Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012

Ferrari accepts FIA view on Vettel dispute

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Ferrari say they consider the dispute over Sebastian Vettel’s driving in the Brazilian Grand Prix “closed”.

“Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA this morning and therefore considers the matter now closed,” the team said in a statement on Friday.

“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,” said the team.

“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.”

The FIA issued the following statement:

“The FIA received a letter from Scuderia Ferrari, seeking clarification on Sebastien Vettel’s overtaking manoeuvre in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

“In the spirit of transparency and goodwill, the FIA wishes to make public the receipt of this letter.

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“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.”

Had the FIA concluded Vettel’s pass on Vergne was illegal, a penalty would likely have dropped him down the classification far enough to make Fernando Alonso the drivers’ champion.

The FIA stated yesterday Vettel’s pass on Vergne began after a green flag and was therefore legal.

Red Bull said they 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,” the team added in a statement.

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2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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91 comments on “Ferrari accepts FIA view on Vettel dispute”

  1. I hope this will be the end of the yellow flag-story. This nonsense has been going on for too long and I regret that the season had to end like this.

    1. @andae23 Hear, hear.

    2. Sadly, this will not end in the next 10-15 years – as long as Nando and Seb are both on the grid and even after that. The obsessed will always remember this as the day the title was sold/gifted to that cheating *** Vettel. Maybe not in f1f community but in the web in general.

      1. How did you work that out? In what way did Vettel cheat?
        The FIA have clearly informed Ferrari as to why the move was legal, in fact, I didn’t even need to hear it from them as anyone with even a basic understanding of the rules knows that the green flag means to resume racing.

        It was just a case of sour grapes by ferrari.

        1. I don’t think it had much to do with sour grapes at Ferrari @andy2286. But after getting gazillions of fans asking, it was a nice opportunity to take at least a bit of the shine off of Red Bulls victory, eh. So Ferrari was happy to let this smoulder for a couple of days, although they know the FIA does not like it much, thats why there’s such a formulation in the statement saying it was all to avoid controversy in the future.

          O!h, and I think you misunderstood @vasschu there. He did not mean to say Vettel did anything wrong, just that there are those on the internet who will never shy away from bringing back old controversies and conspiration theories.

  2. It’s disingenuous of Ferrari to claim they did not “intend to undermine the legality of the race result”.

    As the deadline for them to protest had passed their only available means of recourse was to suggest the FIA look into the matter. And I don’t believe anyone is naive enough to claim this was not done with an eye on what a post-race penalty for Vettel would have done to the championship outcome.

    If Ferrari genuinely wanted to shed light on “an incident that could have cast a shadow over the championship in the eyes of all Formula 1 enthusiasts”, then they would have explained why the pass was legal. Which they haven’t done – in fact, their statement is clearly written to avoid acknowledging that fact.

    In related news, the rumoured ‘deleted Alonso Tweet’ some people have been asking questions about is fake.

    1. I sense the hand of Luca di Montezemolo in all of this. When Ferrari first signed Fernando Alonso on, it was hailed as an inevitability finally coming due, with the expectation that Alonso would win titles for the team straight away. He came very close in 2010, only for his team to have him cover off the wrong Red Bull in Abu Dhabi (but with Vettel being an outside chance going into the race, covering off Webber made sense at the time). They stood next to no chance in 2011, with Red Bull and Vettel dominating. But this year, they had a car that looked like an absolute handful to drive, and Alonso still managed to hold onto the championship lead for most of the season. If it weren’t for an over-enthusiastic Lotus or two, he probably would be champion. Even going into final race in Brazil, a Ferrari title was a realistic proposition, and Alonso had done enough to secure the title at more than one point during the race. A few results going one way or the other could have drastically changed the outcome.

      After three years, no titles and a very public endorsement of Alonso as champion ever since he joined the team in 2010, I can see Luca usurping the rest of the team and lobbying the FIA, trying to get the race result changed.

