Mon. May 29th, 2023

Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has revealed why the team didn't go to court over the controversial ending to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix "even though we might have a good case".
The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will go down as one of the most controversial moments in F1 history. It was the last race of the season and was also the decider of who would take the driver's championship, Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen.
In the latter stages of the race, Hamilton was racing in first place with Verstappen in second under safety car conditions. Usually, when a safety car is ending all lapped cars are told when to un-lap themselves before the racing gets going again. However, then-race director Michael Masi realised there was not enough time to un-lap all of the cars so only told those in-between Hamilton and Verstappen to do so. 
Normally, if there was not time to un-lap all of the cars then the race would go until the end under the safety car conditions which would have seen Hamilton win. Whereas, when the race got going again in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen was on newer tyres so overtook Hamilton to take the win. 
Masi ended up stepping down as race director over the decision. 
Mercedes lodged a protest which was dismissed by the stewards and the team explained they intended to launch a full appeal, although they did not go ahead with this. 
According to, Wolff spoke recently on F1's Beyond The Grid podcast where he was asked if Hamilton still thinks about the moment. Wolff responded:
“I don’t think Hamilton has been bothered by that, he knows how to focus on his work.
“Abu Dhabi 2021 will haunt us for a long time, forever maybe, but that mainly happens when you sit quietly and start thinking about those decisions in the last minutes that were at odds with the regulations.
“But you don’t think about that anymore during the race weekends. We’ve moved on. Me personally anyway, once we accepted the result.”
Wolff went on to explain why the team didn't push forward with taking the matter to court. He said:
“We didn’t want to go to court, even though we might have a good case. We didn’t want to win the title in court.
“Max is a deserved champion, so is Lewis. On that day it was ‘may the best win’, but that’s not what happened.”
“It’s done, the title is decided. We shouldn’t go on and on about it. Max is a two-time world champion, a deserved world champion.
“Mistakes have been made, the FIA ​​has admitted that and now we have to move on. It doesn’t mean I will never think about it again, because honesty is important and the stopwatch never lies. Maybe that just a little bit.”


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