Vettel Keeps World Title Despite Ferrari Flap


  • Fernando Alonso Picture

    Fernando Alonso Picture

    Formula 1's governing body said that Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel can keep his world title, despite some squawking by Ferrari. | November 30, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Formula 1's governing body said Friday that Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel committed no breach of regulations during the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix and can keep his world title.
  • The FIA confirmed it received a letter from Ferrari seeking "clarification" of why Vettel was not penalized for making a pass late in the race.
  • Ferrari issued a statement on its Web site saying it considered the "matter now closed."

PARIS — Formula 1's governing body said Friday that Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel committed no breach of regulations during the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix and can keep his world title.

The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile confirmed it received a letter from Ferrari seeking "clarification" of why Vettel was not penalized for making a pass late in the race.

Ferrari issued a statement on its Web site saying it considered the "matter now closed."

A penalty would have taken the 2012 championship from Vettel and awarded it to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

"The FIA received a letter from Scuderia Ferrari, seeking clarification on Sebastian Vettel's overtaking maneuver in Sao Paulo on Sunday," said the FIA in a statement on its Web site. "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 maneuver 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."

Ferrari said it has accepted the explanation and has dropped its inquiry into the matter.

The Italian team wrote to sanctioning body FIA seeking clarification of why Vettel was not penalized for making a pass late in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. There was some question whether the pass occurred under yellow-flag conditions.

"The request for a clarification from the FIA, regarding Vettel's passing move on (Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric) 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," a Ferrari statement read.

The statement went on to assert that the team had received "tens of thousands of queries" about the incident 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 1 enthusiasts, not just Ferrari fans."

Had Vettel been penalized for the pass, he might not have finished high enough to win a third straight world championship title. Had he been penalized the requisite 20 seconds in an after-the-fact penalty resulting from a protest, he would have had to surrender the title to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Edmunds says: Case closed.

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