Mercedes lodge two protests after last-lap drama in Abu Dhabi

The FIA have confirmed Mercedes have lodged two protests with the FIA over alleged breaches of Article 48.8 and Article 48.12 of the Sporting Regulations.

Mercedes have decided to argue against the race classification after they feel the FIA broke Article 48.12 of their regulations, by only allowing a selection of lapped cars to overtake the Safety Car, instead of every one – as the rule seemingly stipulates.

Max Verstappen won a frantic race in Abu Dhabi after passing Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the race, with those cars separating him and his title rival being allowed to pass the Safety Car.

This allowed one racing lap, and the Red Bull driver passed Hamilton to take his first World Championship title, and the FIA will now investigate the matter after Mercedes’ protests.

VERSTAPPEN TAKES THE LEAD AND WINS THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! WHAT ON EARTH HAS JUST HAPPENED 😳

WHAT A WAY TO END THE SEASON!#F1 #AbuDhabiGP 🇦🇪 pic.twitter.com/gjvlkFSNOX

— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) December 12, 2021

The relevant part of Article 48.12 reads: “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.

“This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed.

“Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.”

The protest against Article 48.8 relates to drivers not being allowed to pass any other car or the Safety Car itself under Safety Car conditions.

Verstappen was seen running alongside Hamilton before getting the final lap underway, in his eagerness to get racing again.

A verdict will be confirmed in due course.

 

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