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'Ferrari weren't out to belittle Vettel'

Saturday 01-December-2012 08:24

Stefano Domenicali has defended Ferrari's decision to ask the FIA for clarification, adamant it was never their intention to "belittle" Sebastian Vettel.

In the wake of Sunday's title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix, footage emerged appearing to show Vettel passing Jean-Eric Vergne under yellow conditions.

Receiving "tens of thousands of queries" from their tifosi, Ferrari asked motorsport's governing body for clarification the incident.

That came, confirming Vettel's move was legal as a marshal on his left was waving a green flag before he overtook the Toro Rosso.

"It was incumbent on us to ask the Federation for a clarification, given everything that was going round on the Internet," said Domenicali.

"We had no intention of belittling the merit of the title winner, but it was right to have the matter completely cleared up.

"The FIA has replied and we have noted their answer and now consider the matter to be closed."

As such Vettel holds onto his third Drivers' Championship title, a crown that Domenicali believes Fernando Alonso deserved to win given his performances this season.

"It was an incredible season and I believe Fernando really deserved the title. I'm not just saying that because he is one of our drivers, because I share that opinion with the great majority of his colleagues and observers.

"I'd score Fernando's season a 10: he is a fantastic driver, who combines his amazing talent with our group of people, protective when he needs to be and pushing in the right direction when things are not going as they should. It's a privilege to have him as part of our team."

But while Alonso scored high marks with his team boss, the Ferrari team in its entirety did not.

"What was lacking was the car, despite the fact we staged a recovery after the very complicated start.

"We also lacked a bit of luck, especially with the incidents at Spa and Suzuka (where Alonso retired on the first lap).

"That's why I'd give Ferrari a 7, however, I want to say I am proud, as is President Montezemolo, of the work we have done."

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