Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012

FIA confirms Vettel’s pass on Vergne was legal

2012 Brazilian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012The FIA has confirmed Sebastian Vettel did not break the rules concerning overtaking under yellow flags when passing Jean-Eric Vergne during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Ferrari confirmed they sent the FIA a letter requesting an investigation into whether Vettel illegally overtook the Toro Rosso on lap four on the Reta Oposta straight.

Yellow flags and lights prohibiting overtaking were visible in the run-up to the pass but a green flag indicating drivers could overtake was difficult to see

FIA race director Charlie Whiting told Auto Motor und Sport Vettel had passed a green flag before completing the move. The FIA later confirmed to Autosport the pass was legal.

Had Vettel been retroactively punished for the move, a penalty could have lost him the world championship to Fernando Alonso.

See this forum thread for earlier discussion of the incident.

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

242 comments on “FIA confirms Vettel’s pass on Vergne was legal”

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  1. Case closed.
    Shouldn’t have been opened in any case.

    1. Clarification from the FIA was required. As much as the internet debated it, official clarification in these types of situations is a must.

      Now we move on and forget about it all

      1. Yeah, that what happens when people start looking with something else rather than their eyes. Marshal waving green flag, there is no case to be opened. Some people just need to push it….

      2. Watched it much more closely frame by frame…. and the green flag waving marshal is clear…

    2. I’d like to think so @magon4 but given the fervour of a committed hard core, don’t count on it.

    3. Shouldn’t have been opened? Really? If I hadn’t read that marshall’s post in the discussion thread I would never have seen the green flag/board. I’m glad that this can be put to bed now, and that I know more about the rules and regulations than I previously did.

      1. @althasil – I don’t think a case should’ve been opened as such (although in fairness it was merely a media rumour backed up with pathetic evidence, in particular form the Sky Sports team), more so a case of clarification from the FIA just to silence the petty, ill-informed rumours.

        I don’t like the way in which Sky Sports have dealt with these yellow-flag incidents: they should be professional about their coverage and not be quick to jump to conclusions without any conclusive evidence that there may indeed be a case for appeal. They should know very well that the FIA, Ferrari and Red Bull are the only ones qualified to comment upon the issue as they are the ones who have the data – not the pesky media who are just looking to cause an unnecessary stir and make themselves look foolish in the process.

    4. But in Suzuka in 1989 when Prost took out Senna and Senna didn’t drive through the chicane people went on about that for nearly 6 months but this is 10x worse so why aren’t people caring about this incident.

      1. As well as that the incident was only recognized in the middle of the night so if the race directors reviewed it before Ferrari then why didn’t they tell us about it.

        1. The incident was recognised likely during the race and is why we never heard anything of it. Ferrari themselves probably knew that it was under green flags and so chose not to make a big fuss of it, unlike certain media organisations who lack any credibility in my opinion.

      2. This isn’t “10x worse”, because Vettel didn’t even do anything wrong.

    5. Ok fair enough the move on the toro rosso! What about vettel passing kobayshi down the home.straight under yellow flag conditions?!.

        1. And the one on the HRT?

          1. Again, the pass on the HRT was legal.

  2. According to the Autosport article, ‘The FIA confirmed to AUTOSPORT that no team had asked for a review of the incident.’ How does this go together with Ferrari’s admission that they have sent a letter to FIA asking for the clarification of Vettel’s pass?

    1. Maybe the FIA investigated before Ferrari sent their request. Ferrari placed the tweet in the middle of the night, the FIA would have to be mighty quick to answer within 12/24 hours.

    2. @girts – A clarification is not a review. The team asks the FIA to clear up certain points that they are uncertain about, and then use that information to reassess what they know. Then they might ask for a review, which is a formal examination of the issue.

  3. Now can everyone shut up and stop posting the same video of the overtake over and over again in every thread and commenting about it in every fricking article.

    Every F1F member

    1. Come on, this is the world championship people have been debating here! Personally I find it quite fun, especially as we now have 4 months of no F1 to contend with!

      1. @davef1 – I agree with @john-h , there is no harm in a friendly debate pre-clarification! Now that it has been clarified though nobody has any right to continue to cite it as an illegal overtake because quite simply it wasn’t.

        1. @john-h & @vettel1

          Oops, my comment was supposed to be a dig at those who were constantly posting a link to the video every article on the site claiming the same thing. Obviously to be it got a bit tedious for me, looking at the comments only to find the same link with the words ‘illegal overtake’.

          I’m all for having a friendly debate and of course that comment was only intended to the less civilised people who spew vile hatred all over this site. You both seem like sensible members and my comment wasn’t directed at members such as you two. Hope you kind of see what I’m trying to say :)

          1. @davef1 – I understand; I too find it tedious seeing the same comments and the same links over and over without any real evidence! There is definitely a difference between a debate and just spewing hatred!

  4. I’ll be honest here – I’m disappointed.

    I’m not trying to be confrontational or controversial here. And I certainly didn’t hope that Vettel lost his title over it; I might not like Vettel at all, but losing his title meant that Alonso’s promotion would be tainted, and no driver wants to win that way.

    But the way I see it, Red Bull have done some questionable things this year. Some of them were minor, like the argument in Monaco over what was a “hole” and what was a “slot”. Others, however, were very serious. The FIA clearly felt that Red Bull was creating a blown diffuser effect in Germany, and had simply found a loophole to get away with it. I, for one, cannot recall the last time that a team was at the centre of four separate legality disputes over the course of a single season.

    I suppose that this goes right to the heart of what I value in teams and drivers. I’ve often said that attitude is important, that I can’t respect a driver who is rude over his radio, for instance. The same goes for teams – I can’t respect them if I think their attitude is poor. In Red Bull, I see a team that doesn’t care what people think, so long as it’s winning. And when the FIA announces that no action is to be taken, their reactions thumb their noses at the fans. They might not be cheating, but they are taking huge liberties and abusing the rules.

    Red Bull deserved to sweat on this one. Something needs to bring them into account; I honestly believe they will do a lot of damage to the sport if they keep going this way – and they’ll expect us all to thank them for it because they have a lot of success.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys

      They might not be cheating, but they are taking huge liberties and abusing the rules.

      Not here they aren’t. Vettel went past a green flag and then overtook someone. That is 100% legal.

      1. Maybe not here, but this provides the FIA with the best opportunity to stamp out the team’s behaviour. They wouldn’t have to do much; just delay any annoucement for a few days. Let Red Bull sit and stew for a bit, wondering if they really might lose the title over it. They’ve slipped parts past the FIA on technicalities before – the engine mapping in Germany being a prime example – and they do it so frequently that I think they need to be taught a lesson.

        Like I said, I’m not opposed to them because they’re successful. I’m opposed to them because of the way that success comes about. They manage to find a grey area in the rules that allows them to use parts that the FIA clearly wants banned – the team agreed to that ban in the first place – so that the most the FIA can do is force them to remove those parts. Then, when their driver performs an illegal pass in that same race, they complain that the penalty is “like the death penalty for stealing a chicken”.

        Okay, that was six months ago in Germany, but my point still stands: Red Bull abuse the rules, and then their attitude is appalling. They might as well just stand on the podium and give the fans the bras d’honneur – that’s what it amounts to. The FIA needs to make an example of them: they’ve been abusing the rule book far too often for far too long. Making them sweat and letting believe that maybe, just maybe, they will lose the title on a technicality might drive home some of the humility they sorely need.

        Christian Horner has claimed that “success makes you unpopular”. It’s not success that makes you unpopular, Christian. It’s attitude. But if he wants to keep telling himself that, that’s fine by me. To be totally honest, I pity him. It must be such a lonely world that he lives in.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys

          Making them sweat and letting believe that maybe, just maybe, they will lose the title on a technicality

          I’m grateful the FIA acted quickly to remove any doubt about the outcome of the championship and did not prevaricate over what was clearly an open-and-shut case, merely to satisfy your vindictiveness towards Red Bull.

