Ferrari quiz FIA over Vettel win

2012-11-30 08:53

PARIS, France - Earlier in 2012 we reported that Ferrari was grumbling over Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel's victory at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. Now the Italian team has asked Formula 1's governing body to investigate.

Ferrari confirmed that they had contacted the International Automobile Federation (FIA) due to a manoeuvre by Vettel during the season-ending Brazilian GP which secured the Red Bull ace the 2012 Drivers' title as well as his third consecutive championship.


On its Twitter account, Ferrari posted: "Ferrari asked, by means of a letter, for a clarification from FIA regarding Vettel's overtaking move on Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) during lap four of the Brazilian GP."

There was no comment from the FIA when contacted by AFP but a number of news outlets, including British publication Autosport, quoted sources as saying that Ferrari's concerns were baseless.

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

Watch the overtaking video

No team had asked for a review of the incident.

Norman Howell, director of communications for the FIA, said: "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. Now that Ferrari has sent us a letter asking for an explanation we will give it to them."


The Daily Mail claimed that YouTube footage appeared to show Vettel, the youngest F1 triple World champion yet, overtaking Vergne under yellow flags in early laps of the rain-affected race.

Overtaking under caution is outlawed and is usually punished with a drive-through penalty. In cases where the infringement is not spotted, the sanction is a 20-second penalty handed out retrospectively.

Vettel was sixth during the 2012 race at the Interlagos circuit, Alonso second behind race winner McLaren's Jenson Button.

The result meant Vettel beat Alonso in the title race by three points.

The 2012 Brazilian GP and Vettel's victory had already been overshadowed by claims by Ferrari that Alonso should have been crowned champion. Ferrari brought up controversial races in the 2012 Belgian and Japanese GP's to support its argument.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said 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.

Ferrari was also angered when Vettel, accused of blocking Alonso in qualifying in Japan before going on to win the race, escaped with just a reprimand.

Alonso 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 during the 2012 US GP, to change the gearbox on Felipe Massa's Ferrari to allow Alonso to enjoy a starting advantage on the grid.

Vettel said: "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."

Do you believe Ferrari's claims to be legitimate or is this just another case of bad sportsmanship by the Italian team? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.

Click here to watch the video!


  • rinus.za - 2012-11-30 09:20

    Sour grapes

      jono.qmann - 2012-11-30 11:31

      Sour grapes backside...do you think they go through 20 life threatening races just so that at the end when someone did not obey the laws to go...ag its ok maybe next year i will have some luck??? get lost man, this is business...do you think your boss will let a couple millions slip through his fingers without a fight??? get real bud!!!

  • suidlander.vanwyk - 2012-11-30 09:36

    Italian Mafias, they lost this one as FIA has dismissed their case and their credibility goes down with this too,

  • willem.vanrensburg.35 - 2012-11-30 09:43

    I also watched the video over and over and Vettel did nothing wrong, this ia the reason why Ferrari will not win, they are bad sports men, I do not think Alonso would want to win this way anyway. The hole thing take away the interest in the sport. I think it is becomming like WWF were if you have a gay like Vettel who fights for a win carry more and more pennalties to handycap him. Ferrari has a history of bad sportsmanship under the management of Donenicali.

      thaluki.malema - 2012-11-30 11:26

      Shumager started Ferrari's era of bad sportmanship by his cheating.

      johan.v.walt.3 - 2012-11-30 12:16

      thaluki, I don't get you, below you say that Alonso is a first class sportsman, now Ferrari is a bunch of cheaters?

  • steven.berry.319 - 2012-11-30 09:51

    Sis Ferrari...

  • gareth.coats - 2012-11-30 10:00

    Alonso, Spanish for "This slow Donkey is really just an Ass"

  • robert.porter.1848816 - 2012-11-30 10:19

    Typical ferrari, you lose and moan. I was Tifosi until a year or two ago when the managment started all this junk. Alonso's attitude after the races is also so un-sportsmanlike, he acts like a sulky two year old, doesnt say a word to his fellow drivers and is miserable when interviewed has caused me to lose that Tifosi feeling and I now support Red Bull and other teams.

