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Mercedes withdraw Verstappen protest

09 Oct 2016

Mercedes have withdrawn a protest over Max Verstappen's defensive tactics in his late-race battle with Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka, which was initially scheduled to be heard at the forthcoming race in the United States.

Mercedes had initially protested on the grounds of “an alleged breach of Article 27.5 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations, in that he [Verstappen] allegedly drove erratically and in a dangerous manner, forcing car 44 [Hamilton] to take evasive action at Turn 16.”

Verstappen and Hamilton had been disputing second place at the time of the lap 52 incident, with the Red Bull driver - who also claimed Driver of the Day honours - going on to beat the Briton across the line by just 0.7s. 

However, shortly after the stewards in Japan had decided that the matter should be deferred to the stewards at the 2016 Formula One United States Grand Prix - on the basis that neither driver was in attendance or able to give or refute any evidence - Mercedes decided to withdraw their protest, with Lewis Hamilton tweeting his support of that decision.

The net result is that Nico Rosberg heads into the next race in Austin with a 33-point advantage over team mate Hamilton in the drivers' standings with four races remaining. 

WATCH: Verstappen fends off Hamilton