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FIA race director Charlie Whiting has insisted that Sebastian Vettel's overtake on Jean-Éric Vergne during last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix was completely legal. Despite yellow flag boards being illuminated in the opening sector on Lap 4, the German's move crucially came after a trackside green flag was waved.
Whiting confirmed that waved flags filled a number of gaps between boards at Interlagos, with 16 in place around the circuit. Between the flashing yellow and solid green boards along the Reta Oposta straight, a marshal was seen to be waving a green flag. This clears Vettel's move and leaves Ferrari without hope of appealing.
"If the lights are not installed at a flag post then the driver responds to the first signal that is shown," Whiting explained to Auto Motor Und Sport. "In Vettel's case, between the last yellow light and the green light there was a green flag being waved.
"The distance is 350 metres here (in Brazil). Vettel responded to the flag and did everything right."
Finishing sixth in Brazil after a first lap collision with the Williams of Bruno Senna, Vettel claimed the 2012 world title by three points over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
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