Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Motor Racing

Forget it Fernando Alonso - Sebastian Vettel is the Formula One World Champion, declare FIA

Ferrari question validity of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix result

The FIA, Formula One's world governing body, says Red Bull have no case to answer over suggestions that Sebastian Vettel made an illegal move during the Brazilian Grand Prix

If the allegation were proved it would mean the world title went to Fernando Alonso.

It was reported last night that Ferrari were considering an appeal against the result of Sunday's race after footage emerged which appeared to show Vettel overtaking Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne in a yellow caution zone.

Today, Ferrari said that they had asked the FIA for an explanation, tweeting: "Ferrari has asked, via a letter, an explanation from the FIA over VET's pass of VER on lap 4 of the Brazilian GP."

If found guilty, the rules state the German driver would be handed a 20 second penalty, demoting him from sixth to eighth. That would be enough to see the drivers' title go to Fernando Alonso by one point.

However, the FIA, as well as race director Charlie Whiting, has since made it clear the overtake was legitimate and that no action will be taken.

The footage in question, which is from Vettel's on-board camera, shows the Red Bull driver passing two points on the circuit where yellow flashing lights are clearly visible – indicating that drivers must not overtake.

However, the FIA has indicated Vettel did nothing wrong as a green flag was waved at a marshal's post on the straight upon which he overtook Vergne.

At all circuits a system of flags and lights are employed, however, at a marshal's post where there is no light, the flag takes priority.

Speaking to German publication Auto Motor und Sport, race director Whiting said: "If the lights are not installed at a flag post the driver responds to the first signal that is shown.

"In Vettel's case, between the last yellow light and the green light there was a green flag being waved.

"The distance is 350 metres here. Vettel responded to the flag and did everything right."

Alonso finished second in the race behind Jenson Button while Vettel endured a nightmare start that saw him drop to the back of the field. The 25-year-old fought his way up to finish in the points and claim his third title in a row, beating Alonso in the drivers' standings by three points.