation Masi on a job well done”. Which is signalling that the sport isn’t governed by rules at this point.

          Exactly.

          An apology and a commitment to change is what is needed, whereas currently the impression is that the FIA is really happy with how it was handled and thinks it’s the right way.

          Personally, I don’t even think it needs that race result voiding. All we need is to know that this farce will not happen again. Without that, I can’t see my interest remaining.

        2. Seems reasonable except even the countback result is tainted by awarding the “win” for the Spa non-race. IMO this whole season has as many *’s as legitimate racing moments.

        3. Let’s void the last lap would be entirely fair.

    6. That would be an insane situation. Mercedes truly have nothing left to prove and they feel they were completely robbed and cheated on Sunday. This would make for the silliest of all silly seasons, if all of a sudden Lewis and George were out of contract for next year! I can see Mercedes at least threatening this, they have enough weight to throw around in F1 to be able to play that card.

      1. You know I was actually hoping Hamilton would win and then retire. I think even now he has nothing left to prove and I don’t want to see him end his career in a weak car against a hotshot like Schumacher did. Which seems like what may be on offer now. Also he has a lot to offer outside the sport with his profile and would, without the muzzle of a contract, be a real conscience for F1 on a lot of issues, like diversity and sportswashing.

    7. Some of my friends question the suitability of a Mercedes continuing to participate in a sport based on burning fossil fuels, even as Mercedes makes a push toward electric vehicles. Maybe it’s time they get back into Formula E.

    8. @slightlycrusty If they didn’t have 1,500 employees they would have left after the appeal and it would have killed F1’s chances of seeing a new team join the sport ever. However, this is going to leave a very bitter taste and provide any board members who do not want Mercedes to participate in F1 with a nuclear missile that they will use to cement that outcome eventually.

      It’s quite likely that this race was the beginning of the end of Mercedes in F1.

      As I said, this is akin to cancer for F1. No one wants to be related to F1, those that are out will avoid F1 like the plague. Those that are in and around F1 will feel trapped for being a part of this and complicit for not speaking out or being able to change this as only a few people can.

      That includes Red Bull. The feeling of euphoria will wear off in a few weeks and the minds of their employees will start dealing with the cognitive dissonance that this type of incident instills. They’ll get bonuses but those will make them feel even more guilty of being active participants. They will start performing at a lower level as they feel they don’t deserve to win and so on and so forth. You can’t feel giddy about stealing a championship. If they’d won it fair and square, it’d be a different story.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        15th December 2021, 15:14

        @freelittlebirds, given the sense of victimisation coming out of Red Bull, from both driver and management, I think you may be over-estimating their appetite for fair play.

        But I do agree with you about Mercedes. There have been rumblings for a few years now about exiting the sport. Obviously it made no sense while they were winning, but the moment they are no longer number one I think there will be increased pressure from the management to quit. Factor in that F1 appears to have disgraced itself and that pressure may grow too large even if they remain successful: if we get to the stage where Mercedes believes the general public thinks the sport is fixed (as with cycling), they aren’t going to remain, whether winning or not.

        I think there’s a natural end point when Hamilton retires to put the team on the market and sell it to a new entrant. Whether it would appeal to another multinational company is another matter, F1 isn’t looking such an image-booster at the moment.

        1. Mercedes won the constructors’ title, hence they are still number one, even if they justifiably feel aggrieved that Sir LH was hard done by Masi’s machinations.

      2. Actually, I sincerely wish to apologize for using the word cancer as an analogy. No one messaged or reported the comment but I definitely don’t feel it’s right to use this to describe any situation in F1 or to remind anyone who maybe suffering from it or may have lost anyone to it and comes to this site to follow their hobby. My sincerest apologies.

    9. Let’s hope so. This behavior is damaging the Mercedes brand.

    10. Mercedes still worry that FIA will give red carpet again in 2022

    11. Where would hamilton go? And russell?

    12. That’s exactly what Mercedes should threaten to do, then watch Liberty Media lean on the FIA

    13. Feel for Lewis, he handled coming second, after deserving the racewin, with grace. However you can’t blame Masi for doing exactly what was agreed upon by all the teams: make an effort to finish the race under green. The handling could have been smoother, but was within te rules nonetheless. Mercedes gambled on something else and made the wrong choice by staying out. You can hear Lewis questioning the call on the onboards, and rightly so. As gracefull as Lewis’ response was, as small and petty is that of his team. Grasping at straws, in denial of their own mistake.

  2. The only thing Mercedes twitter admin has been doing since Sunday is asking for people’s contact details after they tweeted a video of Toto Wolff from Sunday night

    1. @djarvis LOL. Individual contact details over that funny & harmless crowd surfing video.

    2. Regarding that video: I’m pretty sure that this video is not 2021 and deliberately put into a wrong context (“Toto visiting Max’s party”). Has there been any proof of it being a video from 2021 or is it known to be older?

      1. I’ve not seen it referred to as “Max’s party”. I’m yet to see any proof of it not being a genuine video from Sunday evening

  3. Mercedes being exemplary sportspeople in both victory and defeat, as always….. :/

    1. The longer this goes on the more convinced I am that the Mercedes team are the most petulant selfish and arrogantly team on the grid. For years we have put up with them dominating races, looking smug and sulking in defeat – it is eembarrassing to watch them behaving like toddlers.

      1. This is not about Mercs not winning, this is about the way it happened. This is meant to be a Sport, but that status has been greatly knocked down to a wonderful TV show this year.

        1. exactly, i’m with merc on this one

          1. Ferrari never asked for giving the title back to Massa after crashgate.

          2. I agree, Mercedes not only have every right but an obligation to stand up for sporting integrity. What I find extremely disappointing is to find that Dieter who had been highly insightful on this site has had the temerity to question Lewis’ sporting nature. I’m horrified that any professional who cares about this sport could have this view on such a contentious clearly incorrect situation or the response of a sportsman who showed nothing but respect post race. Well, Dieter, you probably don’t care, but I’ve lost a great deal of respect for you listening to that recording.

            https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/f1-has-a-new-world-champion-but-is-the-title-fight-over-yet/id1559870202?i=1000545037666

            Formula 1 journalist Dieter Rencken is disappointed in how Mercedes is behaving after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The team filed multiple protests and now, a few days after the race, still seems to want to protest.
            Max Verstappen won the world championship in Abu Dhabi, but the team of title rival Lewis Hamilton disagreed. Mercedes filed two protests with the FIA after the race. Both protests were rejected by the stewards, but Mercedes has indicated that it wants to challenge the stewards’ decision.

            “I think it goes beyond unsportsmanlike behaviour,” says Formula 1 journalist Dieter Rencken in the English version of the RacingNews365 podcast. “Maybe Toto Wolff doesn’t know how to lose, but in the end that’s no excuse.

            “We are talking about what a global top sport should be and you have to behave according to that. I am very, very disappointed in the behavior of Mercedes,” said the F1 journalist.

            Hamilton is also unsportsmanlike
            Hamilton showed himself very sporty after the race. The Briton shook Verstappen’s hand and congratulated him, but according to Rencken this was all for the stage. The Mercedes driver was not at the press conference and did not give any interviews later.

            “As for Lewis’s behaviour, it’s all well and good to congratulate someone on the podium and give the occasional TV interview on track. But in the end the tough questions are being asked by the media and he wasn’t there That is a violation of the sports regulations,” the F1 journalist knows.

            The Mercedes team also failed to show up for an FIA photo opportunity just before the year-end gala. It therefore seems as if the German racing stable wants to boycott the entire gala, where the World Cup will also be handed over. According to Rencken, that is also not allowed. “The sports regulations state that they must be there and also attend the press conferences.”

            Is Mercedes waiting to file a protest?
            Mercedes has indicated on Sunday after the race that it wants to protest against the decision of the stewards. However, there has not been an official protest yet, but the German team does not have much time for that either.

            If Mercedes has not filed a protest before Thursday evening, December 16, it will be too late. Let the official prize gala be on that very evening. Rencken expects Mercedes to wait with the announcement with their protest until just before the gala.

            “The sporting regulations state very clearly that the recipient of the trophy during the FIA prize gala is the champion, period. Then it will be too late to change it,” the F1 journalist said.

            Big boss Mercedes is also silent
            Rencken also finds it striking that no sign of life has been given from the umbrella organization of Mercedes. “Most telling is that there has been no response from Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius. He is ultimately the boss of Toto Wolff.”

            “The exact structure is a bit complicated, but there is a three-pointed star on the front of the car. Kallenius didn’t say a word, but was in Abu Dhabi,” Rencken said. “He has not condemned the FIA and has not praised the champion , not a single word. I find that very strange.”

      2. @machinesteve Dude, shut it. Mercedes have every right because they have been robbed by the FIA to hand it to Max. Defeat is no problem but not such a way like last Sunday

        1. If the FIA were planning to fix the race and give the championship to VER why didn’t they penalise HAM for the incident at turn 6 lap one?

          The FIA may have done a bad job of stewarding but all this talk of race fixing is just a bitter conspiracy.

          1. I think there’s a distinct difference between a stewards decision on lap 1 of a 58 race, to a race director applying a new interpretation of an established rule on the penultimate lap of a race.
            And for what it’s worth, i don’t think the race was deliberately fixed, i think it’s more down to witless incompetence.

          2. @ Depailler just watch lewis’ on board, after he went off track he didnt apply full throttle, he was short shifting thats why he was not penalised!

          3. The fix doesn’t have to be to fix it in favour of a particular driver. It is still a fix if they failed to follow their own rules for the sake of the show if that fix have an advantage to one driver over another which wouldn’t have been present had they followed the rules.

      3. Hard to understand why. They are clearly not very capable of reflecting on a total season, let alone a decade. I can’t see how this does not harm the brand. MercedesBenz will evaluate all of this and I cannot imagine anything other than they quit F1 as a result. Cut yourself off from Toto at the earliest convenience. He made the ultimate error of not promoting the 8th win (mind you, that us the ONLY reason MercedesBenz is in, not for the love of the sport or something, no Marketing) but rather keep whining. There is no way they can sustain this situation. All this money down the drain.

      4. Absolutely pathetic from them. They’ve been extremely fortunate to dominate F1 for nearly the last decade unchallenged.

        If they are not careful, they seriously run the risk of undoing all that positivity and looking like greedy sore losers.

        1. From what I’ve seen it’s the opposite @nandy

          You describe a team who invest millions and Work extremely hard to find the best solutions as “extremely fortunate”. That’s completely wrong. They’ve earned 8 titles through being the best. It wasn’t handed to them in a raffle.

          As for their appeal, they actually seem to be gaining some huge support on socials and not just from the UK either.

          It takes people to stand up when wronged or nothing changes. Even the new fans can understand what happened on Sunday was wrong. Call it pathetic all you want, but it’s really not. They won’t change the result now anyway, but this needs to be investigated further.

      5. They’ll leave it until the very last minute before either appealing or not – why give your opponents information early? That’s only a disadvantage.

  4. This is really not a good look for Mercedes…

    As an impartial McLaren fan it’s been great to watch the Merc/Red Bull battle this year, but Red Bull have really doubled down on the conspiracy theories, they’re all out to get me, we’re treated differently to everyone else mentality. They’ve been vocal about it in a very disrespectful manner both to other teams, drivers and officials as every opportunity either directly, or through Christian Horner snide comments to the media..and most disappointingly of all, that attitude seems to have rubbed off on Max over the last few races.

    By contrast Mercedes seem to have carried themselves much better, complaining about the implementation of the rules in places and the lack of consistent, but don’t seem to have had the personal edge. They seem to be trying to clarify the implementation of the rules to better understand them for the future.

    This is what I assume they’re trying to do with their appeal. They must know that no long term good will come to themselves of F1 if they actually succeed in overturning the result of the GP last week, no matter how strange Michael Massi’s decision was (I can see why he made it, but I still think it was wrong).

    All that being said, refusing to turn up to a photoshoot for the thing that you actually did win comes across as petulant and childish and frankly beneath them. There surely can be no impact on the appeal in the drivers championship made by turning up to a constructors championship photoshoot? Is there any scenarios where the constructors championship would have been awarded differently on Sunday??

    1. For me, this speaks more of a broken relation between Mercedes and FIA than Mercedes being petulant and childish. Perhaps they see their participation in these PR events as legitimising the results of a championship that they still plan to dispute.

    2. Douglas Chigudu
      15th December 2021, 10:45

      Maybe they are considering leaving the sport altogether if its going to be so incompetently run…. their presence wuld validate wat has essentially become something of a sham

      1. There’s very little incompetence in F1. Their TV production, F1 TV app, technical operations, logistics and commercialisation of F1 is sport-industry leading (in almost every way).

        The decisions of the stewards/director has been inconsistent, but one could argue that it is due to the requirement that they make immediate decisions, without being afforded time to meet and discuss the correct way forward (because a race is live).

        1. Broadsword to Danny Boy
          15th December 2021, 13:03

          The incompetence is in the FIA, not F1; those are two different entities.

          One might speculate that F1 might have put pressure on FIA reps (i.e. Masi) through the season to keep it as exciting a spectacle as possible, or not cost them money (Spa pretendyrace) and he tried to do that in Abu Dhabi, or that it was a case of Horner’s incessant exaggerated victim act and “working the ref” paying off big time (I.e. if you call bias enough, eventually the ref will cut you slack so not to appear biased).

    3. You are joking right? Mercedes cried about anything and everything all season. Even though they bend the rules harder than any other team…
      https://www.google.nl/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/sport/2021/may/20/mercedes-toto-wolff-f1-warns-wings-row-could-end-up-in-court?espv=1

      1. How surprising it’s .nl

    4. Even at the start of the season they were already crying out that things were unfair…
      https://racer.com/2021/03/26/mercedes-hit-harder-by-2021-rule-changes-than-red-bull-wolff/

    5. I believe this is just making a point.
      ‘We do not believe the championship standings to be final.’

      And yes, I know it is the constructors – where the winner won’t change, but the points would if the result is changed… Which, we all know is unlikely.

      But, a public point is being made here.

      1. Bruce Charliston
        15th December 2021, 11:48

        I think it is likely based on the growing amount of lawyers opinions out there… lets hope.

        1. A number of lawyers unfamiliar with the Sporting Code from what I can see.

    6. They even complained that their cars were damaged by kerbs that had been there in 2019. So Masi replied it was the Mercedes drivers that went there where they shouldn’t be driving…
      https://www.news.com.au/sport/motorsport/formula-one/mercedes-complains-that-french-grand-prix-circuit-rooted-its-car/news-story/5d6ee0f6732afb886c9b3af719f3aad4

      1. Red Bull and Max complain when the rules were followed. :)

    7. They want to make a point about FIA. It also bothers me the silence of other teams, even if they think what happened was good, they should’ve said something by now, either officially of through news meadia.

