Leading international arbitration Lawyer Duncan Bagshaw has heavily criticized FIA’s handling of the highly controversial ending at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the ‘Sport marking its own homework.’ Bagshaw believes Mercedes has a strong case to overturn decisions that cost Lewis Hamilton an almost certain win at the Formula One World Championship.
After an intense season filled with drama, Redbull’s Max Verstappen was victorious at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and crowned world champion after dramatically taking the lead from Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit. However, FIA confirmed the result of his victory hours after deliberation. Mercedes protested twice, each time facing rejection following a disputed intervention during the final lap of the race by FIA race director Micheal Masi. Bagshaw, a barrister at Howard Kennedy, specializes in international arbitration and proceedings. He denied FIA’s decision that crowned Verstappen, world champion. He said Mercedes have a strong position if they take legal action against the decision. He told BBC’s Today’s Program that FIA’s resolved the challenge too quickly. “The FIA, marking its own homework, perhaps unsurprisingly said they stood by the decision of the race director Michael Masi,” he added. He believes Mercedes have a case and could take it to a court of arbitration. There are a lot of circumstances that can turn the outcome of these races, and Mercedes may feel they don’t have a choice. During the Abu Dhabi GP, Mercedes’ Hamilton looked in control and up for a win. Five laps from the end, a crash by Nicholas Latifi triggered a safety car. Redbull’s Verstappen pitted for fresh tires to attack Hamilton, as Mercedes left their man to maintain position. With a few laps remaining, the expectation was to end the race under the safety car. However, FIA wanted the race to end with a racing lap. Mercedes say there was bias in FIA's intervention to make sure Verstappen was behind Hamilton for the final lap shootout.
Hamilton had no chance running on old tires as Verstappen whizzed past him, clinching victory and the chapionship title. Mercedes protested the handling of the safety car but got rejected.
Keyword: International Arbitration Lawyer Warns FIA 2021 Abu Dhabi GP Decision Could Be Overturned