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Wolff convinced Mercedes would have won Verstappen appeal "in a regular court"

Wolff convinced Mercedes would have won Verstappen appeal "in a regular court"

Wolff convinced Mercedes would have won Verstappen appeal "in a regular court"

Wolff convinced Mercedes would have won Verstappen appeal "in a regular court"

Toto Wolff is convinced Mercedes would have been "almost guaranteed" victory in a regular court if it had pursued its appeal against Max Verstappen's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix triumph.

Mercedes opted not to appeal a stewards' verdict that rejected a protest from the team at the classification given the events that unfolded over the final laps of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday.

It was a decision not taken lightly, particularly as Mercedes felt it had the law on its side but was offset by the fact it knew the International Court of Appeal [ICA] operates in a different manner.

“We believed we had a very strong case and if you look at it from the legal side, if it would have been judged in a regular court, it is almost guaranteed that we would have won," said Wolff

“But the problem with the ICA is the way it is structured. The FIA can’t really mark their own homework and there is a difference between being right and obtaining justice.

“So there is a lesson to be learned, how can we make sure that going forward with situations like that the right decisions are being taken. The verdicts from the stewards are a response to the regulations.

"Judgment in the courts, whether it is the ICA or CAS [Court for Arbitration of Sport], which is not currently part of the legislation, can be judged in a way that is fair and neutral to every participant.”

As to whether a legal case could still have been pursued, but Mercedes making clear it would not be contesting the result of the championship in order to clarify the rules, Wolff feels that would not have been possible.

"I can understand the frustrations of many, and to be honest, I have the same," added Wolff.

'I'm also in two minds all the time, between my perspective and my judgment on the legal position, and my realism about the outcome of such proceedings.

"As I've said before there is a difference between being right and obtaining justice, and I don't think at the moment we're set up, in terms of our governance, to end up in a situation that would have given us remedy that would have reinstalled a result that was taken away from Lewis before the last lap of the race.

"That's why, with a heavy heart, we decided not to appeal because we knew we wouldn't have got back the result."

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