  • johan.v.walt.3 - 2012-11-30 10:28

    @Willem "a gay like Vettel" ? HAHAHAHA, hmmmmm

      johan.v.walt.3 - 2012-11-30 12:18

      Ag tog, moenie suur wees nie man, lig julle duime, ek lag net vir Willem se Freudian slip in sy comment hierbo. Ek se nie Vettel is gay nie, ek like hom, ek like alle F1 drywers, daai manne het guts

  • johan.v.walt.3 - 2012-11-30 10:35

    Ok, from what I can see there is a yellow light on the left at second 4 of the video, then again on the right at second 14 and when he passes there is a yellow light on left. The rules are clear on this, drive through or 20 seconds added to race time after the race. Can anybody point out this green flag to me? BTW, if it was other way around, Redbull would have also asked the question, it's business not sport when it comes to the MILLIONS of dollars.

      gareth.coats - 2012-11-30 10:57

      Actually Johann, at 18 seconds the screen far ahead on the left of the track is green, and Vettel is still not overtaking. He is accelerating forward, but not overtaking. So its green.

      johan.v.walt.3 - 2012-11-30 11:38

      I just don't see it Gareth, it looks yellow to me. But it should be easy for the FIA to ascertain the colour. I am sure they have data on the colour of all lights on the track at any given time. We will have to wait and see I suppose. Im the meantime I will have my Jager-bomb with extra Redbull :)

      jacques.d.plessis.75 - 2012-11-30 12:09

      There is a marshal post to the left of the track while he is closing in on JEV. There is a guy waving a green flag.

      jacques.d.plessis.75 - 2012-11-30 12:14

      As Vettel is closing in on JEV there is a caged box on the left above the wall with a marshal waving a green flag. Go to youtube, there are a few videos with better clarity on there.

      jacques.d.plessis.75 - 2012-11-30 12:15

      Apologies for the double post

      jacques.d.plessis.75 - 2012-11-30 12:17

      The rules state that you can overtake before the yellow flag sector. Only once you pass the flag/light are you in the zone and the same for the green light/flag. But if the marshal is waving the green flag in the yellow sector, he overrides the lights because he can see the danger is clear. The FIA would have picked up on this in the race anyway.

      johan.v.walt.3 - 2012-11-30 12:55

      Interesting Jacques, thanks for the insight on the rule. But I still don't see any marshall, hehe, maybe its just my red eyes. Anyway, not my decision, I dont have all the data. Will wait and see what the stewarts come up with

      jacques.d.plessis.75 - 2012-11-30 13:07

      I hear the FIA will take no further action as Vettel drove legit. The marshal is in the shot very quickly because of the speeds of the car. Youtube vids have slow mo's on it that can show you. It's quite cool when you see it, like those "Where's Waldo" books.

  • thaluki.malema - 2012-11-30 11:21

    Alonso is a first class sportsman, he would not accept a hollow victory after the time. In any case I don't think Ferrari has any leg to stand on here, Vettel's overtaking move looks legit to me.

      johan.v.walt.3 - 2012-11-30 11:41

      What can he do? If the FIA says, "Hey Fernando, its your title, here is a few million dollars for you and the team" He won't and can't decline, its got nothing to with whether he is a good or bad sportsman. It's F1, its 80% business and 20% sport

  • maven.punk.5 - 2012-11-30 12:17

    In my opinion you should be allowed to complain and accuse the other drivers/teams as much as you like during the season, but after the final race you should accept the result. If the FIA changes the result now, which they wont, it will be bad for the image of FIA and I for one will stop watching F1.

      jacques.d.plessis.75 - 2012-11-30 13:08

      True that, but the FIA would have picked up on that during the race anyway. How many times have we seen the info displayed that some driver is penalised for doing something wrong during the race and even the commentators aren't aware. The FIA has tons of footage and camera's.

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