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

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