          1. I’m not sure my attitude towards Red Bull is vindictive. To be vindictive shows an unreasoning desire to see revenge exacted, and I certainly don’t think I am being vindictive. Quite the opposite; I have tried to present a rational case as to why I dislike the team. Like I said, I see them as flagrantly abusing the rules, and using a certain meticulousness to find the loopholes and punch their way through. I find it cold and deliberate, as if the ends justify the means, when I myself believe that the means justify the ends. I feel that the team needs to be called into account for what they are doing, because they risk doing serious harm to the sport. They’re not being innovative in their designs. They’ve being deliberately provocative. I simply cannot respect anything that they have done because of the way they present themselves. So I certainly don’t think I’m being vindictive. In fact, I think I am being quite rational about it all. Most of my reputation as a member of the blog community – if it can be said that I have one, and I certainly believe that I do – is based on the idea that I always make a case for my point of view, and the same applies here.

            However, if feeling this way about the team makes me petty, then I’m petty. I won’t respect Red Bull just because they’re successful. I won’t respect them just because the FIA says their car is legal. I will, however, respect them if they show respect for the sport. I feel that they are not, and so I cannot. I’m doubtful that anyone from the team will ever see this post. I’m even more doubtful that anyone will act on it if they do. However, I cannot compromise my own values simply because the FIA made a ruling or handled a situation that I disagree with. If I did, I wouldn’t be me.

        2. F1 has always been a fight between the rule makers and the designers and always will be.

        3. @prisoner-monkeys Let me get this straight: You think everyone should have sat around a couple more days hearing about all this madness, the sport looking more and more ridiculous by the minute, just so that RBR would have to spend some time wringing their hands over what might happen? And then, when it was made clear that they did nothing wrong, suddenly RBR would have an epiphany, see the error of their ways, and stop looking for gray areas in the rules to exploit — which, by the way, is what every F1 team without exception either does or is trying to do? Yeah, that’s a *fantastic* idea.

          1. Ferriari and Alonso are planning to write a letter to FIA asking for review of the Championship results because they suspect that yesterday while driving on the road Vettel might not have brought his car to a complete stop at a Stop Sign !!!!

        4. I guess you would have preferred Alonso to be world champion on the back of Ferrari breaking Massa’s gearbox seal. In any other sport they would have received penalties for unsporting conduct. Ferrari should concentrate on improving the car instead of dirty mind games

          1. My complaint is Red Bull is inter-team team orders, with Scuderia Toro Rosso. What Ferrari did, falls in the spirit of team orders, which though not fair, is perfectly legal. Webber was given team orders at Interlagos too. What I’m really surprised is at the way the Toro Rossos(especially Vergne) jump out of the way when ‘big brother’ comes their way. It was comical to see Vergne outbrake himself and run off wide at Abu Dhabi when Vettel came up behind them. Inter-team team orders are not allowed in the sport, and it is both unfair and illegal. According to then BBC pit lane reporter James Allen, Williams and McLaren were involved in something similar, and McLaren allegedly brought David Coulthard into the pits earlier than planned, because the team didn’t want him holding up Villeneuve who came behind him after his pitstop. I’m not suggesting anything, but…….

          2. I guess you would have preferred Alonso to be world champion on the back of Ferrari breaking Massa’s gearbox seal.

            As a Brazilian, damn well done sir. I simply can’t belive how many Ferrari fans just want to strip Vettel’s title and give it to a man, who is part of a team, who would do something like that, and act as if they have some sort of moral high ground at this point.

            If Vettel doesn’t deserve his tittle, neither does Alonso after that. Unfortunately they didn’t have the balls to do the same thing again in São Paulo, I would have loved that.

          3. Ferrari should concentrate on improving the car instead of dirty mind games

            I don’t know if you’re trying to hide the truth on us or on yourself it’s funny to see a Red Bull fan or i call them the anti_Ferrari talking about “Dirty Mind Games”
            Everyone who watch F1 knows that Red Bull Racing is the only team that have been involved in many controversies in one season Flexi wings, hole, floor,ride height , Engine Mapping ,blocking other drivers in qualifying,Torro Rosso drivers opening the doors even Micheal Shumacher joined the party ( hopefully hamilton took his place )
            I don’t know how Ferrari is involved in all this, they have just asked for clarification (especially if we know that the FIA doesn’t do its job unless a team asked for )

          4. @chicanef1 i know it’s really far fetched, and old, and i’m not even sure if I remember the situation as it happened, but didn’t ferrari “ask” the (then ferrari-powered) sauber team to hold up villeneuve in jerez in 1997? as i said, i’m not 100% sure, and i can’t verify it atm… but let’s put it this way, it wouldn’t surprise me if ferrari did something similar ;)

        5. I feel that the team needs to be called into account for what they are doing, because they risk doing serious harm to the sport

          I’m baffled by these comments, especially from F1F’s most active member. I don’t wish to patronise, but all of what you describe has been going on in F1 since its existence!

          Well done Red Bull I say.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            29th November 2012, 13:17

            My sense is that Red Bull first do the deed, then wait to see if they are caught, if they are they try to argue their way through it.

            I do agree that it’s TOO late to take the championship and no championship should be decided that way. This should have been caught in race and in all honesty Vettel deserved a drive through penalty at the start of the race for the incident he caused.

            Vettel should NOT have been passing anyone in yellow flags in the first place – it’s absurd that he would jeopardize his championship that way.

            Of course, Red Bull can argue that Vettel wasn’t really passing Vergne as he’s part of team Red Bull and it’s a “free pass” which we’ve discussed in another topic;-)

            Can anyone see Hamilton NOT getting penalized there or NOT getting a drive through penalty for the incident at the start of the race?

            Vettel gets away with everything – even his car didn’t break down after the collision but 2 other cars broke down adding insult to injury…

        6. every team would do what RBR did if they thought about it first… extreme interpretation of rules are not new to F1. But i doubt that RBR are breaking any rules.

          As for the current situation Vettel saw a green flag and overtook a car which happened to be STR, which is perfectly legal anyhow you look at it. One might say the STR did not fight for it’s position but that still does not make that move illegal. what Ferrari did to Massa was also perfectly legal, changing gearbox and giving one position to Alonso even before the race began… which is something to be shameful about for Ferrari. But coming back to the current controversy, overtaking under green flag has always been legal… dunno how we can even call it a controversy.

        7. On a technicality. Meaning its still legal.

      2. @keithcollantine Wow, you think a reply of three lines can ever be enough to answer such a long paragraph? You picked up only one topic, which we now know for sure was legal. What about the other things they’ve done that have questionable legality.

        1. @chicanef1

          Wow, you think a reply of three lines can ever be enough to answer such a long paragraph?

          Quality over quantity.

          What about the other things they’ve done that have questionable legality.

          They have been discussed at length elsewhere and, as I said, aren’t relevant to an article about Vettel being shown to have legitimately overtaken another car under green flags.

          1. @keithcollantine

            Quality over quantity.

            What I’m saying is you evaded most of PM’s allegations. You simply stated a fact that PM knows. Its not that PM disagrees with the ruling.

            They have been discussed at length elsewhere and, as I said, aren’t relevant to an article about Vettel being shown to have legitimately overtaken another car under green flags.

            How can you decide what is relevant and what isn’t? So many times people have written comments which are indirectly related to that same article. You were never up in arms then. So why now?

          2. @chicanef1 – Most of PM’s allegations have nothing to do with Interlagos anyway. He’s basically, ridiculously, said, “Red Bull have been in trouble for other stuff, so let’s punish hem for this, even though Vettel did nothing wrong”. His wall of text isn’t worth the effort, especially since PM admits he’s only coming up with this because he is being petty.

          3. @David-A

            I believe PM was simply making a generalised conclusion that he was disappointed with how RB team handled themselves over the course of this season. The message that I got was that RB have been involved, and thus got away, with too many questionable incidences this year. I guess that is what happens when you push the boundaries, and unfortunately in this sport that is what it takes to win…

      3. Hi everybody. Hi Keith. I have to disagree with that Keith. Vettel was gassing it hard under yellow. Yellow rules state to slow down. He was treating it like it was a restart one could ‘time’ and get a jump, when actually, as long as the yellows are out, it is dangerous and there is nothing to time. You have to not be gassing it until it goes green. How did Vettel know that the yellow was not for cars blocking the track, yet there he was at full speed and making an attacking pass. Ouch. I feel that whatever the rule is for ignoring yellows should be applied, but it should have been applied within a couple laps because now it’s all about if it’s ok for one to ignore on-track safety devices to win a championship.

        I don’t dislike Vettel, of course I am gonna call him an idiot for gassing it to pass under yellow on a wet track, and I’m gonna say the same for the stewards for not flagging him at the time, and I say the same for the FIA for claiming that safety is of the utmost importance, yet saying it was ok to gas hard under yellow as to get a jump on someone while on a wet track under yellow and terrible visibility.

