Race stewards have rejected Mercedes’ protests following an extremely tense Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Their decision means that Max Verstappen is confirmed as the 2021 world champion after battling it out with his closest rival, Lewis Hamilton.
Despite the relief this evening for the Red Bull camp, they are not truly in the clear at this point, as Mercedes have confirmed their intention to lodge an appeal on the verdicts.
Mercedes had put forth two official protests with stewards after the intense title fight that ended with Verstappen passing Hamilton on the final lap.
The first protest was for the restart procedure from F1 race director Michael Masi and the second alleged that Verstappen overtook Hamilton under the Safety Car.
The stewards deliberated for over three hours before dismissing both protests.
A document released by the FIA on Sunday night read: “Article 15.3 allows the Race Director to control the use of the safety car, which in our determination includes its deployment and withdrawal.
“Although Article 48.12 may not have been applied fully, in relation to the safety car returning to the pits at the end of the following lap, Article 48.13 overrides that and once the message ‘Safety Car in this lap’ has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap.
“That notwithstanding Mercedes’ request that the Stewards remediate the matter by amending the classification to reflect the positions at the end of the penultimate lap, this is a step that the Stewards believe is effectively shortening the race retrospectively, and hence not appropriate.
“Accordingly, the Protest is dismissed.”
Mercedes later took to Twitter and wrote: