Verstappen crowned F1 world champ after Mercedes lose appeals
The drama and protests surrounding the result of today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit have subsided. After two appeals by the Mercedes team were overturned by the FIA, 24-year-old Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen, has been 100 per cent confirmed as the new F1 world champion.
A last-lap overtaking manoeuvre on fresh tyres saw the Dutchman squeeze past reigning champion, Lewis Hamilton, to take the chequered flag. There followed some very heated moments as a fuming Mercedes boss Toto Wolff lodged two complaints against the result.
One of the appeals claimed that Verstappen had passed Hamilton while still under the Safety Car. Images circulating on social media seemed to verify this. This appeal was thrown out by the race stewards, who issued a statement.
“Although (VER) did, for a very short period of time, move slightly in front of (HAM), when both were accellerating and braking, he moved back behind and not in front when safety car period ended”, it read.
The second appeal made by Toto Wollf’s Mercedes team was that the race director Michael Masi had ruled to allow lapped cars to overtake Hamilton prior to the final lap commencing. This, as it turned out, gave the Dutchman the perfect opportunity to explo¡t his new set of soft tyres to accelerate past the Brit and take the lead, and eventual victory.
Mercedes now reportedly have until next Thursday 16 to take the matter further by going to the FIA court of appeal. New world champion, Max Verstappen, interviewed by Sky Sports after his crown was confirmed, said, “It’s been a very stressful day”, adding that he would, “Have a tiny drink”, to celebrate his new status, as reported by thesun.co.uk.