Formula 1's ruling body, the FIA, says there is "no case" to answer in the controversy involving Sebastian Vettel's overtaking of Jean-Eric Vergne during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
It confirmed exclusively to AUTOSPORT that it was in no doubt that Vettel's pass was legitimate. Vettel was crowned champion for the third time at Interlagos after finishing in sixth position in an action-packed race in which he was spun after making contact with Bruno Senna on the opening lap.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished in second position, a result that left him three points behind Vettel in the standings. On Wednesday evening, however, Ferrari said it was reviewing video footage allegedly showing Vettel overtaking Vergne in a yellow-flag sector between Turns 3 and 4 early in the race. The team stated on Thursday that it had written to the FIA asking for clarification over the matter.
FIA sources have confirmed to AUTOSPORT that the yellow-flag sector at Interlagos started at the light panel just before Turn 3, at marshal sector 3, and ends about 150m before Turn 4, where a green light panel is displayed. However, there is a marshal's post in between these two panels and a green flag was being waved there on that lap.
Under the FIA's rules for the Brazilian GP, if a green flag is displayed before a green light – as it was in Vettel's case – it is the first green that counts. Therefore, the FIA is in no doubt that Vettel's pass was legitimate, which is why race control was not informed of any potential infringement.
The FIA confirmed that no team had asked for a review of the incident. The ruling body also said it does not comment on the stewards' decisions.