    2. Live with it. The teams and drivers do all sorts of questionable things to win a championship and Red Bull is hardly unique in this. It’s always been that way. Everything Red Bull and Vettel have done that broke the rules, they’ve been punished for it. And in other occasions they bent the rules a bit, or found loopholes in it. In my opinion that what Formula 1 should be about, to try and find the limits. Maybe some things they’ve done haven’t been in “the spirit of the rule”, but then again, same goes for Ferrari doesn’t it? By breaking the seal on Massa’s gearbox they ensured Alonso had an uneven grid slot for example. Sure, all legal and that, but not quite what the rule was intended for. But I’m sure every team (no matter what they say) will do the same in that position. Teams and drivers just do whatever it takes to win, as every one should. And if they step over the line, they’ll be punished accordingly.

      1. Why RedBull is racing with 4 cars (Toro Rosso and RB) and giving orders to 3 different drivers to let pass SV ? It happened at will this year. Shall we talk about that or not ?

        1. Ferrari and co are more than welcome to buy HRT and do the same if they want.

          1. Ferrari has been doing it with Sauber for many many years. No need to buy HRT.

      2. Everything Red Bull and Vettel have done that broke the rules, they’ve been punished for it.

        I would hardly call being forced to remove questionable parts a “punishment” because for every lap they do with those parts, they get an unfair advantage.

        1. And how is Red Bull different from every other team? They’ll all do that if they can come up with it. Brawn’s double diffuser was questionable, or at least a loop hole. McLaren’s F-Duct was questionable, or their second brake pedal (’97). Renault’s mass damper, legal at first, but banned later. Red Bull didn’t put illegal parts on their car, because if they did, the FIA would’ve disqualified them. They may have been questionable, but not illegal (subtle difference).

          1. @Mo. Don’t bring your facts and reason here, we don’t want it, can you not see that we are extremely angry that are favourite driver/team are not good enough to beat Vettel/RBR?

          2. There is a world of difference between spotting a loophole in the regulations that allows you to try something new and clever like the F-duct, and spotting a loophole in the regulations that allows you to do something that has been banned, like Red Bull’s throttle maps in Germany.

          3. can you not see that we are extremely angry that are favourite driver/team are not good enough to beat Vettel/RBR?

            I find it amusing the way you automatically assume that Alonso and Ferrari are my favourite driver and team.

          4. @prisoner-monkeys If those throttle maps had been banned by the rules, then Red Bulls would have been disqualified from the race. There is a big difference between doing things that the FIA simply did not want to see the teams do (like F-ducts, double diffusers, exhaust blown diffusers etc.) and doing something that is banned.

            I guess there will now be a lot of comments at this article, which is something that I am happy about as F1F is by far the website ever. But the article is actually about Vettel’s pass on Vergne and FIA’s stance on it, not how good or evil Red Bull as a team are.

          5. Oh, I thought their interpretation of the rule was pretty clever :) Just as McLaren’s was very clever to develop the F-Duct, kudos to them for that.

            The engine mapping was deemed legal by the stewards at the German Grand Prix, and only after that the FIA was able to close the loophole. Questionable? Sure. Not what they intended with the rule? Absolutely. Illegal? Not at the time.

          6. @brny666 cheers mate! :)

          7. I find it amusing that you automatically assume that Alonso and Ferrari are my favourite driver and team

            I agree that is an unreasonable assumption but I think what is more relevant is the obvious hatred you have for Red Bull. Whether you agree with their team ethics or not it doesn’t give you the right to make allegations against them. Frankly, I value the FIA’s interpretation of events more highly than most (and I group you under the “most” category) so essentially I mirror their opinion. As far as I’m concerned RBR are like every other team in finding loopholes for performance gains, the only difference being they are better.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys

          for every lap they do with those parts, they gain an unfair advantage

          May I ask since when was running a legal car gaining an unfair advantage? The components weren’t questionable because they FIA had already questioned them and had accepted Red Bull’s rule interpretation. Therefore, the questionability of the parts was already answered during scrutiny.

    3. Like this. Sorry but RB have been getting away with a lot. Well, OK not getting away with it, but having been caught numerous times in one season and the treatment of Vettel over his accident with Webber has dropped them from my “even tolerant of” team list.

      Of course the messy outcome if Vettels move was illegal is something no-one would want including me. HOWEVER, Vettel started the move under yellow conditions and it appears by luck the green flag came before he finished the move. I dunno if he could see the green light before starting to overtake, if he did, then well done. If not, then he’s a lucky little ****!

      1. it appears by luck the green flag came before he finished the move. I dunno if he could see the green light before starting to overtake

        You overlook that Vettel had gone through the yellow flag zone, he would have seen where the incident was and would certainly know where the green flag zone would begin (as I alluded to in this comment).

        You might not be familiar with the rules but you’re kidding yourself if you think a professional racing driver isn’t.

        1. My apologies. I missread/heard/seen it was the green flag much earlier on people were talking about.
          It was the green light at the end of the straight I thought ppl were talking about.

        2. Knowing the rules and sticking by them is not always the same thing. Vetel might not have known he needs to stay close to the car ahead when behind the safety car the first time he was warned about it, but he was still upset when he got penalised after he did it again.

          Also, he knows not to overtake outside of the track, but …

          etc etc etc

        3. how can he know there isn’t some other accident up the road, or some marshal near the track? he can’t know the reason why there are yellow flags. he can only assume it’s the same as in previous lap, but can’t know that for sure. and since when is it up to driver to determine when the yellow flag zone should end? there are marshals who determine that and only after you have passed the green flag, should you think about commencing the overtaking move.

        4. @keithcollantine But Vettel did draw alongside Vergne at the yellow zone, didn’t he? So that proves either of three things:
          1. He’s a cheat.
          2. He’s unaware of what is there on his dashboard. If that’s so, it casts a serious doubt on his racing faculties.
          3. It simply confirms that Vergne, as we all know, is in this seat to jump out of Vettel’s way, even if that means lifting off on the straight or something.

          1. @chicanef1 What it proves is Vettel knows the rules better than you do.

          2. @chicanef1 – Vettel is not “a cheat” as if he were to have breached the rules he would’ve most likely received a drive-through during the race (as he did in Spain). Cheats don’t prosper in this sport and in actual fact all your comment shows, as Keith has said, that Vettel knows the rules better than you do.

          3. @vettel1 I never said that Vettel was a cheat. All I said that it is one of the possibilities(and certainly the option with the longest shot). The more probable thing is that Vergne did what he is always told by his bosses to jump out of the way when one of the drivers of the ‘big brother’ team come up from behind.

      2. Drivers look at the road and look for the designated flag marshals. They know where the marshall posts are, and if a guy is waving a green flag then perhaps he noticed it.

        Try driving just looking at your spedometer while on the motorway in the wet sometime.

    4. I do not understand why are you bringing the car into this. This is article is about the driver and not the car. Your comment are two isolated cases.

      1. I do not understand why are you bringing the car into this.

        Then read my comment again. Red Bull have been at the centre of four separate technical disputes over the past year, and on each occasion, the car has been judged legal because of a technicality. It’s rampant behaviour that needs to be sorted out because they’re abusing the rules.

        This incident with Vettel gave the FIA an opportunity to teach the team a lesson. If they’d reserved judgement for a few days, maybe dropped a few hints that there was a case against Vettel and that the outcome of that case rested on a mere technicality that could lose Vettel the title, then maybe the team would be less inclined to abuse the rules in future.

        1. PM, you’re just ranting. Get over it. Red Bull won both titles, fair and square. They are subject to the same technical and sporting rules as all other teams. Where there was a question of legality it was dealt with properly. Where they had to change they overcame it through technical brilliance and a driver that could deliver when needed.

          Why not simply enjoy the phenomenal world class achievements of (Stewart/Jaguar)Red Bull, all from the often derided roundabout town of Milton Keynes? It’s an amazing story!

          1. Red Bull won both titles, fair and square.

            But that’s my point – they have resorted to doing things that are not fair. Or is it just coincidence that the Toro Rossos move over every time a Red Bull comes to pass, but put up considerably more resistance to everyone else?

