“Fernando is faster than you”: Controversy as Alonso wins manipulated race

2010 German Grand Prix review

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Fernando Alonso claimed his second win of 2010 in the German Grand Prix – but only after team mate Felipe Massa was ordered to give him the win.

The change of positions has already drawn widespread criticism and both drivers were clearly subdued on the podium afterwards. The stewards are investigating the exchange of positions.

The pair took the lead at the start as both overtook Sebastian Vettel. But Vettel’s attempts to keep Alonso behind let Massa through into the lead ahead of his team mate.

Pinched between the Ferraris, Vettel slowed and held up Jenson Button. That allowed the McLaren driver’s team mate to pass him as well as Mark Webber.

Vettel was the first driver to pit, his team smartly taking advantage of a small gap in the traffic behind.

Alonso reacted, pitting before Massa, but after his team mate pitted Alonso was still behind. Lewis Hamilton came in too and was briefly stuck behind Robert Kubica when he came back out.

But Mark Webber came off worst in the first round of pit stops, ultimately losing fifth place to Jenson Button. Button stayed out late and came close to getting ahead of Hamilton as well as Webber.

That left the Ferraris first and second, with Felipe Massa struggling to begin with after he switched to hard tyres.

At first it looked as though Alonso might be able to pass his team mate. He made a concerted effort when when was briefly held up behind Bruno Senna but Massa held the inside line for the hairpin and Alonso’s attempt to pass failed.

After that Massa began to pull away, building up a gap of over three seconds over his team mate. Later Alonso began to bring the gap down again and came within range as Massa hit more traffic.

It was at this point that Rob Smedley got on the radio to Massa with a message that has already become infamous. It was clearly a coded instruction to Massa telling him to let Alonso by.

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Later Ferrari’s press officer Luca Colajanni defended the decision saying the team were concerned about the threat of third-placed Vettel:

If Felipe would have struggled more Vettel could have joined Fernando and that could have been a danger for the team.

When you are on the pit wall you have to think about all the potential scenarios. Vettel could have joined them and maybe in last ten laps of the race we could have been in trouble.
Luca Colajanni

However he denied Massa had been told to let Alonso by, saying:

We didn’t let Fernando pass. It was a driver decision. We inform the drivers about situation. We didn’t give any instruction at all to what they have to do. It was his own decision.
Luca Colajanni

Even when Massa slowed after being passed, Vettel wasn’t able to do anything about the Ferrari, and followed him home in third. But afterwards the stewards summoned Ferrari to explain themselves raising the possibility that Vettel may yet gain more places.

The McLaren drivers had a quiet race to fourth and fifth. They might have been pushed harder had Webber not developed a problem with high oil temperature, meaning he had to drop back from them.

Kubica took seventh ahead of the Mercedes duo, Nico Rosberg leading home Michael Schumacher after getting past him via the pit stops. Vitaly Petrov claimed the final point ahead of Kamui Koabayashi’s Sauber.

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The two Williams drivers fell out of the points having started in the top ten and came home 12th and 13th.

Pedro de la Rosa ran a long first stint on the hard tyres but ultimately finished where he started in 14th.

The two Force Indias finished 16th and 17th behind Jaime Alguersuari after a terrible race for the team. Both cars were in for repairs at the end of the first lap.

The only two drivers of the new teams to finish were Timo Glock and Bruno Senna.

Alonso’s win means he is still fifth in the drivers championship but is now within 13 points of the Red Bull duo – assuming the stewards allow him to keep his victory.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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275 comments on ““Fernando is faster than you”: Controversy as Alonso wins manipulated race”

  1. BTDelusionals
    25th July 2010, 16:14

    So this race is manipulated but the last two weren´t. Talk about british bias

    1. British bias? No – Keith isn’t the type for that. I’m more concerned at the fact that suddenly this is the worst thing to have ever happened in the sport, when exactly the same thing went almost unnoticed when McLaren did it in consecutive races in 2008. Not to mention several other incidents over the past eight years.

      1. Of course it’s British bias. The fact that Mr. Collantine even puts the word ‘MANIPULATED’ in the title based on his own ‘expert’ opinion, before any ruling has even been made by the FIA shows how unprofessional he is.

        But this website is just small-fry, a pittance compared to far more reputable sites out there. Like someone said, if you don’t like it you can get out. Shame on you, Keith.

        1. I feel the name is more to do with Irony than it is British Bias/unprofessionalism.

        2. it was manipulated, like it or not, it was…

          And this website isn’t biased at all…

        3. Then why do you come here?

        4. Keith knows more about F1 than all us put together and the race result was clearly malipulated. It`s a fact that when cheaters get caught out they go on the offensive, Iv`e yet to read a comment by a Ferrari fan that is calm and coherent.

          1. clearly, u have not read my comments ;) :P

        5. Keith is only stating fact

          All can see that this race was manipulated by Ferrari so that Alonso could win……..

          We now wait to see if the FIA have any balls at all…….

          And Bob, if you don’t like this site, which I think is very well run by Keith, then go to one of those ‘other’ sites you talk about….

          And I am not British…….

        6. Bob, so why does FIA’s own site say, quote: “Felipe Massa handed Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso victory in the German Grand Prix”??

          Since FIA are acknowledging the race was handed to Alonso, either they think Massa did it of his own free will, or it was a team order. Or to decide which needs investigating.

        7. Even if the race was not manipulated by Ferrari, the outcome was manipulated by Massa. Thus stopping us fans seeing Vetel catch the Ferrari’s and Alsonso being forced to get past Massa. When all said and done the fans were “Robbed” by a MANIPULATED race.

        8. Gentleman Alonso lol
          25th July 2010, 17:19

          Rather an unnecessary attack on Keith..I guess it was just an excuse so this half-wit can have a go at us Brits… pathetic.

          1. This website has shown bias from time to time, but that’s nothing that can be helped. Keith is clearly a British fan of Formula 1, who most likely follows MacLaren and Hamilton.

            Admit it on not, there is bias there.

            Regardless, as a Ferrari fan, I can see why so many people are annoyed, but at the end of the day the two drivers are hired by the team; it is therefore the team who decided who they want to drive for them and what their respective contracts say. If a team want a certain driver to finish ahead of the other it should be there decision.

            Finally if this happened in the last couple of races in the season no one would have batted an eyelid. Being out of contention or not doesn’t make the ruling any different, and I think all the people that are making a fuss should ask themselves if they have made the same level of fuss in the past when drivers have relinquished positions in the final few races of the season. It doesn’t matter if it’s race 1, or race 19 the act is the same, it’s either always acceptable, or never.

          2. like you say, its all cheating. But the mclaren team never asked alonso to drop back from third place in 2007 to allow hamilton passed and to back up the bmw into him so hamilton could have had the chance to take the title…. they could have, but they didn’t…. think about that before you get on your high horse.

          3. that race of course being the final found in brazil where raikkonen (100pts) finished 1 point ahead of alonso and hamilton both tied on 99.

          4. “But the mclaren team never asked alonso to drop back from third place in 2007 to allow hamilton passed”

            Well, that’s completely different, since it isn’t just asking one driver to let the other through, but asking one driver to back up several cars and end up letting another car through. And Raikkonen got 110 points, with the Mclarens on 109.

        9. The Stewards confirmed that stance with their ruling (using team orders and bringing the sport in disrepute) and handing a fine to Ferrari as well as having Ferrari before the World Council in September.

          That’s Manipulation to me. And Bob, if you think the site is not up to it, as you say, pleas don’t bother to come back here.

          Most people visiting here like the largely unbiased articles here and more and some F1 insiders are looking at the site from time to time as well.

        10. Why don’t you stick to more reputable sites then? But anyway, it clearly was manipulated, hence the title, and the FIA have now confirmed this. A ruling doesn’t need to be made before you can recognise a fact- the same way as when Alonso overtook on the grass at silverstone, I didn’t need clarification before I could recognise it was an illegal move- I used my eyes. And why would it be British bias? I expect the brazilians and anybody else not spanish will have similar ‘bias.’

        11. bye then bob (waving…)..

        12. Bob,

          First, your delusional. For anyone who thinks Ferrari management didn’t have a decisive impact on the race order in a manner inconsistent with the sporting regulation is out of touch with reality.

          Second, Keith’s site is more honest, factual and informative than any of the corporate site’s I’ve seen. And I get my F1 news from no less than seven F1 sites on a daily basis.

          If you don’t like an honest assessment of Ferrari’s cheating ways, just log on to ferrari.it and leave the real F1 fans to lament the lack of integrity that led to a manipulated result in today’s race.

        13. If you find the site so offending, by all means leave.

          Keith, you do a great job. This was a race as heinously manipulated as Austria 02. You do a great job with all you articles. Thankyou and keep up the great work!

        14. The fact that Mr. Collantine even puts the word ‘MANIPULATED’ in the title based on his own ‘expert’ opinion, before any ruling has even been made by the FIA shows how unprofessional he is.

          If I pretended that race was anything other than fixed the majority of readers of the site would, quite rightly, condemn me for being naive and not knowing anything about Formula 1.

      2. Alonso is not innocent
        on the fisrt laps he radioed “it’s ridicuolos” of course mentioning that he had to “stay” behind Massa.
        All the other radio conversation doesn’t need explanations,….”Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?”
        it was missing only a wink or a horse head for Massa,,,

      3. McLaren did the same in 2008

        1. No, because if Kovalainen didnt let Hamilton pass, Mclaren would have been 3rd and 4th, as it was, they were 1st and 4th. In addition, Hamilton would have passed anyway, something Alonso tried and failed to do.

