Sport Mercedes withdraws its appeal over Formula One championship result
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Mercedes withdraws its appeal over Formula One championship result

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Mercedes has withdrawn its appeal against the outcome of Sunday’s title-deciding Formula One Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.

The team said it had made the decision following “constructive dialogue” with governing body FIA with regard to establishing clarity for future scenarios.

Mercedes said in a statement: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team will actively work with this commission to build a better Formula 1 – for every team and every fan who loves this sport as much as we do.

“We will hold the FIA accountable for this process and we hereby withdraw our appeal.”

Sunday’s season-ending race in Abu Dhabi saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claim victory and the title after the deployment of a late safety car led to the Dutchman being placed right behind Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton, who he then overtook on the final lap.

Mercedes had an immediate double appeal dismissed by the stewards, then lodged an intention to appeal against that decision, which it was required to trigger by Thursday evening.

Mercedes added in the statement: “We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula One to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced.

“Thus, we welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of the rules, governance and decision-making in Formula One.

“We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.”

The safety car was deployed five laps from the end after Canadian Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams, with marshals needing to be on track to recover it.

Racing resumed with one lap remaining after Australian race director Michael Masi broke with a protocol requiring all lapped cars should overtake the safety car first.

Instead, only those between Verstappen and Hamilton unlapped themselves, giving the Red Bull driver a clear track to close on Hamilton and overtake.

Hamilton had not pitted, unlike Verstappen, when the safety car was deployed because he would have lost the lead and Mercedes calculated there was not enough time remaining to resume racing under the rules.