It's official: Vettel is three-time champion
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.
"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."
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.
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."
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