    8. They were also crying that RBR were loudly crying about them (Mercedes) crying about Honda unlocking more performance the reliability fixes.
      https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/wolff-surprised-red-bull-protesting-loudly-power-unit-questions/6611915/

      1. It was a season toto found a new low with his ultimate moment when he completely lost it in the world feed communication with the race director.
        I suspect this wad the last time toto will get a podium dragging Mercedes down with him.

    9. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      15th December 2021, 11:56

      @jodrell

      By contrast Mercedes seem to have carried themselves much better, complaining about the implementation of the rules in places and the lack of consistent

      I agree with this. The communication between the race director and both teams has been markedly different: Mercedes complaint is always ‘the rules must be followed’; while Red Bull often resort to ‘it’s not fair, you’ve got to make it fair’ without regard for the rules. Sadly (for most F1 fans), Masi seems to find the second argument much more persuasive. Following the rules consistently is always the fairest outcome, but Masi has a different approach to sport. It’s this clash of philosophies which will provide the strongest motivation for Mercedes leaving F1.

      1. Following the rules consistently is always the fairest outcome

        Exactly. Following the rules is fair. They apply to everyone. Changing the rules on a whim to “make it fair” does the exact opposite.

        If you don’t like a rule, lobby to get it changed for next season, or even for this season in exceptional circumstances. But the rule needs to be applied equally to all, not changes whenever they feel like it.

    10. You basically contradict yourself on Mercedes. The first paragraph describes exactly everything I have seen Mercedes do this year. They threw everything at it but the kitchen sink. Personal attacks on Max, the lot. And whats worse, I think it was strategically and intentionally, whereas RedBull are just bad tempered, in the moment emotional clowns.

    11. @jodrell I don’t think the issue is complicated to understand. You can’t invest millions in a sport if you think the sport’s arbitration (beginning with the race director) is compromised, meaning the chance of obtaining a fair contest are approaching zero.

      Mercedes had to put up with their car being pulled back multiple times (DAS, fuel modes, the new regulations that had a comparatively huge negative effect on low rake cars this year). So when Brazil happened – a 19 place grid penalty for a 0.2mm technical infringement with zero effect on the car’s performance, followed by the way Max was allowed to block Hamilton driving completely and wilfully off track) the team clearly started thinking enough is enough. Red Bull had been given every chance to catch up and compete, finally, with Mercedes, backed by Honda’s improvements. Yet that had still to be a fair contest on track. So the Abu Dhabi finale really must have been breaking point for their confidence in how Formula 1 will proceed from here.

      Do I trust Masi and FIA hereafter? Not in the least. They seem happy to manufacture whatever regulations they seem fit in the last minutes of a year-long championship. My preference at this point is for Mercedes to take them to court, have the race annulled, financial compensation for Mercedes, and declare Max the winner (still) based on the results at Saudi Arabia. At least that has some chance of maintaining the integrity of Formula 1 while not penalizing Max for decisions that had nothing to do with him.

      And no more direct communications between teams and the race director during races.

      1. I’ve been saying the same comments as you here about financial compensation to both Mercedes and Hamilton, but additionally an explanation from the FiA as to what was done and how it was against the ethos of the sport, and issue a public apology to both Hamilton and the fans.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          16th December 2021, 0:32

          What financial benefit can they award that makes up for a 8th WDC for Lewis? There’s no guarantee he’ll win again. It’s never been done before.

          A 10-15% stake in F1? Would they do that?

      2. @david-br

        Have the race annulled? That’s tough to do, I did not focus on anything else during the race, but was there anything detrimental in this race? I think Mclaren and Ferrari had already their positions in the championship. What about other teams and drivers? Alpha Tauri and Alpine I think were still fighting for constructors. Constructors championship has prize money, so we can’t just cancel this race if something important happened to the other teams.

        1. @krichelle I just think annulling the race is the only action strong enough, symbolically, to act as punishment of FIA for this debacle. Focusing on Masi, using him as a scapegoat, feels wrong, even if I do hold him largely culpable. Anything less than striking the race from the record books and I think FIA will be all too pleased with themselves for the publicity and polemic generated. It needs to be a deterrent and a prompt for effective changes to be made.

        2. “Have the race annulled?” why not? just annul the last lap… ham champ

          in spa, they didnt race a single lap, a few laps under sc and race completed and awarded points… do the same, here consider race finished under sc, full/half points doesnt matter, ham champ still…

          they cant annul the full race as it was run 99%, but they can cancel the last lap due to mistake they have done…race was supposed to finish under sc/yellow conditions! ham champ…

          with 5 cars between him and ham, it was not hard to think it was impossible for him to race ham (hence the decision to ease it) he started alongside ham and he barely made the move stick, with 5 cars behind, even with a rocket ship, he would not be able to finish ahead!

          everyone including blind people could see ham walked to wdc until masi with advice from horner, stole it.

          1. +1 IMO awarding the win and points for the Spa non-race was just as bad as the “manipulated” ending of the final event. I can’t really call it a race either since the result was artificially created.

    12. Since FIA rules on FIA the only leverage Mercedes has is withdrawal influence on Liberty Media and downward pressure on FIA that way

  5. Sure it’s unfair and there’s a lot of debating going on (just look at the comment section under every article about the matter on this site alone), but I’m sure there must be a better way (for a big brand with 8 constructors championships to their name in the last 8 years) to handle this PR-wise..?

    1. I don’t think anybody in the world cares about the FIA getting photos of their category champions other than the FIA, hardly a PR issue.

      1. That might be true, until articles like these are written about it and people start seeing this as a statement from the team by lack of any other form of communication.

      2. Indeed, and the gala itself only made news when Kimi was being Kimi (ie. drunk) @alec-glen, didn’t it.

        1. @bosyber I think Rosberg making his retirement announcement was a slightly bigger news is FIA Gala history.

          1. @hunocsi ah yes, that was why I recalled something w. Rosberg ;) But it only makes my point stronger as Rosberg was the news, the gala was just the location and hardly mentioned.

            @alec-glen, yeah, no argument there really, though I also don’t really know where lse to do it (esp. with the potential for post race penalties, technical DSQ and, eh, post race appeals ;)

        2. @bosyber They need to get rid of the gala, decades ago. I can’t think of another sport that crowns it’s champion behind closed doors at a private event. I get that F1 lives off exclusivity and status but it’s a joke gone too far when dedicated fans have no idea what the trophy actually looks like.

    2. The problem is that the FIA have, basically, rubber stamped their own ability to change anything they want, whenever they want, on a moments notice and no matter what effect that has on race results or championships. That’s about as illegitimate as you can get in a sporting contest. If they truly believe that, then only immense pressure is going to have any chance to force a change.

      1. I agree with the pressure needed for clarification and/or change, but I’m sure it would look better for Mercedes as a brand (without releasing any of the pressure on the case) if they sent out a statement “Until further notice we won’t comment or participate in any FIA-related events”, rather than leave the world to second-guess their moves?

        1. But when there’s a legal case brewing or ongoing, the only thing a lawyer will ever suggest you say is ‘no comment’…

          You can likely argue in court that if Mercedes participated, it would solidify their acceptance of the race result and nullify any case they intend to pursue.

          1. +1 Good advice – we should only have to wait until tomorrow to see where the appeals process leads

  6. Merc only own one 3rd of the team so pulling of F1 would not be so difficult if they can find a buyer. But they have made it very clear they will not become an engine supplier. Could be an opening for Renault or Renault Honda.

    1. If Merc refused to supply engines then McLaren, Aston Martin, and Williams are hit as well

  7. Yes Mercedes. I support your decision. Complete media blackout.
    During this dispute : can skip Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony.
    Proceed with appeal to FIA Court.
    Mercedes has very strong legal case in court.

    1. Merc doesn’t have a strong legal case in the sense the result of the championship cant be changed.

      1. It can, the champion has not been crowned and the result of the race is still provisional until the protest process is complete.

        1. There’s no mechanism to be able to change the result and award points to Hamilton that’d allow him to be crowned champion.

          5.6 allocated points for a race event. A race event is defined in 5.4 which is 305km. You can award points for shortened races but they either need to be suspended (6.5) or have an early chequered (52.2).

          So you delete lap 58 and you get a race that isn’t compliant with the sport regs and thus, no points awarded, thus Max still champion.

          The ICA could change the order of lap 58, but that would be an abuse of power akin to giving a team a goal retrospectively. The lap was green. You can’t change the order as recorded, it’d be obscene if it was even considered. So that wont happen.

          People want the sporting regs followed NEED to understand that you can’t just ‘change the result’ because something happened that was unfair.

          1. The result is still provisional, and absolutely can be changed until this protest and its appeal, if any, is complete.
            If the FIA is found to have ended the safety car 1 lap early, for example – which is exactly what they did.

          2. Alan Dove: You’ve been spamming this same thing to comment sections for a while now. I’m not sure if your analysis is correct (it might be), but I have a question for you: If it is so obvious that Mercedes has no legal case, then why are you so irritated about their potential appeal?

            Results have been appealed before (even the results that decided the championship). I think some people are so afraid of Mercedes appealing, because the court would probably state that the rules weren’t followed and Hamilton should’ve won the race, even if the court couldn’t change the result.

          3. @hotbottoms. I am trying to find someone to counter my argument, that’s why. As of yet no one has. It just goes to “but FIA change result if want” which isn’t an argument.

            No one, especially the media, seem to be addressing the mechanism of ‘result’ change instead of actually doing the graft of reading the actual sporting regs. I am trying to ignite some debate around this issue. I don’t mind being wrong.

            I suspect as there’s has been no counter that falls in line with the sport code, I have to assume I must be pretty close to being right.

          4. Maybe they’re considering an appeal to get the race annulled then? Wouldn’t change the championship outcome but would make a pretty big statement.

          5. Here is my proposal. Points for 1st and 2nd are shared equally between Max and Lewis. Max won more race, he is declared champion and we all get on with looking forward to the 2022 cars.

          6. Alan Dove: Fair enough. However, I think a court’s decision stating that Mercedes were right and Hamilton should’ve won the race would be a victory for a Mercedes even if Verstappen kept his championship. In fact, that might even be the best outcome for them, since Hamilton’s championship by the court would be seen as tarnished by many.

            I’m also certain that FIA wants to avoid a court fight around their complete failure. Therefore I think that some sort of settlement and public apology from FIA is the most likely outcome from all this.

          7. (@hotbottoms)
            Interesting reaction.
            All topics are spammed with the most ludicrous accusations and I never ever saw a reaction by you.
            The Alan Dove statements seem weel thought and as he so rightly states never fought with arguments.
            Still waiting for a serious reply.

            Of course Mercedes is frustrated as would every other team be after such a strange event. But their case is dismissed with goog reasons and if they really wanted a ICA case they already should have started it. Now they’re just silent and making more bad pr for the team. M

          8. Alan Dove that is deliberately being misleading because the rules are written in good faith and don’t take into account FIA officials and race control breaking the rules themselves , that is why the appeal processes is in place for unique situations like this.. what would happen is that the race would be classified as finishing under yellow condition so the win will be handed to Lewis.

            Its clear that race control screwed up the restart trying to force a supermax drive to survive worthy last green lap at all cost at the expense of following strict FIA guidelines that govern race restarts.

            Where Mercedes has got a super strong case is that race control artificially meddled in the race in order to a; have one last green lap at all cost and b: artificially give max the best opportunity to overtake lewis by ONLY moving lapped cars out of max’s way as they act as a natural buffer between lewis and him and slow max down during the restart allowing Lewis to drive away to win.
            The most damning evidence is going from broadcasting that the last green lap will be run with lapped cars in position to deliberately at last second change this suddenly deciding to ONLY cars ‘in max’s way’ can unlap .
            Race control cannot meddle in the race order to ‘help’ a driver like this.

            This is not a biased fanboy argument but the cold hard facts, the race stewards do not have the authority to break FIA protocol and on the fly invent new ones.

            The only fair result is for the result to be overturned with the race classified as finishing under yellows giving Lewis the WDC.

          9. Bruce Charliston
            15th December 2021, 11:53

            And by unfair, you mean rules that were not followed, constituting a false result?

            It was not a result as the rules were breached. This will be proven, and it looks likely the winner will be declared Hamilton, its almost sewed on.

            It’s too big a race to leave it like it is. Trust will completely erode if this isnt changed, and people will walk away from the sport, maybe even constructors.

            If it’s changed, the FIA will take a reputational beating for a while, but after some time, it will be commended for doing the right thing, eventually.

          10. ‘Now they’re just silent’

            Everyone knows that when preparing for a Court case that will be in the media spotlight you keep your head down, mouth shut and let the Lawyers do the talking.

          11. Alan Dove: You may be right in your analysis of the rules. I don’t see any way to do it within the rules myself, but then I am not a lawyer and have only skimmed the rules at best.

            That doesn’t mean the case is invalid. The FIA cannot be allowed to get away with making up and changing the rules on a whim mid-race. Even a nullification of the race result, which we know wouldn’t change the championship standings of the top 2, would be incredibly embarrassing for the FIA and would be a catalyst for change. That would be worth it on its own.

            In fact, even just a finding that the race director breached the sporting regulations without any change to the result, or an admission of wrongdoing and a commitment to improve things, would be a massive win for Mercedes.

          12. But just saying they can’t isn’t an argument either. If the case goes to CAS then they absolutely can change results. Pretty much the only thing CAS can’t do is order a re-run.

          13. Section 10.10.2 of the FIA’s International Court of Appeal’s Judicial and Disciplinary Rules say th CoA may amend or annul any results, but cannot require the race to be re-run

          14. @fluxsource – I’ve been looking through CAS’s judgements trying to find an example where they have changed a result and haven’t had much luck. I can see where results have changed because they have either disqualified someone or have had a disqualification cancelled for example but I can’t see where they have said “the referee made a mistake so we are changing the result and Team A wins now instead of Team B.”

            If Mercedes were disqualified after the race, CAS could cancel the disqualification and they would be re-inserted into the standings. If Mercedes were black flagged and pulled out of the race with 10 laps remaining, CAS couldn’t cancel the disqualification and say “they were leading when they were black flagged so we’re giving them the win.”

            I don’t think the argument that “had the lapped cars been left in place, Lewis would have probably won” is enough for a court to say that is what would have happened and award Lewis the title. Similarly, saying the race should be called a lap early doesn’t hold any legal weight – it’s saying “the rules were broken and the result was unfair so we want to break more rules to make the result fair again.”

          15. You said you were looking for someone to counter your argument – well good news, you’ve found someone! I’ve trawled through the Sporting Regs, the International Sporting Code and the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules to find the following:

            F1 Sporting Regs 55.3: The official classification will be published after the race. It will be the only valid result subject to any amendments which may be made under the Code and these Sporting Regulations.

