New Formula One world champion Max Verstappen said Mercedes are not as gracious in defeat as his Red Bull team.
Verstappen claimed the title in dramatic fashion at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, passing Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to win.
The circumstances around the finish are controversial and Mercedes immediately protested the result. That protest was dismissed by the sport’s governing body the FIA, but Mercedes are still weighing up whether to lodge an appeal and have until Thursday to do so.
“I think you should be accepting a loss, it doesn’t matter how much it hurts,” Verstappen said on Wednesday. “I do think there that there is a bit of a difference there between the teams.”
Verstappen said Mercedes could never take away the fact he won the race and the championship on track.
“I’m fine, because I don’t even think about it too much, because I do feel like world champion and it doesn’t matter what they tried to do. We won it on track, we won it when there was a green light, green flag, and we passed them on track.
“They’ll never be able to take that away from me anyway, but also about the possible appeal or whatever, I’m not busy with that. As a team it might be disturbing but for us we’ve been just enjoying the last few days.”
Ahead of the finale, Verstappen said his opinion of Hamilton and Mercedes had gone down across the course of the season.
When asked how an appeal would further sour his opinion of the team, he added: “Well, no, that’s nothing surprising because of how the season already panned out until the last race.
“My view will not change, it’s pretty much the same.”