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Ferrari Won’t Appeal Vettel’s Formula One Championship Victory

November 30, 2012

The Ferrari Formula One team won’t seek a penalty for Sebastian Vettel after video showed the Red Bull driver may have passed another racing car illegally on the way to winning the championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Ferrari said in a statement today it had received an explanation from the sport’s ruling body, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, about Vettel’s move at the Nov. 25 race and considers “the matter now closed.”

A retroactive penalty may have pushed Vettel down the standings and handed the title to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Video posted on the internet shows Vettel passing Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne on a stretch of Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit between a yellow light -- when overtaking is prohibited -- and a green light.

Ferrari wrote to the FIA two days ago to seek clarification about the move.

The FIA says Vettel’s pass was legitimate because a race official was waving a green flag in the 150 meters between the two lights, reported, citing unidentified sources from the ruling body.

“The letter to the FIA was in no way intended to undermine the legality of the race result,” Ferrari’s statement read. “We received tens of thousands of queries relating to this matter from all over the world and it was incumbent on us to take the matter further.”

Vettel, 25, finished the Brazilian race in sixth place to win the title by three points over Alonso, who finished second in the rain-swept event.

It was the third straight title for the German, who passed Ayrton Senna’s mark as the youngest three-time champion.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at

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