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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Massa was unable to either increase, or keep the 3 second lead he had, and Alonso's was the faster car.
The result was the best for the team,... but was it the best for the sport?
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ferrari pull fast one!

Ferrari pull fast one! Outrage but no surprise as F1 hits a new low after Fernando Alonso usurps Felipe Massa at Hockenheim | Mail Online


Monday, Jul 26 2010
Ferrari pull fast one! Outrage but no surprise as F1 hits a new low after Fernando Alonso usurps Felipe Massa at Hockenheim

By Jonathan McEvoy reports from Hockenheim

Last updated at 1:06 AM on 26th July 2010


The fallacy in offering a lament for the anti-sport that masqueraded as Sunday's German Grand Prix is that it is not worth clearing your throat to sing the song.

For all the understandable sense of outrage in Hockenheim that Ferrari hamfistedly instructed Felipe Massa to cede the lead so their championship-chasing driver Fernando Alonso would win in his place, it was a strikingly naive reaction.

That is to say Formula One is riddled with cheaters and connivers, bending the rules at will. We're not talking about the General Synod of the Church of England here.
After you: Felipe Massa (left) looks glum after allowing Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso (centre) to pass him during the race

After you: Massa (left) looks glum after allowing Ferrari team-mate Alonso (centre) to pass him during the race

It's not an excuse for what happened at turn six of the 49th lap. It's just to observe that the power of skulduggery to stir the blood would be hugely greater had grand prix racing not long ago debased its reputation for sporting purity.

The facts of the latest skirmish are these. Massa took the lead at the start, when Red Bull's pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel left the road clear for him to pass. Alonso, caught up in Vettel's aggressive move that nudged him close to the wall, was second.
Delight: Fernando Alonso celebrates victory in Germany

So it remained for lap after lap. Alonso tried to pressurise Massa into a mistake. He inched ahead of the Brazilian coming into that same turn six hairpin on lap 21, only to lose out around the corner. He tried again at turn 12, but again without success.

Increasingly rattled, Alonso told the team over the radio: 'This is ridiculous.' He wanted to be handed the lead, given that he needed the points to push himself further into the championship fray.
Victory: Fernando Alonso drives ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in Hockenheim

By lap 47, Ferrari had clearly decided to order Massa to move aside. His race engineer, Englishman Rob Smedley, broke the news in what the stewards interpreted in the only way they could, as code for 'let him pass'.

Smedley said slowly in his Middlesbrough drawl: 'OK, so, Fernando is faster than you.' On lap 48, he repeated: 'Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm that you understand that message.' On lap 49, Massa slowed to a crawl and Alonso breezed by. He went on to win, narrowing his deficit behind Hamilton to 21 points. Massa, a year to the day after a stray spring fractured his skull, was second. Vettel, after that wasteful start, was third.

The mood on the Ferrari pit wall and in Alonso's hug with Massa was half-hearted. The press conference that followed was absurd. Both drivers insisted team orders had not been issued, which is all the ink we will give to their contemptible argument.
Exciting start: Sebastian Vettel leads the pack on the opening lap

Better to hear from Niki Lauda, who almost burned to death in a Ferrari 34 years ago. 'I've never heard a driver talk such bull****,' he said of Alonso. 'He has no character. This was the most stupid thing I have ever seen from Ferrari. Why did they do it? They did not need to because the championship is alive for another eight races. Why could Massa not have a chance to win, a year since he had the accident that could have cost his life?'

Some fans will say that the team orders rule is a stupid one. It goes to the heart of the age-old debate about whether Formula One is a team sport or an individual one.

The feeling here is that the drivers should be allowed to race free of constraints. It feels more like sport. It provides jousting on the track, which is infinitely preferable to sleight of hand on the pit wall.
Disappointing: Sebastian Vettel could only finish third despite starting from pole position

That is a discussion for another day. The fact is that Article 39.1 was introduced in 2002 when Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello to move over on the last lap of an Austrian Grand Prix to let team-mate Michael Schumacher win.

