Formula 1 News

FIA has no issues with Vettel's overtaking

The speculation, comments and opinions are now something of the past. The matter has been settled and Sebastian Vettel is the 2012 Champion.
Thursday, November 29, 2012

PARIS, Nov 29, 2012 (AFP) - It's over. We can all now breath after FIA's decision of not granting Ferrari its wishes to revise Vettel's overtaking move over Jean-Eric Vergne during the early stages of the Brazilian GP.

Ferrari had contacted Formula One's governing body concerning the manoeuvre in an attempt to change the outcome: Sebastian Vettel becomeing champion.

The 'House of Maranello' had asked, by means of a letter, for a clarification from FIA regarding VET's overtaking move on Vergne during lap 4 of the Brazilian GP.

Autosport said there was "no doubt" at the FIA that Vettel had overtaken legitimately becase a green flag had already been displayed in the yellow flag sector, allowing drivers to resume passing.

No other team had asked for a review of the incident, it added.

"The incident wasn't reported to stewards in the first place because it didn't seem like there was a need to report it at the time," Norman Howell, the director of communications for the International Automobile Federation (FIA), told bbc.co.uk.

"Now that Ferrari has sent us a letter asking for an explanation we will give it to them."

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper had earlier claimed that YouTube footage appeared to show Vettel, the youngest triple world champion in F1 history, overtaking Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne under yellow flags in early laps of the rain-affected race.

Also, the race director FIA, Charlie Whiting, said in remarks published by the magazine "Sport Bild" on its website, that overtaking Sebastian Vettel to Jean Eric Vergne, who has been challenged by Ferrari, was legal and and was revised during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"Vettel did everything right. He reacted to a green flag that was 350 meters ahead of the last yellow light," said Whiting told the publication cited.

"We never had doubts that this advancement was legal," he added.

The green flag overrides the yellow sign prohibiting overtaking.

Whiting added that none of the drivers who marched behind Vettel voiced any complaint, something it would have been normal in the event of a violation of the rules.

Additionally, a spokesman for the FIA, explained that the action challenged by Ferrari had been considered by the competent Commissioners and during the race.

"Vettel did nothing wrong. Had conflicting signs and flags, and it was investigated during the race with the result that there should be no penalty," said the spokesman.

"Vettel's title is not in danger. Subsequent investigations will not occur," he added

Overtaking under caution is outlawed and is usually punished with a drive-through penalty.

But in cases where the infringement is not spotted, the newspaper claimed, the sanction is a 20-second penalty handed out retrospectively.

Vettel was sixth in Sunday's race at the Interlagos circuit, while double world champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was second in his Ferrari behind winner, McLaren's Jenson Button.

The result allowed Vettel to beat Alonso in the title race by just three points. Sunday's race and Vettel's victory had already been overshadowed by claims from Ferrari that Alonso should have been crowned champion, pointing to controversial races in Belgium and Japan to support their argument.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said that Alonso paid a heavy price for first lap exits in Belgium and Japan where he was shunted out of contention by Lotus duo Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen respectively.

The Italian giants had been further aggrieved when Vettel, accused of blocking Alonso in qualifying in Japan before going on to win the race, escaped with just a reprimand.

Alonso also insisted his campaign had been undermined at Spa and Suzuka.Vettel refused to get involved in a war of words although he did allude to his rivals' controversial decision last weekend in Texas to change the gearbox on Felipe Massa's Ferrari in order to allow Alonso to enjoy a starting advantage on the grid.

"A lot of people tried to play dirty tricks but we did not get distracted by that and kept going our way and all the guys gave a big push right to the end," Vettel said.

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