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Ferrari had to react to yellow flag conspiracies - Domenicali

ESPN Staff
December 1, 2012 « 2012 development not good enough - Haug | Formula E announces Rome race »
Stefano Domenicali: "It was incumbent on us to ask the Federation for a clarification" © Sutton Images

Team principal Stefano Domenicali said Ferrari had to react to the rumours on the internet that Sebastian Vettel had illegally overtaken Jean-Eric Vergne at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but insists he did not intend to "belittle the merit" of Vettel's title.

Domenicali sought clarification from the FIA as to whether the move was legal, with conspiracies on the internet that Vettel passed under yellow flags. The governing body dismissed the suggestions, explaining that a green flag was waving before Vettel made the move, but the episode, which had the potential to change the outcome of the championship, made headlines across the globe.

"It was incumbent on us to ask the Federation for a clarification, given everything that was going round on the Internet," Domenicali said. "We had no intention of belittling the merit of the title winner, but it was right to have the matter completely cleared up. The FIA has replied and we have noted their answer and now consider the matter to be closed."

He added: "It's always difficult to understand where the limits are in a sport like Formula 1, especially on the technical front. However, one thing is certain; if one doesn't trust the referees in sport, in this case the FIA, then it's better to do something else."

Looking back on the season, Domenicali again said he felt Fernando Alonso deserved the title but admitted Ferrari's car let him down.

"It was an incredible season and I believe Fernando really deserved the title," continued the Scuderia's Team Principal. "I'm not just saying that because he is one of our drivers, because I share that opinion with the great majority of his colleagues and observers. What was missing? A quicker car and a bit of luck, given he pretty much did two races less than his competitors.

"Now, it's down to us to give him and his team-mate Felipe Massa, who was great in the second part of the season, not just in terms of his results, but also as a team player, a better car, especially for qualifying.

"I'd score Fernando's season a 10: he is a fantastic driver, who combines his amazing talent with our group of people, protective when he needs to be and pushing in the right direction when things are not going as they should. It's a privilege to have him as part of our team.

"Yes, it's now been two out of three times that we have ended up losing the title at the last race and that is hard, like a boxer getting a punch in the guts, but we are reacting and I can tell you that in Maranello, there is a great desire to win a return match. Next year, we want to win and to be the best."