          2. Or is it just coincidence that the Toro Rossos move over every time a Red Bull comes to pass, but put up considerably more resistance to everyone else?

            Here I agree with you PM, but this is something the FIA need to clamp down on, it’s not Red Bull’s responsibility if they are allowed to do it.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys @john-h
            “every time”? I can clearly remember at least one (if not more) instances this year when Ricciardo battled with Webber for position.

        2. This incident with Vettel gave the FIA an opportunity to teach the team a lesson

          It gets worse. Seriously, what are you on about?

        3. @prisoner-monkeys – It is by no coincidence that Red Bull were never penalised during the technical disputes. The car was deemed legal by the FIA. Quite simply, the rules are the same for anyone and if one team can eek out an advantage that the other’s can’t then that team will win the title most likely.

          There is no such thing as “spirit of the rules”: a rule is black and white text and nothing more. If one team can find a grey area in this black and white then they should be applauded for their genius in my mind, not ridiculed.

          1. If one team can find a grey area in this black and white then they should be applauded for their genius in my mind, not ridiculed

            The problem that the Red Bull’s didn’t found a grey area they were just in the Black area (if the regulation stated that the driver torque map should match the engine torque map & it wasn’t then the Bull’s should have been disqualified )
            I think the main problem is not the Red Bull but it is the FIA, the FIA’s main role is to ensure that the rules are respected by all the teams but this year we saw that the FIA doesn’t investigate anything unless one or more team have protested which is i think due to the incompetence of the FIA engineers

          2. @tifoso1989

            If the regulation stated that the driver torque map should match the engine torque map & it wasn’t then the Bull’s should have been disqualified

            The rule’s are stated here: Red Bull Engine map controversy. As is said in the article, by the “intention” of the rule they had breached it but by the black and white they had not. That’s what it really boils down to: Red Bull had not broken the wording of the rule. Simply put, in F1 there is no such thing as “spirit of the rule”; the only spirit in the rule is what’s said.

            All the teams know this and all the teams take advantage of this: it is just one of those things that makes F1 so interesting from a technical aspect in my opinion. The cleverest designers prevail – of late that has been Adrian Newey and his team.

    5. What a wall of text. Did you even begin to reflect what mclaren or ferrari are doing in the first place?
      Or are you such a diehard/hardcore ferrari fan that it just slipped past your sights?

      You speak of loopholes, and team’s attitude to racing(as long as they’re winning).
      Look at Ferrari, they pulled the gearbox seal of Massa to put Alonso up the grid on the cleaner side,

      Of course they got away with that, it wasn’t a FIA violation, right?

      Right. hypocrite. Now get off your tall horse and see things as they are.
      Just because there are no regulations governing them, you see the stronger opponent as cheating.
      While when it happens to the teams you support, you cheer and ask for more?

      COME ON.

    6. it. I, for one, cannot recall the last time that a team was at the centre of four separate legality disputes over the course of a single season.

      It was a loophole. Loopholes happen, and they need clarification. I don’t see anything illegal there… there was a clarification, and they acted accordingly.

      The legallity of a car that, just like that, scores 5 poles in a row, is always going to be questioned. Remember the ride hieght system? they were all talking about it and such system never existed. Same with the “starts only” KERS from last year. And the flexi-wings that flex, have never been ilegal.

      Red Bull did nothing wrong. They are just finding the limit every other team wants to find… their car has always been legal

      1. @fer-no65 Red Bull were legal for one race, and in posterity, rules came into place and if they’d kept the car as it had been, the car would’ve been illegal.
        It seems that Red Bull are leading the way with new things and the FIA are playing catch-up to illegalise them.

    7. I don´t think Red bull is a cheater. They just try to do the best car by the rules and if they find loopholes in the rules that doesn`t mean you are cheating and that is what every designer have done over the years including Ferrari.

      In pure racing perspective I do believe Alonso is a crying baby an that is the reason I am not a fan of him although I consider him a great driver. He has always been involved in dirty tricks or complaints. When Hamilton was his teamate, he was always crying because he could not believe a rookie was beating him. He was involved in the spy gate at Mclaren. Then he moved to Renault and was involved in the crash gate. Now in Ferrari he uses Massa as his servant. On the other side Vettel races including his teamate,(as we saw Webber`s move in the start which could have caused Vettel-Senna crash), there are no team orders, no gearbox changes to start first, no Sebastian is faster than you, etc,etc,etc.

      It is very clear that Vettel made a completely legal pass, and it is amazing that Alonso forced Ferrari to clarify something that the FIA would have done it anyway.

      1. On the other side Vettel races including his teamate

        & the Torro Rosso drivers too

        there are no team orders no gearbox changes to start first, no Sebastian is faster than you

        no front wing change too
        box box box …..mark maintain the gap ….thank you mark

    8. Agreed, Red Bull should be forced to have their “loophole” interpretations checked by the FIA before they are allowed to race with their illegal parts for several races.

      If it’s like the F-Duct (and thus allowed) then fine, but now they keep using things that turn out to be illegal and need to be removed from the car.

      1. thatscienceguy
        29th November 2012, 13:22

        They are checked before they are allowed to race. The stewards at each race check the cars, and decide whether something contravenes the rules or not. They deemed on multiple occassions that the Red Bull cars WERE NOT ILLEGAL.

        The rules were then later clarified to close a loophole. That still means that at the time of racing, the cars were legal.

        You’re going on like this is the first time this has ever happened. Just about every team has been in this exact situation, and every team will find itself in this exact situation again. In fact, every team wants to be in this situation, and are working to be in this situation.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys … I totally get you on this, as evidenced by my fairly frequent rants about MS/Benetton and MS/Ferrari. I can’t think of another better example of what you are referring to with your citing of Red Bulls numerous questionable actions this season, than MS/Benetton in 94. They were banned from racing I believe it was twice that season, their infractions including worn skidplates from running the car illegally low, removing a valve from the fuel filler that was only caught because there was a scary fire in the pits for Berger, illegal engine mapping, and then of course there was MS’s whack on DH. The media hounded the FIA as to how they could possibly allow MS the title, so the FIA held a kangaroo court that had nothing to do with real court, and MS got to keep the title. In 95 they kept things at least appearing more on the straight and narrow, but most were convinced that they at least were using illegal traction control through engine mapping. The FIA admitted they couldn’t police for it. The joke became that FIA went to Silicon Valley in California to find their best computer geek so they could police for illegal mapping, but they told FIA he already works for Benetton. And then MS and crew were moved to Ferrari, strangely since one could ask why MS would move to a non-winner when he had just won 2 WDC’s with Benetton. Answer: it was orchestrated by Max and Bernie.

          I’ll try not to go into another diatribe about MS/Ferrari but to go along with your point I’ll just remind people of a quote from Patrick Head of Williams regarding MS/Ferrari and their ways…”What a shame they forgo the spirit of racing for the sake of share value.”

          I’m totally with you PM, and I’ve been railing about this since MS/Benetton when it became so blatant, so about business not sport, post-Senna when FIA imho felt they needed to create a new chapter by massively and artificially propping up Ferrari rather than letting a new chapter create itself.

          I think above all, unfortunately, FIA and F1 thrives on controversy…the more the better…the more headlines the better…the more blogs and debates the better…doesn’t matter when things go against the spirit of racing or of the rules…to them it’s a welcome part of the game, and to make things much more black and white would eliminate much of the controversy, and we the fans are too unintelligent to just be satisfied with pure racing and apples to apples comparisons out on the track. We’re treated as though we need the tabloid stuff or we’ll stop watching. Like we wouldn’t rather be talking about the great teams and drivers and their great work, but instead would prefer to weed through inconsistantly enforced rules and teams that happily, with F1 and FIA’s support, go outside of the spirit of the thing under the guise of trying hard and going to every length to win.

          For me, the ends do not justify the means, but unfortunately that horse left the barn long ago, because the FIA and F1 opened the door, and then shut it. I can only hope the likes of Mac are actually doing as they say and are allowing two WDCs to legitimately go for it. I think Merc allowed their drivers unencumbered racing too. As I’m sure the lesser teams did too, since it’s not like they were having to designate a number one at any point…not like one driver needed to not rob another for WDC winning points. Red Bull at least claims both their drivers have a legit shot from the start of the season. I half believe them. At Ferrari LdM has stated their philosophy of one rooster. I don’t applaud them for admitting it. I think it robs us of true racing in the pinnacle of racing.