          Today, if the lap finished after 45 laps, Ferrari would have 43 points, as it was, Ferrari got 43 points.

          This is not the same thing

          1. if the race finished after 45 laps*

        2. There was no team order in 2008, it was Kovalainen who decided to do what was right for the team.

          If you have evidence to the contrary, then perhaps you would like to post it up here so we can compare it to what Rob Smedley’s message.

      4. Drop the Ferrari/Alonso fanboyism. You don’t owe them anything. In races where McLaren were deemed to have broken the rules. Penalties were served. $100,000 is nothing to ferrari.

    2. In Britain Alonso should have been more careful, but surely Valencia was much more ‘manipulated’ than this.

      1. how was valencia more manipulated. Hamilton got a drive through. its just that alonso couldnt overtake kobiyashi and therefore couldnt capitalise. ferrari fixed the result in effect. something that alonso is used to

      2. surely Valencia was much more ‘manipulated’ than this.

        By who?

        Valencia was a bit of a mess but the stewards enforced the rules as they are written in much the same way as they have in the past: FIA must learn from Valencia shambles

        1. the rules are the rules, ok, but the timing of the decision was terrible.

    3. No, they weren’t.

      If you don’t like the blog and it’s so called British bias then find somewhere else?

    4. This race was manipulated, you’re just delus- oh, you’ve even named yourself that.

    5. Every team does it.

      RBR when a faster Vettel was told Webber is quicker than you, “stop catching him”

      McLaren engineered a Lewis overtake over Kova

      Massa and Kimi traded positions in 2007 and 2008.

      Massa is just being frumpy, he’s out of the WDC. If i was him i wouldn’t even wait to be told

      1. Also Heidfeld was told to let Kubica in Canada 2008.

        Every team does it, but when it conferences Ferrari it’s almost like murdering an infant, whereas in case of other teams it’s just a felony.

        It’s not British bias. It’s anti-ferrarism.

        1. it should be “concerns” of course ;)

        2. “Every team does it, but when it conferences Ferrari it’s almost like murdering an infant, whereas in case of other teams it’s just a felony.”

          Holy words! :D

          1. Anything to do with Ferrari is like that :) I’m not justifying this at all but the fact that all teams do it shows that the rule preventing team orders is just pointless. A rule is a rule, it doesn’t matter whether the orders are obvious or not obvious, what time of the season/ how many people are in contention for the championship. If one kind of team order is wrong, so should whatever other kinds there are.
            The team shouldn’t have done it though. Could have been an excellent 1-2.

          2. I agree on Nelly about this. Team orders are a fact.

            The FIA should act on them (mostly hard to prove and enforce as teams are more carefull then Ferrari did here or RBR in Turkeys team order blundering crash), or change the rules to allow them with some clear limitations.

            In the last case the team should clearly state their intentions before the race, so everyone can decide weather they want to support such a team.
            I have trouble with Ferrari doing this here, even if i understand their reasons for it. But i find arguments about “saving fuel” or “missing my braking point”, staging a nice overtake, etc. even worse from a sporting point of view.

      2. Well taken to the extreams we have had instances where drivers were requested to crash to help their teamates :)

        Clearly this is a situation of “Who pays the Ferryman”

        BTW. Certain complains would not have been voiced had the situation been instigated by another team other than Ferrari.

      3. This is my biggest gripe. The exact same thing happened in 07 and 08 with Ferrari. I suppose it was more acceptable then because it was at a point in the season when it was obviously vital- a point proved by it keeping them in the hunt and allowing them to finish 1 point ahead/behind. Ironically, I reckon the new opints system placing more importance on 1st lead to this. If there was only a 2 point (20%) benefit, perhaps they would not have so blatently manipulated the race at only midway through the season.

    6. Out of interest does anyone know what potential punishments can be given for this, also a message to eddie jordan, please stop shaking hands with people with your left hand, its rude, just swap your mic over ej!

    7. Why were the last 2 races manipulated? Because Ferrari didn’t win?

    8. what British bias…stop being delusional and come to earth …we all saw live on TV a great race being ruined by these uncleverly coded messages for Massa and Alonso to trade places
      I SUPPORT GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP and not this kind of open ended race manufacturing from any team
      maybe this time the FIA WILL get its act right by handing the ferrari team a punishment that will teach them and others some lessons see links



      1. First and foremost, those who think Keith is Biased should pack up and leave. second, s obvious as it is, i have my doubts that it is an all clear team order…

        When Bar conceded to MSC in Austria, infamously. he was threatened by something, not sure what it was but it made Bar so angry he made it very obvious by slowing down blatantly just before the finish.

        In Massa’s issue, he’s a 100% team-player, so i don’t think he needs to be told, it’s something he’s agreed to do with all his past teammates, he did it with Kimi, and Kimi returned the favor in 08 i think he only needs a message to confirm that he’s holding up his teammate, to help him make his decision.

        now I am a Massa fan, and i hate to see him do what he did (if he did actually do it on purpose), but Massa is a guy that knows his place, or perhaps, for his own conscious’ sake he missed a gear on that hairpin exit… but i have a feeling the team will blame the gear change and Massa being the “magnanimous dud that he is” will say he missed a gear, whether he did on purpose or by accident will remain a mystery…

        1. the footage shown on tv clearly showed massa using less than half throttle untill alonso was about to pass him…. this is him pressing his foot half down, not anything to do with gears or anything like that. The measurments are taken from the pedal. So he obviously let him passed, and the fact rob said sorry clearly shows it was an order, and one he didn’t want to give.

    9. The headline is a reference to Alonso’s description of the European Grand Prix as “manipulated”. That one clearly wasn’t. This one clearly was.

      1. Ferrari just fined $100K.

        Anyway the truth has two faces it depends from which perspective you are viewing.

        Obviously this contnues to prove my theory that forces are at work to act against Ferrari lately.

        1. If that were so, I would say: a lot of them are at Ferrari.

          Silverstone was easily avoidable, for example, and in Valencia they probably could have, and in my opinion should have, salvaged more, but they let Alonso worry about Hamilton instead of focusing on his own race. Massa was let loose in the back during the Montreal, Valencia, and Silverstone GP, no others needed to work against them.

          1. haha exactly. Ferrari’s greatest enemy seems to be themselves. Especially in Silverstone too.

      2. Yeah..thats the first thing I thought about your headline Keith, quite a good dig, unfortunately no one here saw the funny side of it.

        People here should realize by now that Keith is not biased and he lets his facts to do the talking.

        I am a little cheesed off that everybody is making such a big deal out of this and forgetting the fact that Ferrari, both Alonso and Massa have been blistering quick this weekend and drove good races. As usual, we always focus on the negative.

        Once again, Alonso is made out to be the bad guy. This was a team desicion and obviously Massa and Alonso were aware of this, so why is Massa putting up a sad face? If Alonso is the scheming SOB that he’s made out to be, the management in Ferrari or any team he’s driven for have no spine. When Michael Schumacher used to do it, it was his “Sheer Competitive Nature”, but for Alonso, he’s a scheming genius of a whiner.

        Like I said on the other post, they must have had an agreement that the faster guy will go through, they should have done a little bit more suttly though. If Alonso was slower than Massa, I suspect the same would have applied?…what would we be saying then? Massa was not fast enough and he hasn’t been all season. He was 0.5 s slower in quali and has been behind Alonso by the same deficit on most weekends.

        When you need points badly, why would you risk a chance of sure 1-2? From a management stand point it made sense, obviously not a popular move. We dont know what the agreements were on the team bus, but if Alonso was faster and let past, why couldn’t Massa up the pace and try to be faster? Would he have been let through?

        My summary of this “fiasco” is that it was a sensible move by Ferrari, but it was not applied in a clever manner at all.

        I asked in on the other post, how different was this to Mclaren’s “Hold Position” comment to Jenson after he tried a pass on Lewis is Turkey? I know he was asked to save fuel after that, but it was funny how the comment went through just after he attempted the pass.

        1. Good point. McLaren clearly employed team tactics as, it seems, Red Bull did at the same race. It’s just because Ferrari foolishly did this in an obvious manner (openly talking about t in the radio) that so many are ranting about it.

          But any team orders, by nature, are detrimental to the nature of the sport. Just don’t blame Ferrari and Alonso alone as the culprits. Autosport reports that Christian Horner laments that this became a “manipulated” race. Just when did Horner personify honesty?

    10. Losenhoofies
      26th July 2010, 6:45

      I live in Vancouver (Canada), and i have to wake up real early (5am) to watch the F1 races. After today’s race, now undertand how stupid I’am. Not gonna have this trouble of waking up so early on Saturdays and Sundays anymore.

      F1 used to be a great sport, now things have changed and I don’t undertand how companies/sponsor can still link their names with this.

  2. If we think about this, Ferrari are cornered, aren’t they? What they can do now? Confess? – Penalty for 39.1! Keep lying?-We saw how the stewards liked that in Australia 2009!

    1. Only if the stewards can prove Ferrari were lying. It’s very likely no one ever said to Massa, “Pull over and let Fernando through,” which means that everyone can keep insisting that Felipe chose to yield the place.

      1. Spygate 2007! Did anyone at Mclaren said they were spying at any point?

        1. Perhaps not. But they didn’t come up with a convincing alternative explanation for why all that Ferrari data was being photocopied by a team member’s wife, either.

