Published On: Sat, Feb 3rd, 2024
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Mercedes may be thankful they never bothered pursuing their grievances with the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP result through the courts after a ruling regarding an International GT Open event.

Mercedes were fuming when Michael Masi’s controversial decision on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP resulted in Max Verstappen overtaking Lewis Hamilton to claim victory and steal the world title out of his hands.

They lodged two protests but FIA stewards dismissed both of their arguments. There was speculation that Mercedes could take some form of legal action and go through the courts to get the decision overturned but they ended up withdrawing their complaint.

That may be just as well as a decision from the FIA’s International Court of Appeal (ICA) about a similar dispute at a GT event in Spielberg back in September has shown that Mercedes would’ve been wasting their time.

Team Motopark were unhappy with the use of a safety car and launched a protest to get the result altered or nulified. Their complaint was initially rejected but then Motorpark chiefs took their case to a Spanish court who duly overruled stewards and cancelled the result.

But another team, Optimum Motorsport, then challenged that decision by taking the case to the International Court of Appeal. The ICA backed the original judgement of the stewards and cancelled the decision of the Spanish court, duly reinstating the race result as it was, declaring it would be wrong to nulify the result because of an error made by a race director.

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