            I think we know the classification can be protested to the stewards as that’s what happened so I needn’t quote those rules here. So what powers do the stewards have?

            International Sporting Code 11.9 Authority of the Stewards – 11.9.3: Within the framework of their duties, they notably: (11.9.3.h) may amend the classifications

            Similarly, we know stewards’ decisions can be appealed. ISC 15.1.5 and 15.2 state that appeals for FIA Championships go to the International Court of Appeal and the procedure is outlined in the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules (to find these, click on ‘International Court of Appeal’ under the FIA drop-down menu on their website. Not sure if I can post links here).

            J&D Rules 10.10.1: The ICA has all the decision-making powers of the authority that took the contested decision.
            J&D Rules 10.10.2: It [the ICA] may annul or amend the results of a competition, but it is not empowered to order any competition to be re-run.

            Thus the ICA has the power to amend the classification.

            Now, I cannot find it explicitly stated that the stewards/ICA can decide to amend the classification in the particular way Mercedes have asked – declaring the result based on positions at the end of lap 57. However neither is it explicitly stated that they can’t. Furthermore, the stewards’ decision states:

            “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.”

            And I believe that if it were impossible for them to amend the classification in that manner, they would have said so in their decision. Instead the way it’s been phrased implies that they do have that power, but have decided not to use it.

            It’s also worth pointing out that ISC 11.9.3.h does not place any restrictions on the stewards’ power to amend the classification. So it seems a reasonable interpretation that the stewards (and therefore the ICA) have the power to amend the classification in the manner Mercedes have requested.

            Whether or not they will is another question of course! But in my opinion they could justify doing so, by pointing out that due to the race director not correctly following the sporting regulations, the final lap took place under green-flag conditions instead of behind the safety car. And as overtaking behind the safety car is forbidden, if the sporting regulations had been followed then the order at the end of lap 58 would have been the same as the order at the end of lap 57.

            Or of course they may agree with the stewards’ view that the race director has ultimate authority and can overrule the sporting regulations if he so wishes. In my opinion that’s a worrying precedent to set.

            Anyway, that’s my interpretation of the rulebook. But I’m not a lawyer and I may be wrong!

          16. “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.”

            And I believe that if it were impossible for them to amend the classification in that manner, they would have said so in their decision. Instead the way it’s been phrased implies that they do have that power, but have decided not to use it.

            This is true. Surely, the justification would state that it is not an option within the rules. Sayin it’s “not appropriate” is strongly suggestive that it is possible

          17. Many commenters here seem to be under the impression that the role of a court is to ensure a fair and just outcome. It’s not. Its role is to interpret and apply the rules. So it might very well find that the FIA violated its own rules, but since there aren’t any rules that govern what happens in this case, there is not much the court could do that would alter the result of the championship.

          18. Alan Dove

            you cant be any more wrong than you are already.

            Canada 2018 if i m not mistaken. So many big mistakes made! fast lap deleted for ric, given to max, results taken from lap 68, despite 70 lap race?

            The situation was treated in the same way as a red flag, and after initially being listed at lap 69 the final result subsequently went back to lap 68. There were no place changes in the top 10, although Daniel Ricciardo lost his fastest lap to Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

            “The chequered flag was shown a lap early because of a miscommunication with the guy that they call the starter here, who starts and finishes the races,” said Whiting.

            “He thought it was the last lap, he asked race control to confirm it, they confirmed it, but they thought he was making a statement when he was asking a question.

            “He just showed it a lap early, or he told the flag waver to show it a lap early, so it wasn’t anything to do with the fact that it was a celebrity flag waver.”

            Whiting believes that the starter was misled by the TV graphic that notes the lap that the leader is on, rather than laps completed – which is what happened in a similar situation in China in 2014.

          19. They can treat the last lap as red flag or consider never happened (as it should not happen the way it did) take the result from a lap early, bang problem solved!

            Admiting mistake takes a lot balls though, coming from FIA, unlikely, so it needs to go to court, unless FIA mans up, and admits their mistake, apologize to lewis and mercedes, and amend the changes correctly

          20. @mysticus your example proves the opposite point. In that case, too, race control made a mistake (allowing the checkered flag to be waved on lap 68) and then doubled down on it (reclassifying the race as having ended on lap 68).

          21. @aesto
            enlighten me?

            race was supposed to be 70 laps, flag waved incorrectly, the canceled that lap and considered the race finished on lap 68. fast lap was taken away and given to max (if this was flap point and imagine a wdc going to wire by 1 point? it certainly did with lewis in 2007!)

            so if they wanted to change results, they can and they did! when in fact not much seemed to effect the final result but they did change the results nonetheless!

            so your point being?
            alan dove is saying they cant or wont change the results, if found wrong decision made, they can and will have to change the result!

          22. interesting stuff there, Imhotep !

            I’m no lawyer, but I would have thought the first question for the Court of Appeal would be whether the safety car was brought in prematurely.

            If the court finds that the safety car should have been left out for the final lap, then it also can have confidence in amending the finishing order, because the same safety car regulations require that there is no passing under safety car conditions. The amended finishing order would be an outworking of deciding the conditions of the final lap.

            It think the notion that Mercedes put to the stewards on race day, ie that the race be shortened, was an error. They should have requested that the last lap was run under safety car conditions.

      2. My friend, Merc, needs to take it to court otherwise it will happen again next year.
        That is why it needs to be clear, if it’s not challenged it will become normal and will kill the sport. Christian Horner, asked to remove the 5 car between Hamilton, and Max.
        Hi should allowed all cars, no just what Horner asked.

        1. +1, if nothing is done now then what stops it from continuing. next year could be another team and then what, Do we really want a merry go round circus every year.

      3. they do, no matter how often you state the opposite. luckily its courts to decide…

  8. FIA deserve nothing from Mercedes. Pull the engines too, leave this farce of a sport in the mud where it belongs now.

    1. If I’d invested millions (billions?) Into a sport to be treated the way they were on Sunday…

      I wouldn’t be there next year.

      And that’s ignoring the aerodynamic changes and engine rule changes in recent seasons that were blatantly designed to hold them back and level the field for the competitors who couldn’t keep up.

      It’s easy to see why they’re annoyed.

      But that’s me, and Mercedes may decide they have more to gain by proving a point next season. I dunno, I won’t be watching unless things change dramatically in the sport, but will still follow results.

      1. “If I’d invested millions (billions?) Into a sport to be treated the way they were on Sunday…

        I wouldn’t be there next year.”

        So you invest billions and walk away losing billons?

        Merc will not walk away. It’ll get sorted behind closed doors like it always does.

        1. They have all the payback they need from their investment and the team is worth a metric shedload.
          In their situation, yes – I’d walk.

          But I doubt they will.

          1. No you wouldn’t because if you’re the sort of person to walk, you’d not have been there in the first place.

            These people aren’t that emotional, they don’t really care all that much.

          2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            15th December 2021, 12:01

            Alan Dove, what a ridiculous statement, you’ve no insight into Mercedes’ thinking on this matter, you’re just projecting. @sham is explaining what they’d do in that situation, I think you should allow them an opinion.

      2. That’s also ignoring that you’d be putting hundreds of team members out of work and effectively nullifying all the effort they put in on the new reg changes (not to mention putting Russell out of a seat). That would be a horribly bad look.

        1. I’m sure they can find another sport or two to compete in, retaining every employee if they want, and which series wouldn’t want to pit their best against the best of the best? It would be a pr gift from heaven for them!

      3. Mercedes has until March 31st to make that decision. They will have completed 2 GPs and have a good idea where they are. If it turns out their 2022 car just happens to be another 2020 masterpiece I would expect them to clean up but maybe quit at the end of the season as double champions.

        To quit now without even taking a look at the competition will give so much ammunition to everyone else to call them petulant.

        1. I respectfully disagree, quitting because the rules of the sport are bent on the whims of the race director isn’t being petulant rather it is a principled stand.

  9. Petty.

    That is all.

    1. Disagree. It’s basic legal advice to keep off social media. Its actually one of the first things a solicitor will advise their clients these days.

      As for not attending a photoshoot I don’t blame them. Looking like they are celebrating the win could be twisted and used against them to show they accept the result.

      1. I don’t care about the social media stuff. Post. Don’t post. Couldn’t care less.

        Not bringing your car to the photo-op for the World Constructors’ Champion is just adding to a list of decisions that will not look particularly mature or graceful looking back.

        1. Or, looking from the other side, it will be embarrassing to the FIA that the WCC from their top series is in such conflict with them that they have withdrawn from any combined PR events. That will put pressure on the FIA to do something about this farce.

    2. its not petty, if the rules were followed and they still lost then you could argue its petty but as it stands the rules weren’t applied

  10. Jacqueline Versteegh
    15th December 2021, 10:52

    Good! No need to go along in normalizing what happened. The soul of the sport is on the line.

  11. I wonder if Masi will show up at Windsor, grab the sword of the Queen then high tail to the Netherlands to knight Max.

    1. I think he won´t…

    2. Bruce Charliston
      15th December 2021, 11:55

      Haha! I laughed reading that. Amazing.

  12. Take that FIA! That’ll show ’em. /s

    1. Is this F1 or Kindergarten ?
      Madaaaaaam !! He took my marbles !!
      *pouts*

      1. You call your kindergarten teachers madam??

  13. I don’t want the result changed but fed up with shrugging of shoulders saying don’t rock the boat.
    Do Mercedes want to be associated with a series in which established rules are altered just fir the show.?

    1. They won 8 titles partly because they wrote the rules for the new engine formula. They used systems that pushed the legality discussion wider regularly. They ran into competitors on many occasion and reaped the benefits. They got the rules enforced but escaped having any rules enforced against them.. (flex front wing, flex rear wing, dubious cooling of the intake, DAS, lowering rear suspension..

      1. They won the last championship after the FIA changed the rules to purposely hamper low rake cars.

        You mention pushing the limits on legality, yet ignore the fact it was Ferrari who were found to be twisting the rules.

        Everything else you mention was legal and genuinely genius engineering. Also a number of teams have everything you list (excluding DAS) but you only have an issue when Mercedes do it, right?

      2. because they wrote the rules for the new engine formula.

        All teams took part in this

        1. Yep. In fact, it would have been a 1.6l inline-4 had Ferrari not stamped their feet over it, that’s what all the other teams wanted.

          You’re being purposely selective in your choice of “facts”, @w0o0dy. It’s unworthy of you.

    2. They were perfectly happy to be in F1 when “the show” saved them from being disqualified for the entrity of 2007 and 2008 thanks to their partner Mclaren’s cheating shenanigans. Only because Ecclestone persuaded the WMSC did they, at the last moment, decide against that double year ban. Mosley and Ecclestone have both talked about that at length.

      F1 is a sport for the people involved, a marketing exercise for the people funding it, and entertainment to everyone else. Mercedes knows this perfectly well.

  14. I suggest FIS won’t invite them for any media outings.. that will go down well with the senior management at Mercedes-benz HQ hahaha Toto and his tossers better watch out or they might be the ones getting tossed out.

    1. I doubt anyone from Mercedes would want to attend anything with the FIA that wasn’t there to handle this farce.

    2. @w0o0dy
      I think FIA and Formula One need Mercedes more than Mercedes needs them. Besides, I’m sure FIA knows they screwed up in Abu Dhabi. There is no way FIA is going to do anything that would escalate this row.

      1. Mercedes supply engines to 40% of the grid, at present there is not enough capacity at Red Bull, Ferrari and Renault to take up that supply at short notice. Where does that leave F1 if another engine supplier leaves. It will become a spec engine series as nobody else will come in to supply engines. Red Bull do not want to make engines they have been forced into it because nobody else will supply them. That leaves Renault who have been close to quitting on a number of occasions. It then just leaves Ferrari who have always been in F1 to develop a spec engine.

        1. I doubt Mercedes can pull out as engine manufacturer – fairly sure they need to honor their contracts with Williams, Aston Martin and Mclaren.

          Mercedes themselves as a team can leave, I believe they have that option so let them. I will not miss the Mercedes team and certainly not Toto Wolff. It would be a real shame for Russell though suddenly being without a seat in 2022.

          I can only imagine the backlash Daimler as a car company will get – can’t see how Toto will not be overruled by his bosses. His behavior during last season and certainly the last race would be more than enough reason for most CEO’s to fire such a person.

          1. Bruce Charliston
            15th December 2021, 11:58

            And what was wrong with his behaviour in the last race? He did and said what any boss would in that position, in fact, he probably didn’t go far enough… which is what got Horner heard more and convinced Masi to alter his decision on the safety cars unlapping.

            He only strived to make it a fair race, how is that bad behaviour?

        2. It then just leaves Ferrari who have always been in F1 to develop a spec engine

          I think you’re wrong there. Ferarri have historically wanted F1 to be about engines rather than aero. They want their engine to be the differentiator, not something everyone gets by default.

          Granted, they have been concentrating on aero for the past few years because they were following Enzo’s words, but I highly doubt they want to supply a spec engine to the whole grid.

          1. I agree with you drmouse, I’m just stating the various engines possibilities and issues, not what I think will happen. Just the power Mercedes has due to suppling engines to 40% of the grid and the possible issues if they withdraw.
            Although it could be a great marketing, F1 completely powered by Ferrari engines.
            I do remember, for Enzo it was always about the engine.
            Nobody wants a F1 to become a spec engine series.
            The cost to design, built and develop these engines appear to be over $1 billion per engine supplier.
            There are very few companies in the world that can do that and one of them, Honda is pulling out.
            How much is it going to cost in 2025 for a new engine design and you will not be able to use that technology in your road cars as they all go electric.

      2. The main issue is F1’s dependence on a small number of engine manufacturers. The team itself is not a big deal. Even in 2015 after half a decade in the sport with names like Hamilton and Schumacher, the big global survey of F1 fans ranked them way down as the 5th most popular team. There isn’t a deeply rooted tradition like with Ferrari, Mclaren or Williams; racing teams with decades of compelling history.

    3. @keithcollatine. I had one post not approved because I said the FIA could not organise a pizz up in a brewery, using stars to not swear. Why is it ok to post the word tossers then?

  15. Not FIS but FIA obviously

  16. It will be interesting to see who they send to the prize giving to collect the WCC Trophy. Maybe give the cleaning staff a day out?

    1. I assume that they have someone to collect the dry cleaning, yes.
      Or maybe the guy/gal that drives the sandwich van around the industrial estate.

  17. good on merc, they have a strong case in appeal to get this farcical result overturned and crown Lewis champion.

