Ferrari escape further punishment for German GP team orders (Updated)

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The FIA have announced Ferrari will not be punished any further for using team orders during the German Grand Prix.

However the World Motor Sport Council upheld the $100,000 fine imposed by the stewards after the Hockenheim race.

Update: The FIA have said they will review the ban on team orders (article 39.1). See below for their full explanation for the decision and Ferrari’s reaction:

On 25 July 2010, at the Grand Prix of Germany, the Stewards of the meeting found an infringement by the Scuderia Ferrari to the prohibition of team orders interfering with a race result and then decided to impose a fine of $100,000 and to forward the dossier to the World Motor Sport Council for further consideration.

The Judging Body of the World Motor Sport Council held an extraordinary hearing in Paris on 8 September 2010 to examine this matter.

After an in depth analysis of all reports, statements and documents submitted, the Judging Body has decided to confirm the Stewards’ decision of a $100,000 fine for infringing article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations and to impose the payment of the costs incurred by the FIA.

The Judging Body has also acknowledged that article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations should be reviewed and has decided to refer this question to the Formula One Sporting Working Group.

The full decision will be available on the website on 9 September 2010.


In March 2010 at Bahrain at the initiative of the FIA President, the World Motor Sport Council adopted a new transitional disciplinary procedure, in order in particular to ensure the separation between the prosecuting body and the judging body. At the General Assembly on 5 November 2010, a more global reform of the FIA judicial system will be submitted for approval, including in particular the creation of an International Tribunal which will exercise the disciplinary power in the 1st instance in place of the World Motor Sport Council.

In application of this new procedure, previously applied within the context of the US F1 case, the FIA President exercises the role of prosecuting body. As such, he has the authority to notify any person being prosecuted of the grievances brought against him and to submit the matter to the Judging Body of the World Motor Sport Council, chaired by the Deputy President for Sport, Mr Graham Stoker.

The Deputy President for Sport has the power to proceed with an investigation and, within this context, to designate a reporter from among the members of the World Motor Sport Council.

In the present case, the Deputy President for Sport designated Mr Lars ?sterlind, a member of the World Motor Sport Council, as reporter. Mr ?sterlind’s report was forwarded to the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro as the party being prosecuted.

Prior to the hearing, the members of the Judging Body of the World Motor Sport Council received all the documents in the case, including the observations submitted by the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.

The FIA President did not attend the hearing but was represented by Ma??tre Jean-Pierre Martel from the law firm Orrick Rambaud Martel.

The hearing before the Judging Body of the World Motor Sport Council, assembled on 8 September 2010 in an extraordinary meeting, was chaired by the Deputy President for Sport and allowed the hearing, in person, of Mr Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal of the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, assisted by lawyers, Mr Henry Peter and Nigel Tozzi. The World Motor Sport Council had the possibility to join the drivers Mr Fernando Alonso and Mr Felipe Massa via video conference.

Ferrari released the following statement:

Ferrari has taken note of the decision of the FIA World Council, relating to the outcome of this year’s German Grand Prix and wishes to express its appreciation of the Council’s proposal to review article 39.1 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, in light of what emerged during today’s discussions. Now, all the team’s efforts will be focussed on the next event on track, when the Italian Grand Prix takes place at Monza this weekend.

The World Motor Sport Council's verdict on Ferrari is...

  • No opinion (2%)
  • Far too soft (61%)
  • Slightly too soft (14%)
  • About right (19%)
  • Slightly too harsh (1%)
  • Far too harsh (3%)

Total Voters: 2,435

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Ferrari team orders in Germany

Author information

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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389 comments on “Ferrari escape further punishment for German GP team orders (Updated)”

  1. Weak from the Council, very weak.

    Guess they’ll be removing rule 39.1 by the end of the season in this light, very disappointing as a keen fan.

    1. They should also remove 151c so that teams can bring the sport into disrepute and not get penalised.

      Ferrari fixed the race and walked away with all the points and a measly $100,000 fine…

      Wonder how much it would cost to install a chain gun in the nose cone to shoot cars in front….

      1. Younger Hamilton
        8th September 2010, 17:43

        $100,000 is what they pay Alonso every day

        1. Charles Carroll
          8th September 2010, 18:14

          I think more falls out of Luca’s pants on race day than that.

      2. Yeh have them remove 151c and see how long it is before we hear Alonso on the radio asking for Massa to do a Piquet when he wants an early tyre change.

      3. Or maybe ditch all rules the teams don’t like or just stop enforcing them if asked to.

        Now the FIA might just as well stop regulating.

        Surely this rule was somewhat problematic to enforce, as it was easy to find a way to do this without anyone being sure about it. But this is a bad moment for the fans.

