F1: Hamilton ‘shouldn’t be complaining’ says Ecclestone
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Former vice president of Mercedes-Benz motorsport activity Norbert Haug has claimed his former side need to “shut up” and accept defeat following the Silver Arrows’ bitterly disappointing world championship defeat to Red Bull last weekend. Following one of the most dramatic seasons in Formula One history, Max Verstappen managed to edge Lewis Hamilton to the title in the final minutes of a rollercoaster campaign.
With just one lap to go, Nicholas Latifi crashed, meaning a safety car had to be deployed.
Verstappen was then handed a golden chance to close the distance on Hamilton after the FIA allowed the five cars on track between the pair to unlap themselves before setting up a straight shootout for the final lap.
With Hamilton’s tyres worn, it was the Dutchman who profited to secure his first-ever world championship to the dismay of Mercedes.
The Silver Arrows opted to protest the FIA’s decision with the stewards but their efforts were waved away.
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Mercedes then gave notice of their intention to appeal and will have until Thursday to put forward any evidence towards their case.
But in the view of Haug, it’s time for Mercedes to concede defeat and move on.
“You can only say s*** happens,” he told ServusTV.
“I understand that sometimes you freak out. I don’t know what it would be like if it had gone the other way.
“A word on it afterwards, the motorsport fan doesn’t want to see that. It’s about having the size to shut up. It was not always easy for me either.”
While Hamilton missed out on the chance to secure his fifth straight F1 title and eighth career drivers’ championship, the British star did handle defeat in a dignified manner.
Yet while would like to see his successor Toto Wolff write new history with Mercedes, Haug accepts it’s incredibly unlikely that the FIA will overturn their decision following the appeal.
“As a rule, these not won very often,” he added. “I don’t even want to describe it from Mercedes glasses.
“Motorsport trains you in such a way that you have to accept such defeats.
“I know the feeling of losing the World title by one point with two drivers. This pain comes up five days later.”
Mercedes have since reportedly rejected the chance to take part in a photoshoot for the FIA celebrating their Constructors’ Championship triumph.
The Silver Arrows have not published anything on their social media channels since confirming their decision to launch an appeal.
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