          Ferrari’s story, as far as we know, is that Felipe chose of his own accord to let Alonso through, after the team informed him of the facts (Alonso was behind him and going faster). I don’t see how anyone can produce any evidence to contradict that story, no matter how much certain parties might like to believe that a team order was issued.

          1. I think the opposite, every move and action of the Ferrari team was recorded on cameras and telemetry, and you have to be a bit …I don’t know what… to suggest that the situation isn’t completely clear as distiled water. Where as in 2007 the situation was a bit shady and no one even now don’t know what actually happened, therefore they could have sang all kinds of songs back then, and it didn’t work.

          2. Yeah, everybody knows what happened, but how do you PROVE it?

            (I was going to elaborate more on this but the news has just come through that Ferrari have been found guilty, so maybe my understanding has been somewhat flawed!)

          3. Welcome back Red Andy haven’t seen you on here for a while. Once again though it means I’m left to agree with you on all of your points. On the live blog I said exactly the same thing that it would be very difficult to proove and punish so now I feel like a moron but it’s alright if they’re getting it right :P

        2. No, but then again, nothing was really proven by the FIA. Just Mosley stating he didn’t believe a word they were saying and handing them a hefty fine.

          McLaren and Mercedes did not appeal as they wanted to get the whole thing behind them. But if they had went to the courts, the penalty would have been overturned in the same way Briatore’s penalty was overturned in court.

    2. I really dont think they need to lie.

      Look back at Germany 2008.. Kovi being told he is slow.. 2 laps later Lewis is allowed to pass through. Keep it in mind that mathematically Kovi was in the title hunt too.. in the same position Massa was yesterday.

      Also see Canada 2008. Where Heidfeld was leading the race with Kubica and Alonso closing up on him. He was told he was slow too, and let Kubica pass for the win.

      Why wasn’t there the WSMC involved in these two racing incidents. Infact there were no excuses made by either Mclaren or BMW Sauber on these team orders. It was very conveniently forgotten by the media as well.

      Now when it comes down to Ferrari and Alonso doing the same… it becomes a huge issue.

      1. Look back at Germany 2008.. Kovi being told he is slow […] He was told he was slow too, and let Kubica pass for the win.

        Have we got any quotes or audio from these messages? I’m not sure I remember either of them.

        1. Nope couldn’t find any quotes on the kovalainen pit radio message. However, if you see the video footage, it seems pretty obvious – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5GTlupZuEI
          at 1:50. It was also ironic that a week later heikki secured a drive with mclaren for 2009.

          However, in the press conference after the 2008 Canadian Gp –

          Q: (Peter Hesseler – Abend Zeitung) Question to Nick and to Robert: Nick, did you let Robert past voluntarily or were you advised by the pit? And Robert, do you think you are being promoted to number one in the team to go for the title?
          Nick Heidfeld: “Well, as there are no team orders allowed, no, but as I was on a one-stop, a lot heavier than Robert, knowing that, it’s clear within the team that I wouldn’t make it too difficult for Robert.”

          Robert Kubica: “I think you have to ask this question to someone else. I don’t think so. In the end, both drivers have to score points for the team, but I would say if you are leading the World Championship as a driver after seven races, with, apart from Australia, our worst place finish was fourth place, after this race I think I’m the best qualifier in the field this season, so I think we have to push. Maybe in the future we won’t get another chance, so I think we have to use this opportunity which might mean in five races that we don’t have any more chance but while we have chances, I think we have to give our maximum and I hope the team will give their maximum. I will give maximum support to fight for it.”

          1. I’d forgotten the BMW drivers were on different strategies as well.

          2. They were on different strategies, but Kubica still had to make a stop, and if Heidfeld made life a little tough for him, he could have been ahead of him after his pit stop.

  3. Massa should have taken Alonso out, like what happened with Webber an Vettel, that would have sorted the guys out on the radio.

  4. Like Mclaren in Hungary 2007, Ferrari should lose their constructor’s points for this weekend!!! And this will be Todt’s first real challenge relating to his old team.

  5. Smedley: “So Fernando is faster than you? Can you confirm you understand that message?” [a few corners later] “Sorry.”

    Never seen anyone so sheepish as Alonso on the podium. This isn’t what Formula 1 needed in a so far brilliant season. FIA should realize that, read their own regulations, acknowledge what EVERYONE watching around the world saw, and penalize Ferrari. Scrap the team order rule next seaon, if that’s what the teams want. But the regulations stand and they’re there for a reason – precisely to avoid the spectacle we saw today and last seen – in this form – with Schumacher and Barrichello.

    1. Actually, I think, or suspect, that, maybe Alonso wasn’t so sure as to what happened? I mean, Of course he would guess, but, I think he seemed unsure in the press conference, and when Massa answered his questions, Alonso lost a lot of confidence.

      As much as I hate Alonso, I think he might be innocent here.

      With Schumacher and Barrichello, it was bad, but now, it is both bad, and illegal… I doubt the stewards can do anything but penalise Ferrari in some way. I hope that it doesn’t hurt Alonso too much, because, both Ferrari’s drove a good race.

      1. I agree Mike. This was not orchestrated by Fernando and he would have wanted to win this by himself. Alonso is of course on the recieving end of most of the uproar and it has made him look like a bit of a villian. If he won the 2010 world championship with all the skill in the world, Ferrari’s decision today would be no doubt held against him.

        1. He was complaining (as always) a few laps earlier abut Massa’s pace.

        2. Justifiably so. Alonso leaves too much dubious stuff in his wake for him to be as innocent as he makes out. You know what the proof is? Hamilton. Precisely the only one who refused to cede to Alonso’s ‘demands’ within the team.

        3. you two (Mike & Electrolite) are your on worst enemy, i cant see how either of you could admit he didn’t know,
          im faster than him, he’s slower than me. why want he let me pass.
          like a baby crying for its bottle.
          i cant stand you any more Alonso your such a cry baby.
          you would do that to your own team mate.

      2. “As much as I hate Alonso, I think he might be innocent here.”

        How many occasions will something happen around him, only for it to be assumed he is innocent? Like Singapore? No wonder he’s nicknamed “Teflonso”.

        1. Your post makes no sense.

          He was in a car racing. How the hell was he also micro managing team orders?

          Ferrari management were looking after themselves. They would rather have a WDC and a WCC, then just one of them.

          1. How the hell did I indicate that he managing all the team orders? I was merely pointing out that he is often involved in these controversial circumstances, with the assumption that he is innocent. If you can’t even see what he’s been surrounded by, then you weren’t paying attention at Hungary 2007, Singapore 2008 and that spygate saga.

            He doesn’t “micro manage” the team, but he does have a little influence (like getting on the radio to get Hamilton penalised at Valencia).

            While he hasn’t actually said “make Massa slow down”, his poor behaviour (like calling Massa’s perfectly fair defense “ridiculous”, and the hand gesture) clearly suggested that he wanted the team to move him out of the way, not continue fighting Massa.

            Yes, Alonso didn’t want a DNF as he’s fighting for the WDC, but if he wanted the win so badly he should’ve made the pass and win or collect the points for second, instead of crying about it as always.

          2. DavidA, I think that Alonso considered ridiculous the fact of passing a team mate with the same car if the other doesn’t want. He prefered the points to make another Vettel-Webber rodiculous.

          3. @RaulZ – he wasn’t saying “ridiculous” to the team wanting to swap the cars around. He was saying it because of Massa’s defending, and Massa’s defending was reasonable.

          4. @David A, Alonso just said “It’s ridiculous”. Why are you understanding that and why can’t I think otherwise? I see you hate Alonso but nothing that happened had anything to do with him. Everybody is reading that phrase to incriminate Alonso. If you are reading between the lines then you’d understand that “saving fuel” is a tem order. Think about it. Be honest. Admit that all these comments are just being biased.

      3. Alonso’s second big talent in life is coming out ‘innocent.’ The idea he didn’t know is scuppered by the fact he said something (Felipe’s defence?) was, quote, ‘ridiculous’ when he couldn’t overtake Massa. Obvious what: he thought Massa should have let him past. After he caught up again, *then* the team order came through. Alonso knew full well what was happening.

      4. “Actually, I think, or suspect, that, maybe Alonso wasn’t so sure as to what happened? I mean, Of course he would guess, but, I think he seemed unsure in the press conference, and when Massa answered his questions, Alonso lost a lot of confidence.

        As much as I hate Alonso, I think he might be innocent here.”

        I agree with you. I think Alonso was kept out of the loop and was not informed or aware of all the controversy that was going on around him. Maybe that was done deliberately, to make sure he “acted naturally” in press conferences that followed.

        This was a Ferrari team management decision that had nothing to do with Alonso. Ferrari should not have done it. If Alonso was genuinely quicker he COULD have passed Massa on the track without incident. It’s pretty clear that Massa is not the kind of driver who would would do something silly or risky to defend his position.

        1. Alonso obviously knew the team would be thinking about letting him through! What me and Mike were saying was that Ferrari gave the orders, but it makes Alonso look bad because of their decision. ‘Electrolite you’re your own worst enemy’… Slippery slope I think!

          1. +1 Patrickl

            Clearly this coded team order had been pre-arranged, hence Smedley’s ‘read-my-lips’ spelling out of the message and request for confirmation, though I suspect it wasn’t anticipated for this race. But Alonso clearly ‘activated’ it by complaining that Massa defending his position was ‘ridiculous.’ Here in Brazil that earlier comment quickly led to a discussion and condemnation of Alonso’s attitude by the TV commentators – so when Smedley passed on the message, it was immediately connected to Alonso’s earlier whining.

