Ecclestone: Ferrari complaint about illegal pass is a complete joke
By Berthold Bouman
FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone has labelled Ferrari’s complaint about Sebastian Vettel’s alleged passing under yellow a ‘complete joke’. Ferrari has asked the FIA, Formula One’s governing body, for clarification, after video footage of the incident surfaced on the internet. On the footage Vettel overtakes the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne between Turns 3 and 4, while yellow lights are flashing.
The FIA has already responded to the letter Ferrari sent them and has told them that ‘there is no case to answer’. According to the FIA Vettel overtook Vergne after he had passed a marshal post where a green flag was waved, and regulations say that the first green ‘counts’, which in this case was the green flag, and not the green light.
The Formula One boss was not happy with the fact that the championship has been tainted by Ferrari’s claim that Vettel made an illegal pass during the last and title-deciding race of the year. Ecclestone told the UK Telegraph, “It’s a shame because everything had gone so well. It was a super race, a super championship. Now everyone is talking about this. The problem is that no one knows what is going on.”
He further explained, “In the rules and regs normally you have to protest. They [Ferrari] missed that time [deadline]. Then there is the fact that a green flag was shown, which nobody seems to dispute.”
And he added, “It’s a complete joke. What they [Ferrari] are saying in that letter is wrong. I don’t think there needs to be any action taken. It’s completely and utterly wrong.”
Ecclestone also thinks the whole situation is unbecoming of Ferrari, “Personally I think it’s not really like Ferrari to do this. I think they badly wanted to win. But if you want to go back and see what Ferrari have done down the years … ”
He was also confident that no action will be taken against Vettel, “But nothing will happen. What can they do? Take civil action? Maybe. But the case is flawed before it starts. Nothing is going to happen.”