Vettel “never wasted a thought” on Ferrari protest

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he was never concerned about a potential threat to his world championship victory after Brazilian Grand Prix.

Ferrari asked the FIA to look into video footage showing Vettel overtaking the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne during the race, which led some to claim Vettel had done so after passing a yellow flag. The FIA confirmed the move was legal.

“To be honest, I never wasted one single thought that an irregularity was involved from my side,” said Vettel in an interview on the official Formula One website. “Even if it was an eventful race I definitely saw all the flags – and their colours!”

“I only got information that Ferrari was up to something after Christian [Horner] called me saying that obviously Ferrari was not too happy with the outcome of the race.

“After the FIA had checked every single inch of the recording of the situation in question – and confirmed that everything was according to rules – Ferrari renounced any protests. But believe it or not I knew since the chequered flag that there was not a single movement wrong from my side.”

Vettel said the drivers’ championship trophy he collected at the FIA Gala in December is now sitting on his kitchen table. “Every time I sit at the table I turn it around to read all the names on it – it’s almost a mystic procedure. And to see that the last three engravings are your own name – that moves deeply.”

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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46 comments on “Vettel “never wasted a thought” on Ferrari protest”

  1. I’m starting to wonder when people will stop talking about this.

    1. Probably when interviewers stop asking the questions.

      1. And lets keep in mind this was F1’s Official website doing the interview…not some tabloid.

        1. And that the season has ended. So anything remotely F1 related might be news, even if it’s old news :)

  2. It’s been about three week ago and he still can’t forget that Ferrari protested and still feels sorry for himself. That’s pathetic. Of course, when Red Bull protests, everything is OK.

    1. @thorpedo He was asked a question about it and gave an answer, I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

      1. I agree, and moreover, reading Vettel’s answer he also feels like that @thorpedo, he hasn’t put a thought to it until he got asked :p

        I’d hope the drivers indeed know they didn’t missed any flags, it was just unclear to viewers on some bit of footage, if drivers missed them, they’d have to think about making them clearer, or give the driver in question some glasses. So yes, I can easily believe him having been certain of it. He might have made a few mistakes in the last two races, but he seems quite a perfectionist, missing marshal flags doesn’t fit.

    2. @thorpedo If the interviewer had asked him this question and he had refused to answer, I have no doubt you’d be complaining about that, too.

    3. As keith and robyn said, he is replying what was asked. I remember last year, there were articles floated every now and then where Di resta was pictured boasting about his conquest over Vettel in Formula3, while he was replying to what was asked. This unnecessarily put these guys in bad light.

    4. Thorpedo writes ” he [Vettel] still can’t forget that Ferrari protested…” Please, for the sake of factual accuracy, Ferrari did not protest — they sent a letter asking for information/clarification.

      Happy 2013 to all.

  3. Well, I hope he doesn’t spill coffee on it.

  4. Ferrari would have a hard time getting my signature on a contract after this. Why would he leave the dominant team to join up with them now? It would stick in my throat for sure.

    1. With 2014 regulations which will give the engine and the KERS more importance over the exhausts and the wings there’s no guarantee that Red Bull who isn’t an engine manufacturer will be as dominant as they are now
      Unlike many who think that Ferrari are desperate to sign Vettel in the near future, i think that this decision depends more on Ferrari than Vettel
      In an interesting interview to Auto Motor Und Sport which was published in other websites Seb said that the exhaust solution that was introduced in china which maximized the downforce more than any other solution didn’t suit his driving style unlike Mark who was very comfortable with it ,Seb’s point of force is carrying more speed at the entrance of the corners while Mark’s point of force is carrying more speed at the exit of the corners so the team adapted the car to Seb’s driving style and then he found the right balance
      All this prove that Vettel has his final word on the car (like any of the top drivers) so if Ferrari are aiming to sign him they have to guarantee an equal treatment with Fernando and that the car will be suited to his driving style which is very different from Fernando’s driving style and as a consequence of all this the team will be divided in 2 group each one working with a driver, this year Ferrari were not able to develop a single car how about 2 different cars
      I think that signing Vettel will only create more problems to Ferrari rather than solve them

      1. Then you have Mark Webber who said that the changes on the Red Bull were not specifically for Vettel, but improved the car in general.

        1. He’s such a spoil sport, isn’t he? :-)

  5. I’ve personally never been too convinced by the rumours of Vettel going to Ferrari in 2014. I do believe he wants to drive for them at some point in his career but I doubt he wants it to be in 2014. However I wonder if the way Ferrari have acted over the championship finale and the constant jabs throughout the season of his success being due to the car and not the driver have changed Vettel’s mind over a drive for the tifosi later on in his career.

