Toto Wolff says the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team feel ‘wronged’ following the final few laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, but neither they nor lead driver Lewis Hamilton wanted to win the World Drivers’ Championship in the courtroom.
Max Verstappen denied Hamilton the Drivers’ crown by passing him at turn five on the final lap at the Yas Marina Circuit, but it was the actions from the race director and the stewards’ room that angered the team as they feel what happened in the run-up to that last lap went completely against Mercedes.
Initially, the lapped cars in between then race leader Hamilton and his title rival were not going to be allowed to unlap themselves prior to the restart, but the decision was reversed on the penultimate lap, which allowed the Red Bull Racing driver to be on the tail of the Briton heading to the restart.
Mercedes initially protested the stewards decision only for it to be rejected, and were looking at their options to appeal, only to decline appealing the result on Thursday. And Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, says it was a joint decision from driver and team not to follow through on their appeal threats despite the way they were feeling following the conclusion of the race.
“Every step on the way it was joint decisions,” Wolff is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “We decided together with Lewis to protest, to launch the appeal, and to withdraw the appeal.
“As you can imagine not only for him but also for us as a team it was terrible to be confronted with a decision that decided the outcome of the world championship. But nobody of us, neither him or us, wanted to win a world championship in the courtroom.
“But on the other side we were deeply wronged on Sunday and it wasn’t just a case of a bad call, it was freestyle reading of the rules and it left Lewis like a sitting duck.”