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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?