Ferrari confirmed today that it has formally contacted the FIA regarding the Brazilian GP yellow flag controversy – but the team is wasting its time.
Yesterday the team said that it was reviewing video footage apparently showing Vettel passing Jean-Eric Vergne before a yellow light board and with yellow signals on his dash.
An official Ferrari Tweet then confirmed today: “Ferrari asked, by means of a letter, for a clarification from FIA regarding VET’s overtaking move on VER during lap 4 of the Brazilian GP.”
However FIA sources have confirmed what this blog said yesterday – footage also shows that Vettel clearly passed a green flag on the left before he started the passing move, and before he used KERS. And that means that the pass on Vergne was legal, and there is no case to answer, as I suggested here.
As stated yesterday, traditional flags have priority over dashboard lights and trackside light boards. In effect the first flag or board passed denotes a yellow or green zone.
Unfortunately Ferrari is likely to emerge from this affair looking like a bad loser, a shame given that the team initially seemed to accept defeat with some dignity on Sunday afternoon…
Nobody would have had a problem had Ferrari flagged up (no pun intended!) the incident with the FIA during the race, or even in its immediate aftermath, before the results were official. Teams are always contacting race control pointing out potential indiscretions by others, in the hope of generating penalties.
While there was a lot going on one wonders why at this critical race the team did not have a staff member dedicated to following the Vettel on-board feed and looking out for yellow flag passes, any advantage gained from an off-track excursion, or other possible crimes. That would have been a logical move.
If they did have someone doing that job and he didn’t spot the Vergne incident then perhaps the team should be asking him why.
Instead this matter developed from some good ‘citizen journalism’ by internet-savvy fans who brought it to the world’s attention, and who between them ultimately presented both sides of the story. Well done guys…