FIA confirms Vettel’s pass on Vergne was legal

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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.

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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

  1. Jono (@me262) said on 30th November 2012, 9:22

    Vettel International Assistance anyone?

  2. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th November 2012, 13:25

    That’s fair enough then! I can appreciate Ferrari wanted clarification on such a delicate issue.

    • @andrewtanner Thank you! Unfortunately the creator of this site seems to think that Ferrari was out of line in asking for clarification.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th November 2012, 17:10

        @chicanef1 Don’t try to put words in my mouth. What I actually said what it was disingenuous of them to pretend they were doing so solely for the good of the sport and not because they were hoping Vettel would end up getting penalised, handing the title to Alonso.

        • Jono (@me262) said on 30th November 2012, 23:06

          @keithcollantine I thought it was pretty clear what Ferrari was trying to do…same as when a team protests that a rival passed their driver illegally or protests about nonconformity of rival a rival car throughout the season when its not the last race of the season…whats the difference? Its war out there

          As if they would have stripped the title off anyone once the race was over – the indiscretion would have to be much bigger than just passing under yellows

        • @keithcollantine I f Ferrari had wanted to find any way to strip Vettel from the title, they would’ve appealed the decision, not asked for a simple clarification. I think they can still appeal the decision at the French court, against the FIA, if they wanted Alonso to win the title in any possible way. But it would be against the spirit of the sport and thus they have closed the case.

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