Mercedes-AMG has missed the deadline to protest the penalty imposed on six of its cars prior to the start of today’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The top six qualifiers — all Mercedes-AMG GT3s — were sent to the rear of the Top-20 grid and each given a five-minute stop-and-hold penalties due to a homologation issue with the car’s ignition timing.
While the in-race penalty given for “non-sporting behavior” was not appealable, the technical infringement, resulting in the qualifying times disallowed, was appealable, which Mercedes said it had planned to do.
However, according to the German manufacturer, the protest was not accepted as the deadline had passed.
Mercedes-AMG issued the following statement:
“Mercedes-AMG thoroughly analyzed the complex accusations. There are varying opinions about the interpretation of the homologation.
“After thorough investigation of the complaints, we decided to submit a protest. Unfortunately, however, this was not accepted anymore as the deadline had passed.”
Four of the six cars served their five-minute stop-and-hold penalties at the end of the first lap, just moments before the race’s first Full Course Yellow.