Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Mercedes have lodged a protest against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen following the Abu Dhabi GP.
There could yet be another twist in the tale of the 2021 season as both Mercedes and Red Bull have been summoned to the stewards following Max Verstappen’s championship winning victory on Sunday.
Verstappen crowned champion after late Abu Dhabi safety car drama
The protests in question are based around Articles 48.12 and 48.8 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations. Article 48.12 refers to lapped cars being allowed to pass the leading cars whilst under Safety Car conditions. This follows some brief drama as a late safety car was brought out with specific cars allowed to pass the leaders when racing resumed.
The Sporting Regulations state: “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the Safety Car.
“This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the Safety Car was deployed.
Article 48.8 is in reference to any overtaking on track during a Safety Car period which could refer to some brief jockeying that was spotted by Verstappen on Hamilton at the restart.
The Regulations state: “With the exception of the cases (listed below), no driver may overtake another car on the track, including the Safety Car, until he passes the Line for the first time after the Safety Car has returned to the pits,” reads the article, listing several exceptions.
- If a driver is signalled to do so from the safety car.
- Under Articles 41.1c), 48.12, 51.6 and 51.12.
- When entering the pits a driver may pass another car remaining on the track, including
the Safety Car, after he has reached the first Safety Car line.
- When leaving the pits a driver may overtake, or be overtaken by, another car on the track
before he reaches the second Safety Car line.
- When the Safety Car is returning to the pits it may be overtaken by cars on the track once
it has reached the first Safety Car line.
- Whilst in the pit entry, pit lane or pit exit a driver may overtake another car which is also
in one of these three areas.
- Any car stopping in its designated garage area whilst the Safety Car is using the pit lane
(see Article 48.11 below) may be overtaken.
- If any car slows with an obvious problem.
Verstappen claimed victory at the Abu Dhabi GP which enabled the Dutchman to claim his first world championship. It remains unclear on what action or recourse would be taken following the results.