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Mercedes withdraw protest against 'Mad Max'

2016-10-10 08:17

QUESTIONABLE DRIVING? This is the defensive move made by Max Verstappen that the Mercedes team reported to race stewards. Image: Instagram / CrashF1

Suzuka, Japan - Mercedes lodged a formal protest against Red Bull's Max Verstappen, only to withdraw it less than two hours later following the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The team had initially protested against an aggressive move that prevented Lewis Hamilton from snatching second place in a thrilling tussle at Suzuka.

'Not what we do'

Verstappen went on to take second behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and in front of Hamilton.

Formula 1's ruling FIA said its investigation into the incident would not take place until the next race in Austin, Texas in two weeks since neither Verstappen nor Hamilton were able to attend a stewards' meeting.

READ: Rosberg takes easy win, Hamilton third in Japanese GP

Both teams agreed but Mercedes, who claimed their third successive constructors' championship at Suzuka, did a U-turn after Hamilton told his team: "It is not what we do".

Hamilton, whose fervour for social media has drawn ire over the past week, tweeted: "There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!"

Controversy over the weekend

The triple world champion clawed his way back through the field after a horror start left him in eighth place and was swarming over the back of Verstappen's Red Bull in the closing stages.

But when he tried to duck around the Dutch teenager approaching the chicane, Verstappen slammed the door by blocking off the inside, forcing the Mercedes to take evasive action.

READ: Mercedes boss tips Hamilton to fight 'to the end'

Hamilton claimed over the radio that Verstappen had moved in the braking zone, but refused to elaborate after the race, saying: "It doesn't really matter now, it's done and we move forwards."

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