    2. I think the hold think is sad, after a terrific season that they though this kind of antics will give them a tittle or take merits away from Vettel is low …

      1. They haven’t though. They explained in their statement that they did it so the internet would shut up and move on.

        1. Excuseme, but the worst way to give the fans of Ferrari and Alonso more strength was by acknowledging their clain, as @keithcollantine explained if they wanted the rumor to stop they themself could have explained why the move was legal, instead they resorted to “send a letter”… This was a PR disaster, for everyone involve, they have put and asterist on Vettel Champions, fans of F1 are attacking Fernando Alonso as a sore loser, you can read the comments on the spanish websides, and Ferrari for not being strong (tweets mostly by spanish fans)… Please, a organization like Ferrari let themself being manipulated by fans… for real thats theirs excuse?

          1. @celeste Agreed. There was no need to involve the FIA and wait until Friday before making a statement. There was no need for ambiguous tweets by Alonso. It’s just part of Ferrari’s strategy, they have been unable to make a better driver/car combination than Vettel/RBR this year so they attack their rivals this way.

          2. But isn’t Ferrari the same team that faked a gearbox change in Austin to alter the grid? It cuts both ways. They just want to win like all the other teams. Their 2012 car was only competitive because of Alonso.

          3. @girts

            I think it’s disingenuous to suggest this, without acknowledging that almost all teams are like this when it suits them.

      2. After this incident Alonso lost a lot of credibility that he gained this season. The article by Dave Jorgensen sums it very nicely. Look at Alonso’s response in 2007 when in a similar situation a post race penalty to Williams would make Lewis the 2007 World Champion… Amazing

    3. I think you are reading too much into it Kieth. Their statement clearly explains why they did it. I think you need to take your tinfoil cap off for a bit and re-read what they said.

      1. @infy Obviously I disagree with you for the reasons already given. I think the alternative view that Ferrari did so with no interest in the ramifications for the championship is naive and not credible.

        1. Not credible? You seriously think you as a conspiracy theorist, holds more credibility than Ferrari themselves?

          That’s hilarious!

          1. @infy Not taking someone’s PR at face value does not constitute believing in a conspiracy.

          2. @infy Then what are you doing here or on any other F1 website? will tell you everything you need to know. Ferrari always tell the truth and they always hold the only right opinion. Everyone, who questions their neutrality, honesty or inerrancy, is a conspiracy theorist.

          3. @infy
            The same Ferrari who said “we have no team orders” after Germany 2010? maybe its just PR and lies, just like what they said in Germany. Do you also believe the used car dealer when he say “oh that is just bubbles in the paint. No rust at all!”?

          4. @girts

            Unbeliever! We must banish the outsider!

            No seriously, I hope no one ever leaves, all opinions are interesting, and it all builds into a great forum.

            But @infy I find it very hard sometimes to take what comes out of Ferrari as honesty, Red Bull do it just as much, but I think neither team ever tells the complete truth. It’s always twisted just slightly to make themselves look good, or suit their goals.

            I wanted Alonso to win this year, but Keith is right, The guys that are responsible for that press release are dishonest in how the present the situation.

            I’m quite sure Ferrari has looked as deeply as they can to overturn the title loss.

          5. Everybody calm down. F1 is about winning at nearly every and all costs. Bending rules, stretching truth, getting caught, getting fined; these are all just part of the game. Every team does it, and every team blames the others for doing it too.

            Crack a beer, relax and wait for next season when we get to do it all over again.

          6. @javlinsharp I think that’s my favorite comment of the day to the point that I think people on this site should all have it tattooed somewhere for future reference.

    4. @keithcollantine I wouldn’t cast blame on Ferrari. I think they knew it was a legitimate move. I’m sure they had analyzed it many times. Still, there was a huge debate among the fans, some unnecessary animosities were surfacing, and the team had to do something about it. They decided to use FIA to clear the air and I think it was the right course of action.

    5. @keithcollantine I’m sorry to bring this up again, but why are you everytime trying to find faults with Ferrari, however microscopic it is? Gone are the days of the fabled ‘Group of Nine’ and ‘Ferrari International Aid/Assistance’. Ferrari are no longer on a different pedestal, they are treated like every other team is. And now when they humbly accept defeat(this seems clear from their words), you cross the line and attack them further by reading b/w the lines? It is normal to ask for a clarification of such things, and it was all done in a constructive spirit. Case closed.

      1. They’re not treated like every other team though.
        They get a much larger sum of the constructors money just for being Ferrari.
        ie: should Ferrari win the title, they get more money than Red Bull otherwise would, should they finish first instead.