It states unambiguously: 'Team orders that interfere with a race result are prohibited.'

It is no accident that Alonso is at the centre of the storm. It was he who benefited when Renault rigged the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix by asking his team-mate Nelson Piquet to risk injury by crashing. He has since said that he counts it as a worthy win. It was Alonso who demanded No 1 status at McLaren when, having won the second of his two world titles the previous year, he was beaten by rookie Hamilton.
Brit of a disappointment: Lewis Hamilton could only finish fourth

Only last month Alonso complained petulantly when Hamilton gained fortuitous advantage via the timing of a drive-through penalty at the European Grand Prix. His anger mounted further when he was rightly punished at Silverstone a fortnight ago for cutting the chicane.

It seems that his team, eager to capitalise on improved recent speed and win the drivers' title, gave in to the demands of their talented but truculent star.

But, as we were asking, who is surprised by the moral vacuum? After all, Flavio Briatore, boss of Renault at the time of the fixed 2008 race, was back walking the grid in Valencia. Nobody seemed to care. Certainly not Alonso, who hugged him in public view.

Similarly, Briatore's co-conspirator, Pat Symonds, rather than hide in shame for a suitable period, is already writing for a Formula One magazine. I'd like to read his expert thoughts on this one.

And who will sit on the World Motor Sport Council in judgement on Ferrari's felony next month? FIA president Jean Todt, who issued the team orders in Austria eight years ago.

Surprised by yesterday's antics? You must be joking.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Schumi: Ferrari's actions totally right

Schumi: Ferrari's actions totally right

Sunday, 25 July 2010 16:52


Michael Schumacher says he totally understands why Felipe Massa let his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso past to win the German Grand Prix - and thinks it was the right outcome.

Schumacher was at the centre of several team order controversies during his career, most famously when Rubens Barrichello handed victory to him within sight of the chequered flag in the 2002 Austrian GP.

The outcry over that result led to the current ban on team orders.

Schumacher said that personally he would have loved to see his friend Massa win - but that if Ferrari had instructed him to let Alonso through, it had made exactly the right choice.

"I saw Felipe being in first position and obviously I was happy as he's a good friend of mine," said Schumacher.

"Then hearing Alonso won the race, I was wondering 'what kind of strategy was that...'

"But I have been criticised in the past for exactly that, and I have to say I understand [Ferrari's situation] 100 per cent and I would do exactly the same in that situation.

"Because at the end of the day, what we're here for is winning the world championship."

He pointed out that Ferrari would be pilloried if Alonso lost the championship by seven points or less - the margin he gained by getting ahead of Massa today.

"Only one [driver] can win the world championship and by the end of the year if you think you could have lost the championship by exactly those points, you will ask yourself - and all the fans, the TV, the journalists and so on will ask - why do you do so?" Schumacher said.

He also pointed out that team orders had been more subtly emloyed many times in recent years despite the rules, either with drivers changing position in the pits or not resisting what appeared to be straightforward overtaking moves.

"If you go back to other years, in other teams, in other situations, in the last race [of the season] for example, there were clear team orders," Schumacher noted.

"And everybody accepts those, and goes 'yeah, that's normal, it's the last race' and so on."

Schumacher admitted that he now understood why he had been criticised so heavily in the past, as he was already dominating the 2002 title race when Barrichello handed the Zeltweg win to him - but said today's situation was very different and much more understandable.

"I can see that in the years when we did it, people thought it was unnecessary because we were leading by so much - I can agree on that one in a way," he conceded.

"But in principle, I cannot.

"I fully accept and I agree with what's going on.

"You have to do it in a way that's nice and maybe not too obvious, make it a nice fight, but there is only one target and that's winning the championship."
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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BBC F 1

BBC - Andrew Benson: Team orders rule ties F1 in knots

Team orders rule ties F1 in knots

Formula 1

17:16 UK time, Sunday, 25 July 2010

Fernando Alonso's victory in the German Grand Prix was the best possible result the race could have produced for the world championship battle.

