Ferrari considering Vettel protest


Ferrari could protest the result of Sunday's season finale in Brazil, amidst claims that Sebastian Vettel performed an illegal move.

It is understood that Ferrari is studying video footage which appears to show Vettel overtaking Jean-Eric Vergne, ironically with Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso, in a section of the track that was under yellow flags.

The move comes in the wake of a cryptic tweet from Fernando Alonso which read: "I cannot perform miracles. I make miracles within the rules."

While it is claimed that Alonso is urging his team to make an official protest, the rules state that the FIA can proceed with an investigation even without a protest being lodged.

According to Article 179b of the International Sporting Code: "If, in events forming part of an FIA championship, a new element is discovered, whether or not the stewards of the meeting have already given a ruling, these stewards of the meeting or, failing this, those designated by the FIA must meet… summoning the party or parties concerned to hear any relevant explanations and to judge in the light of the facts and elements brought before them."

"The period during which an appeal in review may be brought expires on 30 November of the year during which the decision that is liable to review has been handed down, if that decision is likely to have an effect on the result of a championship."

This would give the FIA or Ferrari just over 48 hours in which to begin proceedings, or not.

The new evidence is understood to have come from race fans who were watching the race via Vettel's own on-board camera, the incident being missed by the main global feed as a result of it showing a replay of the start of the race and the German's first lap crash.

The on-board footage appears to show Vettel passing a flashing yellow light in Turn 2 and then another as he exits Turn 3, after which he passes Vergne on the straight before reaching a flashing green light at Turn 4.

However, another video clip shows a marshal on the inside of the track on the straight approaching Turn 4 with a green flag which would make Vettel's overtake legal. That said, throughout the incident the German's dashboard shows the yellow flag warning.

In the wake of the race there were claims that a move on Kobayashi was made under yellow flags but this was subsequently dismissed as it was in fact the yellow and red 'slippery surface' warning that was being shown.

If an investigation were to be held and Vettel was adjudged as having made an illegal pass he would probably be hit with a 20s penalty added to his race time, thereby dropping him to eighth and handing the title to Alonso.

Neither the FIA, Ferrari or Red Bull is commenting at this time.

Two of the YouTube videos in question can be found here and here, though it remains to be seen how long they are up there before FOM’s lawyers have them removed.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 28/11/2012
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