Ferrari consider lodging a protest
'Illegal' overtaking move by Vettel may cost him his third world crown
Ferrari are considering whether to lodge a protest that could lead to the result of the Formula One world championship being overturned.
British and Italian media reports said Ferrari were ‘evaluating footage’ to see if it shows Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel making an illegal overtaking move in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, where he finished sixth to clinch the title.
The German beat Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by three points to rack up his third straight drivers’ title.
Ferrari are analysing television footage from Vettel’s on-board camera to determine if the 25-year-old overtook Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne in an illegal area of the track.
Vettel could be dropped to eighth if any protest is upheld and Alonso would be world champion by one point.
Spaniard Alonso tweeted cryptically on Tuesday: “I cannot perform miracles. I make miracles within the rules.”
Ferrari, Red Bull and the governing FIA could not immediately be reached for comment.
The FIA could decide to investigate even without a Ferrari protest.
Vettel became the youngest triple world champion at Interlagos on Sunday having been involved in an early crash which left him at the back of the field facing backwards before fighting his way up to sixth.
Meanwhile, Australian Mark Webber has no interest in playing a support role Vettel at Red Bull and is just as keen to beat the German as anyone else on the grid. “Obviously with Sebastian's form, he's clearly on the front foot. Not only from within our team but he's won three world titles on the bounce now so all the drivers have got to try and topple him,” Webber told reporters in Tasmania on Thursday.
“I don't go there thinking I've got to be playing a team role as such. I'm there for myself, to get the best results possible and to do that I need to be part of the team.
“So, no, I'm not going there thinking in a supporting role at all.”
Webber finished sixth in the drivers championship after claiming two victories, at Monaco and Silverstone, compared to Vettel's five race wins.
Collectively the duo delivered a third consecutive constructors title for Red Bull but had to endure worrying reliability issues at the normally reliable English-based team.
Webber suffered back-to-back retirements in Abu Dhabi and Texas, which proved costly for the former Williams, Jaguar and Minardi driver.
“Ultimately we just weren't consistent enough compared to 2010 and 2011,” Webber said. “Our qualifying pace this year was a very, very good step forward but (not) our Sunday performances.
“It wasn't strong enough towards the end but they're fine margins and before you know it, the odd non-finish here and there, and the points are not in your favour.”