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Mercedes' appeal against Verstappen's win dismissed, F1 says

Mercedes’ last hope to secure driver championship by appealing Max Verstappen’s win in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was dismissed by FIA on Sunday.

“The FIA Stewards have dismissed Mercedes’ protests against the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix final classification,” Formula 1 said on Twitter, ending discussions of a possible different outcome.

Mercedes contested the safety car procedure after the extraordinary final race finished with Red Bull driver Verstappen’s last lap overtake of his championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

On lap 54, Nicholas Latifi from Williams Racing crashed into the barriers, causing a safety car on the last laps of the race.

Before the safety car, Hamilton was told by his team that Verstappen needs to be 0.8 quicker per lap to catch him before the finish line. Entering the pit stop for fresh tires as soon as the safety car comes out was the winning strategy for the Red Bull team.

After losing the driver championship, Mercedes immediately protested “against the classification established at the end of the Competition…,” Formula 1 said.

The first appeal is for Verstappen overtaking under the safety car and the safety car procedure itself, and the other is for why only a certain number of lapped cars were allowed to pass by before the restart.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described the appeal move as “disappointing,” while Verstappen said it “sums up a little bit this season.”

Overtaking Hamilton on the final lap after the safety car left the circuit, Max became the Formula 1 world champion for the first time and also the first Dutch who raised a world championship trophy.

Hamilton finished second while Carlos Sainz from Ferrari completed the podium.

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