        2. Alonso was calling for team orders!

      5. I am pretty sure he was not told about it, although he must have realized it after seeing Massa sitting in the car in parc ferme.
        He was trying to thank him, but Massa was not having any of it. Great guy.

        1. The missed gear excuse was the best bit. Ferrari must have twigged a while later that the telemetry was going to prove that one wrong, so they switched to saying Massa had given way of his own accord. But they didn’t switch stories quickly enough to stop Alonso asking after he’d crossed the line, ‘But what about Felipe, did he have a gear box problem?’ Maybe I’m too cynical, but sounds like the way Massa was *supposed* to give way on track (planned earlier for future eventualities, like today) didn’t match the obvious way he actually did give way simply by dawdling after the turn and pulling to the side.

  6. I think what this has shown is quite the soft spot for the Massa/Smedley team. It was the fact it was the anniversary of his near fatal accident that made Ferrari’s decision as maligned as it is today. Steph explains it the best in another topic about this.

  7. it’s decision time for Jean Todt

  8. Just awful :(

    It’s a very sad day for racing fans, it really is.

  9. its not a title that should be seen in an unbiased article Keith isn’t it?

    1. As this is a blog, surely Keith is completely entitled to his opinion? And expressing an opinion doesn’t make you biased.

      Also, as someone has already pointed out, I think the choice of words is more ironic than anything else.

      1. The choice of words is not ‘ironic’. It is a rather sly attempt by Keith to take a dig at Alonso by using his own phrase “manipulated race” against him.

        But nevertheless, it is a blog, the writer is entitled to his own views on any matter and we as readers are free to comment on them and express views of our own.

        1. Hardly call that a “rather sly attempt”. It’s only fair to say that, after Alonso complained a lot about the “manipulated race” in Valencia when he now profits from a really manipulated race.

          1. It’s only fair to say that, after everybody complained a lot about Alonso’s manipulation words in Valencia when everybody now complains with the same words.

    2. The title is unbiased, and so is the article itself. All Keith has done is report on what happened.

      The title says there is controversy as the race was manipulated. The title does not state if he thinks it was wrong or not… Where is it biased?

    3. oh for heaven’s sake, the title is correct. the result was manipulated because it was a team order, no matter what the stewards decide and no matter if others have done it in the past or not, it WAS a team order. you either didn’t watch the race or you were blind.

  10. Ferrari won’t be punished, I’m sure; the FIA showed that they had no desire to stamp out team orders when they brought in a vague and unworkable rule as a sop to the spectators and pretended that it mattered to them. There are so many potential get-outs for them in this case, such as saying “not enough evidence” that rules were broken. Plus all the controversy just works as even more indirect advertising for the sport – how many of us are actually going to stop watching because of this?

    1. I think it goes like this: the teams want team orders. The Schumacher 2002 episode was bad for the sport. So a ‘rule’ was introduced undoubtedly with a memo distributed to the teams: okay, do your team orders, but make it subtle! Ferrari today didn’t do that. So what do FIA do?

      That’s how I think it goes. But it isn’t what I want. I hate team orders and want to see both drivers racing under ALL circumstances, even when a championship is at stake. Unrealistic I know. But I think it’s true of most spectators – and the drivers themselves.

  11. The more I think about it, the more I am mad at Massa himself. He should have been a man and told the team to back-off. A clear “I am not letting him through” on the radio would have done the job. Think of what LH would have done in the same circunstances. Seeing that Spanish flag going up and their anthem playing was just sickening – If Massa is there representing himself alone, and the money and the F1 seat is what matters the most to him, than he should ask for the Massa family flag to flow when he is up on the podium instead of the Brazilian one.

    1. LH did do that at Monaco 2007. And look what the team went through for the rest of the season.

      Massa, unlike Hamilton, is a much more loyal (to the point of being subservient) to his team. He won’t shout abuses to his team over team radio, ever.

      A by-product of this soft personality is sometimes one is treated unfairly, like Massa was today.

      But what he did was right, Massa is indeed not in a position to challenge for the championship this season.

      What happened was unfortunate, but made practical sense.

    2. Look at what Webber did and said (making Vettel have to work for it). Did not bring the team much good though and Horner still blames him for it.
      Vettel more or less admitted it when he told the BBC, that it was pretty obvious when they showed him the pass and adding “but it’s not good to crash”.

  12. This was a very poor move by Ferrari but the hysterical rants are well over the top. Nothing was going to stop a Ferrari 1-2 and the only punishment can be a financial one to the team. No other team was robbed of victory. Team orders exist in F1 even though they are not allowed. Every team is guilty and the rule should be changed, it is a team sport.

    1. And that’s exactly what the Stewards did, only the World Council might reconsider and give a further penalty.

  13. Only the first and second positions were “manipulated” (sic). Not the entire race.

    Also I haven’t seen anyone mentioning Hamilton’s excellent performance today. P4 is not bad at all considering RBR and Ferrari were way faster.

    1. Well yes, technically, but who’s to say that if Alonso had caught up with Massa under his own steam there wouldn’t have been an incident which affected one or both their races.

  14. This is no surprise, Ferrari are well known cheats, Alonso is a well known cheat (Piquet Jnr anyone?) Why does this sham surprise anyone? It shouldn’t, cheats will be forever cheats, and failures as men. very satisfying! Hammy is still in the lead :-)

    1. ur “hammy”, i assume, never cheated! :P

  15. I also need to say in defence of this site that I am an Italian in Italy and This is one of the most un biased sites I have found and the reason I am here more than any other site. It is a UK based site and if anyone expects less than a passionate response from British fans they should not be here.I have still to see any bias from the author.

    1. +1, Italain here too, this is the best F1 source and unbiased website

      1. Could you tell what the Italian TV makes of this race? I hope happy for Ferrari finally showing the pace, and bringing home a 1-2, but how do they see the swapping action?

        1. Italian TV speakers were astonished and immediately had the same reaction as you have here, and all over the world.

          But after that they asked the drivers their thought about this fact. All of them didn’t deny the existence of team orders (in all teams) and said that this is the racing business. If you like to work here, this is the meal you have to eat.

          My thought:
          I know it’s sad to say, but I like F1 because there are teams that are racing with driver, and thsoe are the sort values; so no surprise that ALL teams uses team orders when they need.
          It’s really unuseful to state a rule like the 39.1, useless and unfair to the F1 fans that should ask for a rule observation and enfringement punishment. FIA is simply not capable to make this rule observed by the teams.
          I agree with you that Ferrari could make a more stylish way to ask Massa to let Alonso pass, but they didn’t, usually Italians have style, but not always :-)

    2. I quote. Sometimes i don’t agree with what Keith says, but i don’t think it is due to a ‘British bias’ from him. :)

    3. Thanks rampante I appreciate that.

      1. I think you are bias for example when you said some comments before “Who manipulated Valencia or Silverstone?”. I supose you know what happened then and I see you treat people as if they were silly.

        I cannot demostrate nothing about those GPs but you cannot demostrate nothing about this weekend. So, let the people explain their own opinion with the joke of “manipulation” as the only interference from your side and stop trying to make us believe that this is diferent from Valencia and Silverstone. Both races were manipulation.

        I was waiting for your good english sense of humor then, when you looked like a professional journalist informing without any opinion. So objetive then. So funny sometimes, so serious othertimes.

  16. Since this is a ‘race’ review, also worth pointing out Vettel’s lunge on Alonso at the start, which basically lost him first and second place. Really dumb.

    1. And second time in a row he did it, only he avoided the puncture this time.

      1. I agree, Vettel lost the race rather than Ferrari (either driver) won it.

  17. And they say Vettel’s the new Schumacher… and by ‘Schumacher’ I don’t mean skilled German driver, I mean Ferrari’s pet.

    He may be a good driver but Alonso is digging himself deeper into that hole of unpopularity he has created for himself throughout the year.

    1. Yes. This is precisely why teams should stick to winning on merit. “Manipulated” results only harm their credibility and reputation.

  18. This is probably the 4th time massa has given way to his teammate for the win. What ever said, massa has been a true reflection of what a team actually means and should be. It is frustrating for him of course. Imagine he’s not won for a while now and anyone would be devastated to give away a win. However, you got to give him credit for even doing that. Massa is a true champion and Ferrari driver and he had proven it again today.

  19. The losers – 1. Ferarri
    2. Alonso
    3. F1

    The winners – 1. Massa
    2. Rob Smedley

  20. In the BBC F1 Forum, Coulthard made a great point about Massa making sure that everyone knows that he told to move over.

    Massa felt that if he has to lose a race win, then Ferrari have to take the blame. That’s probably why the whole stunt was done so poorly.

    1. Yes, I also thought that. Would have been better if he told Rob: “kggggrrssggg so..y Ro.kggrrggsssg.adio.kgggrrssgg.oken.ggssssgggrrrkk.not year you.gggkkrrrraaghhh”. and kept up his pace, see after the race :)

  21. McLaren did this in Turkey in this year
    When Hamilton asked about Button and team said don’t worry he didnot pass you
    everybody do this

    1. Didn’t Hamilton win that race?

    2. Not that sure about McLaren doing this, although Lewis felt bad about the team letting Jenson attack him.

      But your right about another team trying to to exactly the same, it was RBR. Only Webber did not do the “teamplayer” role as he was just as much in WDC contention as Vettel. So he gave him a chance but made him work for it and Seb messed up.

