Ferrari complaint about Sebastian Vettel a 'complete joke' says Bernie Ecclestone

If found guilty, world title could have passed to Fernando Alonso

Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has been left unimpressed by Ferrari's complaints over the outcome of Sunday's final race of the season in Brazil.

The Italian marque wrote a letter to the FIA on Wednesday questioning whether Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel had made an illegal lap-four pass at Interlagos on Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso where yellow caution lights were being shown.

The sport's governing body yesterday confirmed Vettel does not have a case to answer regarding the disputed manoeuvre, yet the last 24 hours have left a bitter taste in Ecclestone's mouth.

"It's a shame because everything had gone so well," the 82-year-old told the Daily Telegraph.

"It was a super race, a super championship. Now everyone is talking about this. The problem is that no one knows what is going on.

"It's a complete joke. What they [Ferrari] are saying in that letter is wrong. I don't think there needs to be any action taken. It's completely and utterly wrong."

Vettel finished sixth in Brazil, which was enough to see him clinch his third world title as he pipped Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by just three points.

Yet, had the Scuderia's complaint been upheld then the FIA could have applied a retrospective 20-second drive-through penalty to Vettel's time, which would have demoted the German from sixth to eighth on the race classification, and with it losing his third consecutive title by a point to Alonso.

The footage in question shows Vettel passing two points on the circuit where yellow flashing lights are clearly visible - indicating that drivers must not overtake.

However, the grainy footage also seems to suggest that 200 metres into the straight the 25-year-old passes a marshal's post where a green flag was being waved, allowing him to make a move.

Ecclestone contends Ferrari's argument is completely flawed and believes nothing will come of it.

"In the rules and regs normally you have to protest. They [Ferrari] missed that time. Then there is the fact that a green flag was shown, which nobody seems to dispute," added Ecclestone.

"Personally I think it's not really like Ferrari to do this. I think they badly wanted to win.

"But nothing will happen. What can they do? Take civil action? Maybe. But the case is flawed before it starts. Nothing is going to happen."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes