Date: 30th November 2012 at 1:23pm
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The possibility of a Ferrari appeal in regards to Sebastian Vettel’s race result in Brazil has now ended.

As reported on Wednesday evening, Ferrari were seeking clarification into Sebastian Vettel’s overtaking manoeuvre on Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne on lap four of Sunday’s 2012 Formula One World Championship decider.

On board footage appeared to show Vettel making the pass despite being under yellow flags, with track lights and his steering wheel light indicating that he was in a caution area where overtaking was forbidden.

This had led to a number of Formula One fans who had watched the onboard feed [not previously shown on the world feed] to query why it hadn’t been investigated during the race.

If Vettel had been investigated and penalised during the race he would have received a drive through penalty, but as he hadn’t then he could have been subjected to a post-race 20 second time penalty, which would have dropped him down from sixth to eight place, losing the Formula One World title to Fernando Alonso by one single point.

However, on closer examination and on either super slow motion replays or still shots, a green flag is visibly being waved by a trackside marshal after the last yellow light, which takes precedence over the yellow light on Vettel’s steering wheel.

This means that the overtaking manoeuvre was legitimate and the fact that Ferrari even seeked clarification on the matter had already angered Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

‘It’s a shame because everything had gone so well, It was a super race, a super championship. Now everyone is talking about this. The problem is that no one knows what is going on.’ Ecclestone told the Daily Telegraph.

‘It’s a complete joke. What Ferrari are saying in that letter is wrong. I don’t think there needs to be any action taken. It’s completely and utterly wrong.

But the matter was finally put to bed this morning after the FIA clarified its position to Ferrari.

The team are now happy with the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix and thus the result of the Formula One World Championship. They have also now released a statement explaining why they took the action that they did.

‘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. Ferrari told the BBC.

‘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.’


To completely clear the matter up, as it had appeared like the caution indicators had contradicted themselves F1 race director Charlie Whiting explained the point to Sky Sports saying: ‘If the lights are not installed at a flag post, the driver responds to the first signal that is shown, In Vettel’s case, between the last yellow light and the green light there was a green flag being waved.

‘The distance is 350 metres here. Vettel responded to the flag and did everything right.’