  22. Millions of F1 fans around the world were denied a good race today by Ferrari team orders. But British bias? Is that why L’Equipe’s headline called Alonso’s win a gift from Massa? http://www.lequipe.fr/Formule1/

  23. The FIA is now in the spotlight. If they fail to act and punish Ferrari then this ceases to be a ‘sport’ and the sponsors will have to consider if they wish to be associated with this kind of commercial corruption.

    1. The FIA can’t really prove that Ferrari did anything wrong. Ferrari gave their statements, and the FIA have no choice but to believe them unless, they can prove that Ferrari are lying.

      The FIA can’t penalise a team just because everyone else wants them to. They need evidence.

      1. Seems the Stewards are building a case from strong circumstantial evidence and gave a penalty nontheless.

        The first time team orders have led to a penalty. Now we’ll find out, weather Todt wants to crush down on team orders when it’s taken to the FIA world council.

  24. Clearly manipulated behind the scenes which looks bad on Ferrari. There is no justification that for Massa to make such a move to better the team, since it would have been a one-two win anyhow. But this type of direct race (and championship) manipulation can not be allowed to continue as it looks bad for the sport.

    If teams chose to give one drive better equipment over the other, then so be it; but to directly (or even indirectly) order one driver to let the other pass during a race, especially if it’s for the lead or the win, is totally out of line and does not belong in the sport.

    Ferrari have done this on numerous occasions in the past. Massa should be rightly questioned by the Stewards. And appropriately so, the teams points should be revoked for punishment.

    Given that many of the Ferrari F1 staff and drivers have changed in the past decade, it is very likely that these decisions are probably being enforced by Montezemolo himself, and its getting old.

  25. Everyone seems to be missing the point that Alonso would have passed Massa anyway.
    That is assuming that Massa did not spin off trying to stay ahead of Fernando, as he did at the last race if memory serves.

    I would have much rather seen them fight it out, just for the record.

    But Massa wasn’t robbed of anything. He was lucky to keep Vettel at bay once he had conceded the inevitable.

    1. ‘Everyone seems to be missing the point that Alonso would have passed Massa anyway.’

      How do you know? He wasn’t given the chance to prove himself.

    2. “Everyone seems to be missing the point that Alonso would have passed Massa anyway.”

      I think it is more obvious that Alonso was not able to pass Massa and more likely that he would not have been able to pass Massa for rest of the race.

    3. Everyone seems to be missing the point that Alonso would have passed Massa anyway.

      Well he had a very good chance and he didn’t make the move stick.

      1. That “move” you refer to was Alonso trying to take advantage of an easy pass because Massa was on fresh rubber. If it had come off, great. But it was a opportunity, not a passing move he lined up.

        There is a subtle difference.

        t was very clear that Alonso would put a move on Massa before the end of the race, and I think Ferrari were equally worried about how Massa might mess up trying to defend.

        1. It’s the difference between racing and team orders yes. Which is why team orders are forbidden …

        2. Not sure about that, he (and the team as well) was a bit worried about ending like Vettel did in Turkey.
          I doubt he would have done more than wait for a very clear opening or rather than risking a second place to make a risky move.

          1. OK if ” Alonso would have passed Massa anyway”
            then WHY he didn’t instead he asked the team to help him out just like a small child!

        3. “That “move” you refer to was Alonso trying to take advantage of an easy pass because Massa was on fresh rubber.”

          If Fernando couldn’t even take advantage of Massa at his weakest (on fresh, hard tyres), then there is no way that you could logically assume that “Alonso would have passed Massa anyway”. Sorry.

    4. Massa obviously dropped the pace once Alonso went by, which is why Vettel closed in on him. And he got a puncture at Silverstone when he was ahead of Alonso.

      1. To be fair, Massa had the puncture for the same reason he got past Alonso – he’d run into him at Becketts.

      2. Whoops, I meant to say that Massa may have spun because of the puncture in Britain, rather than because he was worried that his teammate was behind him like the other poster assumed.

  26. All Luca Collajani does is contradict himself!
    First, he says that he was concerned about Seb, and thinking about different scenarios, and then he denies there being any team orders!
    How stupid does he think we all are?

    1. Sound pretty much like a replay of RBR commenting on why it would have been better to let Vettel pass Mark before going on to say there were not team orders.

  27. @Keith,

    Great reporting. You’re doing a stand up job.

  28. Well how is it that we are surprised by this result after Mark Webbers remark about being the no2 driver? – Alonso is getting what he didnt get at McLaren preferential treatment – the whinger – ps Massa as Rubbins was is the better man – especially by not whinging about the incident – ps I thought it is an insult to use the left hand in asian countries?? – what if you are left handed there??

  29. Of course it makes sense to let Alonso pass for the championship. Of course they had to give a coded message. And of course the drivers are going to say it wasn’t team orders.
    So we all know what happened, but it is the way how it happened. Alonso was called into the pits first, he was attacking Massa earlier, so the intention from the team was already clear. They could have given their message to Massa earlier and everything could have been fine.
    But for some reason they had to do it in a way that couldn’t have been more obvious. They’ve basically cheated every fan of a good race for the lead. We have seen it before that sensible team orders can be applied in a sensible way (China 2008 and Brazil 2007) and no one would have complained.
    But now ferrari really shouldn’t get away with this, but I fear they will somehow…

    1. Unfortunately Stewards will need clear evidence and proof to do something. This evidence can come from Massa himself if so wishes to tell the truth.

      If no clear proof or evidence is found against Ferrari then telemetry readings should be used to explain why Massa slowed down. Something can indeed be done if it is executed correctly.

    2. “Of course they had to give a coded message.”

      Except, it wasn’t coded very well. LOL.

      To round off the message with, “Can you confirm you understood the message?” is just like putting up subtitles saying “That was a coded message, not to be taken at face value”.

  30. Everyone does it, so why is it that when ferrari does it its cheating? If YOUR team had done it itd be fair game. And thats why its called a “team”. The definition of a team is a group of individuals working together to achieve the same goal. Stop kidding yourselves, and rename the site british fanatic…. You guys are all upset cause your team was inexistent in a big chunk of the 67 laps.

    1. good point sam lol

    2. Everyone does it

      McLaren and Red Bull don’t, we’ve seen that pretty clearly this year.

      I think on an occasion like China two years ago, when Ferrari switched their drivers around, that was justifiable (as I wrote here: Massa ordered to hand win to Alonso).

      But to do it when Massa can still win the title? Very dodgy ground.

      1. Mclaren do it Keith. Rewind 2 years to the same circuit. I will quote the following from YOUR article on the 2008 German GP: “Kovalainen wasted no time in letting his team mate past”

        Red Bull do that too. Have you forgotten the front wing controversy already?

        Yes, every team does that. Some are caught, some are not. That alone is the difference.

        1. “Kovalainen wasted no time in letting his team mate past”

          is not really the same as:
          “McLaren ordered Kovalainen to let Hamilton past”

          now is it?

          Fact is that Hamilton was a lot faster than Kovalainen and Kovalainen realised that he wouldn’t be able to keep Hamilton behind him. So what’s the point in delaying the inevitable then?

          Besides, Massa and Piquet let Hamilton by just as easily. Team orders too?

        2. Dude,
          if you replay Hockenheim 2008 you will clearly see that Lewis had at least a second a lap on everyone else in the field. KOV deciding not to get into a scrap with a 1 sec disadvantage with his team-mate knowing he is not able to challenge MAS & PIQ ahead is very different that ALO barely managing 1/10th pace advantage.

          I supposed MAS & PIQ also were given team orders to let HAM through in that race.

      2. Keith, you seem to have lost the “objectivity” test today.

        I am not a fan of team orders in F1 and I am against all of them, including McLaren’s.

      3. I’m pretty sure about McLaren not doing it, at least this year.
        But to me the Turkey incident sounded pretty much the same, only Mark didn’t allow it to happen. Even the teams first comments sound alike (being worried of the 3rd place guy closing in). And from what Vettel said to the BBC today about this move confirms it for me.

        But i am upset about this happening to Massa now as well. Even more as it would have been the perfect memorial of events on the same weekend last year.

    3. “Everyone does it, so why is it that when ferrari does it its cheating?”

      Because this is not racing and shouldn’t be allowed to continue. Ferrari have done it on numerous occasions, and so have a few other teams in the past, but it doesnt mean it is right or that it should be allowed in the sport. To manipulate the championship, the leader of the race and the winner of the race, and do so directly during the race is just plain and simple wrong.

      1. RBR totally did it in Turkey, just with a little more finesse. And Webber made it as difficult as possible for Vettel, as he should have since both were in contention for the championship. The fact that Vettel then muffed it up is of no consequence.

        Look, I didn’t like what happened, but I can understand it. Alonso is within shouting distance of being a WDC contender, Massa isn’t. If they’d done it a little less ham-fistedly, would there be all the outcry? Somehow I think not. We all knew it was just a matter of time before Alonso got in front of Massa by some means.