        1. @xjr15jaaag The reason they get a larger sum of constructors money is because they have contractual agreements to race in F1 exclusively and cannot join any other racing series as a constructor.

          The only other Ferraris on any track in the world are consumer cars run by privateers.

          1. I swear AF Corse is a factory ferrari effort

    6. I think @SniffPetrol’s Tweet summarized it very well hilariously…..

      1. haha Good One

    7. I am one of those Alonso fans who want to know from Ferrari what is going on. To call Ferrari disingenuous show that you are not impartial as you say you are. I can understand that, as you are a Brit and you too, like all of us, in our hart of harts have a favorite driver or two.

      As an Alonso fan and not necessary a Ferrari fan, I wanted to know from Ferrari what were they going to do about this Yellow flag news. Sit and do nothing? I want answers and the FIA was silent about it. I don’t have access to FIA but I can at least ask Ferrari the question.

      Here are my questions and anybody can correct me if I am wrong.

      I understand that there is an onboard display, some sort of yellow light in each car on the steering wheel. I also understand that when the marshals wave the yellow flags a second marshal control and activate a button that runs to race control that automatically activate the yellow lights in all the cars in that section of the track. At the same time it also activated on the track lights itself to make it easier for the drivers to see and know what is going on, on the track. That prevents the divers for making excesses that they have not seen the waving flags.
      On seeing the yellow light on the dash board, the driver then needs to slow down. If not they get penalized and the way they deemed that is two fold. They check the lap time of the previous lap on that section of track and see if it is slower, and two if needed, they look at the telemetry car and see if there was a lift on the throttle or the brakes were applied.
      If this is the method use to judge driver, they don’t use actual waving flag of an individual marshal. Because there is no actual way for them to know at race control if an individual marshal are waving his flag. They trust the electronic system.
      As a driver in the rain, speeding, it is nearly impossible to see a waving flag through there helmet visor. They rely on the yellow light in the car lights to warn them, as well as there team maybe over the radio.

      My question then is did FIA seriously looked into this or not?
      In my view they did not. They don’t want to rock the boat. The Brazilian marshals in my observation have not done a consistent job. This is not the first time. Like a few year back when also in rain, they awarded Kimi Räikkönen the victory and only later realized it wat actuality Fisicala who won.

      In my view Ferrari have not done enough. Call me a sore loser or what ever you want but I believe there was no due diligent from FIA in this so called investigation. The media new about this footage on Monday already but did not act on this. FIA did not check any telemetry or data of Red Bull. Ferrari did not once again do enough at they understandably do not what to be seen as sore loser and lose fans.

      This “sore loser” will forever see that Vettel won the championship because some people did not do the job, for what ever the political or financial reason, it was handed to him Vettel unjustly. If this was a murder case in court and the evidence was before a judge, there will be a different champion.

      1. LOL, seriously?? That’s just hilarious!

      2. @francuis

        Did you read the discussion in the forum at all? Vettel’s pass was legal and there was nothing to further investigate.

        “If this is the method use to judge driver, they don’t use actual waving flag of an individual marshal. Because there is no actual way for them to know at race control if an individual marshal are waving his flag. They trust the electronic system.”

        Key word here, “if”; the flags are what count before anything else. If there was a green flag where Vettel passed, which there was, it doesn’t matter if there was a yellow light on his steering wheel.

        I wanted to Alonso to win the championship but Vettel did nothing wrong here and he deserves the championship.

      3. Actually @francuis, in saying

        “If this is the method use to judge driver, they don’t use actual waving flag of an individual marshal. Because there is no actual way for them to know at race control if an individual marshal are waving his flag. They trust the electronic system.”

        it seems you take this system to be there mainly for the benefit of the stewards in checking weather the drivers complied with the flag rules.
        That is a misconception, because the flags are primarily there to instruct the drivers about upcoming dangers and give them free reign when the danger is gone.
        Therefore, the fact a flag is being waved is more important than what race control sees, as the marshals in that part of the track react to what they see and hear about their sector.

      4. As a driver in the rain, speeding, it is nearly impossible to see a waving flag through there helmet visor. They rely on the yellow light in the car lights to warn them, as well as there team maybe over the radio.

