Sir Lewis Hamilton asked Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff to back away from the team’s protest of the result of the season-ending 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, according to Dutch motorsport news website F1Maximaal.
Mercedes were infuriated when race director Michael Masi allowed five lapped cars to overtake the Safety Car following Nicholas Latifi’s late crash at Turn 14, with the remaining lapped drivers being kept behind.
As a result, Max Verstappen, on fresh tyres, passed Hamilton on the final lap to win his maiden F1 championship.
Wolff took to the radio to tell Masi “this is not right”, before refusing to address the media in the aftermath of the season finale.
Hamilton was denied his eighth world championship, claiming on the team radio that the race was being “manipulated”. Mercedes, meanwhile, won the Constructors’ Championship for a record eighth-straight year.
The Silver Arrows protested the outcome of the race – feeling that Verstappen’s Safety Car restart was illegal, as well as the stewarding decisions leading to the final lap drama.
When both of those protests were rejected, Mercedes lodged their intention to appeal the decision in court.
Hamilton, however, was extremely magnanimous in defeat, saying during the podium interviews: “Big congratulations to Max and to his team, but I’m so proud of my own team and we gave it absolutely everything. I’ve felt great in the car the last couple of months. We’ll see what happens next year”.
Now, three days after the title-decider, F1Maximaal has reported that Hamilton has asked Wolff to let go of Mercedes’ protests against both Verstappen and Red Bull.