    There is zero loss or face pr wise doing this because virtually everyone witnessed lewis get robbed on live tv by race control who conspired to deliberately break the rules in attempt to crown max champion.
    If anything It would be seen as a loss of face and they will look weak as a brand if Mercedes did not appeal.

    Lewis was was robbed of a win and WDC due to the race directors making up rules at the last second wanting an epic super max last lap. why was lapped cars left in place apart from the the ones in max’s way that got removed just for him? was this because race control wanted to meddle in the race to give Max the best chance of overtaking lewis so moved traffic out of his way? Did masi at the last moment realize that if the race restarted with ALL lapped cars in place lewis would win(max would get held up massively during the restart due to no overtaking until crossing the line) so he panicked and deliberately invented new rules on the fly in attempt to help max?
    why was max allowed to race lewis but carlos sainz in third was not allowed to race max? carlos was stuck behind lapped cars which also was at the benefit of max because he does not need to focus on defending going into T1. So only max can race and screw everyone else? All drivers should have an equal opportunity to race and race control cannot arbitrarily help one driver and hinder another because it might increase the hype and drama of the sport.
    What an embarrassing clownshow has F1 become post liberty media takeover..

    I hope Mercedes go all the way to overturn the results crowning lewis WDC because the very legitimacy of F1 is at stake here.

    1. Breaking the sporting code in how it defines a race result and points allocation to award Hamilton the race win would make F1 and the FIA even less legitimate than they already currently look.

      1. No one is asking it to break any rules – simply undo its own breaking of them.

        Which it can do, right up until the appeal is heard and then judgment is passed on it.

        The race results are provisional until scrutineering and any protests are finished. The protests are not finished until the appeal against the decision, if it happens, is heard. Until then, nothing is set in stone. Not one thing.

        Why can you not understand that?

        1. Oh, and if the FIA is found to have conspired with Red Bull, then Red Bull can be DSQ from the championship.

          I’m not saying they did, but it’s one of the theories being bandied about.

          1. If the FIA were planning to fix the race and give the championship to VER why didn’t they penalise HAM for the incident at turn 6 lap one?

            The FIA may have done a bad job of stewarding but all this talk of race fixing is just a bitter conspiracy.

        2. How, by annulling the Abu Dhabi GP? That still leaves Verstappen the champion, which is what this is really about of course.

          Maybe someone can point to the exact rules in the FIA Code or F1 regulations that support some of the theories being offered.

        3. Hi – this is in response to the comments by Sham 15 Dec @11:35hrs
          It appears that no-one has defined how the FIA [ The Clerk of the Course eg : MASI ] has broken its own rules, when the very section of the rule always noted, is followed by another rule that states that the Clerk of the Course can change the rule that is getting spoken about, at his discretion. [ this a summary not verbatum ]
          Therefore the FIA has not broken its own rules.
          Peolple may disagree with what occurred but it was Masi’s decision and that is it, plus he has the authority to do so.
          Also the repeated noting of Mercedes as the team challenging the decision is not accurate.
          Mercedes , the car manufacturer, is the engine supplier to the race team, Mercedes F1 Ltd which Mr Wolff heads.
          Maybe it is time for the rules to be re-written but this particular matter was dealt with, under the current rules, correctly.
          Mercedes F1 Ltd has acted very poorly apparently just to disrupt the celebrations of Max Verstappen, and to upset RBR whilst the appeal is decided to be carried forward or not. Mr Wolff has constantly throughout the season badgered and bullied Masi by his constant lobbying, which of course has triggered a reaction from RBR.
          Even Hamilton has asked Wolff to withdraw the appeal.
          This is not the way a team Principal should be acting, even calling Masi ” Mikey” when on the phone to him.
          Imagine the same happening in other sports such as football whereby the managers were allowed to run onto the pitch and argue with the referee. Totally out of order.

          1. I think there needs to be an explanation from the FIA why Masi overruled the written rules on this occasion while adhering to them previously. If they could attribute the discretion used to, for example, safety of the track, then it’s justified. If the discretion has been used for non-safety or non-sporting reasons then that’s where there’s an issue. A lot of people are going to argue that whipping up a TV worthy last lap shootout is nothing to do with ensuring safety and making sure the rules of the sport are applied to the teams

    2. I have posted this elsewhere, but it is relevant here.
      Something else that has crossed my mind. There are quite a number of people who are saying Mercedes should drop the appeal for the good of the sport and a deal will be done behind closed doors etc…The problem with this is the FIA and particular Mercedes have gone out of their way to promote the message of non-discrimination, equality and diversity. Mercedes have spent a fair amount of money, changed the livery of their cars helped create commissions with Lewis, promoted this extensively among other things and therefore their reputation is on the line over this. If they do not continue with an appeal what message does this send about them, their beliefs and the ethos and culture of their team and company.
      They would quite rightly be accused of just peddling the equality message as a PR stunt. When the going gets hard and an injustice occurs they are prepared to conduct grubby deals in back rooms. They are not prepared to fight for the principles of fairness and equality and the executive breaking their own laws and rules. The message that sends out would completely overwhelm any positivity from not dragging the sport of F1 into further reputational damage.
      I was not sure about putting this paragraph in, but decided that I should for completeness even though it looks bad. There is of course another metric which looks appalling for F1 as a “white mans” sport, this is that a black driver about to break the record for most championships from a white driver and sit alone on top of the tree, has had his attempt prevented by breaking of a rules to allow the new white hope to win. I do not believe this at all, but it certainly does not help with the former F1 ringmaster coming out and saying Lewis should retire so Michael’s record remains intact before the race.
      I am not trying to create or promote a racist agenda, all I am trying to portray is for some people in the world this is how it will look and unless it goes before an independent court there will always be this view that the race was fixed.
      Bluntly F1 has got itself in an appalling mess by not following its own rules to try and provide an artificial final lap duel between Max and Lewis.

      1. It al is for PR.
        That part is correct. And bad pr, they are now creating is something Mercedes does not like.
        Look at toto in his communication with the RD. Embarrassing to say the least.
        Yelling and shouting. Of course he will be emotional, but it shows he is not capable to run a team under all circumstances.
        They dearly miss Niki.

        1. I don’t think it’s as bad as you make out for Merc, but it’s really bad PR for the FIA. The entire validity of the sport is being called into question (as it should, given the circumstances). That bad PR is yet another thing to put pressure on the FIA to make changes to ensure this cannot happen again.

      2. It’s a good point regarding the the race question. Lewis is not a particularly popular driver, largely I assume due to his domination of the sport. But I get a strong feeling that there is a lot of dislike for him that goes beyond that, huge numbers of highly critical YouTube comments, people delighting in his misfortune etc. It has always rubbed me the wrong way.

        If Liberty Media are all about doing maximising the popularity of every single aspect, why would they not want a more popular driver to be champion? They could very much force Masi to make the racing as close as possible and try to get Max as close to Lewis as possible. For Liberty a close fight is essential, but a close fight with Max coming out on top is the best result.

    3. @ccpbioweapon If only Mercedes and Hamilton fans were as gracious in defeaut as Lewis and his father were last sunday.

      1. It’s still more gracious than Max on the Jeddah podium.

      2. As if they had any other option. Imagine them speaking-up about the wrong-doing, people would be playing angry-black-man card all day long. This is what most white folks don’t realize. And they really can’t so I don’t blame them.

        1. @deiwi +1 Yes, this meme proclaiming ‘isn’t Lewis so dignified in defeat’ leaves me deeply uncomfortable too.
          Notice what Wolff and Mercedes were saying in Brazil this year about ‘finally understanding as a team’ what Lewis had to put up with his whole career. I’m not expressing this as my own opinion per se, just trying to understand where they are coming from. It may well be that Mercedes’s view is that they are acting properly to defend Lewis in a situation where he himself cannot publicly (or legally).

  18. Okey Nwanekezie
    15th December 2021, 11:11

    Mercedes should lead the formation of another breakaway f1 championship series. The current one is a total farce, filled with pig headed leaders who will never change. I, like many others will watch Lewis Hamilton in any car he drives

    1. Ahh, the old breakaway series fantasy. We could get Bernie back and go old school. V10’s, no DRS, no Netflix, no ‘here’s what’s probably going to happen, for all the new/temporary viewers, powered by AWS’. Privately owned teams sporting drivers who are there on merit, not on their parents wallets. We can dream.

  19. Lewis stood on the podium and took the 2nd place trophy after congratulating Max on his Championship victory.

    That’s how you deal with these scenarios publicly.

    Whatever your thoughts on Sunday’s events, not showing up for the trophy you’ve 100% won is not a good optic.

    1. What are you talking about? Merc, daes not have to take part on FIA publicity,
      Because they don’t follow the rules.
      why Merc as to?
      It needs to go to court because FIA, choose the oficial.
      rules are rules.
      Police can not just kill and get away with it.
      Ho Merc, should just forget about it, because they have 8 tiple.
      Rubbish.

      1. That’s not what hat I said! Are you sure you’re not responding to a different post!?

        What I’m saying is, regardless of what Mercedes choose to do with regard to the Drivers Championship, they should still attend a photoshoot for the trophy they have won.

        Not doing so looks petulant.

  20. Good on Merc. To take part would be seen as legitimising Masi robbing Hamilton to gift Verstappen

  21. Wolff was looking very satisfied during Bottas farewell party, after all his team is still unbeatable for 8 years in a row.

    Mercedes as a team and manufacturer has really no reason to be upset. But Wolff has to deal with Lewis disappointment and everything that may come with it. Hamilton quitting the sport,
    on grounds of being robbed, is a very realistic possibility. Like Senna played in 1989. I guess that’s why he’s so quiet.

    I reminds me of when Rosberg won the title in 2016. Hamilton gave hints of being dissatisfied with the team. He had more failures according to his perception, maybe fearing for unequal treatment. It was going to be a nightmare for Wolff and Lauda in 2017. But the problem solved itself when Rosberg announced his retirement.

    Hamilton must stay, beat them all, get his 8th title and prove his point.

    But there isn’t only Verstappen in the way. There’s a ton of young guns on the highway side waiting for their chance to accelerate. There’s Sainz and Leclerc with that new Ferrari engine that was pulling away impressive in Abu Dhabi. There’s Norris, whose bad luck may end. And there’s Russell, ready to nail the coffin if given the chance.

    1. Lewis should switch to Ferrari. An 8th at your third would be epic.

  22. The longer this goes on the more convinced I am that the Mercedes team are the most petulant selfish and arrogantly team on the grid. For years we have put up with them dominating races, looking smug and sulking in defeat – it is eembarrassing to watch them behaving like toddlers.

    1. Red Bull spent a day or 2 creating a Silverstone re-creation video to get Hamilton penalized at the next race. Mercedes may be petulant, selfish, and arrogant but I think the top 5 teams are equal in that.

      1. but I think the top 5 teams are equal in that

        Yep. I also think any team would be doing exactly as Mercedes are in their position, RBR included, and I think those arguing against would realise this if they took the smallest step back.

  23. I think Mercs must show that FIA wont just get away with the shambles they made of rule governing this season. Redbulls and noone else was happy with the way this year went, rules wise. But is a delicate matter, cuz if they want to continue with their F1 adventure, they ought not to make everybody who runs this TV show an enemy.

  24. Good for them.

  25. @keepdiggingadeeperhole #prnightmare

    1. Yeah, thats what the FIA are doing by not acknowledging their absolute royal balls-up.

  26. Can I just start by saying I am a Williams fan….
    That last lap, as monumentally exciting as it was, it essentially null and void.
    The Race Director with his actions basically ended the race for cars 7th through to 11th sending them past the Safety Car to drive round 60 seconds behind the field. Cars 12th through to 14th had their races ended by virtue of the fact they were not allowed to un-lap themselves. The 3rd place car was denied a chance to challenge the cars in front. The 4th place car had a back marker in front of him which potentially resulted in him being passed by the 5th & 6th placed cars. How can you restart a race with 14 cars and basically show no regard for pretty much 10 / 12 of the cars. They wanted a show for the 1st place championship battle but effectively told everyone else that their races did not matter, maybe Michael Masi should have pulled everyone into the pits except for Max and Lewis because that is how much he seemingly considered everyone else.
    If this result is left to stand then the ‘sport’ is finished, if this result is changed then the ‘sport’ is finished, nobody wins here. Max and Lewis both would be worthy Champions and both Teams have suffered from massive inconsistencies this year. At the very least Masi must go for spoiling what should have been the epic coronation of a deserved 2021 champion, instead we are left with an asterixis next to the 2021 Driver’s title. If Max would have got away well and cruised to victory then nobody would say anything but he deserved it for a magnificent year. If Lewis saw it those final 4 laps then nobody would say anything but what a comeback and he deserves his 8th title. Instead we have this mess caused by Masi, FIA hang your heads in shame and the fact that Masi hasn’t already offered his resignation is insulting to the F1 fans like myself who have been watching for nearly 40 years.
    Part of my hopes Mercedes takes this to court because I do not want crazy decision making like this (that falls outside of all the rules and procedures) to become common place in every race just so the Netflix viewing figures are high. It’s a sport guys enough with the dramatized nonsense.
    FIA please take a long hard look at all this.
    Listen to your fans too.
    Sort it out before we all switch off!!!

    1. Exactly well said, and to make it even worse, for Masi to have the audacity to say ‘its called a motor race’ just makes my blood boil.

      1. That last lap was not a Motor Race, it was dramatized nonsense that belongs something like TOWIE not a sport that has been running for over 70 years. I cannot really move on, let alone if I was a Mercedes or Lewis fan so I feel for them. I even feel for the Max and Red Bull fans because I think Masi has tainted it for them a bit too.

      2. I’m finding it hard to move on.
        I’m angry for a driver and a team I don’t even support.

        1. Exactly the same for me! I’m a McLaren fan but my hatred of seeing such an injustice (even against someone I’m not that fond of) stops me letting it go

    2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      15th December 2021, 12:28

      Well said Scott. I think Masi could have green-flagged the race leaving the backmarkers in place and Verstappen might well have had enough time to win it. Bad luck Hamilton, but luck is part of sport. Well done Verstappen, a worthy winner. What we got instead was a travesty, the Race Director binning the rules for a bit of excitement: to see a car on fresh tyres breeze past one on old ones. Most if not all the pundits agreed, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

      Had the race resumed with the backmarkers in place, Verstappen might still have won. The spectacle would have been at least as exciting. And no-one would be quibbling about the legality.

      1. Your right Jay, Masi could have contacted Christian & Toto to say ‘I don’t have enough time to follow the procedures so the only way I can restart this is if we leave back markers where they are, if you don’t agree we have to end under safety car’. Simple then nobody could argue with that.

