Mercedes lodge protest with FIA over Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale

Mercedes lodge protest with FIA over final lap safety car decision in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in which Max Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to the Formula One world championship

  • Mercedes have filed a protest over the finale to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 
  • Max Verstappen clinched the Formula One world championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton on the final lap
  • Mercedes have taken issue with the application of the safety car procedure in the final few laps 

Mercedes have officially filed a complaint to the FIA over decisions made in the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in which Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched the Formula One world championship in the dying moments over Lewis Hamilton.    

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is reported to be livid with race director Michael Masi’s management over the removal the safety car, which was on because of Williams driver Nicholas Latifi’s crash. 

Wolff and Mercedes claim the rules were not applied correctly regarding lapped cars being allowed to unlap themselves when Masi removed the safety car with one lap to go to allow the race to finish as a contest. 

Mercedes have filed a protest with the FIA over the breath-taking finale of the Saudi Grand Prix

‘No Mikey! That was so not right!’ Wolff yelled down the team radio at Masi after he decided to remove the safety car. 

Speaking after the race, Red Bull principal Christian Horner admitted that Verstappen got some fortune with the safety car, but that Masi made the right call to remove it for the final lap, in contrast to Wolff.

‘Of course he (Toto) will obviously do that (disagree). But it’s unheard of to leave the cars unlapped,’ Horner told Sky Sports.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff berated race director Michael Masi over the team radio

‘You could see they wanted to get the race going again but they don’t need to catch up the back of the paddock so they made absolutely the right call. 

‘(They were) Difficult circumstances for the stewards, we’re all putting pressure on them, but they called it right.’

Mercedes had just 30 minutes after the close of the race to file the protest, as per Formula One rules.  




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