Skip to main content

It's official: Vettel is three-time champion as Ferrari drop appeal idea

November 30, 2012 -- Updated 1221 GMT (2021 HKT)
Sebasttian Vettel won his third successive world title on Sunday, denying championship rival Fernando Alonso by three points.
Sebasttian Vettel won his third successive world title on Sunday, denying championship rival Fernando Alonso by three points.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ferrari drops idea of challenging the Brazilian Grand Prix result
  • Italian team had questioned whether Sebastian Vettel had illegally overtaken Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso
  • "Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA and considers the matter now closed"
  • Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo wants to "revamp our organization and our working methods"

(CNN) -- It's official: Sebastian Vettel is a three-time world champion after Ferrari dropped the idea of challenging the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Italian team has written to the governing body the FIA requesting clarification as to whether Red Bull racer Vettel had illegally overtaken Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso during Sunday's race at Interlagos.

If that had been the case, Vettel would have incurred a 20 seconds penalty, demoting the German driver to eighth place and ensuring Ferari's Fernando Alonso would have won the drivers' title by one point.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day One
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Two
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Three

Read: Victorious Vettel makes history

"The request for a clarification from the FIA, regarding Vettel's passing move on Vergne, came about through the need to shed light on the circumstances of the move, which came out on the Internet only a few days after the race," said a Ferrari statement on Friday.

"The letter to the FIA was in no way intended to undermine the legality of the race result.

"We received tens of thousands of queries relating to this matter from all over the world and it was incumbent on us to take the matter further, asking the Federation to look into an incident that could have cast a shadow over the championship in the eyes of all Formula 1 enthusiasts, not just Ferrari fans.

"Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA this morning and therefore considers the matter now closed."

Read: Just how good is Sebastian Vettel

On Sunday, Vettel recovered from a nightmare start to become the youngest ever triple Formula One champion as Jenson Button won the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old German was hit on the fourth turn of the opening lap and suffered damage to the left side of his car which could not be fixed.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Four
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Five

But Vettel roared back through the field to finish sixth and deny title rival Alonso by three points.

Having decided against challenging the result of the race, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has turned his attention to "revamping" the Italian team ahead of the 2013 season.

"Now is the time to look ahead to next year," said Di Montezemolo. "I want us to start with a car that is immediately capable of fighting for the win and it has to be our first task."

That was a reference to Red Bull's engineering dominance over the last three seasons thanks to the input of design guru Adrian Newey.

"In order to achieve that, each one of us must improve in our own roles by at least a millimetre," Di Montezemolo.

"We must revamp our organization and our working methods to try and be at the same level as the best, right from the first race, which for too many years now we have failed to do."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT