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Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has sought to clarify the situation regarding the possible protest of Sunday's race result, insisting that his team had to act.
When Ferrari sought clarification from the FIA after YouTube videos suggested Sebastian Vettel had made an illegal move on Jean-Eric Vergne it threatened to open a can of worms that could have had serious ramifications for the sport, certainly in the eyes of the general public and possibly, as a result, broadcasters and even sponsors. Whilst sections of the media and fans claimed "foul", Bernie Ecclestone described the situation as a "complete joke", urging Ferrari not to proceed.
In the wake of the Italian team's decision to note the FIA's opinion on the matter, and let it drop, Domenicali has sought to clarify the situation.
"It was incumbent on us to ask the Federation for a clarification, given everything that was going round on the Internet," he told his team's website. "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."
The Italian took the opportunity to openly criticise the politics of F1, though some might says the words 'pot', 'kettle' and 'black' spring to mind.
"It's always difficult to understand where the limits are in a sport like Formula 1, especially on the technical front," he said. "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."
Point made, he then turned his attention to other matters. "It was an incredible season and I believe Fernando really deserved the title," he added. "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.
"In order to succeed in a complex sport like Formula 1, it's not enough just to have a quick car: you also need to have the best driver and we have that, but you also need reliability, and be the best in terms of strategy, work during the pit stops and also a little bit of luck. In the championship that's just ended, we definitely had the best driver, the best reliability and a level of excellence when it comes to the work on the pit wall and during the pit stops. What was lacking was the car, despite the fact we staged a recovery after the very complicated start. We also lacked a bit of luck, especially with the incidents at Spa and Suzuka. That's why I'd give Ferrari a 7, however, I want to say I am proud, as is President Montezemolo, of the work we have done. Next year, we must try and improve in those areas where we don't match the best, but at the same time, maintain our strong points."
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