As Mercedes considers dropping the appeal, Toto Wolff sends Verstappen a 'private text.'
Toto Wolff, Mercedes' CEO, is said to have texted Red Bull driver Max Verstappen to congratulate him on his World Championship victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Wolff, who owns a 30% stake in the German constructor, was probably more taken aback by the events at the Yas Marina Circuit than anyone else.
Verstappen, 24, won his first championship in dramatic fashion, taking advantage of a late safety car and some dubious decisions by Michael Masi to pass Lewis Hamilton on the final lap.
The Mercedes garage was enraged by Masi's decision to allow the five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to overtake the safety car on the final lap of the race.
Following the decision, Wolff said on the radio, "You need to reinstate the lap before, that's not right," before Masi retorted, "It's called a motor race - we went car racing."
While Red Bull CEO Christian Horner celebrated Verstappen's victory, a shell-shocked Wolff refused to speak to the media because he couldn't believe what he had just seen.
Mercedes immediately protested two incidents that occurred near the end of the race, but the FIA dismissed both claims.
Later, the dominant constructor announced their intention to appeal one of those decisions, but it now appears they will drop that appeal for the sake of the sport.
In a new development, Wolff appears to have conceded the world title race to Verstappen after reportedly sending him a text message congratulating him on his victory.
"Max Verstappen told me that Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss, had sent him a text message, congratulating him on being World Champion and saying that he fully deserved it, so make of that what you will," Sky Sports News presenter Craig Slater claims.
"I haven't heard anything from Mercedes regarding their decision not to participate in the protest."
Mercedes was given 96 hours to file a new appeal, but it appears that they are now willing to accept the decision of the Abu Dhabi decider.
If that's the case, Verstappen will be crowned Formula One champion for the first time on Thursday at the FIA's prize-giving ceremony.