Ferrari finally accepts Vettel pass was legal

Ferrari said today that it accepts the FIA’s explanation regarding Sebastian Vettel’s pass of Jean-Eric Vergne in the Brazilian GP and accepts the matter is now closed.

Ferrari wrote to the FIA on Wednesday asking for official clarification about the move despite evidence on the internet showing that a green flag was being waved, making the pass legal.

While the team is fully entitled to pursue such a route it might have been wiser to have taken a more low-key route and accepted the inevitable somewhat earlier, given that the furore of the last few days. The affair has unfairly cast a shadow over Red Bull’s win although ultimately Ferrari may have shot itself in the foot in PR terms, having initially accepted defeat on Sunday in a dignified manner.

A Ferrari statement said today: “The request for a clarification from the FIA, regarding Vettel’s passing move on 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. The letter to the FIA was in no way intended to undermine the legality of the race result.

“We received tens of thousands of queries relating to this matter from all over the world 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.

“Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA this morning and therefore considers the matter now closed.”

Meanwhile the FIA said: “The FIA received a letter from Scuderia Ferrari, seeking clarification on Sebastien Vettel’s overtaking manoeuvre in Sao Paulo on Sunday.  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 manoeuvre 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.”

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Ferrari finally accepts Vettel pass was legal

  1. Yes baby, now that’s what I’m talking about!

  2. floodo1

    I like this article much more than your article on Speed.
    I feel that at every stage everyone has made way more of a commotion about this. It’s been strangely hyped and built up so much energy when, to me, it’s really quite simple, and conveniently for me Stefano Domenicali put it almost perfectly ““It was incumbent on us to ask the Federation for a clarification, given everything that was going round on the Internet. 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.”

    As far as making a judgement about the PR angle of it for Ferrari at the end of the day, I do agree that it could have been handled better. If you take that quote from Domenicali you can still achieve what he says but do so in a manner that would make you look better.

    That said, I don’t think the manner in which Ferrari handled this is nearly as bad as it’s being made out to be. I fail to understand what’s so bad about going to the final judge to have them take a look at what really happened. The alternative is to let the internet decide.
    Really, I think it’s fantastic that the FIA issued a definitive statement because now no Vettel haters can use this against him. It’s clear cut now, whereas the video evidence on the internet was not nearly so.

    Finally, the shadow was first cast not by Ferrari but by the internet!

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