(Motorsport-Total.com) – Mercedes licks their wounds the day after their bitter defeat in the dramatic World Cup final in Abu Dhabi in 2021. But there is still a theoretical possibility that Lewis Hamilton will eventually be entered into the history books as world champion – that is, if Mercedes appealed the case and won the case a second time.
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Toto Wolff and Christian Horner before the Formula 1 final in Abu Dhabi in 2021
After the FIA’s decision late on Sunday night to dismiss Mercedes’ two protests against the race results, Hamilton’s team had an hour to file a formal petition to appeal. However, a decision on whether the appeal procedure will actually be submitted does not have to be made until Thursday evening at the latest (96-hour deadline).
There is currently no reliable information on whether this will actually be done. On Sunday night, the race team celebrated for the first time winning the constructors’ championship and shed the frustration of losing the driver’s title with a cocktail or two. Team boss Toto Wolff is pictured doing team surfing.
Officially, the team, which was on their way home from Abu Dhabi at the time this article was published, has not commented on how to proceed. Unofficially, it has been leaked that the likelihood of not going ahead but accepting Max Verstappen as world champion is high. This was reported by the London Times.
Mercedes: No statement planned for Monday
According to current information, there is no official statement from Mercedes on Monday. But one thing is clear: if Hamilton later becomes world champion on the green table, it will provoke a lot of angry reactions from millions of F1 fans – and potentially significant damage to the image of Mercedes and its partners.
At first it doesn’t matter whether Mercedes is right or not. A subsequent correction of the score, as witnessed by Formula 1 fans on Sunday, will inevitably lead to contentious discussions. It’s quite possible that Daimler CEO Ola Källenius isn’t too interested in this either.
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Meanwhile, the race’s end events in Abu Dhabi remain controversial. Criticism focuses on FIA racing director Michael Massey, whose abrupt correction of the original decision not to allow wrap cars to roll back in is seen at least as unusual – and not just at Mercedes’ warehouse.
The fact that Massey’s decision to bring back the wrap cars that were between Hamilton and Verstappen at least was made soon after Red Bull boss Christian Horner sent a radio message in his direction, led critics to claim the effect of a “key verdict” over a future radio.
A criticism even shared by Ross Brawn: “It is unacceptable for team bosses to put Michael under such pressure during a race”, Quoted “auto motor und sport” the sporting director of Formula 1. And he declared clearly: “We will cut that connection next year.”
Masi-Funk has only been on the air since 2021
Formula 1 has been broadcasting only pit radio with drivers on TV since 2021, but also between teams and the FIA. Since then, the public has been able to play with the little mouse when team managers try to explain their view of Massey, often doing everything they can to sway the race director in their favour.
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Criticism reached its initial peak after that “Bazaar” on the Grand Prix of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where Massey negotiated with Red Bull team principal Jonathan Wheatley over whether Red Bull should accept a worse starting position on restart or whether the hosts should decide on a potential penalty for Verstappen.
Even if Saudi Arabia was seen as unusual by many, Formula 1 experts later agreed that Massey tried to act in the interest of the sport. But something else bothers Brown: “Toto Wolff can’t ask the safety car not to come, and Christian Horner can’t demand the cars not come back.”
That’s exactly what happened in Abu Dhabi when Wolff Massi told Antonio Giovinazzi not to activate the safety car after the Alfa Romeo took off, and Horner later requested that the wraparound cars pass. For Brown, the teams are clearly not allowed to have a say in such decisions: “That’s at the discretion of the race director.”
It has also been critically questioned whether Massey, if he is constantly involved in talks with the teams, still has the ability to focus on his most important job, which is to handle the race safely and in a fair manner. “It’s like negotiating with the referee in football,” Brown said.
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