Mercedes lodge, and withdraw protest against Max Verstappen
The team had initially protested against an aggressive move that prevented Lewis Hamilton from snatching second place at Suzuka.other sports Updated: Oct 09, 2016 21:05 IST
Mercedes lodged a formal protest against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, only to withdraw it less than two hours later following the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.
The team had initially protested against an aggressive move that prevented Lewis Hamilton from snatching second place in a thrilling tussle at Suzuka.
Verstappen went on to take second behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and in front of Hamilton.
Formula One’s ruling FIA said its investigation into the incident would not take place until the next race in Austin, Texas in two weeks since neither Verstappen nor Hamilton were able to attend a stewards’ meeting.
Both teams agreed but Mercedes, who claimed their third successive constructors’ championship at Suzuka, did a U-turn after Hamilton told his team: “It is not what we do”.
Hamilton, whose fervour for social media has drawn ire over the past week, tweeted: “There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!”
There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 9, 2016
The triple world champion clawed his way back through the field after a horror start left him in eighth place and was swarming over the back of Verstappen’s Red Bull in the closing stages.
But when he tried to duck around the Dutch teenager approaching the chicane, Verstappen slammed the door by blocking off the inside, forcing the Mercedes to take evasive action.
Hamilton claimed over the radio that Verstappen had moved in the braking zone, but refused to elaborate after the race, saying: “It doesn’t really matter now, it’s done and we move forwards.”