Already during the neutralization of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the Safety Car entering the track after Nicholas Latifi’s accident, Toto Wolff of Mercedes had strongly protested to Michael Masi about what was happening on the track. The number one of the Silver Arrows had already smelled the final of the GP, in which Lewis Hamilton lost a world championship on which he had already stretched his hands, probably in the only possible way in which he could have lost it. Mercedes thus filed two protests against the race stewards at the checkered flag, going to the Federation offices with a lawyer ready to defend the team’s arguments. After having their complaints rejected, the men directed by Wolff announced their intention to make use of the right of appeal.
But just before the deadline of the 96 hours allowed for the actual submission of the application, the team announced that it had dropped this possibility. So Red Bull was able to breathe the final sigh of relief and Max Verstappen was crowned champion in the Paris Federation Gala. Helmut Marko, in a long interview granted to Gazzetta Sportiva, was surprisingly sympathetic to rivals: “I’m just saying it was a great gesture to renounce the appeal. Hamilton was certainly unlucky in Abu Dhabi, but we were unlucky in Silverstone, Budapest and Baku. These are the races. I understand their displeasure ”.
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