Mercedes lodges then withdraws appeal against Verstappen in Suzuka

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Mercedes has withdrawn its appeal against Max Verstappen’s second-place finish in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix after initially challenging the FIA’s decision not to penalize the Dutchman for erratic driving.

Lewis Hamilton went wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen in the closing stages of the Formula 1 race at Suzuka, with the Red Bull driver defending second place all the way to the checkered flag.

However, Mercedes informed the FIA after the race that it would be appealing the race result under article 27.5 of the sporting regulations which reads: “At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.”

Mercedes felt that Verstappen’s actions at the Casio Triangle on the penultimate lap of the race that forced Hamilton to take evasive action overstepped the mark.

The FIA was informed of Mercedes’ wish to appeal the result, but when the stewards commenced the hearing, neither Hamilton nor Verstappen was in attendance or able to offer evidence.

The stewards decided to postpone the hearing to the next race in Austin, Texas, prompting Mercedes to withdraw the appeal when it became clear that a final race result could not be confirmed at Suzuka had it persisted.

“We have done this in the interests of establishing a final official result this evening once it became apparent that the hearing cannot be concluded today,” a Mercedes spokesperson said.

Hamilton took to Twitter to say that he did not want the result to be protested.

Hamilton tweeted and quickly deleted another tweet just before the above message.

“There is no protest from either myself or Mercedes,” Hamilton wrote. “One idiot said we have but it’s not true. Max drove well, end of. We move on.”