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

Browse all 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images

Advert | Go Ad-free


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

  1. I am a Ferrari fan. I have been a Ferrari fan for over 20 years ! You know, not all fans are other teams/driver “haters”. Except for Ferrari haters (joking here :) ).
    Vettel won. He cheated / he did not cheated, it doesn’t matter anymore, nobody will protest it no matter what the media or “close sources” tell you in newspapers, television or on the internet. Also what do you expect something from Spanish media ? Alonso is Spanish. In my country the media had big bold titles two days ago the Ferrari already protested, it was accepted and it’s a done deal, Alonso is the new champion… unbelievable, fantastic, never seen before, spectacular, [insert here whatever]…

    Can we move on now ? Case closed.
    Think of more interesting stuff like… Raikonnen on and in the FIA ceremony later this year…

    • Ferrari-Team isn’t in position to protest, as there is a strict rule with a only chance ’30min’ after the champion had been announced on that day. So only FIA now has the possibility for intervention. And as they already stated about all of Vettel’s legal racing, what will happen so? …
      Surely Ferrari is aware of the rules, so what to think about their generous announcement not to protest, when for them there was no other chance than a inquiry?
      But I confirm absolutely with your remaining posting.

  2. Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 29th November 2012, 21:14

    Can someone wake me up with this “thing” is over please?

  3. Anele (@) said on 29th November 2012, 21:30

    the toro rosso red bull comments are so incorrect. firstly mostly when a redbull is overtaking a torro rosso they are lapping it and if they where to put on more of a fight they would be penalised. under normal race conditions the redbull is much faster so the pass would be relatively easy anyway.

  4. zsazsa said on 29th November 2012, 21:47

    3 times ferrari lost wdc caused by renault : first , 2008 pique in grand prix singapore ,second petrov in abu dhabi, third grosjaen and kimi in belgium and japan…..hmmmmmm???

  5. Kimi4WDC said on 29th November 2012, 22:52

    To all the people for whom this overtake was clear-cut illegal or whatever. The following might widen up you scope of vision, consider this:

    You are at the traffic light, it’s showing RED, you navigator showing RED, but there is a policeman waving you to go. Good luck explaining him/her why you though it was legal to keep still.

    Anyone who done any sport at semi/pro level would know that after that green flag was in place, there is no case.

  6. I have a feeling many similar cases arise during race weekends of drivers appearing to have overtaken under yellows, it’s just the fact that if Vettel appears to have done it there is a massive outcry followed by unnecessary and idiotic Vettel/RBR bashing.

    Perhaps if more attention was payed to the racing rather than nit-picking at every possible detail of a certain diver’s racing legality we might have an end to a season where everyone is united in repspect of a rightful world champion. Maybe I live in an idealised world though!

  7. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 30th November 2012, 0:02

    I’m glad that the pass was deemed ‘legal’, as much as I would have preferred Alonso to win the Championship I definitely wouldn’t want him to win it this way, or anyone for that matter.

    • Ace of base said on 30th November 2012, 0:35

      It is time the Great Ferrari start pushing the boundaries & build great racing cars once again instead of concentrating on winning by default. Mclearn always tell you we are a racing team first and foremost, Redbull will tell you there here to compete. I am not hearing the same noises that made me a Ferrari fan; it is very disappointing. This needs to be addressed to avoid being a blast from the past. I wonder where did it all go wrong?

  8. cheepy said on 30th November 2012, 0:55

    I’m curious if we replaced Vettel with Alonso (and Alonso went on the win the championship) in this situation would people be making a big deal out of it ?

  9. Rooney (@rojov123) said on 30th November 2012, 4:48

    I dont understand what the deal is with FIA saying that the pass on Vergne is legal. Watch this video with all 3 passes.
    1 HRT(legal)
    2. Sauber(legal)
    3.Torro Rosso(Illegal)

    • Kimi4WDC said on 30th November 2012, 5:21

      Sorry mate, it does not make any difference if you keep spamming same video. It’s not going overwrite marshal’s green flag no matter what the board or Vettel’s dashboard is showing. Get over it.

    • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 30th November 2012, 6:58

      @rojov123 – Go to the forum thread and read the explanation there. There was a green flag out. If visual evidence and FIA confirmation won’t convince you, I’m not sure what will.

    • With reference to the by Kimi4WDC above-mentioned posting: perhaps, you might be one of those people to approach a permanent red showing traffic light with stopping there and waiting, although a positioned policeman is waving resp. signaling you to go. So, some will never learn. …
      Back to the race and Vettel that means: between the 1st yellow and the next green light there was a positioned Marshal post waving a green flag to which Vettel correctly reacted.

  10. My most recents have been admittedly infalmmatory and I’m very sorry and apologise to @keithcollantine. Its just that the way Red Bull have gained control over the on-track activities of the two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers has really frustrated me. Also Vettel’s and Horner’s comments about ‘dirty tricks’ right after the race was uncalled for. Like other true champions they should’ve taken the championship with a smile and not try to explicitly show why they, and no one else, deserved the championship.

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

    Vettel International Assistance anyone?

  12. 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.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.