Any potential controversy surrounding Sebastian Vettel’s pass on Jean-Eric Vergne during the Brazilian Grand Prix has been averted following images that show a green flag being waved before the move was completed.
The video, posted on Youtube, had appeared to show newly crowned triple world champion Vettel overtaking the Toro Rosso driver in a yellow flag zone along the back straight of the Interlagos circuit.
The original footage:
However, a higher quality version of the same onboard footage showed there was a green flag being waved by a marshall before the point at which the pass was made.
The enhanced footage (watch the green marshall post on the left-hand side):
With the initial video footage appearing to show the overtake occurring before the green light, it is easy to see how the initial confusion arose. This was further compounded by the fact that the yellow lights on Vettel’s dashboard, informing him he was in a yellow flag zone, didn’t go out until he had passed Vergne.
But the enhanced footage shows the marshall with the appropriate flag, thereby clearing the Red Bull driver of any wrongdoing.
Had the images shown a clear cut breaking of the rules, it is almost certain that Ferrari would have reported the incident to the FIA, with a penalty for Vettel potentially costing him the title and handing it to their driver Fernando Alonso.
Ferrari still have until this Friday to protest the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix, but with the move appearing to be legal, such a step would almost certainly be a waste of both time and effort.