    If I were him I’d certainly be put of by their conduct in the last couple of months

    1. I hear what you are saying but I think if/when the time comes that SV might entertain a Ferrari ride, and the team wants him, then anything that happened in 2012 will become water under the bridge. It will not be relevant to the desires of SV and Ferrari to move forward toward a WDC if/when the time does come.

    2. I doubt he would let any of that bother him, and he shouldn’t; it’s just what teams do (or would they would at least like to be in a position to do, anyway!). Besides, unless I’ve missed something, Montezemolo, Domenicali, et al. are always careful not to snipe too harshly at Vettel himself, probably with an eye toward the future.

    3. I believe that either Vettel will drive for Ferrari by 2015 at the latest or these rumours were deliberately spread by Ferrari themselves.

  6. What a great image SV describes in sitting there and looking at the names on the trophy. It must truly feel surreal.

    1. I agree, I think that’s probably the greatest bit of the interview for me, I can easily see him (or other WDC’s) do that!

    2. Very much so @robbie, the best part of the interview, got me picturing it in my head, I hope that one sticks for a while.

  7. Ferrari don’t want Vettel anyway. It’s just lies by German media.

    1. Given Vettel’s complaint that the rumours were started by Ferrari, that seems a pretty odd way to spin it. It all began when Domenicali started talking about Vettel and Alonso being able to work in the same team:

      Domenicali: Alonso & Vettel could “coexist” at Ferrari

      1. The interview was for a GERMAN magazine, Domenicali never implied they’re interested in Vettel, he was addressing a stupid question. Why would they be interested in Vettel?

        1. If anyone is spinning anything is you and Vettel

        2. Why would they be interested in Vettel?

          Oh, because he’s a 3x WDC, and a driver voted either 1 or 2 as the top driver each year since 2009 by the team principals (see Autosport). He even speaks some Italian from his Toro Rosso days. Plus he’s 6 years younger (iirc) than their current number 1 driver and still a couple years from reaching his peak (and having the experience Ferrari likes in their drivers :).

          But you may be right, why would Ferrari want someone like?

          1. davidnotcoulthard
            20th December 2012, 11:59

            He was a double WDC when Domenicali said that.

          2. I know Vettel was a 2x WDC when Domenicali said it, but it’s one of those things, do you put the “as is” of the timeframe the question was referring too, or the “as is” of today when the question was posed? I chose the latter, though probably should have gone with the former to be correct with the facts Domenicali would have had at the time.

            It doesn’t change anything though — I don’t think anyone at Ferrari is going “hmmm, now that Vettel’s a 3x WDC, maybe we should have a look” :).

      2. Doesn’t really matter what SD said. LdM is only interested in one rooster, so sure, I can see SV at Ferrari one day. But that day will be when they are looking for a rooster post-FA. So SD may say they COULD coexist, but the team philosophy says that is moot anyway.

    2. This is what James Allen has said on this topic:

      My sources in Italy, which have never been wrong on a Ferrari story in the last 20 years, say that there does appear to be some kind of understanding between Vettel and Ferrari, but it is conditional on many things and is not necessarily for 2014, as has been suggested.

      So I doubt if it has anything to do with the German press. If the ‘sources in Italy’ haven’t been mislead and Vettel really has ‘some kind of understanding’ with Ferrari, then both sides obviously plan to join forces at some point in the future. It might not happen in 2014 but I also don’t think that Vettel is already now actively planning his future beyond 2015.

      1. Vettel is undoubtably a fast driver but looking at the stats: out of 26 wins 24 of them were won from the front row and 2 from 3rd place. Would Vettel be able to lead the Championship with a car 1.5 seconds off the pace at the start of the season? How many times when he had to come from the back he ended up crashing into someone or making illegal passes? Is he the best driver to lead a non-dominant team? Given these, I’m not sure that if Ferrari start looking for a ‘rooster’ Vettel would be on top of their list. 3 WDC won in Newey cars don’t weight as much as Alonso’s 2 runner-up seasons.

        1. I can lead both WDC and WCC in a car build by myself if everyone else fails to finish

          1. Invalid argument – Vettel retired in 1 race this season to Alonso’s 2 DNF.

          2. Vettel retired in 1 race this season to Alonso’s 2 DNF

            You are mistaken – Vettel also had two DNF’s.

            I’ve never understood the complaints about winning from the front row. Many great drivers have won that way – Fangio and Senna for example. Hamilton, who sometimes seems to be Vettel’s twin brother, also wins from the front almost exclusively.

