The final race of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix concluded in the most historic fashion. Max Verstappen marked his maiden championship by edging over seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in the last lap. However, post-race Mercedes raised their protest, alleging breach of articles slated by the governing body. But they have now withdrawn their appeal following FIA’s statement to investigate the events of the final race.
However, despite withdrawing their appeal, Mercedes did not show up to the FIA Prize-Giving Gala, which took place on Thursday. The team’s behaviour didn’t go down well with the experts and journalists who keep a close watch on Formule 1 and they termed Mercedes’ behaviour as, “unsportsmanlike.”
Reportedly, RacingNews365 F1 journalist, Dieter Rencken slammed the team for maintaining utmost silence and for not being present in the Gala. “Lewis’ behaviour is all very well to go and congratulate somebody on the podium and do the odd TV interview on track. But the media is the one that asks hard questions and he was not there. Now, that is a breach of the sporting regulations,” Rencken was quoted as saying.
Reminding sporting regulations to Mercedes, Rencken added that, “the recipient of the trophy during the Prize-Giving Gala is the champion, full stop, then it’s too late to change it.” Notably, The Gala crowns the champion as the Drivers’ Champion and a team as Constructors’ Champions, with both drivers and their respective team bosses required to attend.
However, despite agreeing to FIA’s proposal to probe and analyze the events throughout the final race and season, Mercedes absence from the Gala is surprising and guarantees to raise a lot of eyebrows.