Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has been cleared by the race stewards for leaving the circuit to overtake Jean-Eric Vergne in the closing stages of Sunday's 2013 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The incident occurred after the Spaniard had made his final stop and when he was exciting the pit lane. He rejoined proceedings alongside Vergne on the run towards turn two. To get in front, he then left the confines of the track and jumped over the kerbs on the exit of the corner.

The matter was looked at post-race by the stewards, who announced: "While Car 3 (Alonso) did leave the track at Turn 3-4 the stewards believe that he had no choice as Car 18 (Vergne) closed on him.

"Car 18 was at the end of his stint with worn tyres and was fully committed to the Turn as Car 3 exited the pits.

"Telemetry confirms that Car 3 was significantly faster, on option tyres, and had the advantage throughout the sequence. The drivers' explanations were completely clear. Therefore the Stewards determine that neither car could avoid the incident and no advantage was gained as a result of it."

The incident was immediately flagged to be investigated after the race but Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicali, felt confident that there was nothing to be worried about and that Alonso would be cleared, as proved to be the case.

Speaking to the media, including, the Italian said: "In my view if you look at the frame of the situation under investigation you will see that Fernando is out on track and his car is alongside Vergne's car. The regulation is that if the car is past the rear line that you should give space to the other car to let it through. So honestly I believe that nothing should happen."

Alonso eventually finished in fifth place overall, while Vergne had to convert to a two-stop strategy late on and ended up down in 17th.

by Stephen English at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi



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