It means the Spaniard, in a car that is now absolutely competitive after recent updates, has closed the gap on leader Lewis Hamilton and the prospect of a five-driver battle for the world title remains very much alive.

Of course, that point has become rather lost in the intense controversy about how Alonso secured the 23rd victory of his career.

The Spaniard was clearly handed first place on a plate by team-mate Felipe Massa on lap 49, the Brazilian slowing down out of the hairpin at Turn Six after his engineer Rob Smedley had told him on the radio: "Fernando is faster than you."

Ferrari have been fined $100,000 (£65,000) for a breach of article 39.1 of the F1 sporting regulations, which says: "Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited." The race stewards decided not to change the result but have referred the matter to the World Council of motorsport's governing body the FIA.

Ferrari claimed after the race that they had not ordered Massa to let Alonso past, which strictly speaking is true, even if the whole watching world understood the subtext of Smedley's message as clearly as the Brazilian did.

Let's be clear about this: Smedley's message was a clear, coded instruction to Massa to let Alonso through and this was therefore clearly an example of team orders.

But that is where the situation gets a bit murkier.

Just because Ferrari effectively asked Massa to let Alonso win, was that necessarily the wrong thing to do? Is it right that the F1 rules ban team orders? Did Ferrari even technically break the rule?

There are so many difficult areas here.

First of all, technically, Ferrari did not order Massa to let Alonso win, not in so many words.

Secondly, what does the rule actually mean? Did what Ferrari did interfere with the race result? How can anyone possibly know? They could, if they wanted, argue that Alonso, who had been significantly faster than Massa all weekend, was going to get past eventually. Or that they didn't want to risk a collision between their two drivers by letting them race.

They didn't do that. Instead, they have been forced into what many will view as the ridiculous charade of having to dress it up as Massa's decision.

Parallels will be drawn between this race and the notorious one in Austria in 2002, when then Ferrari boss (and now FIA president) Jean Todt ordered Rubens Barrichello to let Michael Schumacher past to win.

That day, despite repeated demands in the closing laps, Barrichello only ceded position on the run to the chequered flag. The resulting outcry - which started with Schumacher being booed on the podium and ended up with Ferrari being given a $1m fine - led to the rule banning team orders being introduced.

But I don't see it as the same situation. There was no need to deprive Barrichello of that win. Schumacher had dominated the start of the 2002 season and already had a significant championship lead at a race that came much earlier in the season than this one.

What happened in Hockenheim on Sunday was different. Alonso has been Ferrari's stronger driver all year and is clearly the only one who has a chance of the championship.

This - unlike the situation between the two Red Bull drivers at Silverstone - is not an example of two evenly matched drivers in one team battling it out for the title and the team making a call that potentially disadvantages one of them.

Massa has simply not been strong enough this season compared to Alonso for anyone to make a case that he will be consistently beating him for the rest of the season, and by extension feature in the world championship battle.

As BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle put it during the race, Alonso has had a tough couple of weekends, suffering badly at the hands of some stewards' decisions, and he needs as many points as he can get to haul himself back into the title chase.

Schumacher himself was very interesting on this subject after the race on Sunday.

"Watching the TV occasionally (on the big screens during the race), I've seen Felipe being in first position and I felt happy because he is a good friend of mine," he said. "Then hearing that Alonso won the race I was wondering what kind of strategy was that?

"I have been criticised in the past for exactly that and I have to say that I would do exactly the same if I was in their situation. At the end of the day, what are we here for? It's fighting for a championship and there is only one that can win it.

"By the end of the year, if you think you would have lost the championship for exactly that point you will ask yourself, all the fans, the television, the journalists, why didn't you do so?

"If you go back to other years, other teams and other situations, in the last race there were clear team orders and everybody accepts those. Whether it's the last race, second last race or even earlier, what's the point?

"I can see that in the years when we did it, because we were leading so much, that people thought it was unnecessary and I can agree on that one in a way.

"But in principle I cannot. I agree with what's going on. You have to do it in a way that is nice and maybe not too obvious - make it nice fight. But there's only one target, and that's winning the championship."

It's worth pointing out that the previous version of this rule said "team orders that are against the interests of competition are forbidden".

Under that wording, you could even make the case that what Ferrari did was explicitly allowed, even encouraged, by the rules - in that letting Alonso win was absolutely in the interests of competition, ie in increasing the prospects of an interesting world championship fight.

That wording was changed because of its inherent vagueness, but there is a far wider point here - and that is whether the rule should be there in the first place.

Many people watching the German Grand Prix will doubtless be disgusted by what happened, and feel that they were deprived of seeing two men battle it out to the finish.

But the reality of F1 is as David Coulthard described it after the race on Sunday: "Every team in this pit lane gives team orders and anyone who says they don't is lying."

F1 is a team sport; teams constantly manipulate races. Having a rule banning team orders doesn't mean they don't happen, it simply means teams have to find duplicitous ways of employing them.

Equally, I don't see the logic of an argument that says Ferrari should be penalised for this incident but teams and drivers should not have been punished for similar situations in the past.

The most obvious recent one that springs to mind decided the result of the world championship in 2007.

In the final race of the season in Brazil, Massa was leading then-Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, with Alonso - then at McLaren - in third place and the Spaniard's team-mate Hamilton fighting his way back up the field, eventually finishing fifth.

Had Massa won, Hamilton would have been world champion - but Massa, clearly under instruction from Ferrari, gave up a victory in his home race so his team-mate could win the title.

No one complained then. So why now?
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 06:35 AM
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There are many precedents but I think it's for the best of the sport that this has to stop! Otherwise we will end up with other teams accepting money as a bribe to change the outcome of a race to suit the needs of one of the top wealthy teams! It happend in soccer all over europe when games were fixed in order to move up the order of the championship.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikecoady View Post
I wont spoil the race for others who have not seen it, but I will say that anyone in sport who wins from cheating (as far as I am consearned) does not deserve the acalade, and any so called sports man/women who takes a win from cheating should be banned from that sport, wheather team orders or not , it is thye principle that matters and if the winner feels no remorse for what he /she has done the should be banned for life. I am all for a good fight (vettel & Webber, hamilton & button) to all at FIA I love F1 please do not destroy the one sport I like. I feel like an ex F1 fan as this is really knocked me. I thought the FIA had got rid of this sort of thing.

Mike (F~#**ng) angry
I'm not going to bother even entertaining that idea, but let me just remind of how Schumacher won one of his 7 world Titles:


And then tried again and failed:


As to why these things follow him, I don't think ANYONE really knows what happened at Mclaren, it was poorly managed by both parties and if they could have worked together Alonso would be 4 WDC; that is almost certain. Instead they (Ron Dennis and co v. Alonso) both acted in emotional haste and ended up losing out in the WDC and WCC in 2007. And this.



Crashgate was conspired by Piquet, Simons and Briatore, not Alonso. Racing Engineers are able to act independently and do not synchronize their tactics other than pit stops (in 2008), and the fact that one could be unaware of it is completely possible. But, with that said when in happened (as an Alonso fan) I knew Piquet had taken a dive for a contract extension and the first win for 2008 to save Renault from Ghosn's ax.

I love F1 please do not destroy the one sport I like. I feel like an ex F1 fan as this is really knocked me. I thought the FIA had got rid of this sort of thing.

Haha, you either haven't been watching long enough or are delusional, as a dedicated F1 follower since in 2002 with momentary interests since the early 90's its just as Alonso said in 2006 'Formula 1 is not a Sport.' Any real follower of this brand of circus knows by the second season what this is. And if you had any involvement in professional motorsports outside of this it all makes sense.