      2. I believe that HAM would have won, if the backmarkers were in between at the restart.

      3. @slightlycrusty “Had the race resumed with the backmarkers in place, Verstappen might still have won” – that’s untrue

        Had the race resumed with the backmarkers in place it was highly likely lewis would’ve won because under the restart when the sc comes in as lewis is the lead car he could back the pack up and sprint to the line and create a huge gap due to the natural accordion effect of the lapped cars behind him and the fact that max cannot overtake a single lapped car until he starts the last lap. This would cost max 4-6 seconds going into the first hairpin and Lewis would be out of reach, Lewis would’ve had a 95%+ chance winning under that scenario.

        This is the main reason in my opinion why race control made a last second decision and broke the rules to only ‘get rid’ of lapped cars infront of max so he had a clear traffic free run on lewis for the restart.

        I don’t know why people still don’t understand this.

        So max should not to keep the title because because he won by fraudulent means due to WWE race control deliberately meddling and inventing new rules on the fly to artificially help him win minutes before the end of the race.

        1. Not a Lewis fan by any means but ‘Here here’…What we witnessed was fraudulent.
          Take them to court Mercedes, you cannot create the rules then not follow them….isn’t that right Prime Minister.

        2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          15th December 2021, 14:00

          @romtrain @ccpbioweapon I’m not making any judgement on who would have won, I’m just saying that Verstappen still had a chance. That would have been far more exciting than what happened: the Sky (and BBC) pundits weren’t surprised that Verstappen overtook Hamilton, only in how quickly he did it, everyone knew that, short of a miracle, Hamilton had lost the race. Perhaps the race director could have green-flagged the race with two laps to go (I’ve not looked into it closely enough to verify), but that might have given Verstappen a better shot, while still leaving Hamilton the favourite.

          I’ve been strongly supporting Hamilton all year, but Verstappen was exemplary in AD, had he won the title fairly due to Latifi crashing, I’d not have complained, even though there was a huge slice of luck involved. Both drivers have had their share of good/bad luck all season. My complaint is that the race was decided by the race director breaking his own rules, that disgusts me.

    3. If the last lap is null then the race result becomes null and void, which means Verstappen is still champion. You can’t arbitrarilty null and void a result when it suits Hamilton i.e. at the penultimate lap. What’s stopping Red-Bull declaring everything after turn 6 lap 1 null and void as Hamilton got away with Masi not implementing the rules correctly in that scenario as well? Oh right I forgot rules should only be implemented if it favours “our Lewis”.

      1. Have you even read my comment.
        I’m not a Lewis fan and I’m not even talking about Lewis and Max.
        I’m talking about all the other drivers who effectively had their races ended by the Race Director.
        Close your mouth and open your ears.

      2. I think this would still be a win for Mercedes, and for the sport in general, because it would force the FIA to acknowledge they messed up and make changes.

    4. +1
      Well said. I’m a McLaren fan since early 90s but I like to see young drivers competing in this sport. The fact Sainz’ shot on P2 or even P1 was denied as well as Tsunoda’s shot on his first podium infuriates me beyond words. It’s not about the title contenders only.

  27. Many comments in this article and previous articles imply that Mercedes should just “let it go”. I don’t see how they could. Hamilton was robbed the championship and, at this moment of time, FIA hasn’t acknowledged that Masi did anything wrong. On the contrary, some officials of FIA have been celebrating a great conclusion to the championship.

    If FIA admits that they screwed up and will do everything to ensure it won’t happen again even though they can’t change the outcome of the championship, then I can understand the argument that Mercedes should let this one go and focus on next year.

    1. F1 is not a law of the universe, its a man made concept, they can change what they like if they really want. What should happen is that they find a way to make it a shared title. Verstappen doesn’t deserve to lose it in a court room, and Hamilton didn’t deserve to be scammed on Sunday, neither driver did anything wrong, the only sensible solution is that it becomes a tied championship, Verstappen gets his 1st, Hamilton gets his 8th, its a good spin on what has been an absolute sham, with both parties satisfied with the outcome.

      1. That’s quite a nice idea actually! It would defuse a lot of toxicity and certainly isn’t out of the realms of possibility. You can imagine hearing about that strange title race in 1978 when two drivers shared the title for example. Certainly it is the ‘gentlemanly’ thing to do.

    2. @hotbottoms Hamilton wasn’t robbed, Masi didn’t do anything wrong and we did get a great conclusion to the championship. Why should the FIA make an unjustified admission of wrongdoing just to bring Mercedes round from their public tantrum?

      It is deeply sad for the sport that we have all of this manufactured outrage over what was an unfortunate but perfectly legitimate set of circumstances for Hamilton and Mercedes. It’s already led to the likes of Masi and Latifi receiving abuse and threats. Mercedes should come in from the cold and denounce the hatred that is being spouted in their name. That’s the least they can do, even if they can’t yet bring themselves to publicly congratulate Verstappen.

      1. Hamilton wasn’t robbed

        Yes he was, because he would’ve won the race (and thus the championship), if Masi had followed the rules.

        Masi didn’t do anything wrong

        He obviously did, because he handled the SC situation against the rules and in a way that affected the outcome of the championship. Even if you argue that Masi had to do “anything he could” to get green flags before the end of the race, there are several ways he could’ve done it without breaking the rules.

        It’s already led to the likes of Masi and Latifi receiving abuse and threats.

        That is of course unacceptable. No one deserves threats or abuse and Latifi doesn’t deserve even criticism. But I don’t see how Mercedes can be blamed for this. Glock received abuse and threats in 2008 and I don’t think anyone blamed Massa for that.

        1. Also, Mercedes have barely said a word about the incident other than filing a protest. They haven’t stoked the fires like RBR did so often against Lewis, they’ve just stepped back and are letting their lawyers do the talking. That’s a much more professional attitude than we’ve seen from certain other people in the paddock.

          1. Naughty Neutral
            16th December 2021, 2:12

            Excuse me, but your objectivity just came under fire.

            Please check how many times different drivers accused other drivers of ‘dangerous driving’ and ‘lack of respect’ over the season. If anything I must compliment MB for finding the perfect tone, twisting the narration until it matched their point of view.

            If anything, they were the most vocal of the bunch. (I think all teams are just as bad, but then again, F1 isn’t a sport, it’s a show with sport elements. And it has always been, that’s including the years LH became WDC.)

      2. Masi didn’t do anything wrong

        Even though the stewards deemed a regulation had not been complied with. So who didn’t comply with the regulation if it wasn’t Masi?

      3. @red-andy You’re wrong. Verstappen enjoyed an unfair advantage in the last lap compared to other drivers that was bestowed upon him by race direction. Red Bull jumped at the change to take that offer when they should have declined it.

        As it stands, he was allowed to put in a lap where his car was given a special advantage over the other cars in a F1 race. Some have argued that it might not be illegal to have an unfair advantage to other drivers but I can’t see a court allowing that. In my opinion, Max will be disqualified from Abu Dhabi for illegal racing and the rest will be promoted.

        If it doesn’t happen that way, we have massive problems in the sport and I don’t think Mercedes can really move on as these things are really impossible to put behind in life (they take 5-10 years and you have to distance yourself from the source).

        If the court allows a car to accept an unfair advantage and win the race and championship with it, then there’s really not much to be done. It’s bad enough F1 hasn’t fixed this yet and at this point whoever’s responsible should have asked for a decent severance package, accepted responsibility, corrected the race results, and resigned. All these guys are old, even Domenicali can retire if he’s the one that did this. If they love motorsport that’s what you’d do. You don’t take the whole sport down with you, like the Titanic…

        1. I like how you mention the unfair advantage. You think that in the court, they will not forget to mention the unfair advantage given by the FIA to Mercedes to suspiciously refuse the unlapped cars to overtake, thus granting the win instantly to hamilton?

          1. I don’t think you understand the point – I’ve explained it in other posts related to the appeal.

            I’ll sum it up quickly. Decision by Red Bull to get new tires – fair advantage!

            Decision to only unlap cars between Lewis and Max – unfair advantage to Max with regard to Sainz and Lewis.

            No car should be allowed in F1 racing to enjoy an unfair advantage for 1 meter. Max enjoyed it for 1 lap and won a WDC and a race.

            Regardless of origin of unfair advantage, car 33 benefited and accepted an unfair advantage bestowed by race direction.

            Therefore, car 33 must (a) be disqualified from race or (b) allowed to race and win with an unfair advantage.

            which option (a or b) do you see as a logical option?

          2. The very large difference is that that’s an option available to the race director in the rules. He had 2 choices in the rules:
            1) Let all lapped runners through and then bring the SC in at the end of the following lap (which, in this case would have been the final lap). That’s the exact same procedure as has been used at every dry race this season, and Masi himself has been quoted as saying he has no choice but to follow it. That would have guaranteed Hamilton the win, barring a freak circumstance.
            2) He could have left lapped runners there, as he initially signalled he would. This would have given a green lap, Max would have been past them pretty quick and would have a chance to hunt down Hamilton. He wouldn’t be guaranteed a win, but would have had a good chance.

            Letting only a select few of the cars through, only the ones which would get in the way a single specific driver, and then immediately restarting, isn’t an option in the rules at all, it’s something Masi made up. Whether he is allowed to do so is debatable, but by making up something which is not in the rules, Masi decided the WDC. Hamilton had about as much chance to defend against Max there as there was of a freak occurrence stopping Hamilton from winning had it finished behind the safety car. Sure, there was a tiny chance of him holding Max off, taking the place back, or Max crashing before the line, but that’s about it.

            So that’s the difference. An advantage granted by the rules is very different to an advantage granted by the race director making something up. It is like the difference between the advantage gained from a free kick in football, and an advantage gained by a penalty illegally awarded after a foul in the opposite half of the field. The first is legitimate, the second is not in any sporting contest.

    3. Hamilton was never ever robbed the championship. Maybe a victory at its best. Just because its the final race it doesnt mean a whole season has preceded it. A season where FIA more often favored Mercedes than it did RedBull. This is getting ridiculous now and frankly also quite insulting for the fans. And it will rub off on the brand. The board of Daimler Benz will step in soon to stop this childish behavior which threw away all merits of 8 years. Toto is completely inadequate to manage this and is a danger to their brand.

      1. In your opinion!

      2. Please stop with your “oh woe is me, they are biased against Red Bull” narrative. Surely you can see it rings completely hollow when the race director invented a brand new rule which hand victory in the title-deciding last race to Verstappen.

        There was no bias. There were more mistakes and inconsistencies than normal, but they were roughly evenly handed out, even if the points weren’t.

        The final race was on a completely different level, though.

        1. I will not stop my ‘biased against RedBull narrative’, thank you. Just as much as Mercedes wouldn’t stop playing the underdog while in a regulatory era in which only they won the WCC. But most of all their ‘all is fair in love & war’ campaign against a 24 year old that just happened to outdrive his car (ref: Perez) while you specifically stated you would welcome some competition. Flexwings lobby, then getting caught yourself (strangely we never saw that speed anymore after Brasil.. reminded me of Ferrari that suddenly lost pace after a talk with FIA), Tyre changes, pitstop changes, perfectly timed red flags in Silverstone and Imola (maybe not so blatantly altering racing rules but the effect is the same). They practically were handed the trophy but made so many errors (drivers and team) that it almost didn’t go as Mercedes and FIA planned it. Luckily they managed to get Lewis equal on points but we all know by then the season should have been over already without all the Mercedes favors. I do not want to talk about the injustice of the final race anymore, simply because it was a disgrace there was something to fight for still. An utter shameful season. I hope the investigation will go deeper than just Race Control.

      3. He was effectively robbed the championship. To say, it was just the race, perfectly knowing the race would have decided the championship, is beyond my comprehension of logics.

        Its obviously ridiculous for one fan, named Mayrton. But also obviously many other fans see things differently.

        And if you are not within the inner circle of Mercedes management, then the rest of you comment is pure guessing of yours.

        1. Having something to fight for at the last race was an utter disgrace and staged. Lewis should have never been in that fight in the first place if the season went down fairly. Everybody agrees the final race was a joke and the win should have gone to Lewis. But bar some small group of Lewis fans these same people and the majority (if not all) drivers also said that while this race should have been Lewis’, the championship belongs at Max. You can twist all you want but a season consists of more than the one race you didnt get what you wanted.

  28. Mercedes has never won a race because wise strategy under a lucky safety car ?
    Come on, they’re not begginers.
    Toto Wold saying “please no safety car” to Mickael Masi shows they were well aware of their weakness.
    So, i don’t find them really honest.
    They made a strategic errors.
    They known they were under treat.
    But they bet it woudln’t happened.
    it did and they lost.
    It’s not a problem from FIA, but a problem of fail of a strategy bet.

    Damn, they won 8 WC, they’re not begginers, they know what they risk with old tyres !

    1. “Mercedes has never won a race because wise strategy under a lucky safety car ?”

      This has nothing to do with luck, this is everything to do with the application of the regulations and procedures from the Referee who was being lent on by one of the teams moments before he changed his mind.

      1. Yeah yeah yeah .
        Would you have said the same if Lewis was the one chasing and Max the one with the old tyres ?
        For most of poeple complaining, i’m not sure that what motive them about this point of rule is the rule itself.
        But the non acceptance that their own driver lost in the last lap.

        Weirdly, i don’t find a lot of people talking about Lewis gaining 1,5 seconds by cuting the Chicane at first Lap …
        Their’s could be using a unconfortable situation for gaining an advantage, right ?
        Because even before Max start to overtake Lewis, there were not 1,5s between them.

        So there is too a point here.
        Weirdly, Neither Toto Wolf said anything.
        They don’t have questionned rules here.
        You hadn’t either.

        So it is fairness of rules that is debatted ?
        Or who gains an advantage from them ?

        It’s not the same things.

        i’m really curious what would have been said too if Max were british and Lewis Dutch ….
        Would people complain as much as the “unfairness” of rules ?

        So, sorry to have some doubt about the motivation on rule itself, rather than “my supported driver lost, and i don’t accept how it has been done, i want something that may change the result to ease my anger.”

        1. A lot of fans like myself are more concerned about what the incident means for the sport as a whole. I think Hamilton should have won but he didn’t so that is a done deal, but the way he lost is not a done deal, it was at best clumsy at worst emphasised what we have seen during the season, poor stewarding and shambolic race direction. Rows about unfair treatment will only grow if this is not dealt with and those companies thinking of joining F1 might have second thoughts as the seriousness of the situation becomes ever more apparent to them.

          Whether Mercedes continue with their appeal or not I think there is a serious risk of this snowballing into an existential crisis for the FIA, supercharged by the billions of currency at stake and the personalities involved. If the putative value of the teams (which has been so radically increased in theory recently) should start to fall then the pressure cooker might just explode.

