Formula 1: New footage proves green flag during Vettel overtake
New footage from Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull car shows the German did not commit an offence while passing Jean-Eric Vergne during the Brazilian GP.
Ferrari had asked for clarification from the FIA over whether the new world champion had passed the Frenchman’s Toro Rosso in a no-overtaking zone.
The retrospective 20-second penalty for any offence would have seen Vettel lose his world title to Fernando Alonso.
Vettel won his third consecutive F1 drivers’ title at Interlagos on Sunday.
Ferrari’s request for clarification arose after videos had appeared on the internet which appeared to show Vettel still under yellow flags when he made the overtaking manoeuvre.
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But the previously unavailable in-car feed has revealed a marshal waving a green flag – showing overtaking was allowed – that had been obscured until now by television graphics.
Although the dashboard display on the German’s car still shows he is in a yellow-flag caution zone – in which overtaking is forbidden – drivers have been told by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, to respond to the most recent change in trackside indication they have seen.
A 20-second punishment would have seen Vettel demoted to eighth place at Interlagos and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso clinch the world championship by one point.
The footage from Vettel’s car was not broadcast on television during the race.
It was one of the video feeds made available to the BBC at the race, but was not available until now as it was in transit back from Brazil.
At full speed, the footage is still difficult to interpret, but slowed down, the marshal, situated shortly before the bridge, with the green flag is now clearly visible.
The FIA was aware of the green flag, so did not investigate the manoeuvre during the race.
After receiving a response from the FIA detailing the events, Ferrari said on Friday that it “considers the matter closed”.