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Will Mercedes confirm her call?

Will Mercedes confirm his call?

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Will Mercedes confirm her call?

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Will Mercedes confirm her call?

Posted 13 December 2021, 13: 00

The Grand Prix of the Century, in Abu Dhabi, was completely upset with one lap from the finish to conclude with the surprise victory of Max Verstappen. Yes, but the Mercedes team lodged a complaint with solid arguments.

Last round of madness

There were five laps to go. Lewis Hamilton would win with more than 01 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen and thus become world champion for the eighth time. It is then that the incredible twist occurs. Nicholas Latifi’s exit from the track causes the neutralization behind the safety car.

In such cases, the article 36 of the sports regulations of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (the FIA) comes into play. And it is very restrictive.

But on Sunday, Michael Masi, the race director, took some liberties with the paragraph 10 of this article, which is as follows: “When the message“ One-lap cars can now overtake ”is displayed (…) these cars must take their places behind the safety car (…). Once the last overtaken car has passed the safety car, the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the next round “, and therefore not at the end of the round in question.

But we were at 48 and 58 rounds. To allow the race to start again on the last lap, the clerk of the course therefore simplified the procedure, did not wait for the overtaken cars to resume their place at the back of the peloton, and restarted the race without waiting for the lap. moreover to bring in the safety car, even though the regulations oblige him to do so.

Mercedes appealed

Obviously, at Mercedes, the pill was bitter to swallow. In his helmet, Lewis Hamilton had a sentence that did not get on the air: “This championship is being manipulated.”

In the booth, Toto Wolff, the boss, tried to stop Michael Masi from doing this. “I’m a calm type, but when you attack my team, I can become mean,” he assured Friday at a press conference. Premonitory words?

After the race, Mercedes filed two complaints, against violations of the articles 36 .8 e) and 36. 12 of the regulations (the one cited above).

For the case of 36. 8., Mercedes pointed out that Max Verstappen briefly passed Lewis Hamilton behind the safety car, which is prohibited. But what is often practiced: the second goes up to the height of the first, very briefly, to show his nose, before slowing down and letting him take the lead again. Mercedes was dismissed from this claim and did not appeal.

But Mercedes was also dismissed of the claim for violation of the article 36. 10, and for this case, the stable has announced its intention to appeal, thus granting itself 96 hours of respite for decide whether or not to bring the case to the FIA ​​Court of Appeal in Paris.

Evening at the Louvre

This time for reflection is used to finalize the legal arguments, but also to gauge the consequences of the appeal. Because it is not certain that a team with the prestige of Mercedes wants to pass for bad losers, even if its arguments are solid. And it is not sure that Lewis Hamilton wants to win his eighth title on the green carpet of a Parisian court.

The decision could fall, technically, until Thursday evening. But Thursday evening, precisely, Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff must go to Paris to attend the FIA ​​gala evening and receive there, the first the title of vice-world champion, and the second the title of world champion. builders.

Their presence, at the time of this writing, is no longer guaranteed. And will likely depend on the team’s decision to take the case to court. Or bury the quarrel and try to make up for it in 2021. After all, F1 is just entertainment …

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