        I suppose Todt is up for another disapprove this time around. And Ferrari will lose even more respect from me, let them continue with winning like this, but I am sure not to support it, or any team doing alike and being proud of it!

      4. F1 does not count as a sport anymore. Thanks FIA.

        1. I agree with the decision, cause i prefer to know what results were fixed what werent, anyway there are teams with or without team orders that try to hide team orders and arent succesfull ex mclaren and redbull

        2. The sri lankan
          9th September 2010, 1:28

          what the ***** is this? what a disgrace!

    2. I wonder how much the people on the council get paid.

      Here’s what they did today…

      “Ok, we need to decide on a 13th F1 team…” “How about not having one at all?”
      “Genius! Great idea.”

      “Right next… We need to think of a punishment for Ferrari”
      “Meh C.B.A.”
      “Yeah me neither, let’s just go home”

      1. Sound_Of_Madness
        8th September 2010, 18:55

        Υοu forgot:
        -And what about the calendar, we have to decide where will the championship close…
        -Throw a dice. 1-3 is Abu Dhabi, 4-6 Interlagos…
        *sound of rolling dice*
        -How has that happened?! 4?! I used the fake dice!!!!!

    3. Think fellas…should this had been Mclaren? Well, i guess we all know the verdict! Or don’t we?

      1. Well, in the new non-Mosley era, I am not sure. But they sure did eithe3r chicken out about doing something about it just before Monza, or they just didn’t care. Either way, stupid. I guess from now on every threat of a harsh punishment will be countered with a “we will sue FIA while making a lot of hot air” and it will go away?

    4. Alec
      Just look at it as team sport and you will find the decision a right one for the future of F1. Tradition remains intact…

      1. The day the constructors championship is more important than the drivers is the day I’ll look at it as a team sport in that sense.

        As far as the future holds F1’s future is in it’s fans and it’s worldwide image which go a long way to paying for F1 via it’s sponsors. F1’s already 7 years behind in terms of getting HD coverage and spends half the season at venues in front of no fans, PR disasters like this that bring the sport into disrepute do not help.

        So much work has gone on in changing the spec of the cars trying to reduce downforce, power and electronic aids to “improve the show” and the same people then say that in contrast to the general public’s opinions that pulling over for someone else to take the win is legal. I’ve no problem with many so-called ‘team orders’ but I draw the line at hearing one driver have a hissyfit because he cant get past and then 5 laps later the driver pull over and let him into the lead. There goes the spectacle of the battle that we tuned in to watch.

        Tradition? Since when has anyone in F1 gave a smoking crackpipe about tradition?? Do you think they race at Turkey in front of 15 fans because it’s a traditional venue for racing or because their government will pay more than the French? If F1 is to lead motorsport from the front it has to be progressive in it’s thinking but as long as the Old Boy’s Network are still building their pension fund there’s no chance.

        Cant wait to hear from Horner and Whitmarsh, I’m sure they’ll have a quip or two :)

      2. Looking at it as a sport (of any kind) makes this look like the wrong decision. However, the FIA was forced into this by forgetting why team orders of this kind were so bad in the first place…

  2. Whether fans like it or not it was the correct result. The FIA would have to have investigated every result in the last few years to ensure it was not a unique case. Time to hide now. My money is on 400+ comments.

    1. yeah Im happy that Ferrari have escaped further punishment. Further punishment just would’nt achieve anything.

      1. Yes it would. It would stop it happening again this season.

        It’s a dangerous precedent. So you can have team orders but it will cost you the measly sum of $100K. Any other team that does it now this season will have to get exactly the same punishment or it makes even more of a mockery of the council.

        Sad day. And sad that some Ferrari fans think that a $100K fine is sufficient.

        1. The problem is most teams at some point do it. Ferrari did it very poorly and I thought a suspended race ban and increased fine would have been the right choice. The problem is too many people don’t want to look at it rationally and accept how much of it goes on.

          1. “The problem is too many people don’t want to look at it rationally and accept how much of it goes on.”

            Totally agree.

            But it was just all the blatant lies after the race that were the real problem. I guess we need to know if those lies were told to the stewards, but if they were fined $100,000 in the first place then they must have misled them.

            So why are they not DSQ just as McLaren were at Oz 2009?

          2. As you say Rampante, it should have been a suspended ban and a more hefty fine. Ferrari acted against the rules, they did not even hide it and even less apologize about it.

            Not that the rule is very good, or that it has not been neglected in the past, now it will be totally without any effect.
            Personally i think if the FIA wanted to start using their own rules, they might have given a points penalty, but i never expected them to really do that.

