Formula 1: Ferrari say Sebastian Vettel complaint is 'closed'

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Vettel's 'illegal pass' explained

Ferrari says the controversy over world champion Sebastian Vettel's driving in the Brazilian Grand Prix is "closed".

Ferrari have now received an official response from governing body the FIA after requesting clarification on whether Vettel overtook illegally during the race.

The team says it "takes notice" and "considers the matter closed".

Vettel's road to glory in 2012

It says it raised the issue because the incident "could have left a shadow in the eyes of all the fans of Formula 1".

Ferrari had approached the FIA after concerns were raised over on-board footage from Vettel's car that appeared to show he had passed Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso in an area where overtaking was forbidden.

But the FIA has made it clear that Vettel did not begin his move until passing a green flag, indicating the end of the no-overtaking zone, which is not clearly visible on the video.

The penalty for overtaking in a 'yellow' caution zone, if applied after the race, is 20 seconds added to a driver's race time.

If that had happened to Vettel, he would have been demoted to eighth place and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso would have won the championship by one point.

Ferrari said: "The request for a clarification from the FIA, regarding Vettel's passing move on Vergne, came about through the need to shed light on the circumstances of the move, which came out on the internet only a few days after the race.

"The letter to the FIA was in no way intended to undermine the legality of the race result.

"We received tens of thousands of queries relating to this matter from all over the world and it was incumbent on us to take the matter further, asking the Federation to look into an incident that could have cast a shadow over the championship in the eyes of all Formula 1 enthusiasts, not just Ferrari fans.

"Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA this morning and therefore considers the matter now closed."

The FIA said it had "replied to Scuderia Ferrari... stating that as the overtaking manoeuvre was not in breach of the regulations, and therefore there was no infringement to investigate, it was not reported to the Stewards by Race Control."

The situation regarding Vettel's move was complicated because the track-side warning lights and flags and Vettel's dashboard display contradicted each other.

Vettel pulls off the pass on lap four of the race before he reaches a green flashing light indicating that the yellow caution zone has ended.

And his dashboard display shows the yellow-flag warning sign throughout.

However, on-board videos of the incident seem to show a marshal waving a green flag on the inside of the track.

Top Stories