        2. Would Vettel be able to lead the Championship with a car 1.5 seconds off the pace at the start of the season?

          Well, we’ll never know it as long as we don’t put him in such a car! I personally would love to see what Vettel is capable of in a car that’s not designed by Newey with Hamilton or Alonso in the other car.

          Of course, we can discuss if Vettel is a better driver than Alonso or vice versa but I’m sure that Ferrari consider Vettel as one of the top three drivers on the grid. Team bosses actually voted Vettel as second best driver of 2012.

          Alonso scored 14 of his first 19 wins from the front row, too. It wasn’t his fault that he had the fastest car then and it’s not Vettel’s fault that he’s had the fastest car since the middle of 2009.

        3. Would Vettel be able to lead the Championship with a car 1.5 seconds off the pace at the start of the season?

          The reality is, in the rain, at the beginning of the season the Ferrari was NOT 1.5 seconds off the pace. It was the fastest car. The rainy race is Malaysia was the first in many fortuitous circumstances that helped the Ferrari. And don’t forget Vettel lost a certain 12 pts, and possibly 15, when Narain gave him a puncture.

        4. Vettel is undoubtably a fast driver but looking at the stats: out of 26 wins 24 of them were won from the front row and 2 from 3rd place.

          Those stats tells me he is pretty much the best of the current crop at sticking the car on the front 2 rows of the grid, especially given the short time he’s had to even get those 26 wins. Or should a team with Ferrari’s level of success and ambition be looking for a poor qualifier?

          1. Or should a team with Ferrari’s level of success and ambition be looking for a poor qualifier?

            or approach their future with the idea that they can’t build a car good enough to be on the front row?

          2. I note that SV won in the WCC winning car, and FA came second in the second place car in the WCC. The winner of the WDC is usually in the WCC winning car, or occasionally the WDC had a very very strong second place car in the WCC. So realistically almost ALL WDC’s have a car that often ends up on the front row or two race after race.

            So even with a unique season such as we had, with the multiple winners in the first half thanks to a tire lottery, which no doubt helped FA stay within the fight in a problematic car while they got it somewhat sorted, the end result was not that unique. SV in WCC winning car, FA in the runner up spot.

            Had FA’s car remained 1.5 secs off the pace, he would have been nowhere this year…same with SV in the same situation. You need the WCC car to win the WDC.

  8. He calls it “an irregularity”

    However if he was guilty of overtaking under yellows, which at the time was something obviously we weren’t sure about, it wouldn’t be an “irregularity” but a flat out violation of the rules.

    1. As long as we’re arguing semantics here…

      ir·reg·u·lar·i·ty : something that is irregular (as improper or dishonest conduct)

      ir·reg·u·lar : not being or acting in accord with laws, rules, or established custom

      …I think he used the word correctly.

      1. @mike – I’m doubtful after his penalty in Spain for doing such that he would repeat ten act in a title decider against a Toro Rosso no less.

        I think this point is slightly irrelevant as the driver of that car knew exactly what he was doing and spotted a green flag at well over 100mph which almost every pundit and news reporter managed to miss.

        1. Oh lol, yeah, I’m not saying anything like that. I just found his choice of words interesting. As I did @aka_robyn‘s post. :D

  9. There was never any question about the pass in my mind since I know how all the FOM/FIA systems work & how all the marshal posts/flag systems are hooked into them.

    Had Vettel overtaken in a yellow zone it would automatically have been flagged up in race control & the stewards room as the timing loops & tracking systems are all linked into the marshal posts. Even if there isn’t a light board at the marshal post they still have direct link to the timing system via a button box & one marshal will always push the corresponding button while the other is waving the flag.

    The FIA have a map in race control which shows the car positions via GPS & every marshal post is displayed on that map with the section between each post designated as track sector 1-2-3-4 or whatever. As soon as one marshal post goes yellow the track map from that point to the green flag will go yellow & a message on the timing system will automatically pop up saying ‘yellow in track sector x’, The fia, teams & tv broadcast boxes all get that feed & it was also displayed on the new pit lane channel this year.

    Something you will also spot on TV is that the time/lap counter at the top of the screen is also linked upto the flag system so will automatically go yellow if a yellow flag comes out.

    1. Regarding Ferrari seeking clarification, Don’t see that as a big issue either as its something every team does a lot more often than you would think be it for something on a competitors car or something which occurred out on track.

      One such example, After the 2007 Brazilian Gp McLaren asked for a clarification & even filed an appeal regarding other teams fuel temperature,Something which could have seen other teams/drivers penalized which would have resulted in Hamilton gaining positions in the race result to get him the 2 points he needed to win the championship.

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