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

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
weird news... and film it, obviously
Arts & Entertainment
tv
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
News
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
Arts & Entertainment
With Jo Joyner in 'Trying Again'
tvHe talks to Alice Jones on swapping politics for pillow talk
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents