Max Verstappen was crowned F1 champion after a Mercedes drop roll call | Race news

LONDON: Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team dropped plans to appeal the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Thursday and congratulated Max Verstappen on being Formula 1 world champion.
Red Bull’s Verstappen, 24, took the title after overtaking seven-time world champion Hamilton on the final lap of the race amid turmoil over the implementation of a late safety car period.
The Dutchman is supposed to pick up his trophy on Thursday evening at a gala award ceremony in Paris.
Mercedes welcomed the decision of the ruling FIA, announced on Wednesday, to analyze the events in Yas Marina and provide clarity for the future.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing pose for a photo with his team at the Red Bull Racing Factory. (Getty Images)
“We will hold the FIA ​​accountable for this process and hereby withdraw our appeal,” said the team.
Mercedes had announced they would appeal after two post-race protests were dismissed. The closing date for entries was Thursday evening.
“We left Abu Dhabi in disbelief, which we just experienced. Of course it’s part of the game to lose a race, but it’s different when you lose confidence in racing,” said Mercedes.

“We and Lewis carefully considered how to respond to events… we have always been guided by our love of the sport and we believe that every competition should be won by its performance.
“During the race on Sunday, many, including us, had the feeling that things were not going right.”
The safety car was deployed with five laps to go after Canadian Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams and the marshals had to be on the track to rescue him.
The race resumed with one lap remaining after Race Director Michael Masi broke a protocol that all lapped cars should overtake the safety car first.

Instead, only those between Verstappen and Hamilton took off, which gave the Red Bull driver a free lane to close and overtake Hamilton.
Unlike Verstappen, Hamilton did not pit in the safety car because he would have lost the lead, and Mercedes reckoned that there would not be enough time to restart the race according to the regulations.
“We have appealed in the interests of sporting fairness,” said Mercedes.
“Since then we have had a constructive dialogue with the FIA ​​and Formula 1 in order to create clarity for the future so that all participants know which rules they are driving by and how they are enforced.
“To Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, we want to express our sincere respect for your achievements this season,” added the team.
“You made this Formula 1 World Championship title fight really epic. Max, we congratulate you and your entire team. We look forward to bringing the fight to you on the track next season.”