Last edited by 672; 07-26-2010 at 05:45 PM.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 11:35 PM
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672 - whether F1 is a sport or not is a separate question. The fact is that Ferrari broke the rules and were penalised accordingly. I have two issues with the aftermath though.

Firstly, I wonder why the fine in 2010 is $100,000 when the same offence saw a penalty of $1,000,000 in 2002. That's deflation for you, huh? The inconsistency of the penalties in F1 is the real issue. Same offences by different personalities/teams result in totally different penalties. This is as much a form of manipulation as is Ferrari's actions in Germany.

Secondly, the biggest beneficiary of the illegal action was Fernando Alonso. Ferrari actually received no direct benefit - they scored exactly the same championship points they would have had they not given the instruction to Massa. Alonso would have been aware of the actions of the team. He most likely requested the team to take such illegal action. Yet he does not suffer any penalty for his illegal gain of position.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 01:11 AM
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Let me begin by saying that my use of the English diction while heavily intoxicated (Friday night qualy time, until this afternoon) seems abysmal to me now.

This is no different than what happened with Kimi at Interlagos in 2007, except the stakes were higher for that GP for Ferrari. And yet Kimi is still a great pilot, was his title any less significant? I like Kimi a great deal, he was the only other pilot I supported other than Alonso until Kobayashi made his debut.

But it must be asked: why was that not scrutinized and discredited in the same level as media and fickle minded audience clearly seems to believe this is? It was the same teammate, same team, and the same objective: the WDC and the WCC (won by default).

When I saw that Alonso dropped off after trying to overtake Massa before the midpoint, I knew Vettel was going to catch up and made Alonso back hi up, the diffrence from P1 and P3 went from around 1.8 seconds to 6 seconds; I believe that Smedly soon cracked the whip, as he so often does with Massa, that is why if you see Massa late breaking and locking up all over the place in the laps after this, Ferrari giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is still capable of taking this GP if he can earn it. But Alonso was matching his sector times every lap, Massa was pushing at the max up until about lap 40 you hear Smedly saying what was heard, he simply didn't have the pace! He set fastest lap after fastest lap until the end of the GP.

As an Alonso fan I honestly wanted to see Massa put in his place awith an overtake, it wasn't going to be spectacular like it was in 2007 I'm sure--but I wanted to see it nonetheless. I have never thought much of Massa. I honestly believe he is perhaps one of the lease talented individuals on the grid, but he is a useful idiot with high connections in Maranello, specifically Schumacher. I really thought he was going to get the boot in 2009, but then he got hit with the spring and the PR disaster had to be averted at all costs--remember Ferrari are a business first, they sale a cult name brand and use F1 as a medium


Ferrari broke a rule that is loosely enforced, this is really no different then unspoken rule that ALL TEAMS have of no inter-team battle late in the GP. You saw it in Turkey when Mclaren were dueling, and Hamilton was wallowing in absolute guilt over it and some of it was caught on the camera post race, yet that only obtained minor media attention. What a Team sees and does for its own interest is up to them.

The rule has no place in F1, much less in Ferrari where it has always been known that there is a #1 and #2 driver, that is how they function and they must be doing something right seeing as they are most prestigious team on the grid and are really F1 in terms of History. Even their closest rivals, Mclaren, admitted that when the series was going to break up last year.

I don't support Ferrari nor do I really like them as a Team. Todt was a tosser and Luca was good for nothing more than a chuckle with his half-witted soundbites that made it in the media. I never bought into the whole Ferrari is a Religion cult so many seem to believe. They make nice sounding, beautifully designed, overpriced road cars and accessories to those dumb enough to be won over by a great Marketing team.

