Mercedes are reportedly set to drop their intention to appeal the controversial title-deciding result in Abu Dhabi – with Lewis Hamilton playing an integral role.
In the immediate aftermath of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen clinching the Drivers’ World Championship on the very last lap, Mercedes lodged a notice of intent to appeal the decision of the stewards – who initially dismissed both of Mercedes post-race protests – which triggered the creation of a 96-hour window for the Silver Arrows to officially lodge the grounds for appeal.
Since that moment it has been near radio silence from the Mercedes camp, only broken somewhat by Hamilton who made his first public appearance since the season finale when receiving his knighthood from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.
But, Mercedes’ silence is set to be fully broken on Thursday with the deadline to fully launch an appeal fast approaching and, according to the Daily Mail, the Mercedes team are prepared to back down.
According to the UK newspaper, Hamilton has informed Mercedes that he does not want to win what would be a record eighth World Championship title via the courts and, as a result, his team are prepared to acknowledge that request.
— Sir Lewis Hamilton Updates (@SirLewisUpdates) December 15, 2021
This latest rumour came hours after the FIA released a lengthy statement promising a full investigation into the events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, perhaps a last-minute effort from the governing body to persuade Mercedes not to go down the legal route.
Part of the statement read: ‘Following the presentation of a report regarding the sequence of events that took place following the incident on Lap 53 of the Grand Prix and in a constant drive for improvement, the FIA President proposed to the World Motor Sport Council that a detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all relevant parties will now take place.
‘This matter will be discussed and addressed with all the teams and drivers to draw any lessons from this situation and clarity to be provided to the participants, media, and fans about the current regulations to preserve the competitive nature of our sport while ensuring the safety of the drivers and officials.
‘It is not only Formula 1 that may benefit from this analysis, but also more generally all the other FIA circuit championships.
‘Following that presentation and an extensive discussion, the World Council has decided to unanimously support the President’s proposal.
‘The FIA will therefore do its utmost to have this in motion within the Formula 1 governance and will propose to the Formula 1 Commission to give a clear mandate for study and proposal to the Sporting Advisory Committee, with the support of Formula 1 drivers, so that any identified meaningful feedback and conclusions be made before the beginning of the 2022 season.’
The deadline for the Mercedes appeal is 7pm GMT on Thursday.