        As I’ve stated before, this is incorrect. I highly doubt you have been in this situation, and are relying simply on the poor camera footage, shot from a low resolution camera in the most difficult video-taking conditions (cloudy skies). Vettel KNEW there was a marshal station there, because signaling locations are one of the VERY IMPORTANT THINGS covered when preparing for a track.

        Vettel would have come screaming out of the yellow zone, and sighted the stand immediately because he would be LOOKING for the green flag. If you haven’t been on a track before, let alone in the rain (very fun, actually!), you shouldn’t force your opinion on this.

    8. I think Ferrari were all too happy to have this issue to cloud the skies for a couple of days and take a bit of the feel good from Red Bulls victory. Already thinking about the future

    9. I think ferrari’s inquiry might be justified from the fact that Vettel ignored his dashboard.
      There has been an issue with Rosberg citing his dashboard as cause for an infringment.
      So in one case the dashboard was ruled to be the place wher to look and in this case it’s the actual flag – which I think it should be.

  3. I think it´s normal that Ferrari asked for a clarification. Vettel overtaking Vergne images were, at least, confusing (green flags, yellow flags, dashboard light, Vergne slow…). The FIA is the only who can say it´s a legal pass and Ferrari accepts it.

      1. No, bcoz @keithcollantine has some clearcut opiniions on the matter.

        1. @chicanef1 There is no need to attack Keith, if any, this was one of the only sites where open discussion is allowed… he posted the video and looked for evidence wheater or not it was a legal past… he has expresses his opinion, same as you are… if you do not agree with him, thats your prerogative, he has posted and respectfuly answer to your comments, so not need to attack or judge his imparciallity…

          1. Sorry past is not past is as “move”

    1. The FIA is the only who can say it´s a legal pass

      The fact that it was not investigated by stewards during or after the race demonstrates that the FIA has deemed it a legal pass.
      Are you suggesting that after every race, the FIA should issue a breakdown of every overtaking manoeuvre to confirm that each one was legal?

      1. Only if a team asks for it.
        I don´t know why nobody asked for a “possible breakdown of overtaking manoeuvre” during the race. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was all about the media and the internet viral power.

    2. It is sad that Ferrari once a great racing team has allowed itself to be dragged into mire. I am Ferrari fan and i don’t think they have done themselves any justice. I grew up admiring Ferrari as the ultimate racing machine and leader in F1; not ohhh we cant compete with Newey or may be we will can find some petty issue to get the WDC overturned. In the past Ferrari won at the track and not through bad PR team & lack of direction from the top as in this case; I am just so disappointed.

  4. Its a sad day for F1

    1. Sunday was a sad day for F1 :/ Everyone is losing hope. Going back to the MSC days with 1 team dominating.

      1. Sunday was a sad day for you, but not F1.

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        30th November 2012, 16:33

        Don’t know mate @infy but for me Sunday was great. vettel became THREE TIMES CHAMPION and nobody can avoid that, not even gearbox changes, tweets or letters

        1. To bad Grosjean avoided him, instead of Alonso. ;)

          1. but Karthikeyan didn’t avoid Vettel in Malaysia or the WDC would have been wrapped up in Austin, where NK got in the way again…funny, you might hear Vettel complain about that right in the heat of the moment or just after the race, but never bleating on about it months later. And Vettel’s called whingy?

            Can Alonso and Ferrari just stop with the “if onlys…”? If only they knew how to build and operate a properly calibrated wind tunnel huh? That was their problem. A slow car. “Counting on competitors (McLaren/Redbull) shooting themselves in the foot” is not a reliable strategy to winning a championship.

    2. it not a sad day, it spiced it up a little more, like an anticlimax.
      it maybe took the shine off Vettels achievement a little.
      think about it everyone was left hanging, is he or is he not going to loose his crown.
      i quite enjoyed it, even knowing there was no way Bernie wouldn’t let his blue eyed boy miss out regardless of him being right or wrong.

    3. Its a sad day for F1

      Only if the rules being applied upsets you.

      1. @tdog Absolutely. People need to stop being so precious.

    4. @iabuser – it was a perfectly happy day for me and many others, specifically Vettel and Red Bull Racing.