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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works