Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen: Mercedes have made their decision regarding appeal

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Max Verstappen looks set to be confirmed as Formula One champion at tonight’s FIA gala in Paris.

The Flying Dutchman clinched his first F1 title in controversial fashion at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last Sunday.

However, it’s understood, as per SunSport, that Mercedes will not be following up on their intention to appeal against Verstappen’s hugely contentious victory.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner isn’t willing to celebrate just yet, though, as he patiently awaits confirmation.

He said: “I don’t think it’s official until it’s official. But Max is world champ until someone says otherwise.”

Hamilton’s Mercedes team were left shocked by FIA race director Michael Masi’s decision to allow some, but not all, of the lapped cars to overtake the Safety Car.

The Brit had left Verstappen in his tracks and was cruising to the title before the Safety Car was forced to come out.

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That allowed the Dutch star to make the most of his fresh tyres and close the gap on Hamilton before dashing past him when the race resumed for one final lap.

The F1 champ has admitted that his bitter rivalry with Hamilton did boil over to hatred at points this season.

“Sometimes we did hate each other — but that’s fine — that is the competitive spirit both of us have.

“He is an incredible driver and this year in most of the races we have been pushing flat out.

“I appreciate Lewis’ talent for sure, he is a very tough competitor, probably the toughest one I’ve had to fight.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

“People say it was a lucky win. Absolutely, the win was very lucky.

“But we also have been very unlucky throughout the season, otherwise the championship would have been decided way earlier.

“It was very painful for Lewis and I would also be hurt in the way he lost it.”

Hamilton, who was knighted by Prince Charles yesterday, must attend the gala in Paris or risk being fined.

UPDATE: Since writing this article, Mercedes have released an official statement which can be read in full below.

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