          1. A lot of fans like myself are more concerned about what the incident means for the sport as a whole

            This. I would be just as outraged at this behaviour no matter what the result of the race (or at the very least I hope I would). No official at any legitimate sporting event should be allowed to throw the rulebook out of the window and make up something new, especially if that new rule favours one competitor over all the others.

          2. i’m following F1 since 1992.
            That’s not the first time things like that can happens.
            but one thing i’ve learnt.
            It won’t stop earth turning on herself.
            It won’t stop the sun shining.
            And as long as i’ve no money nor work involved into F1 or any teams or FIA, it won’t change my life.
            So, at one point, it’s past, and i don’t care.
            People can think what they want, but grunting for days, well …
            They miss what life can offer like beautifull gift.

            So, you can complain for age, or let it go and be happy.
            Life isn’t always fair.
            But what matters is not if she’s fair or not, but how you deal with it.

            Other thing, and it’s my own personnal way to be.
            I prefer people who are humble in defeat, even when it’s unfair.
            The best win in life its on our own weakness.
            Not winning a WDC, or a trophy.

            just being happy with ourself.
            That’s what life is trying to teach here.

            Personnaly, i’ve happy stuff to make today, non F1 related, see ya ;)

          3. Fully agree

          4. with Witan. What an improvement needed at race control

    2. At the time Toto didn’t want a safety car was lap 35 to remove Antonio’s parked car by an access point.

  29. Mercedes like their chances on appeal as they should. Masi’s decision only benefitted 1 car in the entire field.
    Crash, safety car, some teams pit, others do not, drivers back out behind safety car in an order, all is fair at this point.
    Decision to unlap some cars. These cars weren’t actually allowed to unlap which would require them to catch up to the back of the line. Unfair to them.
    Other cars weren’t allowed to unlap. Unfair to them.
    Other cars had back markers between them and the next car on their lap. Unfair to them.
    Only Max had back markers removed and was positioned to the next car on his lap. His pit stop put him behind the back markers as it did for other drivers that pitted.
    The regulation states that if the rules don’t fit the scenario that is happening, sporting fairness must be applied.

  30. There is not doubt this is a crisis for the FIA at a time when the head of the organisation is about to be replaced.

    I am sure this crisis is being monitored by other manufacturers considering entering F1.

    It involves Mercedes but the concerns are widespread in the paddock, and the newcomers are sitting watching and keeping their billions in the bank until they are sure they are joining something of quality.

    Do they want to be in a show or a sport, do they accept rules being changed on the hoof and other rules simply not implemented consistently or at all?

    1. It’s game over for F1. They are done. They are actually asking any new team to pay money to join but I think if they offered Audi 3 billion to join F1, Audi would laugh and decline :-)

      The sport is untouchable for the next 10-20 years after what happened here. If Mercedes didn’t have 1,500 employees and can’t reverse this, I don’t see them staying in F1 for long.

      1. The only option to stop the sport falling into disrepute is to apply the rules to the strict letter of the law and reverse the result and crown Lewis WDC.

        The message it sends out if this does not happen is that F1 is not a sport anymore and has zero legitimacy for fair and equal competition as race control can create new rules on the fly when they want to help one driver, Audi are not going to throw billions at fixed WWE game show racing.

  31. Quite depressing to see the amount of people out there desperately tweeting hashtags implying that Hamilton ‘should have won it’ and thinking it will result in the FIA publicly undermining last Sunday’s celebrations, Masi, the sport and indeed themselves…

    Give it up guys, you’re beginning to sound like Donald Trump supporters.

    1. Its better to rectify an illegitimate result than to accept it.

      1. It’s a dodgy referee decision in sport, not a judge in a criminal trial.

        1. I think you misunderstand why so many people are outraged.
          It is not a dodge subjective refereeing decision as per the NFC championship game LA Rams at the New Orleans Saints when Michael Thomas was cleaned out by a defender and the referees completely missed it.
          It is the referee not following a clear procedural outcome that has happened many times before.
          This then materially affected the results for all racers.
          It’s like deciding a handball in football anywhere on the pitch is now a penalty.
          American Football, during the Super Bowl the defending team is winning by 4 points. In the last 10 seconds of the match a pass is caught and the offensive player goes to ground in play on the 2 yard line with 2 seconds left in the game. There are no timeouts for anyone. In the last 2 minutes of the game this would mean a running clock. This would mean the end of game because the players cannot set themselves up in formation in time for a final play. The referee decides to stop the clock with 2 seconds left. Thus allowing 1 final play in which a touchdown is scored winning them the game. The referee changed the procedural rules; it is not a subjective judgement call. One assumes the referee changed the rule because it was more exciting for the viewers.
          That is basically what Masi did in this race.

          1. The referee changed the procedural rules; it is not a subjective judgement call.

            This, and he did so in a way which benefitted one participant above all others. It doesn’t matter which participant that was, it’s still clearly wrong.

    2. Agreed!

      If the FIA were planning to fix the race and give the championship to VER why didn’t they penalise HAM for the incident at turn 6 lap one?

      The FIA may have done a bad job of stewarding but all this talk of race fixing is just a bitter conspiracy.

      1. No one is talking about fixing it for Verstappen, they’re talking about fixing it for ‘the show’ which is not the responsibility of the Race Director, its his job to ensure the race is run safe and to the regulations.

        1. I understand your point, but sadly 1000s of people are saying it was fixed for VER!

          That’s what I don’t understand!

          Yes it was a mess – but FIA had so many chances to help VER if they wanted to.

    3. #stopthesteal

  32. The rules were the same for everyone. Renault pushed for a return to turbos but Mercedes did their homework well. Work hard and be rewarded and proud of what you achieve. Don’t bend the rules to deny excellence.

    1. “The rules were the same for everyone”

      They where the same for everyone, but where not applied the same to everyone. This isn’t difficult to understand.

  33. Everyone is arguing about Lewis and Max.
    Please forget them for a while as they get enough air time.
    The main problem is something like this, Daniel Ricciardo was about 7 seconds off scoring a point right.
    Masi has made the call that 7th through to 11th can un-lap, Daniel cannot. So Daniel Ricciardo’s race was ended on lap 57. In fact I make it 10 to 12 driver’s effectively had their races ended on lap 57 as a result of the race Director not following procedure.
    So simply put TV ratings were put before sporting achievement.

    1. Have you seen the on-board of Stroll in that last lap? Hilarious!

      1. Lance confused and Brad shouting Blue flag for most of the lap….exactly

    2. Totally agree, they should null and void the race results and the points that came with it, ergo Max is still champion.

      1. I’d be happy with that, because it would be embarrassing as hell for the FIA and they would have to make changes to stop this happening again.

        Of course, here are others who would be less happy, drivers who would lose out on the changes to positions resulting from their final classification, but that would be down to Masi’s decision, nothing else.

  34. “The rules were the same for everyone”

    They where the same for everyone, but where not applied the same to everyone. This isn’t difficult to understand.

  35. I keep reading that Max should be champion because of the ‘Bad Luck’ he had earlier in the season, what utter balderdash, there is no such thing as good luck, bad luck, its called Life. Are we really meriting a champion based on luck, this isnt the Dark Ages where superstition, talismans and charms are the order of the day, did Lewis get robbed because he forgot he’s lucky Rabbits foot?
    Lewis blitzed the last 4 races (18.2% of the season) and on the last lap of almost 4000 miles of racing got a RD that reinvented the safety car ending procedure to the obvious benefit of one driver, Max can keep he’s hollow Championship for all I care because we all saw what happened, we all know what happened.
    F1 for me now is no longer a sport and I will treat it accordingly, a fake, manipulated, scripted entertainment series for a new generation who have the attention span of a Goldfish (goldfish actually have a good memory, but I digress). I will not be renewing my Sky F1 subscription in March nor will I watch any free to air races, Ill keep an eye on developments of the ‘show’ and lurk around the forum reminding people that F1 isnt a sport and Max is a paper Champion, on race weekends I’ll post about what other ‘real racing’ is on. Ive watched F1 since the mid 80’s and feel Ive seen the best of F1, now I feel Ive seen the lowest of the low in F1 and will no longer spend time or money on it, the countless times Ive sat there in the middle of the night or got up at the crack of dawn to watch a free practice those days are over.
    So in the meantime till the ‘real racing’ starts again with WEC, BTCC, and Moto GP, to name a few, ill leave all the people who feel like they just wasted 9 months watching a fake reality sports drama, or as I like to call it ‘Keeping up with the Verstappens’ this video that puts it all into perspective.

    https://youtu.be/SJUhlRoBL8M

    1. F1 is fixed
      I agree , if the result is allowed to stand and Lewis isn’t crowned WDC F1 is dead to me i am afraid.
      I have no interest in watching scripted entertainment where race officials can manipulate the race result inventing new rules at will. ​

      Even people who hate lewis say he was robbed which shows how much F1 screwed up here.

    2. “Keeping up with the Verstappens” lol
      Thats exactly how it looks now, totally agree…

    3. TBH I am seriously considering cancelling my Sky Sports subscription over this, citing this as the reason. F1 is the only sport I watch with it, and the message that people are cancelling may be another small pressure on the FIA (via Sky, Liberty etc) to improve things.

  36. THE BIGGEST LOSER IS MOTOR RACING.

    What Micheal Masi has done is called into question the honesty and transparency of F1 organisation.
    To effectively manipulate a race to the degree in which is was, will only alienate fans of F1, no matter what the team. If Mercedes were to leave F1, what then? Many teams utilize Merc engines. Mercedes have to weight up , if the follow through with legal, and they win, what then of the publics perceived trust of F1.
    If they drop the case, then what’s to prevent similar things happening in seasons ahead.
    Mercedes are considering, do they fight and prove the sport is corrupt, which will destroy F1, or do they take it on the chin , move on and be forever unsure that they cannot rely on regulations to be applied correctly, which only serves F1, not the teams, not the manufacturers. As im a Maclaren fan since 1986, what i witnessed at the end of the race was the most disturbing and blatant manipulation of regs ive ever seen. Rules have been clear for many years, race cannot restart untill all lapped cars have caught up at the rear. Otherwise, the end positions of all cars behind max and Hamilton have now been deemed pointless.

  37. That “it’s a motor race” gutter level Netflix like comment from Masi is what did the damage here I believe.

    1. @john-h Of course it’s idle speculation and conjecture, but I have thought repeatedly over the last few races that there was a real difference in the personal communications between Masi and Red Bull (pally, almost a tone of complicity at times) and Masi and Mercedes, much more distant. Those personal dynamics may well be understandable at a human level, but it’s precisely why the race director needs to be shielded from these direct conversations during races to try to maintain as much impartiality as possible. His remark to Wolff was totally unprofessional and, I think, further evidence that he had lost any impartiality at that point and wasn’t making sound decisions.

      1. Indeed @david-br. That comment was very telling I thought, probably the thing that shocked me most when I was watching events unfold at the time – and still is. I’ve felt the same way about Masi since the Mugello pile-up in 2020 when he blamed all the drivers instead of questioning procedure. The FIA need to get someone else in immediately. Get Jolyon in or something!

      2. @david-br It’s a nice quip, but it was indeed unprofessional. That said, he was talking to a man who had repeatedly, in that one race, attempted to interfere with the decision making at race control. Not because his own cars were involved in any of the incidents, but because he wanted to protect his own team’s lead. Even trying to prevent a safety car when marshals needed to work on track. One can understand the frustration, even if the response wasn’t called for.

        1. @MichaelN Like I said, they shouldn’t have that direct access for conversation during races – or maybe they can no longer be trusted with it. I agree it has zero to do with Wolff to decided on safety cars or anything else. But the same applies to Red Bull and their pressure. I was just making the point that the personal dynamics (tone) seemed skewed. In one race Red Bull complained and Masi replied something like ‘yes we think so too, we’re looking into it’ in an almost intimate (friendly) tone of agreement. I just found that weird. Any referee has to speak in a tone of impartiality whether they are agreeing or disagreeing. I’m sure it’s a hangover of a past age when these pit lane relations were much more friendly and personal. But it’s an aspect that jars in an age of multimedia broadcasting of these conversations.

        2. If you are referring to get Antonio’s car off track what Toto was calling for was not to escalate from VSC to SC. He wasn’t calling for no safety protocol.

  38. If the last race was null and void then surely after Mercedes secret and illegal tests I would think at least the Mercedes titles in the hybrid era which saw minimal testing and Mercedes gain an advantage due to their illegal testing be made null and void too.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-motor-racing-tribunal-idUSBRE95K0JL20130621

    https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/ecclestone-mercedes-head-started-as-they-knew-a-bit-more/517030/

    1. Wow that’s a blast from the past @brum55! I think they were banned from the following young driver test as I remember, although granted that wasn’t really punishment enough. Perhaps a race ban should have been enacted, but throwing them out of the hybrid era championships maybe a bit strong…or maybe not in your opinion I guess. Of course Red Bull have been squeaky clean during that period effectively running 4 cars at each race, Ferrari with the pile burning engine, etc. You have a point, but you had to dig quite deep to get that one out eh.

      1. @john-h agreed, none of them are squeeky clean, I was no fan of Ferrari in Schumacher days and couldn’t stand Red-Bull during the Vettel era either. Then you throw Briatorie and even Dennis into the mix and there is very little respect for the rules from many of the major players in the sport which puts the last race into some perspective, if that was the straw that broke the camels back for some people regarding the sport’s integrity.

        1. Oh man, Briatore was definitely the worst of a bad bunch there! Indeed this season has been pretty fraught @brum55. Like you say the teams have been pretty bad this year, especially the Toto and Horner drama series that I haven’t particularly enjoyed. This is of course the teams though, as soon as the race director changes the rules on the fly (and let’s be honest he has previous here) we start to have more of an issue on our hands.

    2. Yeah, 72h to appeal against. But be quick, your chance may expire…

  39. Mercedes aims here are not clear at the moment. I think they are hoping that there will be some compromise or mediation offered by the FIA. There are a couple of next steps I think.

    if FIA say nothing before the deadline either in public, or more likely in private, I think Merc will pursue their action. I think they really want to show FIA they mean business but I actually doubt they expect the final lap of the race to be voided.

    The other way this could conclude of course is that they will wait until the deadline and then issue a statement indicating their concerns in detail but their decision not to pursue this through the courts for the sake of the sport.

    1. Well I’m sure Toto and FIA offiials are having some talks with aim to play down court hearings. So if by tomorrow midday no official complain will be filled by Mercs you can assume they have reached somekind of deal with Mercs gaining some benefits for 2022

  40. Mercedes leaving F1 wouldn’t be too much of a problem for Formula 1.
    Red Bull and AlphaTauri leaving would be a disaster for Formula 1.

