It’s been another tough weekend for Lewis Hamilton at the Japanese Grand Prix. After finishing second behind his team mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying, the Englishman struggled on race day, and finished third behind Max Verstappen, which led to a bizarre series of events after the race.
Hamilton had initially done well to get himself back into third place after a dreadful start which saw him drop to eighth before the first corner in Suzuka. However, despite catching Verstappen with nine laps to go with a faster car, and on newer tyres, the Dutchman defended his position well and held on to second place.
Hamilton was unhappy with the manner of Verstappen’s driving, saying over the radio “Verstappen moved under breaking.” There is no law against changing direction in the breaking zone, but the drivers have a gentleman’s agreement not to do it.
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Mercedes lodged a complaint against Verstappen at 18:27 local time, but with both drivers unable to talk to the stewards in Suzuka, the FIA announced that the appeal would be heard at the next race in America in two weeks time.
Surprisingly, just 83 minutes after Mercedes lodged the complaint, the FIA announced that it had been withdrawn, meaning that the result of the race stands.
Hamilton, who has been criticised for his behaviour in the pre-race press conference on Thursday that he spent mainly on Snapchat, and for refusing to answer questions after Saturday’s qualifying, responded to news of the appeal on Twitter, only to delete his tweet minutes later.
He firstly tweeted: “There is no protest from either myself or Mercedes. One idiot said we have but it’s not true. Max drove well, end of. Move on.”
After deleting the first tweet, he sent out another message, which read:
Mercedes secured victory in the Constructors’ Championship for the third year in a row thanks to Rosberg’s win and Hamilton’s podium finish. Rosberg extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 33 points with just four races left, starting in Texas in a fortnight’s time.