Mercedes withdraws appeal against Max Verstappen defence

Mercedes has withdrawn its appeal against Red Bull's Max Verstappen for alledgedly driving "erratically and in a dangerous manner" during the Japanese Grand Prix as he defended his second place from Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton chased down Verstappen in the closing laps of the race and mounted an overtaking move at the final chicane on the penultimate lap, but was blocked off by the Dutchman, forcing Hamilton to take to the escape road.

Hamilton accused Verstappen of moving under braking - although not specifically against the rules, it is frowned upon by the stewards and they can take action if they feel it is dangerous.

No investigation was announced and the FIA's Charlie Whiting took it upon himself to speak privately to Verstappen. However Mercedes felt it should have been punished and therefore protested the result of the race.

That appeal has now been withdrawn by Mercedes after the stewards decided to defer any decision until the US GP in a fortnight.

Hamilton himself may have also been behind the withdrawal after tweeting that he didn't support it.

"There is no protest from myself," he wrote. "Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!"