Mercedes withdraws Max Verstappen Japanese GP F1 protest

Mercedes has withdrawn its Japanese Grand Prix protest against Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton telling his Formula 1 team "it is not what we do"

Mercedes withdraws Max Verstappen Japanese GP F1 protest

In a bizarre 90-minute period that followed after the Japanese Grand Prix had finished, Mercedes initially protested Red Bull driver Verstappen's defensive manoeuvre under braking into the final chicane at Suzuka on the penultimate lap.

Attempting a pass, Hamilton was forced to use the escape road through the chicane, leaving Mercedes citing Verstappen had driven "erratically and in a dangerous manner" as per Article 27.5 of the FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations.

Despite the stewards convening a hearing, they were forced to defer it to their counterparts at the United States GP as both Hamilton and Verstappen had left the circuit and were unable to provide evidence, putting the official result on hold.

It was then announced Mercedes "had notified the stewards it is withdrawing the protest", leading to the race result being declared official, with Hamilton third behind Verstappen and race-winning team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Moments before the withdrawal was declared, Hamilton sent out a tweet that read: "There is no protest from either myself or @MercedesAMGF1. One idiot said we have but it's not true. Max drove well, end of. We move on."

That was then deleted and replaced with a new message: "There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!"

A Mercedes spokesperson later stated the protest had been withdrawn "in the interests of establishing a final official result this evening once it became apparent the hearing cannot be concluded today".

Speaking about Hamilton's race, Mercedes executive director technical Paddy Lowe said: "Lewis drove one of his strongest races of the season to recover to third - and it could even have been second save for a rather controversial manoeuvre by Verstappen at the final chicane.

"He had some fantastic pace, great management of the tyres, and great management of the traffic particularly.

"He made up a huge amount of time to finish only six seconds away from Nico, having been as far as 20 seconds behind at one point in the race.

"So, congratulations to Lewis for a great recovery, although I'm sure he'll be feeling disappointed with the result overall."

shares
comments
Mercedes' Verstappen protest to be heard at next F1 race at Austin
Previous article

Mercedes' Verstappen protest to be heard at next F1 race at Austin

Next article

Toro Rosso's F1 Japanese GP was impossible - Carlos Sainz Jr

Toro Rosso's F1 Japanese GP was impossible - Carlos Sainz Jr
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022