  31. keith i love this site,my best f1 site ever….
    ferrari this,ferrari that,mclaren have broken plenty of rules in the past,the comment said to massa alonso is faster than you………….i dont remember hearing massa move out the way cos your know where in the title,people believe what they want to,fact is there not running a billion pound team,it was a good race,

  32. poor Alonso… he doesn’t have a chance to prove how much faster than Massa he really is… don’t you think he also had orders, not to attack. how many times he was stuck behind teammate this year, but for the sake of the team he followed patiently. too bad ferrari screwed/was unlucky too much this year not to let drivers decide on the track who is faster (clearly Alonso). Felipe was lucky today on the start that Vettel held up Fernando and he took generous chunk of runoff tarmac (Kimmi Spa style) to take the lead

    1. Paul McCaffrey
      25th July 2010, 23:18

      This is a good point. There should be a penalty (not from the stewards, but a physical penalty, like grass) for running off the track. There used to be sand pits with deep ruts that ended drivers’ races. But no more!

  33. Andy (frome in somerset)
    25th July 2010, 17:09

    Just heard on sky sports news,ferrari fined $100,000 result stands.DISGUSTED

  34. Ferrari fined $100,000!

  35. The correct result for Ferrari and the FIA. No other team benefited or lost any position as a result of their stupidity. Without being stupid about a penalty there was no other option.

    1. No other teams have been affected YET.

      If Alonso wins the Championship at the end of the year or another driver fails to beat Alonso at the end of the season because of a few points, then someone will be affected by this.

      $100k fine is a joke.

    2. The real verdict (and possibly penalty) is still to come

      1. I hope you are right. But exactly what can WMSC do?

  36. Such bull from absolutely everyone at Ferrari. Alonso for being such a blatant hypocrite, Massa for not having the passion and guts to stand up for himself and then Smedly towing the company line.

    What the hell is Massa saying when ‘he did it for the team’? How did letting Alonso through benefit the team anymore than him not letting him through? A 1 2 is a 1 2 regardless of which driver is where.
    If anything this has severely damaged the team by injecting venom into its make-up.

    I’ve wanted to enjoy Alonso for such a long time. His antics with McLaren/Lewis tested that to the n’th degree but as a driver he is spectacular and I could accept his passionate desire to succeed.

    But this just stinks – giving it a run-around that would do a conservative politician proud just smacks of a total disregard for anyone but himself, regardless.

    A horrible little man…

  37. Referal to World Motorsport Council so more sanctions may follow…

  38. i even think the fine is wrong…….

  39. No ones denying its team orders, but to call it manipulated is a strong word. I dont see how it would be “manipulated” if it was a 1-2 in the bag anyway. Ok, so next time the director should come up with a better code than that. surprised they didnt just hold a meeting before the race discuss the situation, and say ok felipe, if he comes up behind you and you hold him up let him pass. Saves alot of contreversy and fighting.

    1. the word “manipulated” is a term well used by Senor Alonso recently.

      1. Yeah, a bit like a certain bit of other manipulation sin Singapore 2008. He’s nothing but a two faced hypocrite.

  40. As a Ferrari fan, I feel let down by this result.

    Team orders do exist, we all know this. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the rule outlawing them should be removed. Transparency is always preferable.

    My distaste over this incident, and I think the public outrage caused, is simply a reflection of people’s innate sense of justice and fair play. It simply seems un-sportsman to award the victory to Fernando when his title chances are slim at best.

    This distaste is only compounded by the fact that Massa is one of the team’s grafters and it would have been poetic justice to see him get a race victory on the anniversary of his most frightening accident.

    As a passionate racer who is made or broken by his confidence and emotions, this incident will now be the nail in the coffin of Massa’s season.

    Team orders to decide a title are one thing; team orders when your fifth in the championship, have a slow development curve in comparison to the other teams and have been on the back foot since the second race of the season are completely disgusting.

    1. I am not a Ferrari fan, and them going back to their winning strategies of the 1997-2005 makes me even less so.

      But otherwise i think your pretty spot on.

      OK let them have team orders, but only in a limited set of circumstances. And it should be done openly, stating the intention even before the race and not with “saving fuel” or “brake/tyre problems” or pitstop strategy.

    2. I used to support Ferrari together with number of other teams. But no more after this. After all this time, Ferrari have simply shown that they are better at manipulating instead of competing. There is no justification as why they should switch winners given that Massa still has a chance on title and clearly it would have been a one-two anyhow.

      Once again, it is very likely that these decisions are probably being enforced by Montezemolo himself, or somebody higher on the ladder, and its getting old.

      1. in term of sports, i do not like this team order done by Massa/Alonso. In term of fairness, I really liked it since it raised this issue even higher. Previously everybody is just happy to see McLaren/RedBull doing team orders from pit strategy/ fuel saving. Disgusting…

  41. Marc Pearson
    25th July 2010, 17:15

    ferrari fined 100,000 dollars but result stands

    1. They’ve been referred to the WMSC, so there may be more to come.

      The saddest part from this debacle is that no-one took pleasure from the result. I’ve not seen a sadder podium ceremony since Austria 2002. Ferrari should have just let them race, Felipe was still a championship contender until they decided to cut short his season this afternoon. Bad decision.

  42. Keith, I don’t see the article about Ferrari being fined $100k and referred to WMSC yet :)


  43. Gentleman Alonso lol
    25th July 2010, 17:21

    Coulthard, whilst playing devils advocate, mentioned the bygone era of Gentleman racers swapping cars etc… Doubt Alonso will ever be known as a gentleman.

  44. so the FIA fine Ferrari $100,000 and let the result stand? What for? They admitted that Ferrari broke the rules. So what happens in the future if another team break the rules? Give them a fine and let the results stand? Rubbish!

    1. “Fine $100,000. The case will also be referred to the FIA World Motorsport Council for further consideration.”

    2. Remember in Canada when Hamilton got a fine but kept his pole position? You get the idea.

  45. Eddie Irvine had a “bad brake clause” in his contract when he was at Ferrari. He had to yield to Schumacher if he was leading. Massa’s contract has no such clause, apparently.

    1. We will never know that. you can be rest assured that the clause is, “do what the teams says, or you are fired”.

  46. ok I’ve calmed down a bit about it all now, I don’t think there is enough evidence for the FIA to do anything as long as Massa and the team keep towing the line. However I do also think it should be made very clear to Ferrari what will happen if there is ever a whistle-blower and that the penalty in that case should be HUGE, then give them until the start of free practice next race to accept a smaller penalty and admit guilt. We need the truth more than anything.
    Then the FIA need to look at the rules again between the seasons.

  47. “Teflon-so” always gets away with it when it comes to keeping results.

  48. ferrari have been fined $100,000 but the result stands but no further penalty.

    Great job Mr Todt, just great job.

    1. This were “only” the race stewards deciding that if the rule exists, why not enforce it.

      Todt’s role will come when they are brought before the World Council in September. Then we will now, weather mr. Teamorders will want to enforce this rule or dump it.

  49. You can think all what you want on this victory and you will have reason. Massa gave the victory to Alonso, probably by team orders. This blog can say whatever it wants too, I’m not going to criticize, but please, to all who write here, when the FIA manipulates races, when Maclaren or Redbull manipulate races, then the owners are so explicit as well . Then we will think in Spain that the English press is as good as England thinks it is.

    1. well, reading my own comment I don’t undertand it. Sorry about my english.

      This is not good for the competition and something is going to happen to ferrari, apart of the fine.

      Now, reading the post ad comments, I meant that FIA works bad, with bad rules applied badly, and somebody has to think about it.

      Maybe now with english press complaining something done. English press was enough to make Blatter talk and stop showing replays inside the stadiums when world cup. That’s power, isn’t it?

  50. Keith, I love your blog and will continue visiting it although I whole-heartedly disagree with your infantile attempts at taking a dig at Alonso by using his phrase, “manipulated race” against him. You can do better Keith.

    But great way to get the comment meter running on the website!!

    1. I stand by it completely. It was quite clearly manipulated. I don’t see how you can deny that.

      1. I agree it was manipulated. But you using the exact word, “manipulated” is what I object to.

        You could have used, “farce of a race”, “scam”, “mockery of a race”, “shame on Ferrari and Fernando” – any of the phrases. You are an excellent writer, I am sure you can think of 40 other phrases for the same.

        But you picked the one which Fernando used.

        1. Exactly. It was intentional – I mentioned it in response to the first comment about the headline, I think.

  51. So much controversy for something i think is insignificant. First everyone does it. Recently redbull with the front wing, mclaren when button was suposed to save fuel to leave hamilton in front, attacked anyway and we all saw hamilton clearly unhappy. Mclaren again with kovalainen/hamilton, brawn with button and baerichello, renault with fisichella-trulli-grosjean/alonso, ferrari with massa/raikkonen. The way it was done wasmt very elegant, but there is no need create so much polemic as if it was a new scandal (which something british press loves to do).
    Then, it is not alonso’s fault. He would have been really stupid to refuse to pass. His attitude can be criticised, the truth is, starting in a minardi, he has made his way to the top to become double world champion with the smallest of the big teams, renault, beating the unbeatable ferrari/schum pair. To achieve that you have to be aggressive and selfish, like schumacher was.
    And finally, team orders exist in rally, le mans, etc and no one complains…

    1. “First everyone does it. ”

      well that is not correct.

      If teams chose to give one drive better equipment over the other, then so be it; but to directly order one driver to let the other pass during a race, especially if it’s for the lead or the win, is totally out of line and does not belong in the sport. This type of thing needs to stop.

  52. saraholtf1.twit:
    # Vettel is on the BBC forum where he’s shown the Massa-Alonso pass. His response is
    # “Now I understand why they had so many questions in the media conference & none to me.” He adds he asked to leave the conference early about 2 hours ago via web

    LOL. He really has an opportunity to experience his RBR Turkey experience from the outside now.

