Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has denied his team's intention was to diminish Sebastian Vettel's championship victory when asking for clarification on the German's pass in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Ferrari wrote a letter to the FIA asking for clarification on the move after footage from the race appeared to indicate he may have overtaken Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Verne under yellow flag conditions. The team received the clarification from the FIA and said on Friday that it considered the matter closed.
Domenicali said on Friday it was his team's duty to ask for clarification, but made it clear it was not Ferrari's intention to cast a shadow over Vettel's third title.
"I believe it was the duty of our team to make sure that the championship finishes in the best way possible, for the interest of the championship and for the interest of the team and our drivers," said Domenicali during a press conference in Madrid. "It was our duty to ask for a clarification to the FIA to understand what was the thing that was circulating on the web, without trying to diminish the victory of the driver who has won the title.
"But with the approach of seeking clarity and trying to understand what was the video that was on television. It was nothing more than that. So it was a very rational and very correct approach from Ferrari to make sure that we understood. We have received the clarification from the FIA, so we have taken notice of their position.
The Italian insisted the team has now moved on and is already focusing on giving Fernando Alonso a car to win the title next season.
"As I said, there's nothing to say apart from the fact that we look ahead," he said. "We need to look ahead and these things will give us more spirit to look for the start of next season. I believe Fernando deserved this title and we need to make sure that Fernando will be able to win the title next year."
Domenicali also said his team will always do whatever is necessary to ensure everyone abides by the rules.
"I think that there were a lot of polemics, not only this year but also in the past," he added. "This is part of F1, and not only F1. If we don't as sportsmen follow the principle that the FIA has the duty to make sure that everyone is compliant with the regulations and we don't believe in it, it is better to do another job.
"Of course when we speak about regulations we speak about something that is always on the limit, the limit is very thin and sometimes difficult. What I can guarantee, looking ahead, is that if we see something, we will use our formalities to make sure that our rights are totally protected."