Mercedes lodges two protests over Abu Dhabi restart and results!

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Sunday's title decider in Abu Dhabi may have yet to be decided following two protests lodged by the Mercedes team which is disputing the procedure surrounding the race's final lap and Max Verstappen's subsequent victory.

Hamilton was beaten to the chequered flag, and to the title, by Verstappen in the final lap of the race that followed a five-lap neutralization under the safety car in the wake of Nichola Latifi's crash.

As the field lined up behind the safety car, and with Verstappen having undertaken an extra stop for soft tyres, FIA race director initially told teams that drivers were not allowed to overtake the SC.

But with five cars positioned between Hamilton and Verstappen, the Red Bull driver's chances of overhauling Hamilton were very thin, even while running on a faster tyre.

However, ahead of the final lap, Masi instructed those five cars to overtake the SC, leaving Hamilton and Verstappen to duke it out nose-to-tail for one final lap. The decision was met with an angry reaction from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

And the Brackley squad feels genuinely that the race director did not follow the proper procedure.

Mercedes is focused on Article 48.12, which states that "any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car."
But the team has also lodged a second protest which states that "no driver may overtake another car on the track, including the safety car, until he passes the Line (see Article 5.3) for the first time after the safety car has returned to the pits."

The FIA has taken note of the protests, but has said that it will not comment on the latter while due process is taking place.

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