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Damon Hill

Hill casts doubt over Mercedes' appeal plans: I don't see it going anywhere

Damon Hill does not expect Mercedes to make much progress after confirming their intention to appeal the stewards' verdict in Abu Dhabi.

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To news overview © Mercedes

Damon Hill doubts that Mercedes will "get anywhere" should they proceed with their plans to appeal against the stewards' verdict in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes lodged two separate protests, one against Max Verstappen and the other against the race result - relating to unlapped cars and the procedures under the Safety Car.

Hamilton had controlled the majority of Sunday's race after passing Verstappen at the start, but the encounter was turned on its head in the closing laps by a Safety Car period to cover Nicholas Latifi's crash.

Verstappen took the opportunity to pit for new Soft tyres, while Hamilton stayed out on old Hards, amid uncertainty as to whether the race would restart.

As the laps went by, several lapped cars that sat between the pair were initially told to hold position, only to be released by Race Director Michael Masi moments before the Safety Car peeled back in with a lap to go.

Verstappen went on to steal the win and, with it, the world title.

"I don't see how anything's gonna change"

Both of Mercedes' post-race protests were ultimately dismissed by the stewards, with Red Bull chiefs Helmut Marko and Christian Horner criticising the team's actions and declaring that the correct decision had been made.

However, Mercedes have subsequently confirmed their intention to appeal, and have 96 hours (after the race finish) to decide whether to proceed.

Giving his thoughts on the situation in an interview with Sky Sports, 1996 World Champion Hill said: "I don't see how anything's gonna change.

"I think the stewards have said that they are entitled to override some of the other regulations that Mercedes believed were watertight.

"I think when you read those, the code, you can see that the [Race Director] is entitled to do what is necessary to get the race underway, so I just don't see it getting anywhere."

Hill then took a moment to praise Verstappen and Red Bull for sealing the Drivers' crown.

"I think they knew they had to fight with everything they had and it turned out in their favour," he commented.

"You have to say we're looking at an extremely brilliant racing driver who is not there to play games - he's there to win and he's won."

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