          And when you talk of Red Bull’s attitude to boot, that’s exactly why I have never been able to respect MS/Benetton and MS/Ferrari. It wasn’t enough that MS got to strongarm his Benetton teammates, and then actually had the luxury of contracted subservients at Ferrari. He was an unethical bully on the track on top of all that.

          I hear what you are saying PM, and I continue to look for the sport part of the business of F1 and will continue to support any team that legitimately appears to allow both their drivers to race it out with equal effort put behind them. I will not hold my breath that the teams will be ‘straightened out’ in terms of their pushing of the rules, nor will I hold my breath for consistancy in the enforcing of said rules…FIA/F1 would have to be motivated to change that, and they are not…not one bit, imho.

          One of the new topics now is will SV surpass MS’s records now that he has 3 WDC’s. My answer…if FIA wants it, it will be so…that’s one of the unfortunate side-effects of MS/Ferrari. We know that all the while FIA will go back and forth between banning and allowing team orders, MS was allowed a permanent and blatant team order of a contracted subservient. So if the FIA wants MS’s records broken, they will see to it that SV is put in the conditions that will make it so. If they don’t, the rules will be changed to hold SV back, just as they finally started to do that to MS/Ferrari, but not until the monster they themselves created had smashed enough records for Max and Bernie’s liking.

          I’ll give SV this…so far he hasn’t whacked anybody for the WDC…he isn’t a bully out on the track…if he has a designer car it’s not because his teammate is contracted to be subservient and is therefore hung out to dry from race one of each season, forced to drive SV’s car. Nor has he the unlimited testing, including a tire maker at their very own private track. But that unfortunately does not mean they will not try to take the odd little page out of the MS/Ferrari book that the FIA/F1 helped them write.

          1. @robbie The scary fire in the pits was for Verstappen, Schumi’s teammate. not Berger who was in Ferrari at the time.
            And you’re completely true about the FIA stuff, although it is really depressing to feel that the sport we all love is in the hands of this bunch of clowns.

          2. Incredibly well written. I often get the urge to stop watching this so called sport and turn to GT racing and Le Mans… Something always keeps me coming back though.

            It’s the fact that just about every professional event is politically influenced in some way, and I just have to learn to live with it. It’s sad, yes, but then again you shouldn’t let F1 be to you any more than it should be: sheer entertainment.

      2. @patrickl

        Red Bull should be forced to have their “loophole” interpretations checked by the FIA before they are allowed to race

        All the cars go through FIA scrutineering during the race weekends – Red Bull included. The cars are checked and any questionable components are scrutinised under the technical regulations. Usually, this then involves the FIA asking for the team’s perspective on why they believe such a component to be within the regulations.

        If the FIA deem the explanation satisfactory then the car will be allowed to race, as was the case with the hole for example – they raced it in Bahrian, Spain and Monaco completely legally during those events. Consequently, Red Bull haven’t yet raced with “illegal parts” as at the time of running they were legal.

        If however the regulation is amended/changed/newly introduced then of course that renders the component illegal. As such, Red Bull have then had to remove it from their car to retain it’s legality otherwise they risk disqualification.

        1. @vettel1 @patrickl I’ll go one step further (this is going just a little off topic, so apologies…..) I have always been surprised at how loose the FIA technical regulations appear to be. It seems too easy for teams to find loopholes to circumvent the intention of the rules (we know Red Bull have done this and I have absolutely no doubt other teams do it as well, it’s just that people go lookng for it in RBR to a greater extent than the others).

          Take EBD as an example. I think it was obvious to anyone with some degree of technical understanding that the 2012 exhaust outlet limitations (location and angle) were not going to be sufficient to prevent at least some of the gases being directed towards the floor. The FIA regulation could have been written such that the exhaust outlet had to be located behind the rear axle (for example), eliminating the loophole which was subsequently exploited by most teams.

          Despite what many might think, the FIA has its fair share of competent and intelligent people, and I have to question whether the apparent looseness of the regulations isn’t deliberate in order to foster design innovation and to get designers to push the boundaries.

          1. @pault – I think it is very much intentional that the regulations are “loose” or as you said the rule which was supposed to prohibit exhaust blowing would’ve required the teams to position the exhaust exits behind the axel (or something to that effect). It allows for the team’s technical expertise to play a role in the constructors’ championship – albeit tightly constricted and heavily regulated.

    9. @prisoner-monkeys
      And why do you assume that just because FIA takes a look at the incident, and prolongs the decision will make Red Bull sweat?
      If that were to happen, then they would have to feel that maybe the overtake wasn’t perfectly all right. Red Bull and their drivers know the rules perfectly fine. This isn’t an incident which can be debated, or is left up for interpretation. You either overtake under yellows, or you don’t.
      Red Bull would have known whether Vettel did so under yellows or not. Its only us F1 fans with only a marginal understanding of the rules and the interpretation of those rules who would have been left “sweating”. And that would just harm F1 as a sport. Red Bull would be able to party on regardless of how long FIA prolonged their review.
      And even if it got Red Bull sweating, then it surely wouldn’t stop them pursuing the limits in the future. All F1 teams does that. They have all done so in the past, and they will all continue to do so in the future. Red Bull aren’t unique in that respect. They just do it better then the others. But is that their fault, or the others?

      1. While I agree with the spirit of what PM is saying, I also agree with you @mads that if this was a ‘sweatable’ offence they would have looked much more seriously and closely at it during and just after the race, since it may have affected the WDC and imho there’s no way they were going to decide the WDC in a boardroom days after the last race. That would not reflect well on F1 in the world’s eyes. I don’t think a ‘sweating period’ would have dissuaded Red Bull from another year of pushing the limits, as they and other teams are going to continue to try things they think are legal until they are told they are not by the FIA. But they also shouldn’t be allowed a win only to then be told to take the thing off the car for the next race, or cover or alter the hole, or what have you, after the race results have been locked in the vault. The system is flawed…by design. There is no desire within FIA/F1, nor any expectation, that a sweating period is wanted, warranted, or would be effective, nor that a lesson needs or should or could be taught to Red Bull.

    10. You claim to be rational, but your reasoning isn’t. How is “wanting them to sweat” rational? Does Red Bull push the boundaries of the rules? Yes. Do they interpret an unclear rule in a way that gives maximum advantage? Yes. That is what all F1 teams attempt to do. They tread a fine line, and work to the letter of the law, not the spirit. BMW learned not to trust “spirit” the hard way with KERS and double diffusers, which was catastrophic enough that they left the sport.

      Has Vettel been rude on the team radio? Personally I haven’t seen it, but you could choose to think that. Does that mean they should be stripped of a championship? Was Raikkonnen “rude” when he told his engineer to shut up? It’s all interpretation.

      Your rationality falls apart when you consider how hypocritical it is in the face of other drivers and teams.

      However I do sincerely believe Vettel is guilty of witchcraft. Only a witch could survive that first corner crash. Clearly he’s in league with the devil and should be burned.

      Horner is right: success breeds enmity. Plenty of people simply don’t want to see the same driver or same team winning. Everyone loved the 7 different race winners or whatever it was at the start.

      1. I think it is very rational to want teams to operate within the spirit of racing. If you choose to you might argue the points PM uses to support his argument, but it is very hard to argue with the spirit of his sentiment. Red Bull did appear at times to benefit from a stretching of the rules only to have that revoked for the next race, but only after they had possibly benefitted from said stretching. There’s nothing wrong with saying that isn’t one’s vision of what F1 should be or how a team should behave. Even if ‘everyone does it’ doesn’t make it right or the way it should be or the way one MUST accept it. eg. In spite of MS’s records I see no honour and garner him no respect for the way said numbers were compiled. FA isn’t afforded nearly the advantages MS had at Ferrari, but it still takes a little shine off the apple for me to hear LdM say he is only interested in having one rooster on the team. To me that reeks of race fixing and non-racing in the pinnacle of racing when we know what the inter-team result will be between the two drivers at Ferrari because of a decision in the boardroom, not a battle on the track.

      1. @joey-zyla – If you’re going to dig up a three-week-old conversation, can you at least read it before asking question about it?