    1. Best is after that he does not want to say to much about team orders, but does say this is not good, but crashing into your teammate instead of it isn’t very good as well.
      A clear confirmation of what Turkey really was about

  53. Yeah anyway Vettel gets my plonker of the race award again.

    1. Yeah, why don’t they give the guy a penalty for that start of his?

      They gave Webber one for a similar start in 2009 (when he tried to push Barrichello into the wall).

      Of course it only seems to hurt Vettel, but it would be a shame to see one of the adults get hindered or injured by this dangerous driving.

      1. Haha! I wouldn’t go as far saying he needed a penalty, or even that it was dangerous but after the whole Ferrari uproar I just remembered ‘oh yeah, Vettel’s start. What a pillock.’

        1. inc0mmunicado
          25th July 2010, 18:52

          Totally agree! (Apparently “totally agree” by itself is too short a comment for the server?!)

          1. “Apparently “totally agree” by itself is too short a comment for the server?!”

            yes that can get quite annoying.

      2. Maybe Charlie Withing was very bussy thinking about a new revenge against Alonso. He can only do one thing at a time.

  54. Now Alonso knows what a manipuated like

    1. Alonso learnt what was manipulation at Valencia and Silverstone, now Massa is who knows what a manipulated like. I’m waiting for the time Vettel and hamilton know it.

  55. sorry, i am so angry right now. My post is supposed to say:

    Now Alonso will know what a manipulated race is

    1. but he still denies it.

      Drivers only see what they want to see. they are all the same.

  56. I’ve done a blog entry on this topic, looking at when each Ferrari driver was faster than the other and posting it onto a graph. Although Alonso was faster for the two laps before Felipe got his now-notorious radio message, Felipe had still been faster for 3 more laps than Fernando by that point.

    Also, there were only two periods of the race where Fernando was reliably quicker; the period after Felipe’s stop when he was making mistakes due to needing to get used to the hard tyres and the period of time starting from 2 laps before the “Fernando. Is. Faster Than. You” message to the end of the race. 2 laps is within the tolerances of normal pace. In other words, Felipe probably still had the advantage in terms of performance at the time the message was sent.

    Ferrari will struggle to justify their actions based on what the raw lap data suggests is true.

    1. Thanks about that graph Alianora. I was wondering about the lap times.

      Seems the race Stewards didn’t buy it from Ferrrari as well.

  57. Don’t know if people remember that Kimi was told to let Massa by in 2008 (don’t remember the race) in order to secure a greater chance of securing the drivers’ championship.

    1. True but at that point Raikkonen was out of the championship.

      1. That’s right, but in perspective of the race itself it was a blatant violation of sporting conduct. Massa was, like Alonso now, evading the point in the press conference then. Raikkonen was in his typical “I don’t care attitude” and just smiled when asked about it. But as you point out he was out of the title hunt then.

        1. Sure, forbidding team orders per se is nonsense. But it was perfectly understandable and a good move to do that in the last race of the championship where only one of them had a chance to win it.

          1. The incident between Massa & Kimi which happened in the 2008 Chinese GP was different.
            1.It wasn’t for the win.
            2.Kimi was no longer fighting for the championship.
            3.It was the penultimate race of the season.

            Where here we have the incident in the middle of the season, for the win & mathematically Massa have chance for the championship still I think it is next to impossible.

  58. Am heartily sick of the petulant, spoiled Spaniard and his whining.

    1. Interenting and deep opinion.

  59. This episode left a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as soon as it happened – it seems like the rest of F1 are making great efforts to improve the show, getting more people watching it – then along comes Ferrari and through there own self centred attitude undo a lot of the good work done to make this year a great Championship. i think 1 rce ban would have been a more fitting punishment.

  60. Classic. Everyone is on Keith’s back for saying the same thing Pravda is running. The fall back position is to claim McLaren did it, like 3 years ago, so there. It’s interesting though that if you want to look at instances where a demand for team orders from a driver were patently ignored on the pit wall and on the track, you have to look at McLaren. Ya’ll remember Alonso buzzing the pit wall at Indy when Hamilton wouldn’t yield, or at Monaco, as Sumedh points out? Oh, wait, who was the whinger who found him self behind due to a poor start, poor qualifying, or whatever, chucking his toys out the crib in those cases? What a coincidence.

    Maybe this is why Alonso is so obsessed with Hamilton—because Hamilton’s career remains evidence that Alonso cannot trump a skilled teammate without the pit wall intervening.

    Since we have to show our papers now to the indignant tifosi: I’m not British.

    1. saying the same thing Pravda is running

      That’s got to be a first!

  61. Hi Guys

    Has anyone ever considered the fact that maybe smedley was instructed to give the order, of which he was reluctant and unhappy about and decided to make so blatant an order there by saying to his bosses ”now dig yourseleves out of this one”……..smedley is a pro he knows a thousand and one ways to relays such tactical coded message but this one certainly did not require a morse code breaker

    1. We do saw him tearing his hair cause of frustration & may be a little bit of shame.
      But he can’t do anything else as he is paid by Ferrari so whatever the management teams said they both Rob & Massa have to follow them.

  62. Charles Carroll
    25th July 2010, 20:00

    Massa should have stated, clearly on the radio, that Alonso is a two-time champion and can EARN his way past. Alonso probably would have anyway.

    This is why many Americans cannot watch F1. Let the “greatest drivers on Earth” race. We get enough politics in everything else, and it makes us sick.

  63. it’s a scandal!!

  64. I am really proud of my twitter reply to @InsideFerrari

    @InsideFerrari: GER – A dominant one-two for the Scuderia
    @stuminator: surely you mean a dominant two-one


  65. Can someone remind me when Massa’s contract expires?

    1. I think he is with the team until 2012, that’s two more season after this of number two driver PAIN.

  66. Marc Gené, Ferrari’s test driver, said on spanish TV before the race that it was agreed in Ferrari that the driver before with worse pace would let pass the faster one. He told this naturally so I think Ferrari knew that it was perfectly legal.

    The problem is that Massa decided another thing later: First, he said ok, then he didn`t let Alonso pass, then he did it, and later he looked like scammed.

  67. Firstly, I should say F1 is one of my top two sports.

    However, if this was considered a real sport by the political powers in the world, there would be a criminal investigation for race fixing, much as there are fairly regular criminal investigations for horse race fixing and football match fixing. Its the equivalent of scoring a deliberate own goal.

    I almost never bet on F1 because of this kind of debacle. Once again F1 looks more like WWE than a sport.

  68. I don’t understand why this is a “scandal” !! ?

    Every team has done it, especially Mclaren, was it a Scandal then? a Manipulation? no.

    Ferrari does it and all of a suden its a disgrace?

    I wonder if it would be a “Manipulation” if the same would have happened to Button and Hamilton in the same circumstances.

    I think not…

  69. I thought there was something about ‘flexible wings’ yesterday with Red bull. was that right?

    1. Yeah & the FIA cleared it saying it was OK.

  70. Lies and more lies from Ferrari, and to deny it after also? It was so open, they need to get punished and more than just a fine. Points taken away and 3 race ban atleast. Or even better, all point from todays race and all constructors points removed! Alonso screamed and cried about Hamilton overtook the safetycar and how he follows the rules and finished 9th, Hamilton 2nd. Well, now then…. Who follows rules? Not Alonso or Ferrari! And all the other crap he has been involved in? Racefixing with Renault? Spy scandal with McLaren? Threaten Ron Dennis? Blocking Hamilton in the pits in 2007? The list goes on and on! Was a Alonso fan until his McLaren days, he lost all respect after that. He should just leave the sport.

  71. People may very well have bet money on Massa to win this race. How do you think they feel. This is akin to match fixing in other sports.

    1. they should not bet on Massa when Alonso is ahead in championship. it is very clear. And from now on, I suggest everybody not bet your money on Button and Webber. Put your money for Vettel and Hamilton.

    2. Maybe they can find better things to do than bet money on sports, or anything, for that matter.

  72. i find it amusing that lots and lots of people panned Webber for not allowing Vettel to pass a few races ago and now lots and lots of people are complaining about Massa letting Alonso pass :)

    for me who cares, it is a rare occurence and it is circumstance driven plus it is a team sport, the teams are fronting all the cash, look at the tour de france for example


    If they would have swapped the place for the podium that’s OK if they would have swap the places for the race win in the latter stages of the season (Massa & Kimi in China 2008) that’s Ok but to robbed someone’s victory is something they shouldn’t have done at any cost.

    I think F1 can continue without FERRARI!!!!!!!!
    I feel like crying to see Massa in the press conference answering to the question thrown at him.Very poor.

    I hope neither Alonso or Ferrari wins the WDC & WCC.
    I hope Massa gets back his confidence back & he wins in Hungary.

  74. So, whilst Schumacher may currently be languising with the ‘also rans’ his old legacy remains – drivers swerving off the start line or wanting to win the title by having other drivers give way – neither are the signs of a genuine world champion. And if Alonso wins this year it wil be yet another case of ego usurping talent making the title irrelevant. Very sad indeed.

  75. I think this gives a better clue to what happened to Massa when Rob said “Alonso is faster than you”


  76. Force India were not luckly this time as i never seen a team mounting the tyres of his teammate twice on the wrong car. They fixed it fast after they discovered the mistake. But hell the teamboss for pitstop made a huge mistake and should be fired as he is the one seeing who is coming into the pits long before his team does.

