Ferrari Questions Vettel’s Move in Formula One Title Decider

Photographer: Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Team mates celebrate as Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing crosses the line to finish in sixth position and clinch the drivers world championship during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 25, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Close

Team mates celebrate as Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing crosses the... Read More

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Photographer: Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Team mates celebrate as Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing crosses the line to finish in sixth position and clinch the drivers world championship during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 25, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Ferrari Formula One team asked the sport’s ruling body for clarification after video showed Sebastian Vettel may have passed another racing car illegally on the way to winning the championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The footage from the Nov. 25 race shows Vettel passing Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne on a stretch of Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit between a yellow light -- when overtaking is prohibited -- and a green light.

A retroactive penalty could push the Red Bull Racing driver down the standings and hand the title to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Ferrari, which sent the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile a letter late yesterday, has until the end of tomorrow to decide whether to appeal, Ferrari team spokesman Luca Colajanni said by telephone.

The FIA says Vettel’s pass was legitimate because a race official was waving a green flag in the 150 meters between the two lights, Autosport.com reported, citing unidentified sources from the ruling body.

FIA spokesman Norman Howell didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

Vettel, 25, finished the Brazilian race in sixth place to win the title by three points over Alonso, who finished second in the rain-swept event.

It was the third straight title for the German, who passed Ayrton Senna’s mark as the youngest three-time champion.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at celser@bloomberg.net

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