This would have given the German youngster a 20-second penalty, had he been found guilty, which would have seen him bumped to eighth position instead of sixth. Such an outcome would then have granted Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso the championship, instead of Vettel.
Understandably, Ferrari, like any other team would have, sought clarification on the matter with FIA stewards.
As Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo puts it, “we took the simplest and most linear route, by asking the Federation to look into it, making it clear that we would accept their decision.”
After reviewing video footage of the race, it was determined that while a yellow flag had waved, a green light giving Vettel permission to pass was also present. The video also shows that Vettel did not begin the pass until he had gone by the flag.
The response from the FIA is that since the overtaking manoeuvre was not in breach of the regulations, there was no infringement to investigate.
Ferrari has since given its congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing team and is now focused on the 2013 season--just like all other teams.