• Brazilian Grand Prix

Ferrari considers yellow flag controversy 'closed'

ESPN Staff
November 30, 2012 « Perez expects title in first year at McLaren | January date for Watkins memorial service »
Ferrari considers the controversy closed after receiving a reply from the FIA © Sutton Images

Ferrari has confirmed it now considers the Brazilian Grand Prix yellow flag controversy closed after receiving confirmation from the FIA that Sebastian Vettel passed Jean-Eric Vergne legally on lap four of race.

Ferrari contacted the FIA on Wednesday night for clarification over the overtaking manoeuvre as footage emerged during the week showing Vettel passing Vergne while yellow flag warning lights were illuminated in his cockpit. Had Vettel overtaken Vergne under yellow flags it could have resulted in a post-race penalty that may have dropped him behind Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship.

However, on Thursday the FIA confirmed the pass was legal as a green flag was being waved from a marshal's post before Vettel made the move. The incident was not reported to the stewards as it was not considered an illegal move, but with fans contacting Ferrari for an explanation the Italian team asked the FIA for clarification.

"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," read a Ferrari statement.

"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 One 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 also released a statement confirming it had been asked for a clarification from Ferrari and that it explained to the team why the passing move was entirely legal.

"The FIA received a letter from Scuderia Ferrari, seeking clarification on Sebastien Vettel's overtaking manoeuvre in Sao Paulo on Sunday," read the short statement. "In the spirit of transparency and goodwill, the FIA wishes to make public the receipt of this letter. "The Federation also informs it has replied to Scuderia Ferrari, in the same constructive spirit, 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."

Red Bull also released a statement on Friday: "We are pleased, but not surprised, that the FIA has confirmed there is no case to answer regarding the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

"We are extremely proud of Sebastian's incredible achievement and his third historic title, which makes him the youngest ever triple world champion."