Personally I think there are many interesting aspects about how the whole issue snowballed and how agents like the Spanish media, Ferrari and Alonso interacted. Especially the Ferrari case interests me as it is hard to make sense out of it. Why did they overtly close the chapter right after the race with LdM sending out warm letters of the suppliers and seemingly trying to turn the page in the interviews he gave? Why did Ferrari send the letter many days later despite having seen no sense to protest after the race? What role does the Alonso play in the whole story?
It is course difficult to reconstruct the story but we have an interesting timeline and input from various sources.
25th: Ferrari did look already during the race into some of the issues, first informing Alonso that Vettel might have infringed the rules but later saying him that it was all clear. Alonso himself told the story this way after the race.
At least Sky F1 did bring it up, maybe trying to stir the pot, but so far as I know only about the case with Koba.
The overtake of Koba was relatively quickly deemed legal for obvious reasons already discussed elsewhere.
26th: Videos surface about the overtake of Vergne and go viral, also here on Autosport. (The most viewed ones on YT have Spanish titles and were posted on the 27th, the Italian one has also a quite some views)
27th: The issue is quickly picked up by the Spanish media which fuels the issue. The social motorsport media writes about it. Alonso tweets 'No tengo milagros, Yo hago de las leyes correctas mis milagros.' "I have no miracles, I transform the correct rules in my miracles"
His manager Luis Garcia Abad followed: "Donde hay poca justicia es un peligro tener razón" "where justice does not prevail, it´s dangerous being in the right"
28th-29th Newspaper like the Gazzetta and the Corriere della Sera report it, suggesting that Alonso pushes Ferrari to protest. They write that Ferrari considers it but that the chances are slim and that it could not look good. (Note that some articles got updated yesterday!)
ABC.es says "Alonso presiona a Ferrari para que presente una reclamación oficial" "Alonos pushes Ferrari to present an official reclamation"
The Corriere (link above) writes: "A Maranello ci pensano: hanno tempo fino a venerdì per decidere. Fernando Alonso preme in questa direzione." "At Maranello they think about it: they have time until Friday to decide. Fernado Alonso presses in this direction"
29th: The international media, first the motorsport/sport papers pick up the news. Among them are the most respected, like the BBC "The 31-year-old Alonso, who was world champion in 2005 and 2006, is believed to be pushing Ferrari to make an official protest to the FIA."
Ferrari sends a letter, possibly already a day before, asking for a "clarification". "Ferrari has asked, in a letter, for a clarification from the FIA about the overtaking of VET VER during the 4th round of the Brazilian Grand Prix," confirm the official tweet only a couple of minutes after Whiting responds to German AMuS that everyting was legal. He does so later on Autosport.
The Telegraph offers Ecclestones view: “In the rules and regs normally you have to protest,” the 82 year-old said. “They [Ferrari] missed that time. Then there is the fact that a green flag was shown, which nobody seems to dispute. It’s a complete joke. What they are saying in that letter is wrong. I don’t think there needs to be any action taken. It’s completely and utterly wrong."
30th: Ferrari accepts the FIA verdict.
“Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA this morning and therefore considers the matter now closed,” the team said in a statement on Friday.
“The request for a clarification from the FIA, regarding Vettel’s passing move on Vergne, came about through the need to shed light on the circumstances of the move, which came out on the Internet only a few days after the race,” said the team.
Red Bull says that they are “pleased, but not surprised, that the FIA has confirmed there is no case to answer regarding the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.”
“We are extremely proud of Sebastian’s incredible achievement and his third historic title, which makes him the youngest ever triple world champion,” the team added in a statement.
Ferrari seems to react to the backlash against the team by a statement of it's team boss, Domenicali:
"It was our duty to ask for a clarification to the FIA to understand what was the thing that was circulating on the web, without trying to diminish the victory of the driver who has won the title.
"But with the approach of seeking clarity and trying to understand what was the video that was on television. It was nothing more than that.
"So it was a very rational and very correct approach from Ferrari to make sure that we understood. We have received the clarification from the FIA, so we have taken notice of their position."
So far no direct apology was issued.
So there was a big flip-flop by Ferrari, but why? Ferrari is a big brand and certainly knew about the risks of losing and looking like a bad loser. They clearly look like any other team closely at what the competitors are doing on and of the track. So why did they sent the "wrong" (Bernie) letter, confirmed it and exposed themselves in such a way?
The reasons seems to be most likely come from Spain. Fernado was not impressed by other FIA decisions, in particular the one in Japan against Vettel and tweeted something which can get misunderstood as an attack on the FIA. His manager seems to state the point much clearer, writing that it is "dangerous to be right when justice doesn't prevail". The Spanish media does talk about Ferrari being "cowardly" if it doesn't protest. Italian media and their sources (also see The flying lap) report all that Alonso was pressing for a protest. All in all it seems after a review of the known facts to be the by far the most likely scenario.
You can make multiple choices, which make sense for the first question.
Edited by H2H, 02 December 2012 - 09:08.