    1. Completely non-biased comment @paeschli I’m sure lol. Any of these teams leaving would be a problem for F1.

      1. I think Formula 1’s biggest problem would be if this circus continues and us fans leave.

        1. Let’s be honest though we’re not going anywhere :)

          1. I’m on the verge of it, and I never thought I’d say that. All it will take is a belief that they are not going to improve and I reckon I’d say a very teary farewell.

        2. If the title actually changes hands two months after the season ended, I’m out of here

          1. The trophy shouldn’t change hands, it should have another pair of hands holding it up too. This was the fault of Race Control, not Verstappen or Hamilton, both did what they had to, to win the race and therefore championship. F1 needs to find a way of making this a joint title because any other outcome is unjust for both, and terrible for the sport.

        3. Fans have left, in the tens millions, after the big regulation changes of 2009. The decline only stopped somewhat recently and might now be starting to make a recovery. A week of drama over who wins what race isn’t going to register on that scale.

  41. Toto doing is a right thing, who blinks first FIA or Mercs… he wants to gain as much as possible in this situation, damn the title, but the political gains can be vital.

    1. I feel the same. They are just proving the point. If this get prolonged no one after this will want to be the winners of this years championship. But what it will do is that it could set a precident by pushing FIA to comment on the situation. This could then shape the future of F1.

  42. This is so much worse that Crashgate, Spygate.

    It has left Mercedes in a situation where they can’t move forward. These incidents take so long to get over and I’ll be honest with you, you really never get over them. It’s going to be hard for folks to remain in the sport. I also think that it has a huge impact not just on Mercedes who were the direct victims of this attack but on everyone because it will affect all teams including Red Bull. Don’t be surprised if we see a crazy development like Mateschitz coming out and saying he’s not interested in F1 anymore. These incidents are like cancer.

    Lewis’s silence speaks volumes as to the way he feels about this, and he must feel that the sport came together to steal this from him and I don’t think anyone can argue that this wasn’t the case. He’s been proven right that F1 is actively trying to stop him.

    What other sport has done that to such an incredible champion like Lewis? Has snooker tried to stop Ronnie O’Sullivan? Has tennis tried to stop Roger Federer? Has soccer tried to stop Lionel Messi? Has American Football tried to stop Tom Brady? Has basketball tried to stop Michael Jordan? Has the IOC tried to stop Michael Phelps?

    For the most part, the drivers have been completely silent watching this unfold. Some have offered clues that they feel for Lewis but they didn’t condemn the sport for what they did. Vettel who is usually outspoken about touching cars and trash, is suddenly silent and ok with this repeating that he’s happy Michael Schumacher’s record of 7 championships wasn’t broken. The teams have also been silent. It’s almost as if this doesn’t affect them or they compete in a different sport when it affects them as much because it’s their turn next.

    I had to google Masi to see who appointed him. As I suspected, he was appointed by the FIA and is probably nothing but a puppet for Jean Todt. Todt also happens to be Michael Schumacher’s best friend in the world and like Vettel and Mick Schumacher wanted to keep his colleague’s and best friend’s record alive. There’s really nothing wrong with wishing that. In fact, it’s quite emotional to hear Mick say that he’d like his father to keep the record with Lewis. However, it’s a different story when you remain silent or actively participating in making that happen.

    Todt is leaving and I think he had a good career overall as head of the FIA. I have to ask. Is it a coincidence that this transpired at the end of his reign as head of the FIA and that his appointee did this? Is it a coincidence that it helped his best friend keep his record? I love the fact that Jean visits Michael every month and even has a home in Switzerland to do so but there’s no need for him to take the whole sport down with him, like the Titanic…

    Is it that difficult for him to admit that he made a mistake, overturn the results, and then retire?

    I sincerely doubt that Michael would have wanted to keep his record this way… In fact, I can’t think of a drive that would have been more worthy of an 8th championship than Lewis’ drive at Abu Dhabi. It was the best way for Michael to pass the baton to Lewis.

    1. Phewph! Nine paragraphs of conspiracy theory allegations and mind-reading. Mercedes were unlucky with some decisions taken by the race director under the intense pressure of the last handful of laps of a championship showdown. To suggest that there’s some grand conspiracy against Lewis is laughable.

    2. It would go to VAR and be overturned, there and tehn

    3. If the FIA wanted to guarantee a Verstappen championship, they had dozens and dozens of ways to do so. Instead, just in the last two races they declined to penalize Hamilton for numerous incidents that have seen others penalised this same season. Waiting for a tiny chance that some backmarker would spin out late in the final race to then orchestrate some scheme would not be the way to do it.

  43. Toto and Lewis have both congratulated Max.
    I don’t think they want to overturn the result.
    I do think they want an apology from the FIA.
    How can you make a strategy call when the race director unilaterally changes established procedure.

    1. Congratulating doesn’t mean that they get to keep the result. It simply shows sportsmanship and the most I’ve ever witnessed in any sport.

  44. Anyway nice picture above maybe they can copy past it into the FIA champions photoshoot.

  45. Meh, throughout the whole season Ham’s luck has been far superior anyway. He was unlucky on the last race but Max being the WDC is justified IMO.

    He drove the socks off the last 4 races when they were faster anyway, got outqualified at times still but if you take the whole season into context Max has been the unluckier but better driver.

    Funny how Hamilton is regarded by the best of all time by some and yet this is the second time he’s lost out to someone with equal machinery.

  46. I understand Mercedes frustration over Sunday but they need to get over it and move on

    In football if in the final day of the season Liverpool are playing Chelsea for the title and Chelsea get the winning goal in the 95th min through a dodgy penalty given by the ref you would not get Liverpool threatening to go to court, they just move on and accept human error as a part of life and for the greater good of the sport play the victim but not take it further

    Merc getting results overturned in court will open the floodgates, every time a team suffers a defeat because of someone not getting a grid penalty for blocking in practice or when the winner wasn’t penalised for going off track it will end up in court, 15 races a year decided in court probably

    For the greater good Merc need to let it go

    1. “In football if in the final day of the season Liverpool are playing Chelsea for the title and Chelsea get the winning goal in the 95th min through a dodgy penalty given by the ref”

      It’s nothing like that.

      It’s more comparable to say ‘imagine Liverpool where 11-0 up with 1 minute left to play, the ref shouts ‘next goal is the winner’ and just awards a penalty Chelsea. Then yes actually, you would see a team taking that to court.

      1. I wish people would stop comparing f1 to football to give context to what has happened here, completely different sports with no relevance to each other.

        1. The point of using football there is to highlight the absurdity of what happened on Sunday. Not to actually compare the 2 sports.

        2. I think it is reasonable to bring up football, it is the most popular, most high profile sport in the world, absolutely dwarfs F1 in terms of popularity and tv viewing figures, the winner of the PL gets like £240m in prize money alone, so a title being won by officialdom human error is a huge financial hit for the party that lost out

          Football teams have far bigger financial incentive than F1 teams to take legal action if they are wronged for the greater good of the sport

          They don’t, nor should F1 teams

          1. They do, Man City took UFEA to CAS concerning their ban regarding financial doping and won.
            Chelsea took UFEA to CAS concerning signing of underage players and had their transfer ban reduced in half.
            They do not go to court on referee’s subjective decisions like a dodgy penalty or a racing driver not getting a penalty for going off track and cutting a corner.
            The football match fixing scandal “Calciopoli” involved the IFF awarding the title to a different club, fines and demotion to the clubs involved.
            Football clubs do take legal action if required, in the Man City case the owners were so incensed about what happened they took it all the way to CAS. They were never going to back down.
            Seeing Wolfe’s face and the other Mercedes staff I think they are as outraged as Man City were and are likely to appeal. The fact their website has not changed and the silence emanating from Brackley indicates that is a strong possibility.

      2. @N (15th December 2021, 14:46)

        There’s also the “golden goal”, I believe…

    2. So the greater good is to allow F1 to make a decision as to who will win the championship?

      Soccer is really the worst analogy as the sport is notorious for match fixing and unfair results that stand.

      Part of the reason no one can admire Juventus but the staunchest bianchoneri fans even when Ronaldo was there is because of their history of match fixing.

      Do we want every race to become a Crashgate? In more ways than one, this season has been like that with Horner starring as Briatore and Verstappen as Nelson Piquet Jr.?

      The last race was a smoking gun display of tampering by F1 that the entire world was forced to watch and wonder what had just transpired before our eyes. At least with Crashgate and Spygate we weren’t aware of that happening, nor did it change the WDC championship live on TV.

      You cannot move on from these things. You’ve probably never experienced it so I can understand how you may feel that you can move on.

      If Mercedes lets this go, they are pulling out of the sport. Pray they don’t let it go.

      1. Tampering/smoking gun is pure hyperbole, it was merely a case of human error by an official who forgot his own rules in the heat of the moment when he was being badgered over the radio by Horner/Wolff, there was no conspiracy to defraud Hamilton of win/title merely an official who was out of his depth in the job and cracked under pressure, the smoking gun is a 99p water pistol

        If the FIA wanted to deny Hamilton a title they could have done it easily by penalising him for blocking Mazepin in practice (3 place grid drop + 10 places for exceeding penalty points limit), then they could have given him a 5 sec penalty in race for gaining an advantage going off track

        There was no race fixing, no conspiracy, no hidden agenda, pure human error by Masi

        1. a case of human error by an official who forgot his own rules in the heat of the moment when he was being badgered over the radio

          He forgot a rule he has used dozens of times, and has quoted as being required for him to use?

          I agree that there was no conspiracy and no hidden agenda. But there was an underlying agenda to “spice up the show”, and he “fixed” the race, ignoring the rules he knows so well in an attempt to comply with that agenda.

        2. Clearly the FIA wants the result to hold and has accepted no responsibility of human error as you claim. They are not in agreement with you.

          I find it hard to believe that it’s simply human error because Masi has been heavily criticized over the past seasons. Why would they keep the most inept individual as a race director in the closest F1 championship of all time?

          Did they not plan for the possibility of a safety car at the end of the race?

          Are you suggesting that the FIA is responsible for placing an incompetent individual at the helm of the top racing sport in the world?

          Are we claiming incompetence from the FIA here as they could have rectified this post-race and still have failed to do so?

          Is this any less ludicrous than race fixing, conspiracy, hidden agenda?

  47. I understand the disappointment and frustration about the way the end of the race was managed – it was wrong. Managing it differently could have led to a different result, or the same result (letting all of the cars pass one lap earlier would have led to the same result). All teams had agreed that they wanted to end the race green, if at all possible – so this is what Masi tried to achieve, desperately, while having to deal with 2 team bosses that both crossed a line in the demands and pressure they put on Masi.

    As mentioned by others, Verstappen made a legal overtake in T6 in the first lap and should have had track position at that point. A bold move, but Hamilton gave him all the space on the inside and should have covered it. Having the track position was key to Verstappens strategy and would have had a substantial impact on how the race unfolded. But Mercedes got away with it – not even an investigation. How is that overlooked by almost everyone here? If you want to scrutinise FIA’s decisions, you can’t cherry-pick just the ones that go against your preferred driver.

    In the end, we have a deserving World champion. The driver who was most consistent and made the least mistakes during the season. He got a string of bad luck in the middle of the season, and a rare instance of good luck in the last race. But he still had to finish it off himself, with a fantastic pass in the last lap. There is nothing you can take away from that.

    Changes need to be made in how the FIA operates (IE Masi shouldn’t have 10 roles at the same time) and rules need to be made more specific.

    1. Do you think the FIA will similar to fastest lap be adding bad luck and good luck points and a few for karma next year?

    2. @br444m Can you please let go of the ridiculous overtake in T6? It led to nothing but a collision had Lewis not avoided it.

      If that were legal, 50% of the drivers at LeMans and F1 would die at every single race. It’s ridiculously illegal as evidenced by the fact that Max was going perpendicular to the direction of the track for most of the turn.

      Making the turn doesn’t qualify as an overtake if you’re intending to collide with the other driver as you overtake.

      Since you all like soccer analogies, it’s like getting the ball in soccer and breaking 2 legs as you get it. It’s a clear penalty for Max, regardless of whether he made the turn or not.

      1. The problem is that the rules don’t require you to leave space. So what we have is a situation where the best way to make a pass is to just divebomb the corner and drive the other guy off the road. If you don’t get by he may have cede the position anyway. This has been tolerated at lap 1 turn 1. But people are pushing it now.

        I think that this wasn’t a real issue in the last but this year it came to a head. There were isolated cases like with Hamilton and Rosberg in US and Austria in the past. But this year it’s been a lot of people and especially the two contenders. We need to fix the whole framework of rues for this.

      2. @freelittlebirds Hamilton saw it coming, he started to steer in to squeeze Verstappen, way before he would normally steer in for the apex, but it was already too late. At that point he could have decided to brake earlier and do a switch back, which would most likely have resulted in him re-overtaking Verstappen. But he didn’t. He cut the track and gained an advantage. Verstappen caught him napping.

        This is very hard, but fair racing. Very different from the desperate lunges Verstappen made in Jeddah, where he ended off track himself – and which were penalised as such. Still I would argue none of these moves should be labeled as too dangerous – it’s part of racing. If there was a dangerous move this year it was understeering at the apex of copse corner with a car on the outside – we all know how that one ended.

        1. It’s funny you compare silverstone because in this race Verstappen was way off the apex in t6 and if Hamilton didn’t jump out of the way, big wreck. The only thing that made silverstone dangerous and this move not dangerous is that the guy on the outside in the latter case just avoided the wreck. It actually just shows that verstappen whether he is inside or outside is taking the I win or we crash approach. Silverstone was just the one time it didn’t work out for him as expected.

          1. +1
            I give no credence to the argument that Lewis should have given back the lead at turn 1. Verstappen, for the umpteenth time, enters a turn knowing full well that the way he is entering that turn is not the fastest way round, but that if the car he is attacking does not give way, they crash. Having a points lead or advantage in the championship affords him this “luxury”. This has been his approach at all but Silverstone, where Lewis did not give up position, and Verstappen got on the wrong end of the resulting contact.

          2. It does appear that many people have forgotten (or choose to ignore) the fact that Lewis was penalized for “missing the apex” at Silverstone and then hitting Max. Now someone misses the apex and is heading off to hit someone and people think he should have been rewarded just because the other party had the sense to jump out of the way… Goes to show that some F1 fans are not as logical as you’d assume.