  5. And now the best thing to clear it definitively is showing the footage from the straight to the marshal post.

    Here in Spain they won´t stop saying that the FIA lies until they won´t show that

    1. There is footage in the link to the discussion and clarification inKeith’s correct interpretation of the rules.

      1. People here say that footage is faked to show a flag.

        If it is not a clar footage like the one at lap 3 showing the marshal changing flags that people won’t stop

        1. People say a lot of things. I wouldn’t take notice of absolutely everything you hear.

  6. As has been pointed out on Twitter, the timing of Ferrari’s announcement that they asked the the FIA to investigate was quite unfortunate for them – it came a few minutes after AMuS’s story quoting Whiting and a few minutes before Autosport’s.

    I suspect that, as with the silly nonsense that still gets written about Hamilton and Glock in 2008, the story of Vettel, Vergne and the ‘yellow’ flag will continue to be dragged up in years to come by the clueless in an attempt to prove Vettel ‘didn’t deserve’ this championship. But it’s not all bad. At least we have another useful litmus test to spot the hare-brained conspiracy theory nutters lurking in our midst.

    1. Isn’t that what the internet is about? Drag up useless debates, based on shoddy information? I have no doubt that people will continue to debate this, and people will still say it was illegal. It’ll be last year’s front wing all over, the FIA can say all they want, people will still say it was obviously illegal.

      It’s kind of funny though, to see all these arm chair experts go on about it. I’d like to think the stewards see it all anyway. They have so much more information than what we see on TV.

    2. the ‘yellow’ flag will continue to be dragged up in years to come

      Very frankly speaking, I think we really need a sparkling debate about whether Juan Manuel Fangio was a deserving 1956 world champion. Peter Collins would certainly have won it without the team orders that I haven’t heard about but that probably were there.

      1. Brilliant idea @girts, it has the advantage that there is so little detailed factual information available, let alone footage, that everyone will be able to doubt the facts their own way :)

      2. @Girts As you can tell because of my avatar I’m a huge Fangio fan but anyway I do agree 100% with you. Fangio won many races because of team orders. This was personally confirmed to me by the late Benedicto Campos many years ago. Benedicto was the driver who went to race to Europe along with Fangio in 1949. I used to spend many hours talking with him about the subject back in the 60s. Benedicto was as good as a driver as Fangio but he was denied support to continue his career in Europe for political reasons. Until the day he passed away, Benedicto asserted that Fangio would have never been a five times world champion without the aid of his team mates.

        Ten days ago a monument was inaugurated in Argentina in his honor.

        1. @Mariano That’s very interesting, thank you a lot for the post! I just opened the biography of Fangio and noticed that Benedicto Campos is mentioned several times there, particularly in the chapter, which describes Fangio’s debut season in Europe, 1949:

          Since Oscar Galvez had been taken ill and was unable to travel, Juan’s team-mate would be the promising Benedicto Campos.

          It seems that Campos had a pretty successful season but he didn’t participate in the F1 world championships later, obviously because of the reasons you mentioned.

          My post was only half-serious as I believe that we shouldn’t question the worthiness of Vettel’s championships just like we don’t question the worthiness of Fangio’s championships even if there was some controversy around them. Collins handed his car to Fangio in the final race of the 1956 season even though he could have become the champion himself. Something like that could not happen in F1 today. As far as I have read, he did it voluntarily but that was not always the case with Fangio’s team mates.

          1. @Girts You’re very welcome. I’m glad you liked this little piece of information that is part of the F1 history. I agree with you on the worthiness of Vettel’s championships. I think that he deserves them without any doubt. Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso are in my opinion the current best drivers in F1. Controversy has always been around in the F1 history and that’s the way it is. Believe it or not, not many people liked Fangio in Argentina, specially at his home town and not many people around the world are aware of that. Anyway, that’s another story. I did meet fangio back in the 90’s and had a long long chat about different subjects other than car racing. Very interesting experience let me tell you. He looked to me as a very humble person same as Benedicto Campos. Regarding Collins I also think that he handed his car to Fangio voluntarily. He was a true gentleman!

            I hope 2013 will gives us a a non-controversial championship but as much exciting as the 2012 has been.

            Thanks for your kind attention to my comment

        2. @mariano and @girts I appreciate and honour your comments but I’m not sure we can be bantering about the term ‘team orders’ like it applied back then the way it is applied and thought of today.

          For sure Fangio benefitted from team orders, but it sure has a different feel to it when you read a couple of quotes I am about to provide from Formula 1 The Autobiography.

          This regarding the final race of the 1956 season…Sept 2…Italian GP…Monza: “When Collins came in for more tires, however, he willingly handed his car over to his team leader – even though it was he who was battling for the title with Fangio. It was an astonishingly sporting gesture.

          Collins: “It’s too early for me to become World Champion – I’m too young (he was 25). I want to go on enjoying life and racing, but if I become Champion now I would have all the obligations that come with it.”

          F1 The Autobiography: “Monza 1956 had been a race that epitomised a golden era in Formula 1: a brave, flat-out battle between ambitious team mates; a young driver giving up the World Championship title for his team leader; and nobody protesting when the winner, in trouble, took advantage of a push from another car. Back then, Formula 1 really was a sport.”

          Btw…regarding the winner of that race (Moss) and the push…
          Stirling Moss: “I felt the Maserati falter and die beneath me. No fuel! I spotted (Luigi) Piotti, the Italian Maserati privateer, coming up behind and gestured frantically for him to give me a push towards the pits. He understood, offered up the nose of his car to the tail of mine, and punted me gently round to the pits.”

          As I read further the facts are these…ahead of Monza Fangio was leading on points, Moss was unable to catch him, with Collins with an outside chance. But you see, when Fangio’s car suffered a broken steering arm, it took a long stop to replace it and then they put teammate Castellotti (who had already crashed out due to a tire going out but was unhurt) in Fangio’s car with the plan being that Fangio would take over Musso’s car when he pitted. One would think that since Collins was Fangio’s nearest threat for the WDC he would have been the one ordered to hand over his car which would have immediately eliminated him as a threat. Anyway, Musso did not go along with the plan and stayed in the car staring straight ahead stone-faced and stormed back into the race leaving Fangio standing there. So Collins never was ordered to hand over his car. He did it willingly as the quotes above show. Musso was leading Moss (who had now had a splash of gas in his car and was good until the end) with 4 laps to go but Musso’s car suffered a steering break just as Fangio had earlier in the race.

          I note that compared to today’s reality, Musso was still driving for Ferrari the following year whereas LdM is not interested in roosters who drive for themselves, so likely Musso would have been gone from the team for directly disobeying an order and putting himself ahead of the team. Moss would not have been allowed the win because he was pushed back to the pits for gas and was allowed to continue and ultimately win. Also, I’m not convinced one driver today could hand over his car to his teammate (is that even allowed in the rules?) and still go out there and lap as fast as he was in his own car set up for his own preferences.

          Lol, this was not meant to be or to start a ‘sparkling debate’ but it did cause me it investigate a little because I have heard enough times about the fact that ‘team orders’ have existed all along (as in, so shut up about it), that I just wanted to refresh myself on exactly how it was back then.

          1. @robbie I think you have a good point when you state that you’re “not sure we can be bantering about the term team orders like it applied back then the way it is applied and thought of today”. All the examples that you brought out in your comment are a good proof of it and provide enlightenment to the issue. Very interesting indeed. Collins and Moss, real brave sportsmen!

            The fact is that Benedicto Campos told me that when Fangio and him started racing in Europe in 1949, his team orders were to defend Fangio even by crashing into a rival’s car if necessary. He hated that and never did it. His refusal to such team orders plus his political position cost him the chance to participate in the first World Drivers’ Championship in 1950. Because of his personal experience in the matter, I do understand why Benedicto Campos was always complaining that Fangio’s success in the WDC was much on behalf of team orders. Anyway, in my opinion that wasn’t the case as you have stated bringing up examples that illustrates clearly the matter.

            Sorry for my bad English as it isn’t my native language!

          2. @mariano First of all you truly have no need to apologize for ‘bad English’. If you hadn’t said that I wouldn’t have even noticed English is not your native language. Good on you.

            That is startling to hear that Mr. Campos was told to crash into a rival’s car if necessary. No wonder his experience made him sensitive to the team order concept in relation to Fangio’s successes. In those cars that would have been like agreeing to put your life on the line to help a teammate win a trophy. Enough drivers died as it is without intentionally crashing into each other, although I do know that back then their bravery well outweighed their dwelling on injury and death, and I’m sure they thought they were in cutting edge equipment at the time. It’s so easy to hear nowadays what you are saying and shudder at the thought. I’m so glad he refused to do it, and would like to think that even if Fangio would accept someone else’s car, that he would draw the line and not consider it an honourable victory if someone physically took out his rival and extraneously risked their life beyond the very act of racing in those days in those cars, for his gain.