            Our only hope for not having an abundance of team orders all over the place is “voting with our feet” and supporting teams that are very carefull not to use them.

          3. Exactly, the precedent set is appalling.

            I also really don’t understand how Ferrari weren’t in serious breach of bringing the sport into disrepute, since it’s confirmed (as far as FIA’s concerned) that they issued team orders and so all the post-race comments were a bunch of absurd lies from everyone in the team. That made Formula 1 look farcical, so I really don’t see how they escaped this.

          4. Agreed.

            A suspended ban (which was given to Renault for crashgate) would have been appropriate.

            No punishment at all is a step too soft I think, and I say that inspite of being a Ferrari fan.

            What I fear most now is for the career of Felipe Massa. If Ferrari can get away with this at the 11th race of the season, now nothing’s stopping them from doing the same from the 1st race of the season.

            Teams like Mclaren will obviously continue driver equality – since they consider that a good quality, but Mercedez (Brawn), Ferrari are definitely going back to their 1-2 driver days. Sad day for Formula 1

          5. OK Rampante. Give us some details of when an incident exactly like this has taken place to your priviledged knowledge over the past ten years….. ?

        2. If a team, e.g. McLaren, wants to make a farce out of FIA and have $100,000 (or will my plan count as 2 incidents?), they can have one driver — in my example Hamilton –letting Button pass and 1 lap after that have Button let Hamilton pass, each time with that “he is faster than you, can you confirm you understand that message?”.

          Then again, why not do it for the whole race… hahaha… would that count as 1 overtake each?

        3. > So you can have team orders but it will cost you the measly sum of $100K.

          So you can buy pole position for a measly 50K ;)

        4. It is a sad day, but the conclusion is entirely correct. The rule only deals with literal orders, and says nothing about the implied or intended meaning of a piece of conversation being an order. Technically, what we heard wasn’t a literal order, just an implied one, and the rule says nothing about that. Therefore the law is an ass in this case.

          1. Unless Ferrari came out and said “We ordered Massa to let Alonso past”, there is no proof. There is only speculation. No hard facts to base any ruling on.

            If they had done anything more, they would have been forced to look at the past incidents as well. Such as when Hekki let Lewis past.

            The only thing Ferrari did wrong, was make the team order obvious. And no where in the rules does it say “we will only punish you if its obvious”.

            Overall, the real culprit is Massa. He made it obvious on purpose, instead of allowing Alonso overtake him under braking. The fans would have accepted it the same way it was accepted when hekkie let lewis pass him under braking.

          2. Kovaleinen would have been passed by Hamilton within a few corners maximum. The reason he let him past quickly without a struggle (and why the team wanted this) was for LH to have time at the end of the race to make up *other* places and win the race, which he did. Remembering the reason he was behind HK anyway was a McLaren botch up. There’s no real comparison. Alonso was unable to pass Massa, lap after lap.

        5. So Alonso’s chanches for the title are effectively gone now, Ferrari have shot themselves in the foot.
          Whenever Alonso comes close, both Red Bull and McLaren just have to cough up 100,000 dollars to get their desired finishingorder and get the extra points!

          Bye Alonso! Nice work, Ferrari!

        6. A $100,000 fine to Ferrari is literally like taking a penny from the average person. It’s a joke. Todt did the wise thing letting his deputy handle this, but the WMSC and the FIA really dropped the ball today. The ruling is pathetic, and on top of that, they didn’t accomplish anything else with the rest of their agenda!

    2. At the moment we only know the verdict, not the reasoning. Let’s see what they say.

      1. You expect there to be “reasoning”? At best we will see a recitation of the rule and the invocation of discretion.

        However, if they do not issue any further warnings or elaborate on the underlying prohibition, they will have invited Ferrari to continue to slap all of us in the face with continued, brazen, obvious team orders—followed in each case by volleys of brickbats from Luca in defense of Ferrari’s prerogative to do as it pleases in all things.

        What we know now, and what doesn’t need the reasoning for clarification, is that that the team orders sporting regulation is of no moment. The council has made new law for the sport, and the teams should adjust their behavior accordingly. Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel take note.

      2. I’m inclined to hold my judgement as well, but this doesn’t sound good so far…

      3. Really Keith? Are you seriously expecting a “Mathematically Modeled Reasoning” of some sort? Well, maybe if Todt wasn’t FIA President!!

    3. My money is on 300+ but I would not bet any coin with you!!!

    4. Why would they have to do that? This was referred to them by the stewards of the race. If there was any evidence to support a team being prosecuted under either of the articles in question, then the stewards in Brazil 2007 were free to do it. The stewards saw clear evidence of a breach of the rules, and referred it to the council for punishment.