          3. There’s a major difference though – Max was pretty ahead at at both instances, in silverstone max was knocked out of the park at 300kph and in the second instance ham just pressed the throttle outside the track. Both times Ham was advantageous, as has been the case throughout the season. There’s basically no argument here

        2. @br444m yeah, sorry… It’s not hard racing, it’s rookie racing…

    3. I wholeheartedly agree with this comment. Everything is being made out as such that Masi simply handed Max the win. I mean, he still had to make a clean overtake stick at the last lap. Also, earlier in the race, clearly his decision to not ask Ham to give the place, or even the advantage back was strange. So HOW is Masi fixing the result when most of the penalties were handed to Max anyway throughout the last few races? I find some of these comments hilarious

    4. Exactly. Masi should have let all the cars pass or none, with all being the correct solution. In either case Max would have won. Masi, in the heat of the moment, initially made a wrong call to first signal no cars could pass, but realising it was wrong, he overturned himself to try to make up for it, albeit with only a partially correct solution. There are a lot of anti-vaxxer-style conspirancy theorists here, but there is no conspirancy (Verstappen has been penalised plenty of times, and Latifi crashing in a Mercedes powered car in a solo incident could not be predicted): Masi, as any referee can, simply had too much on his hands, with the track condition to monitor and team managers spamming with messages he should have been without… They should not be allowed to chit-chat during a race at all.
      Overall I find F1´s problems more rooted in inconsistent stewarding (from the stewards, not Masi) and too many nanny rules than Masi´s handling of issues under his direct supervision.
      I do feel for Hamilton. He did, Latifis accident aside, deserve to win that race, and the championship with it. As it was, Latifi crashed, and Hamilton didnt have the tires to compete. Hence MV is WC, and over the course of the full season, a fully deserved one at that.

  48. It keeps getting stated that all teams wanted to finish green. I believe Masi stated this post race. I don’t remember radio chatter from all 10 teams after the crash asking how everyone wanted it to end. Is this something made up by Masi?

    1. I read somewhere this was agreed beforehand, but that also might’ve been (and I’m not 100% sure on this) after this years Belgian (not so grand) ‘Grand Prix’, which had completely different circumstances and reasons to force ‘racing under green’.

    2. Peter Windsor said the same on his YT show. I guess it’s some kind of defense from him? But what he did was not the only way to finish under green and the other way was within the rule book. So he can just not bother with that noise.

      1. I lost track of my comments (should make an account here maybe..hmm), but somewhere else I already noted: if this has been agreed, has this been formalized in some way and added to the regulations? And do these newer agreements weigh heavier over existing regulations?
        If so Mercedes could have known that Masi was aiming to finish under green ‘no matter what’ and would’ve had a better idea what to expect when making their strategic calls when de SC came out. The finish under green in the rule book you’re referring to is the one completely following the SC regulations (which would take too long in this case), right?

        1. The one I mean is not letting any cars unlap. Which is what was initially called what was a rules based option and what made Horner scream down the radio at Masi.

          Masi responded by doing what was favorable for Horner and for no one else (except the last car to unlap itself). So he did not act to finish under green. He acted to keep Horner sweet. Or that’s how it looks.

  49. Bit on the fence with this whole situation now. Firstly I’m not of the opinion that the final lap and the first lap situations cancel each other out.A football analogy would be that with the overtake we have the referee awarding a foul or not based on his interpretation of the events and the rules, whereas in the SC mess the governing board allows a team to take the field a minute earlier than the other and start the game. Just not the same, and I understand fully why Mercedes are absolutely outraged.

    That being said, inconsequent execution of the rules and changing them during the race has happened since the first race in Bahrain where Lewis could abuse track limits for most of the race and Masi suddenly put a stop to it when Red Bull told Verstappen it was fine to start doing it too (the Lewis quote “I’ve been racing there all day, man”). The sheer drama of it being the final race and the final lap should not be a factor in taking the FIA to court or not.

    Besides, it’s not that FIA is trustworthy to begin with. I think most here will remember the Ferrari fuel scandal. A lot of teams could have demanded transparency and a punishment, but it didn’t happen. Of course Mercedes won the title then, so it wasn’t necessary for them but I think we can forget about the “we’re doing it for the integrity of the sport” bit. Just business.

    1. Good point about the Ferrari settlement. If Ferrari won 2018 or 2019 that would have been the biggest scandal in the sport since 2008. Maybe bigger since there was no evidence mclaren got faster with stepneys dossier. Whereas everyone not running a Ferrari engine in 2018 smelled a rat.

  50. Petty. I’m fully in the camp of those who acknowledge that Mercedes were done dirty by Masi. But that is not Verstappen or RBRs fault.

    In any case, If somehow they win an appeal, we will have a new photoshoot. Or not. In any case this shoot will be a historic curiosity. So just show up.

    They are really also potentially damaging Hamilton’s legacy. At some point he will have to break with the team to continue his dignity. AFAIK he is not stomping around social media saying, I was robbed!

    1. I don’t think Mercedes’ protest against the Safety Car debacle was ever against Red Bull in particular. Red Bull only really needed presence as they would have a say in any situation that could warrant amending the race results. According to Max, Toto texted him to congratulate winning the Driver’s Championship. I think Mercedes’ target with these protests and potential appeal are squarely on the FIA, it’s stewards, and Masi. If Ferrari was still fighting McLaren for third in the constructors, I would bet they would be protesting alongside Mercedes because Masi essentially also robbed Sainz’s chance for a second or first place finish. People can make the argument that wasn’t going to happen realistically with Lewis and Max up front. But putting 5 back-markers between Max and Sainz meant he never had the opportunity to participate in that battle. Likewise if the hypothetical same situation happened except with a Mercedes 1-2, I would bet Horner would be right up to the Stewards room the moment the safety car went in. Because Max would have had no chance in one lap to clear the back-markers and fight for the win.

      Perhaps the whole “let them race” notion that became prevent near the end of the season needs to end for good. Masi and the stewards don’t want to “affect the championship” with their decisions or indecisions. But doing so by ignoring Max going off track at Brazil or Lewis going off track at Abu Dhabi to gain or keep track position does affect the championship. Allowing these inconsistencies to occur is what provides the other team an unfair advantage.

  51. Does anyone remember IIRC that McLaren declined to appeal the fuel cooling issue with Williams in Brazil in 2007 that could have given them the title? Simpler times.

    1. According to the other article Keith posted a few minutes ago, McLaren didn’t decline, they just failed to submit the protest in the necessary timeframe and so it was thrown out.

      1. Thanks. I should that racefans.com doesn’t miss anything. This is like the blackstone of f1.

        1. @dmw
          So, this site’s an investment management company now? 🤣

  52. If Mercedes pulled out of F1 and started their own rival F1 series, I would definately watch that.

    1. @chaz
      Wolff has already explored that option in the winter of 2019 when he had a secret meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, Luca di Montezemolo, Toto Wolff and Lawrence Stroll. A rival series of F1 without the biggest players, Ferrari in primis, will be as popular as GP2 :)

    2. To be fair, we did watch that for the last 7 years. There was no competition, just Merc snoozefest.

  53. Hahahahahaaaaa spat their dummy out good and proper!

  54. Anyone thought about what Red Bull would do if the race result is overturned and Lewis is declared the winner of the race and the WDC? There’s a very fine line that the FIA have to tread here.

    Any thoughts that Max might himself declare he should not have won the race and that Lewis is the WDC?

  55. I hope Merc forces the FIA into a review of stewarding and race directorship. This is bigger than the Driver Championship….this about F1 becoming a farce.

  56. Ooch now that’s classic for sore loosers. I feel bad for them portaiting themselves this way

    1. There only one thing worse than a sore loser and that’s an obnoxious winner…

  57. Apparently Mercedes are insisting on a change in the rules to allow every team to employ the services of a clairvoyant.
    This is to enable them to try and get an idea on strategy as to what the race director might decide on safety car restarts in the future.

    This is the state of what F1 has descended to at the moment. UFB.

    1. I wish and I hope that FIA will demolish Mercedes in 2022. They totally deserve that.

    2. That would be a interesting addition to the failed Strategy team. They F#$%d up multiple times this year.

  58. Well, this is a British site. I imagine comments look exactly the opposite on Dutch sites. That’s all fine, as long as you’re all aware how biased most of you are, also unwilling to deal with defeat of your compatriot. Although it’s the same Hamilton that fights racism in his own country his entire life. This world is such a strange place. As for Mercedes, the same stewards robbed Max of first position in the very beginning of the race (according to the British commentary, Rosberg who changed his mind after the race etc.). Why does the safety car issue matters more than passing someone outside the track? On balance of things it’s still Max’ deserved victory. Both him and Hamilton were robbed by stewards many times this season, but the painful (to some) truth is – they were gifted things far more often than they were robbed. They were purposely kicking each other off track more than once this season. Now play victims all you want.

    1. The general belief by the teams is they are working their butts off for millions of dollars in prize money based on a set of regulations.

      The money is so significant that a new team entry needs to put $200 million in the pot to not dilute the amount the existing teams get.

      To have a race director with the stewards make decisions that have affected race results is an insult to the teams.

      It needs a team to do something on behalf of them all and now is that chance. If you read Andrew Benson’s article on the BBC website his contacts say some teams and some drivers are somewhat disillusioned by what has happened throughout the year.

    2. I news not aware that Keith censors comments from non-Britons. Good thing I have not provided a PDF of my passport.

  59. We still beat a dead horse i think. We discuss if a 7th time champion and multimilionaire influencer, lost the 8th from a new multimillionaire that got his first championship because the Lord of the Race decided to have a last lap fight for the show. We forget that F1 with Liberty became nothing but a show and we fight in 2 different sides for who is right.
    In conjuction to this.. we have the Current Champion which is Mercedes in the 8th concecutive year to refuse to participate in the photoshooting for the reason i mention in the 1st sentence.

    3nd world problems lol.

  60. You are all bonkers. Mercedes cutting off their nose cone to spite their face. Never heard such a nonsensical conspiracy theory (although by definition they are all nonsensical) except wait a minute LH was robbed. Poor old Hamilton had the wrong tyres on at the wrong time. Toto et all got it wrong. Anything can happen in F1 and it did admittedly at the wrong time for LH but that’s F1 for you. Horner and Red Bull although extremely lucky got it right – move on. Perhaps all races should be run behind the safety car from the start to the chequered flag that would be very sporting. I agree with Masi” It’s a motor race”. What a load of nonsense from LH fans who can’t accept defeat gracefully. Red Bull and MV did not transgress any rules. Consequently they cannot be penalised. The best you (LH fans) can hope for is that the stewards get fined the race is voided and Max is awarded the championship on count back (same result) – although good luck with that. Further to which Mercedes like all other losers live to fight another day. Me I prefer horse racing where the best horse wins regardless of what tyres it wears and no pit stops to interfere with the outcome – just crashes over the jumps and bumping on the flat. No safety horse to spoil things. What a bore F1 would have been without Verstappen taking it to Mercedes this year. How many times year after year have we watched LH race unchallenged in the best car. This year Max outperformed his car and his team. LH has never been tested against a driver of equal calibre. Max was and is superior. would have won another race except for a blown tyre earlier in season. He did very well to be champion given his bad luck and Mercedes far superior car. Let’s hope for many more seasons of Red Bull and Mercedes fighting wheel to wheel to keep things exciting – who cares who wins as long as F1 does. You can’t deny it’s been the most exciting season for some time. I’d like to see all the divers in cars of equal performance on the same tyres – no pit stops. I won’t but at least at the end of the season you would know who the best driver is. That’s the fallacy of F1 (in terms of driver’s championship) it’s rigged from the start unless you have someone like MV driving. The King (Sir) is dead long live the King.

    1. Stop tarring all LH Fans with the same brush, some of us, like Lewis take defeat gracefully.

      The Merc was not the outright fastest car, some races yes, certainly towards the end of the season. A certain person called Mr Newey admitted that over the entire season the Red Bull was quicker.

      LH as never been tested against a driver of equal calibre.? Fernando Alonso…..come on you’ve got to be joking.

      Lastly MV himself has admitted that Lewis is an incredible driver, it’s not his fault he invariably ends up in the fastest cars, same as Max.

      1. Fernando Alonso? I’m not sure he was ever the equal of LH and certainly not MV. Yes LH is an incredible driver – the outstanding one of his era but Max is faster and in time – all things being equal – will become as experienced as LH is now by when one would reasonably expect him to be even better. Additionally if you are citing driver quotes to support your own opinion LH commented pre race that a 25 year old Lewis Hamilton could not beat him (LH) today. Instead a (just turned) 24 year old beat him which by definition hails Max in Lewis’s own words as a better driver than LH was at 25. I agree.

  61. Oh my, what an utter borefest they’re doing along with their fans commenting endlessly about the end of the sport etc.. you must be watching F1 since only Merc dominating.
    They are the masters of displaying the sportiest image of themselves, while they’re a bunch of snakes and crying about everything when things don’t go thier way. Even forgot they have 8 WCC in a row, huh?
    There were many, many Championship ended with controversies just as big as this.
    They have their fair share of stewarding and rulebending towards them this year, but the last deciding one didn’t go their way. Such is life and F1. Sorest losers while having all the records.
    Oh, and 90% of people here describe Masi’s name as “Massi”, you better try to memo the guy correctly if he did such a punishment to the sport you can’t even watch it more. But bet you will complaining here next year just as now.

  62. Seems most of those who have spent the last few days chanting nothing to see here, move on; are now busting a blood vessel because Mercedes won’t lend the FIA a couple of cars.

  63. FIA released a statement

    MB drop of appeal is imminent

    1. FIA cynical statement is an insult to F1 fans!

  64. Mercedes has refused to take part in an official FIA photoshoot commemorating the constructors champions of 2021 as the team considers whether to appeal the results of last weekend’s Formula 1 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    Mercedes should have fulfilled their obligations to attend official FIA photo-shoots and such like. After all, Mercedes have had been graced by God to have the best or one of the best engines on the grid since 2014.

  65. If Mercedes will accept FIA’s cheating I will stop respecting them as well.

  66. That’s a real shame….I would like to see that “magic” button in the shoot. It caused a lot of tears later in this year.

  67. No way Mercedes pull out of F1 over a Drivers championship. in the end it is the Manufacturers Championship that really matter to them and brings in the victory $’s and they won that.

  68. Mercedes doing everything they can to look like poor sports.

  69. Another, less esteemed, racing newspaper now says that the FIA has launched and investigation into the final safety car period in Abu Dhabi. If this is true I’m guessing this is going to be a whitewash. This is to be an end run on the appeal to announce Masi being officially cleared with an official report to add to the record of the appeal.

  70. Given all that has happened, I honestly think the only fair outcome is for the championship to be declared a tie.

    Masi has frankly ruined it by breaking the rules.

    1. They could declare the last race a tie, then Max still wins the championship as he won more races

    2. It cannot be a tie. MV would and has a right to win on count back should the AD race be voided (which it won’t be). Take it on the chin live to fight another day your boy lost.

      1. No he didnt win it, as the last lap must have run under SC conditions. So the result of lap 58 needs to be identical with the positions of lap 57.

        1. Well it didn’t work out that way did it

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