            How amazing that you also talked to Fangio, and found him humble. Even though you didn’t talk about racing, what I have also read about him is that at times he even helped rivals with suggestions at certain tracks as to how to take certain corners faster etc etc. so I would like to think that he was humble at the track back then too.

          3. @robbie Probably Keith will ban us as we are now really way out of topic. Just joking of course…. I hope so!

            I remember when Schumacher drove Fangio’s car and he couldn’t believe that it didn’t have safety belts. In the 50s just one small mistake would certainly put the driver’s life in danger.

            I was very lucky to have the opportunity to talk with Fangio. The meeting took place at the office of the President of the Automovil Club Argentino and it was just him and myself as the president left the room. When we were introduced to each other, Fangio asked me questions about my family as his home town is named after one of my ancestors (which is in fact my last name). So we started talking mainly about Argentine history and we stayed for a long time in that subject of conversation. I knew that Fangio didn’t like to talk about his personal life so I tried to avoid any questions regarding his life. We did talk about other drivers, mainly Argentines but not about his driving history. Finally and certainly not without a little bit of shame, I asked him for an autograph. He’s been the only person that I’ve asked for an autograph in my entire life! I was very honored to meet with such a living legend.

    3. At least we have another useful litmus test to spot the hare-brained conspiracy theory nutters lurking in our midst.

      Got to love a silver lining :)

      1. Lol… while I myself can be accused of being one of the “hare-brained conspiracy theory nutters lurking in our midst,” I’d just like to point out that I personally believe SV did nothing wrong and that he deserved the title. I think FA deserved it more in the sense of doing more with a lesser car throughout the season, but in the end as the season wound down Red Bull did a better job of scoring more points and putting themselves in the position to win it. I will not be taking part in any conspiracy theories regarding the matter of SV’s pass on Vergne.

        That said…let’s not forget Spygate, Liegate, Crashgate, Winggate, and the ever-present, ever-discussed inconsistancies in the rules and the enforcement of them, and then try to tell me the F1 teams and the FIA and FOM haven’t started some very real conspiracies and therefore the nutters you kid about. It’s a bit rich to claim ‘nutters’ of some of F1F’s participants when there is every reason for paranoia when looking within the hare-brained entity that is F1 and is the very reason a blog such as this can exist.

        So sure…the paranoia of SV’s pass on Vergne should die a quick death but may not for some. But it is that unbelievable in a world of individuals, and given F1’s history, that some may use this further on down the line as we debate SV’s worthiness? Not me though, and for now SV/Horner/Newey are pure angels compared to MS/Benetton and MS/Ferrari.

  7. A reminder that the FIA didn’t need Ferraris ‘Permission@ to investigate. They probably noted themselves there was some controversy, and have looked at it before Ferrari asked formally for them to take it a look.

    Its just unfortunate as Keith has said, that the two stories almost broke at once.

    P.S, I now epect Vettel won’t be getting the warmest of receptions in Spain from now on.

    1. And for that reason u hope he wins both races there for the next 5 years.

      1. A small Correction there will be only one Spanish Grand Prix from Next year mate

      2. I do, just because F1 isn’t like football. We don’t (usualy) start shouting at each other. I have hoped, since 2007, Hamilton would have won at least once in Spain.

    2. I think it is wrong to paint a biased picture about the Spanish Fans. After all what did Vettel do to Alonso ? He won the championship that they both took to the last lap. That is just sport.

      The spainsh fans have been fair even with Lewis with whom Alonso had a personality clash.

  8. Even though I have strong preferences as to who I would have preferred to have won the driver’s title this year and despite not being a fan of either Vettel or Alonso, I am glad this issue has been put to bed.

    I am a fan of this sport first and foremost and if a decision was made to investigate this incident post season, and god forbid Vettel was actually stripped of his title, it would do immense damage to the image of the sport. That has all been avoided now and we should look back on what was quite frankly one of the most amazing seasons I have had the privilege to watch and look forward to 2013.

  9. I am a little disappointed in one sense, because I didn’t want Vettel to win the championship, but also satisfied due to the fact that having a championship settled days after the final race, through the winning driver and team being penalised, leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. If he had made the pass in the yellow zone, therefore it was illegal, I would rather it was spotted straight away and penalised during the race. So, he didn’t break the rules and that is that. We have our champion, whether we like it or not (and I don’t).

    1. At least you accept that Vettel is a rightful champion, unlike many people who persist with the notion of him “cheating”. Sure, people can obviously be disappointed that their favourite driver lost out but that doesn’t excuse petty attempts at trying to make Vettel appear to be “unworthy”.

  10. What I did find interesting in the above mentioned footage is that Vettel corrected two reasonably big slides while still in the yellow flag zone (though not through turn 3 where Maldonado’s Williams was presumably still stranded). I wonder how much he lifted for the yellow flags. Can I still ask the FIA for a review of the situation? ;-)

    1. I recall Fernando Alonso completely missing turn one under yellow. Let’s extend this season some more!

  11. Yes but it WASN’T legal was it? and that’s now TWO illegal overtakes he made during that race. Laughable.

    1. At the moment the count is zero but if you care to explain why you think it should be higher…

      1. I assume our friend doesn’t accept the FIA’s clarification on the pass that this thread is currently discussing.

        As for the other, I believe that there was some contention that Seb made a pass under an earlier yellow, however the FIA also provided clarification on that – it was a Yellow & Red flag he passed under (which is to warn of a slippery surface) and is purely advisory – therefore he was free to pass.

    2. You missed the sarcasm tag, didn’t you?

  12. The funny thing is that Vettel didnt need to overtake on yellows as the cars in front couldnt jump out the way quick enough, the Mercedes split down the back straight was almost cringe worthy, but when Kobayashi tries to past Scumacher a few laps later Schumacher had the widest car an punted Kobi him off.
    Now where did i put that tin hat………..incoming.

    1. Kind of agree with you, but nobody really wants to get involved in the world championship (i.e. taking Vettel out), so I can see why some drivers would make it easier for him to get by. I do take issue with the Toro Rossos lifting quite so easily however.

      1. which is a bit odd always, as they effectively influence the WDC the other way, isn’t it?

        Well STR, there was a time when they’d fight the Red Bulls on track, but then they stopped getting all the newest updates straight away to sort that. We had Sauber Ferrari for a long time, clearly not fighting hard Ferrrai in the past too. I suppose it will pass again.

        1. The thing of not wanting to get involved in the championship battle is pretty ridiculous, as it’s almost for other drivers not to get involved – regardless of what they do. Petrov took a huge amount of stick after 2010 for defending his position against Alonso, and of course Glock was the target of many nasty accusations in 2008 despite the fact that he clearly didn’t want to be going backwards through the pack on the final lap of the race. (Incidentally, had that not happened, Vettel would probably have been hated by a huge number of British fans for costing Hamilton the championship.) Whether a non-contender chooses to fight for position with a championship contender or not, they are “getting involved” in the final outcome.

          Ultimately, I would prefer if drivers did fight for their position on track, and I am hugely uncomfortable with the influence Red Bull has over Toro Rosso (although I don’t think the Red Bull Racing team can be blamed here, the orders come from higher up within the organisation). But drivers are individuals and will make their own choices, so incidents like Schumacher moving over for Vettel cannot be legislated against.

          1. The issue is that it may be rational for a slower car to let a faster car pass through. If it is clear that the slower car will eventually be overtaken anyway, it is better not to lose time defending. That would be true for STR, but it probably was also true for MSC at the end of the race – I think VET had been gaining 2 seconds a lap.

          2. Don’t think it comes from the organisation; like Martin Brundle has alluded to previously I think when the STR guys see the RB guys in the mirrors they remember who writes their pay cheques!

    2. Your argument is invalid, it is the choice of a driver to take up the fight with another driver or not. Shumacher made the decision to let Vettel past because Sauber and Mercedes were battling over 5th in the constructors. KOB was behind VET at that certain moment in the race. Schumacher would only have lost time battling VET and it could have knocked him out of the race giving Saber a chance at catching them. So the most sensible was to let VET past.