Did they break a rule: sure. Did the team deserve the fine: absolutely. But the drivers should not be subject to this punishment and the results should remain as they are. the FIA have never been consistent: Hamilton is perhaps the biggest example of this, he received the titles like crane boy and brake checker for a reason-- most in his first season, no less.

Deflation has nothing to do with it. Rather it was just another example of the disproportionate punishments these supposed infractions warrant when and how the stewards see them. Trying to find logic in F1 is absurd, how did the pinnacle of motorsport have to go green and impose a limitation on the ingenuity and engineering prowess that it was renown for when they imposed the engine freeze? It makes no sense, I miss the V10's just as much as I missed seeing Alonso on the podium in 2008 and 2009.

Whether Alonso knew or not isn't even a dispute, I'm sure he did. However, I'd be fuming if I had to sacrifice a possible win that puts me in direct contention for the WDC as pilot and the extra motivation generated in my garage with potential 1-2 for the team (who give you that car and its development) if I had to maintain appearances for someone who was clearly doing a worse job than I under any circumstance. Remember, if Alonso dropped out of contention they have to drop development for F10 for the season soon after the midpoint and I'm sure Luca et al made damn sure that his Team wasn't a backmarker with talentless pilots or an unmotivated pilot like Kimi was in 2009 (after Spa) for 2 years in a row. F1 is their business and they are protecting their interests, nothing more. They alone must pay the price, not its pilots. They are doing what they are paid to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astin View Post
672 - whether F1 is a sport or not is a separate question. The fact is that Ferrari broke the rules and were penalised accordingly. I have two issues with the aftermath though.

Firstly, I wonder why the fine in 2010 is $100,000 when the same offence saw a penalty of $1,000,000 in 2002. That's deflation for you, huh? The inconsistency of the penalties in F1 is the real issue. Same offences by different personalities/teams result in totally different penalties. This is as much a form of manipulation as is Ferrari's actions in Germany.

Secondly, the biggest beneficiary of the illegal action was Fernando Alonso. Ferrari actually received no direct benefit - they scored exactly the same championship points they would have had they not given the instruction to Massa. Alonso would have been aware of the actions of the team. He most likely requested the team to take such illegal action. Yet he does not suffer any penalty for his illegal gain of position.
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What the FIA should do about team orders in Formula 1

What the FIA should do about team orders in Formula 1 : James Allen on F1 – The official website


Posted on | July 26, 2010 | by | 793 Comments

A day on from the furore over the Ferrari team orders row in the German Grand Prix, it seems to me that there has been a bit of an overreaction, with some sections of the media calling them ‘cheats’ and others calling for them to be banned by the disciplinary arm of the World Motor Sport council.

This is nonsense. Yes, it is a serious situation because they violated a rule which says that team orders are banned. And we should be in no doubt, despite the denials of Alonso that team orders were invoked here. But you have to look at the wider picture and acknowledge that it is a question of degree and that some common sense needs to be applied when sorting this matter out.


No-one was left in any doubt about what was happening by the tone and language of the message to Felipe Massa, nor by his subsequent yielding of the lead to Alonso. It is clear that Ferrari have a case to answer in terms of breaking a rule. They have been fined $100,000 by the stewards in Hockenheim, but further sanctions may follow from the WMSC.

People will of course point to the irony of FIA president Jean Todt presiding over this, given that it was his team order to Rubens Barrichello in 2002 which led to the introduction of the rule. But Todt has separated his position from the disciplinary procedure of the FIA, part of his distinction from the previous regime of Max Mosley. So he will not be sitting in judgement on this one. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a force for change once the case has been heard. Because change is needed here.

The outcry back in 2002 was against the cynicism of the decision to give the win to Schumacher when he had been outclassed by Barrichello all weekend. It was very early in the season and Schumacher was already well clear in the points in an unbeatable car.

