Formula One: Vettel had no concerns about Brazil overtaking move
Published 19/12/2012 | 14:47
SEBASTIAN Vettel never had any doubts over the validity of his 2012 drivers' title, despite the debate that briefly raged regarding his overtake of Jean-Eric Vergne at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver's third consecutive world crown was thrown into doubt after Ferrari wrote to motor racing's world governing body, the FIA, to seek clarification on Vettel's move on the fourth lap of the race at Interlagos on November 25.
Had Ferrari's enquiry led to Vettel being found guilty of any wrongdoing, he could have faced a retrospective 20-second penalty, which would have seen Ferrari's Fernando Alonso instead take the drivers' title by a single point.
"To be honest, I never wasted one single thought that an irregularity was involved from my side," Vettel said in an interview with formula1.com.
"Even if it was an eventful race, I definitely saw all the flags - and their colours.
"I only got information that Ferrari was up to something after Christian (Horner, Red Bull team principal) called me saying that obviously Ferrari was not too happy with the outcome of the race."
Vettel appeared to pass Vergne in a yellow caution zone, where overtaking is forbidden, but television footage later proved that the German had already passed a green flag signalling the all-clear.
The FIA subsequently confirmed that Vettel had no case to answer, with Ferrari accepting the ruling while stressing they were not seeking to "undermine the legality of the race result".
"After the FIA had checked every single inch of the recording of the situation in question - and confirmed that everything was according to rules - Ferrari renounced any protests," Vettel added.
"But believe it or not, I knew since the chequered flag that there was not a single movement wrong from my side."