F1 stewards dismiss Mercedes' protests, Verstappen confirmed as Drivers Champion

Mercedes lodged two protests after the Abu Dhabi GP which decided the Drivers Championship.
F1 stewards dismiss Mercedes' protests, Verstappen confirmed as Drivers Champion

Mercedes' challenge of the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been dismissed by Formula One stewards.

The decision means Red Bull's Max Verstappen has been confirmed as the 2021 Drivers World Champion.

The official Formula 1 Twitter account confirmed the news, tweeting: "The FIA Stewards have dismissed Mercedes' protests against the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix final classification."

Verstappen stormed past title rival Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit, having benefited from a late safety car that bunched up the pack.

Confusion reigned as under-fire race director Michael Masi changed his mind to allow lapped cars to pass the safety car – meaning Verstappen had a clear run at Hamilton in the final lap and on much faster tyres.

The pair had gone into the final race of the season tied on points.

Following the chequered flag, Mercedes immediately launched two appeals - one against Verstappen for allegedly overtaking under a safety car and a second claiming a breach of rules regarding race restarts following a safety car period.

After hours of discussions between F1 stewards and Mercedes, the ruling to dismiss the protests was confirmed shortly after 7pm, giving Verstappen his first Drivers Championship title.

Mercedes do however have some consultation in their eighth consecutive win in the Constructors Championship.

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