This situation is different on many counts. leaving aside the rule specifically banning team orders for a second, the championship is well advanced and it is closely fought. Ferrari feel aggrieved that they are at least 30 points worse off with Alonso than they should have been, largely due to some stewards decisions which have gone against them, rightly or wrongly. Massa too has lost points, but hasn’t been on the kind of form Alonso’s been on, so the Spaniard is clearly the one to go for the title, if Ferrari can only get him in the game.

He was faster than Massa all weekend and qualified in front of him, but then lost the start to the Brazilian and then couldn’t get ahead of him in the pit stops. If Ferrari had wanted to do a subtle switch, a slightly delayed pit stop for Massa would have done the trick. A second or two is all that it would have needed.

A big part of the problem here is the way it was handled, with Rob Smedley being given the task of giving his driver the bad news. It should have been Stefano Domenicali, the team boss, or Chris Dyer, the senior engineer. Smedley’s close relationship with Massa meant that he would inevitably struggle to deliver the message impartially and when he felt obliged afterwards to apologise – “Good lad, keep it going, sorry” – it sealed the conviction in our minds that this was a team order.

Eddie Irvine, who has been on the receiving end of a few “move over” orders in his time, said last night that he felt Smedley and Massa had overblown it to make a point and in doing so had let the team down. It has certainly landed them in hot water.

But the wider question is, should F1 have this rule banning team orders, should teams be able to act in the interests of the championship and are moves like this acceptable in some situations?

Think back to 2007, when Massa moved over in Brazil to let Raikkonen win the championship or the following year when the roles were reversed – did anyone object then? No, so that means that fans can understand there are occasions when teams do need some mechanism for shuffling the order, it’s just a question of the circumstances.

Given this, much of the hype in the media today is just that. It’s not race fixing and it’s not even in the same league as the Renault fix in Singapore with Nelson Piquet (which was ironically also to benefit Alonso).

There is a case to answer before the WMSC, but I would like to see the FIA take this opportunity to review the team orders rule and I would like to see FOTA stand behind Ferrari and come up with some proposals as to how this rule can best be adapted to work in the best interests of teams and of fans in modern F1.

It’s all very well for Christian Horner to say that he lets his drivers race, but come Brazil or Abu Dhabi when, for example, Hamilton is leading the championship and Vettel has a chance of beating him, if only his team mate, who’s well behind on points lets him through, are you telling me that he won’t make the switch? Of course he will and Webber will know before the start of the race what the score is.

People would expect it and understand it. The problem comes when it’s considered too early in the season. Perhaps the rule should be that there can be no team orders until the final third of the championship? That would be a simple solution.

But to reinforce the rule that team orders are banned full stop, would be a terrible mistake. It would create yet another artificiality, which would be more damaging to the sport in the long run.

Please send in your suggestions for how the FIA should handle the hearing and what changes if any should be brought in to the team orders rule. As always I will forward any that I feel have some merit on to the teams and to the FIA.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 08:10 PM
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I don't believe that the interpretration of rules and penalties should be changed depending on the status of the world championship. For a world championship to have any meaning it should be difficult to win and the driver and team who win it should do so in a sporting contest. Actually if the rules and penalties were applied consistently then over time the championship would in fact be closer more often! If any rule is broken there should be absolute certainty as to the penalty. It should not be decided that the breach of rule is less important one week because the race for the championship is closer than it is another week. That is an extraordinary situation that manipulates the true championship performance of the teams and individuals.

As I wrote earlier, in this case it is the driver that benefitted from the breach of the rules. The team did not benefit. Yet the driver faces no penalty. In principle, whether or not you are a fan of a particular driver, this is wrong.

Debate whether the rule should be changed. However, since the rule is in place this season and all the teams and drivers are aware of the rule it should be enforced absolutely consistently and the fine should be the same as it was in 2002. Any other team that does the same should receive the same fine also.

F1 has many flaws. But to see an F1 car driven in full flight by a talented driver is still one of the best experiences ever. I hope it can become a better sport - and not just a lottery of rules and personalities to determine who wins a championship.

Andrew.


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