    3. It is a simple case of picking your fights: Schumacher recognised that he wouldn’t be able to compete with Vettel and that he was fighting a completely different battle – one for a championship and not a top 10 – so chose not to fight, causing both drivers to lose time they could ill-afford to. However, Kobayashi was a fight that needed to be fought; a crucial battle in the constructors’ championship with machinery of close to equal calibre to the Mercedes.

      Sure, he could’ve made it less blatantly obvious that he was letting Vettel though and maybe fought him a little harder but that was his choice and not respective of Vettel in any way. You can’t blame Vettel for that just as much as you can’t blame him for overtaking perfectly legally under green flags.

    1. Afther the race I was one of the sore losers. I recongnised both men were worthy of the championship but I would have preferred Alonso. Seeing the footage a couple of hours after the race of vettel overtaking cars under yellows only made those feelings stronger but now a few days later having seen all the evidence I must recognize all three overtakes by vettel are legal. It is settled on to 2013!

      All I can say is that the most people that have come to their senses and recognize no wrong was done here now have become masters of the yellow flag/lights rules until the FIA changes them again.

  13. Vettel=F1 2012 Season Champion, just.

  14. I’ve no problem in Ferrari seeking clarification by the FIA, and now that clarification has come it can be put to rest and hopefully forgotten about. I’m relieved that we don’t have to go through the tedium of the appeals process and all that happened after the 2007 season. That was an ugly, drawn out process that did nothing but damage the sport’s reputation. Thankfully it has not been repeated here.

  15. So apparently, with this avenue closed off, Ferrari are already looking at another possible protest.

    1. You are mean mr.Ferrari

    2. As for the actual presents to be delivered to youngsters across the globe, Ferrari claim they would have a solution to that too. ‘What child would not want to receive a Ferrari-branded golfing glove or Ferrari-branded ice scraper?’ their spokesman asked. ‘Although of course in return the child would owe us 390 and 735 Euros respectively.’


    3. That is brilliant!

  16. First thank you for this site Keith it was a voice of reason during this hold deacle… Now, THANK YOU JESUS!

    Can we move on… I actually like to get some work done instead of checking the internet in the wait for bads news…

  17. I didn’t want to see this get decided after the race either – that’s just annoying.

    What I didn’t like about that race was the amount of assistance Vettel got. I’m OK with team orders – Massa was fantastic in that race and it added to the excitement and tactics. What I don’t like is Toro Rosso cars getting out of the way – I’m sorry but ACROSS teams they should be racing no matter who they are. Then Schumi getting out of the way? It’s not good for the fans.

    Effectively Vettel only had half a field to fight. Marussia, HRT and Caterham were no fuss and wouldn’t fight (fair enough), then he had the two Toro Rosso jumping out of his way (ridiculous) and Schumacher (incredibly ridiculous) and Webber as a backup… That’s a full 10 cars that he could drive passed if he needed to and 4 team mates (Torro Rossos Schumi and Webber) – There was never really a risk in this race! Actually Webber was probably the least helpful of the lot!

    I think that they should look long and hard at how to manage cross team assistance, though there may not be much they can do… It’s not good for the sport.

    1. All you can do is to force the sale of Toro Rosso. As long as they are owned by the same guy, Toro Rosso will be told not to mess things up.

      IMO, Toro Rosso should exist in GP2 as opposed to F1 and, there should be rules dictating that you can only be financially involved with one team. Teams could have their junior teams in GP2 and it would add to the excitement in that formula as well.

      As it stands, no rules can stop Toro Rosso making it easy for Red Bull because the guy making the decisions isn’t going to hold up his own team.

      1. Well if rumours are true than TR has been on sale for quite a while but nobody was/is interested. You really can’t blame Red Bull for not closing it down and putting X number of people out of a job.

  18. I don’t understand why there are so many haters of the way Redbull win their titles. The rules are designed to be stretched and searched… How else is a team going to gain an advantage? I’m not a massive vetted fan although he was the driver of the year, he always qualified towards the top. Alonso was unlucky but that’s what happens when you qualify in the middle of the pack.

    1. Vettel didn’t always qualify near the top (Malaysia, China etc.), in fact there is just one driver that can claim that accolade and it’s Hamilton, with the best qualifying record of anyone this season and almost always being on the front row. Also, neither does Vettel’s qualifying performance being better than Alonso’s mean anything, given the relative difference between the cars both were driving over the year. Personally, I feel it’s difficult to pick a driver of the year, but I don’t think it should be Vettel, given his struggles with a car that wasn’t to his liking. He even admitted himself that he couldn’t cope without the devices that were put on it later in the season to improve rear stability, because he couldn’t do his tricks with it. Whereas, Alonso coped with a car that had almost zero rear stability and was thrashing Vettel in the championshim before Red Bull’s improvements. Also Hamilton, who, after such a calamitous 2011, barely made a single mistake – the single notable one being his choice of rear wing in Spa. Vettel, though, made a number of costly mistakes (Spain and Germany, to name a few). So, in my opinion, driver of the year is between those two and I couldn’t choose between them. Vettel doesn’t deserve it just because he almost always qualified ahead of Alonso.

      1. But the issue there is that Vettel has found a style that allows him to completely batter the rest of the field. He is the lead Red Bull driver and he can get them to design a car that suits him perfectly. Alonso is the lead Ferrari driver but if anything, it got worse for him as the season went on….

      2. Funny how Vettel struggling with the RBR early in the season is all Vettel’s fault, not the car’s, while Alonso’s struggling is always the car, never Fernando’s fault. Not even when he was unable to match Massa’s pace in the last couple qualys.

      3. You can’t really blame Vettel for not having a very quick car originally in qualifying (as Alonso had throughout the season). The instability didn’t suit his driving style of having compete faith in the car so he has the confidence to brake as late as possible and accelerate as early as possible.

    2. @Racing fan @goodyear92 @petebaldwin

      You need to remember that Alonso was not only screwed by Kimi spinning off in Suzuka (fair play, that’s part of the sport and it was Ferrari’s own choice to leave their only hot lap for the final minutes), but Vettel then messed up his lap by pretty much being on the racing line as Alonso was reaching final chicane. I’m sure Vettel’s engineer knew all to well where Alonso was, so why didn’t he just tell him to pick up the pace a bit, since pit entry is just behind the chicane. It’s not like he had to push for the whole lap to get out of his way. That’s poor sportsmanship from Vettel and is not his only example of bad sportsmanship this year. It’s too many things like this that make me feel like he really should be thankful for this title since there are 2 or 3 drivers who did much better job then him over the season, while also being much better drivers in terms of racing ethics.

      I really don’t remember other drivers complaining of Alonso or Kimi, or even Hamilton for overtaking outside of the track, blocking in quali or pushing people off the track as Vettel is so ofter trying to do.

      1. @brace You can keep saying it, but Vettel never tried to block in qualifying. He moved out of the way before Alonso approached. And even if you think someone did a better job, “much better” would be an unreasonable claim.

  19. Its unbelieveable, the amount of people trying to console themselves because Vettel won the championship, shocking.

    Fact is, there was no case to answer, for any infringement, which is probably why Ferrari didnt protest immediately. Ferrari have been arguably the strongest team over the course of the season, being reliable, efficient, and (for the most part) admirable. Why they had to make themselves look like fools (for not protesting immediately after knowing of the situation, and playing with their fans hopes), and prove Horners point about the animosity directed towards red bull for their success is beyond me.

    Right now, Ferrari should/will be moving on from this crapstorm that never was, and getting everyones focus inside the team on developing their 2013 challenger.

    Ferrari lost fair and square… Get over it, I’m sure Vettel has ;D

    1. UI think that Ferrari has sent the letter to the FIA because of the Spanish media pressure. They were saying that Ferrari was coward but not doing it

      1. tell me then, why they didnt explain to their fans the reasoning? do you really think that ferrari didnt know??? of course they knew what happened thats why they didnt care to complain about it initially. Ferrari is a group of highly inteligent people working as a team, and if you think that individuals on the internet, or the press, or even the broadcasting channels are more well informed and superior in their knowledge, then you sir, are a fool. Ferrari were just giving false hope to all the tifosi…

        1. I know that they knew that there was nothing wrong since the beginning.

          But the snowball has grown out of proportions and thay had to make that letter to safe face with their tifosi

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