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The wheels keep rolling as Mercedes’ protest is dismissed by the FIA

The FIA has dismissed Mercedes’ protests after the final race of the season was mired in controversy. Mercedes have alleged that Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton under the Safety Car. 

Within 30 minutes after the race ended in Abu Dhabi, Mercedes launched two protests, over an alleged breach of Article 48.8 of the regulation that states: “No driver may overtake another car on the track, including the Safety Car, until he passes the Line for the first time after the Safety Car has returned to the pits.”

The FIA released a document later in the night stating that the protest was dismissed.

“Having considered the various statements made by the parties, the Stewards determine that although Car 33 did at one stage, for a very short period of time, move slightly in front of Car 44, at a time when both cars were accelerating and braking, it moved back behind Car 44 and it was not in front when the Safety Car period ended (i.e. at the line).

“Accordingly, the protest is dismissed and the protest deposit is not refunded,” concluded the FIA’s statement.

The FIA document also revealed that Red Bull had made the following argument: “Red Bull argued that Car 44 was not ‘overtaken’ by Car 33, that both cars were ‘on and off the throttle’ and that there were ‘a million precedents’ under Safety Car where cars had pulled alongside then moved back behind the car that was in front.”

The matter doesn’t end there, with Mercedes having also protested an “alleged breach of Article 48.12 of the 2021 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations” regarding lapped cars overtaking under the Safety Car. The outcome from that protest has not yet been decided.

Looks like there’s one more lap to go in the finale of this story.

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