Mercedes protest Abu Dhabi result after controversial F1 finale

Mercedes has protested the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after Max Verstappen won the Formula 1 world title following a controversial safety car restart. 
Race winner and
Race winner and

A late safety car was deployed when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams, setting up a dramatic and contentious ending to the final round of the 2021 season.

While Mercedes opted to favour track position by keeping Hamilton out on old tyres, Red Bull gambled by pitting Verstappen for a new set of softs. 

FIA race director Michael Masi had initially ruled that five drivers were not allowed to unlap themselves, before reversing the decision to set-up a last-lap sprint to decide the title. 

It meant Verstappen restarted directly behind Hamilton. The Red Bull driver then pulled off a brilliant lunge to take the lead from Hamilton at Turn 5, sealing both the win and his maiden world title. 

But Mercedes has protested the result on the grounds that safety car protocols were not followed because not all lapped drivers were allowed to unlap themselves, citing a breach of Article 48.12. 

Mercedes has lodged a second protest against Verstappen over an alleged overtake on Hamilton before the safety car line on the restart. 

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