    I missed the rain…

  77. for those that dont understand and for those that missed it watch it again.


    team orders in play.
    makes a total mockery of what racing is really about.
    any other sport you would get suspended for fixing the results.
    i certainly hope they get done, a $100thousday fine is peanuts to these car manufactures, they need to be taught the fans are paying for them to race, and wont tolerate such crap from the engineers interfering in the race results.

  78. For me the biggest controversy was not the pass as that at least had some discernible reason. What was worse was Ferrari treating the media and fans like we didn’t know what they had done.

    It was plain as day guys, just admit what you did and move on.

    In my opinion if they had come on the radio and said “Felipe Fernando has a better shot at giving us both championships this year please let him through I would have had less argument”. The way they did it at the time and after the race was shocking.

  79. What a sad day for F1. Massa was absolutly fantastic today and deserved the win, especially after what he went through a year ago to the day. Ferrari had the chance to do the right thing this weekend, and what a story it would have been with Massa winning. Instead they resorted to their typical style and ruined it for all us true F1 fans. They should be ashamed of themselves and I hope they get punished further for this…but I’m sure Uncle Todt won’t allow that to happen!

    Also, has anyone noticed that since the rumours came out about Ferrari using the barcode as a hidden message on their cars to promote Malboro tabacco (which is illegal just like team orders), which they of course denied. Since then they have stopped using the barcode on the cars. Is this another case of Ferrari doing what they like in the sport and getting away with it.

    As you have probably guessed I am not a Ferrari fan and for exactly these types of reasons.

  80. Okay .. I’ve read all 220 odd comments and heres my opinion on this

    Team orders have always existed and rightly so – after all you do get awarded points for the constructors. About what happened yesterday – should Ferrari have done it? – I don’t think so .. Massa had a good start, good pace and deserved to win. Alonso could have come in second and pocketed points, but Ferrari are really thinking about which of their drivers is their future very much like RBR confirming Vettel as their future. We really don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, at the factory, driver and engineer interactions – maybe Alonso is the catalyst (something Ferrari have been missing since Schumacher) who can motivate the team and make believe that the World Championship is still very much within grasp.
    Obviously both drivers weren’t happy and we could see their body language on the podium. The important thing (as Fernando puts it) is that Ferrari now have a car that can allow its drivers challenge for more race wins

    1. Moreover, if Massa was closer to Alonso in the points standings this would never have happened. For the folks praising Massa, where was he all these races? Why was he so far behind Alonso in the championship standings till then? And as someone said somewhere, Massa should have refused. His failure to do so indicates his desire to be the number 2 in order to save his Ferrari seat.

  81. Ferrari would still have got the same points with Massa winning, surely the team’s focus is the WCC, and then if their drivers fright for the WDC all the better? That way we have no team orders becuase it is a team focus. More focus on WCC…….

  82. Please, Keith, could you give some evidence in favour of these statements in the article:

    1) … as Massa hit more traffic.

    2) Even when Massa slowed after being passed…?

    Just to prove your unbiased approach…

  83. This was just shameful. As a Massa fan, I feel ashamed, and HE should too.
    To see the footage of Alonso ‘celebrating’ the victory was revolting. Absolutely absurd, as was Alonso’s complains to to the pit because Massa didn’t let himm pass in the first half.
    As nikki Lauda said about Alonso’s remarks after the race, about he being faster than Massa: “I never heard a pilot talking such ********”.
    Even as as Massa fan AND a Ferrari fan, I truly hope the whole team is severely punished, well beyond the cash fine.

  84. I like Brazilian just have to say: total Indignation! In Brazil on Sunday woke up at 9:00 in the morning, rest day to see this farce …. while the FIA not to adopt the method by a pilot team that will not change.
    Santander boss at Ferrari, that is the question ….

  85. I would have liked to see this title in this article of yours written in 10 May 2009 instead
    “Did Brawn deliberately give Barrichello a poor strategy to let Button win?” ( does thit suggest that you are implying team orders)
    the title could have been
    “Controversy as Button wins manipulated race (Spanish Grand Prix review)
    wasn’t that a team order?
    what do you think after one year Keith and after all this fuss the ferrari team orders are causing?

    1. To everyone who’s pointing to other situations where team orders have been used, I think this is somewhat missing Keith’s point.

      There’s the concept of team orders and their application.

      Clearly, in this instance they were applied unjustly.

      1) Alonso missed his chance to pass Massa’s through Alonso’s mistake and Massa’s defensive skill.

      2) While Alonso may have been a shade quicker, we’re not talking drastically faster by any stretch.

      3) Alonso’s chances of winning the title are very slim.

      4) If Alonso still has a mathematical chance of victory, by logical extension Massa still did too. They have completely killed Massas chances to boost Alonso’s.

      5) The chance to see their pilot win a race on the anniversary of his accident obviously means nothing to them.

      1. 1) Alonso’s chances may well be very slim, but are the only chances of Ferrari. You must take that into account, I guess. “Logical extensions” are very very tricky.

        2) Anniversaries mean nothing to business people or, say, professionals.

        3) By now, everybody knows who is faster in Ferrari. Don’t you?

  86. still love ferrari,its motor racing,ferrari have one shot at this years title and it rests with alonso,if people really think massa can win this years title they really must be living in a dream land,massa is a brilliant driver but it means all the top 5 drivers need to all finish out the points or way down behind him for the remaining part of the season…ferrari aint the only team to have team orders,FACT,….fernando is faster than you can you confirm the message…where on earth did you hear alonso is ahead in the title now move over,maybe my tv missed that bit out then,i will admit it was not fair for massa but he let alonso pass,if he didnt agree i guess he didnt have to,if you was the big boss of your team and you was in this scenario most people would do the same but just not admit it,i think it would nice to see alonso fight for this title and even massa gettin in there,would make things more interesting near the end of the season….

  87. all this happened because massa did what it did in a very thick way. it was thick like a 12 ” wall what he did and he wanted to make it known ” I am doing you a big favor alonso”
    don’t ever forget what ferrari have done for Massa. and this is the way he is paying back
    ferrari should get rid of him
    it wasn’t a team order.
    it was a driver choice executed very bad after a very polite suggestion from the team

  88. if he did feel like the team was wrongdoing him he shouldn’t have let alonso pass
    or you do it properly or you don’t do it at all
    he is a jerk

  89. The problem with F1 now is the marketing is more important than winning. Team orders ban was really a marketing, not a technical thing and really hard to force. Ferrari is better than McLaren and Redbull in term of their traditional vision of F1. Ferrari has a great brand image, they do not need a figure to help boost their sales. They only need good driver and good teamwork. Marketing is not priority since it take care itself. McLaren and Redbull need to work on figure too, and we can see that from their drivers now (yes they are popular and has good smiles and pretty girlfriend – compared to Massa and Alonso) – their drivers also good on press conference and diplomatic speech, of course you dont want to mess up with press and drop that popularity. It is way different with Ferraris, they are naturally competitive driver with less popularity yet direct in conversation. The team orders for Ferrari is basically to win the championship, while team orders for the others is also for increasing sales and popularity. For me it is not proper to compare Ferrari with these two teams since they are different in value and vision.

  90. just trying to work the quotes

    I hope it worked

    1. damn still didn’t work

      how about now

  91. I don’t know how to close a quote

    may like this

  92. damn again

    or like this

  93. To me, this whole mess is a good opportunity for F1 to put to rest that nonsense about you being faster so you should be allowed to pass. THIS IS A RACE, fercrisssake!!!!! Are you fast? Overtake the car in front of you. As simple as that. Oh, you can’t overtake? Don’t complain, this is what racing is about: it is NOT about being fast, it is about being the first to win the race. Yes, to be the first normally involves being fast, but NOT the other way round.
    I am completely, absolutely fed up with Alonso’s complains that he was faster than Massa but was looking at Massa’s exhaust pipes. Well, if Massa is ahead of you, maybe it is because he was racing better than you. And if you are faster you must overtake him.
    The idea of ordering Alonso in first because he was being faster than Massa defeats the idea of racing. As a principle, is the death of racing.

  94. alonso could’ve just made a move on massa and taken them both out like vettel did to webber in turkey and have the team blame massa saying he was in the wrong for not allowing room and defending his race lead. LOL.

  95. Team orders should be OK,
    unless the Drivers contract do include individual terms and conditions regarding teamorders.

  96. The truth of all this is that Formula 1 is run by British and being English is that something may be illegal but it has to be concealed. Ultimately, THE FORMS ARE PUNISHED BUT NOT ETHICS. I prefer the Latin style is more honest.

  97. what a farce,as it is a current rule not to use team orders, it is blatant cheating and robbed the fans watching on tv and at the track of a spectacle. but there is one or two teams who think they are above the law, and the fia seem frightened of them, but they should remove there points and ban them for one race. there would be probably be a lot of people with money on massa to win, i wonder if anyone will sue.if they are serious about not wanting cheating, there are a few teams now wanting to come into fi, let them come in and let teams only have one car. i have watched the sport a lot of years on tv, and i was disgusted in 2002, but i gave it a second chance, but i will do something else on a sunday afternoon now until something changes

  98. I’m as SO bored of listening to constant talk of tyres through every race weekend, I don’t watch F1 for tyre strategy. Its such a big part of the racing and,to me, just so dull that I’d like to see it taken out of the equation comletely.

    I’m not so technically minded as many out there so please put me right but could the teams not be given 1 tyre that will give them lots of grip for the full duration of the race, and more. The whole weekend even.

    Also, the prospect of any tyre war just fills me with tread.


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