It's official: Vettel is three-time champion as Ferrari drop appeal idea
November 30, 2012 -- Updated 1221 GMT (2021 HKT)
Sebasttian Vettel won his third successive world title on Sunday, denying championship rival Fernando Alonso by three points.
- Ferrari drops idea of challenging the Brazilian Grand Prix result
- Italian team had questioned whether Sebastian Vettel had illegally overtaken Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso
- "Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA and considers the matter now closed"
- Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo wants to "revamp our organization and our working methods"
(CNN) -- It's official: Sebastian Vettel is a three-time world champion after Ferrari dropped the idea of challenging the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Italian team has written to the governing body the FIA requesting clarification as to whether Red Bull racer Vettel had illegally overtaken Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso during Sunday's race at Interlagos.
If that had been the case, Vettel would have incurred a 20 seconds penalty, demoting the German driver to eighth place and ensuring Ferari's Fernando Alonso would have won the drivers' title by one point.
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day One
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Two
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Three
Read: Victorious Vettel makes history
"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 a Ferrari statement on Friday.
"The letter to the FIA was in no way intended to undermine the legality of the race result.
"We received tens of thousands of queries relating to this matter from all over the world and it was incumbent on us to take the matter further, asking the Federation to look into an incident that could have cast a shadow over the championship in the eyes of all Formula 1 enthusiasts, not just Ferrari fans.
"Ferrari duly takes note of the reply sent by the FIA this morning and therefore considers the matter now closed."
Read: Just how good is Sebastian Vettel
On Sunday, Vettel recovered from a nightmare start to become the youngest ever triple Formula One champion as Jenson Button won the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old German was hit on the fourth turn of the opening lap and suffered damage to the left side of his car which could not be fixed.
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Four
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Five
But Vettel roared back through the field to finish sixth and deny title rival Alonso by three points.
Having decided against challenging the result of the race, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has turned his attention to "revamping" the Italian team ahead of the 2013 season.
"Now is the time to look ahead to next year," said Di Montezemolo. "I want us to start with a car that is immediately capable of fighting for the win and it has to be our first task."
That was a reference to Red Bull's engineering dominance over the last three seasons thanks to the input of design guru Adrian Newey.
"In order to achieve that, each one of us must improve in our own roles by at least a millimetre," Di Montezemolo.
"We must revamp our organization and our working methods to try and be at the same level as the best, right from the first race, which for too many years now we have failed to do."
Part of complete coverage on
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
A rare interview with the Gerhard Noack, the man who spotted Vettel and Schumacher as young Kart racing drivers in Germany
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
CNN's Amanda Davies travels to Sebastian Vettel's hometown of Heppenheim in Germany.
Relive the Formula One season as it progressed, circuit by circuit, race by race.
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 1417 GMT (2217 HKT)
Germany has only produced two Formula One champions -- and they can thank one man for spotting their nascent talent.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
Formula One's 83-year-old boss Bernie Ecclestone says Ferrari will have a big say in who replaces him -- but he's not going anywhere yet.
CNN's Amanda Davies travels to a small German town to discover the real Sebastian Vettel, F1's all-conquering champion.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
November 28, 2013 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Red Bull's four time world champion Sebastian Vettel lifts the lid on life out in front of the pack.
November 17, 2013 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
It is 5 a.m. on Sunday morning in Austin, Texas and the grid girls are already up and getting ready for the race.
November 12, 2013 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
There are books -- and then there are books. This one has been six years in the making and it doesn't come cheap.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wyatt explores the popularity of F1 in India and what the future might hold.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
How would you feel if your boss asked you to lose weight so you could carry on doing your job? That is the reality facing Formula One drivers.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
Kimi Raikkonen has long been box office gold, even before he re-signed with Ferrari for 2014, says CNN's Sarah Holt.
September 6, 2013 -- Updated 1627 GMT (0027 HKT)
Monza may be a long way from his birthplace in West Lothian, Scotland but Italy is unquestionably a home from home for Paul di Resta.
Today's five most popular stories