• Brazilian Grand Prix

Ferrari considering Vettel protest

ESPN Staff
November 29, 2012 « Senna saw Bottas announcement coming | Webber won't play supporting role for Vettel in 2013 »
Sebastian Vettel was crowned champion in Brazil © Getty Images

Ferrari is "evaluating footage" from Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix that could result in it protesting the outcome of the race and ultimately the outcome of this year's drivers' championship.

The footage in question shows Sebastian Vettel overtake Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso while yellow warning lights are still illuminated in his cockpit. The suggestion is that he may have overtaken in a yellow flag caution zone, which is illegal, although immediately after the move a green light is showing and some versions of the footage appear to show a green flag waving at the pit exit - before he overtook Vergne.

Flags and trackside warning lights tend to take precedence over the in-cockpit light system, so if a green flag was waving at the marshal post at the end of the pit lane, Vettel was within his rights to make the pass.

Ferrari press officer Luca Colajanni told the Associated Press: "We're looking at the video. We have until tomorrow to file an appeal."

Under the FIA's Sporting Code an appeal, "The period during which an appeal in review may be brought expires on 30 November of the year during which the decision that is liable to review has been handed down, if that decision is likely to have an effect on the result of a championship."

Should an appeal be successful, the most likely outcome would be a post-race drive-through penalty, which would be handed out in the form of a 20-second penalty. If applied to Vettel's race time from Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix it would drop him to eighth, which would be enough to drop him behind Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship.