Mercedes has dropped its appeal against the handling of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix — confirming the results and Max Verstappen as drivers’ champion — but “will hold the FIA accountable” during its review process.
Following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday, the FIA announced it will conduct “a detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future” following the reaction to the safety car usage and race resumption on Sunday. Following that move, Mercedes has announced it will not push ahead after previously lodging its intention to appeal, releasing a lengthy statement explaining its position.
“We left Abu Dhabi in disbelief of what we had just witnessed,” the statement read. “Of course, it’s part of the game to lose a race, but it’s something different when you lose faith in racing.
“Together with Lewis, we have deliberated carefully over how to respond to the events at the Formula 1 season finale. We have always been guided by our love of this sport and we believe that every competition should be won on merit. In the race on Sunday many felt, us included, that the way things unfolded was not right.
“The reason we protested the race result on Sunday was because the safety car regulations were applied in a new way that affected the race result, after Lewis had been in a commanding lead and on course to win the world championship.
“We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 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 analyze what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1. We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.
“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.”
The team was went on to congratulate Verstappen and Red Bull for their success, having been engaged in a thrilling battle that led to the two drivers entering the final round level on points.
“To Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing: we would like to express our sincere respect for your achievements this season. You made this Formula 1 championship title fight truly epic. Max, we congratulate you and your entire team. We look forward to taking the fight to you on the track next season.”