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Fernando Alonso has defended Ferrari for its decision to seek clarification from governing body the FIA over Sebastian Vettel's allegedly illegal overtake during last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, explaining that the Maranello-based team 'owed its fans an answer' in the wake of the on-board footage being discovered.
The video in question showed Vettel overtaking Toro Rosso's Jean-Éric Vergne after a yellow flag board in Brazil, but closer examination confirmed that the Red Bull driver had crucially passed a trackside green flag before pulling alongside his rival. Despite the outcome, Alonso insists Ferrari made the right choice by pursuing the matter.
"There were a lot of video clips on the internet and we knew our fans were asking for an explanation and so it was right for Ferrari to turn to the (FIA) Federation for a clarification," Alonso said of Vettel's Lap 4 pass.
"We got a reply and I think everything has now calmed down. I did not pay much attention to all of the uproar, but I felt we owed our fans an answer."
Alonso added that a potentially dented public image is of no concern after this week's events, with the views of Ferrari staff and supporters all that matter to him.
"Frankly, I’m not that interested in what the opinion is of me in Germany or elsewhere," he said of the criticism the clarification generated. "What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai. What matters to me are the 1,200 people in the Ferrari family, who gave me a standing ovation at a dinner."
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