      “It was corrupt before” is no excuse, even if there was evidence to back it up. It’s the same excuse used by cyclists about the rampant cheating and doping that went on (and no doubt still goes on) in their sport. If we accept that point of view, then we accept that the sport as a whole is a joke, it’s not a real competition, there’s no basis for any of the results to be considered genuine, and none of the drivers or teams has actually achieved anything.

      This is not an anti-Ferrari thing. The stewards’ judgement that the rules had been broken *was upheld*. That the sport has been brought into disrepute is beyond question. Why is there no punishment for it by the FIA itself?

      So as far as the FIA have told us:
      1) A driver can request that his engineer steal secrets from another team and get away with it. (Alonso & Pedro de la Rosa)
      2) A team can cause a serious accident a couple of feet away from spectators and marshalls on a closed track to rig the result of a race and get away with it.
      3) A team can rig the results of a race by telling one driver to pull over, and get away with it.
      4) A driver can run his rival off the track to ensure he wins a championship and get away with it. (Prost, Senna, Schumacher)

      Anybody got any more?

      Why exactly are we supposed to waste time and money watching this farcical crap again?

      1. Todt has been a marked improvment but the WMSC continues to disapoint, I mean nothing? After all the outrage and fury expressed by the fans they do nothing? It’s ridiculous, an there are posters essentially saying being annoyed by this ruling is silly.

        Ferrari deprived us of a sporting contest and essentially fixed a race to their liking and thats not hyperbole, it patronising and wrong to claim this hasn’t damaged the integrity of the sport and worsened the veiwing experiance for the fans.

        The fans have made it clear, we don’t want team orders, now the FIA must act independently of the lame duck that is the WMSC and make the rule stronger and clear.

        1. So the conclusion is that the FIA will issue licences to specific individuals so they can be punished, but have decided never to punish them for anything that they ever do.

        2. I feel very much the same. The stewards made a brave move by actually punishing it, but felt more was needed after the uproar.

          It is brought before the highest governing body of the sport and … nothing. Very disappointing, seems those changes made by Todt add up to nothing much.

          1. Yes I agree. Keith might have some point in saying we don’t know the reasoning, but there is no valid reasoning that is adequate to address the main point: they were let off for a clear violation, a case that closely resembled exactly what got the rule instated, and got away without any real punishment.

        3. Not all fans are clear on this as you suggest.
          I have no problem with team orders, it is an intregal part of the F1 history and philosephy of F1 racing. It is one of the things that make F1 truely unique to other open wheel series. A true “team” concept in racing.

          1. Agreed. All other sports have team orders. Management is there for a reason.

            I also wish people would stop talking on behalf of the fans. We all know the majority of this sites readers are british. Its a british site with a british domain. So of course the fans will all support their home side (Mclaren). Any surveys and polls will undoubtably be in favor of the home side.

            You might find that the reality of things are completely different. Here in South Africa, a radio host ran a poll on the situation and the majority of the votes were pro-ferrari.

            The fans were not out-raged. The media was outraged, because by being so, they made plenty money. The only reason the stewards even gave the $100,000 penalty was because of the BBC commentators who were demanding action.

            The way in which they then went about it was correct. They gave the small penalty to please the immediate media storm. They then set a distant court date, to give the media time to change subject and forget about it all. This worked well as even Eddy Jordan (who was the most out-raged of all) changed his view over time.

            So overall its all good in the hood. The fans are happy that the championship battle was not destroyed by punishing Ferrari, and everything can now get back to normal. An extra added bonus is that we might see that stupid rule done away with.

          2. Ugh.

            “British Site”
            By that logic, it’s a “British Sport”, since 85% of the teams are based in England. And the guy that runs the sport is British. Clearly, then, *only* the views of British teams, fans and commentators should count, right? Nonsense.

            “Home side”
            Does not equal McLaren. Again, 85% of the teams are British. And McLaren didn’t lose out on a win in Germany as a result of Ferrari’s race fixing. So being against the FIA’s decision does not mean that someone is pro-McLaren. Nonsense.

          3. I also wish people would stop talking on behalf of the fans. We all know the majority of this sites readers are british. Its a british site with a british domain. So of course the fans will all support their home side (Mclaren). Any surveys and polls will undoubtably be in favor of the home side.

            The domain suffix does not reflect the nationality of the readership of the audience. As you might expect it’s more closely related to the language the site is written in and Britain is far from the largest English-speaking nation. As I’ve pointed out whenever this topic comes up, the site’s readership is just under one-third British (32%).

            After the German Grand Prix 78% said Ferrari should be punished and at the time of writing 75% feel the punishment was too soft. So I reject your suggestion that the voting is swayed entirely by nationality.

      2. Its time for the breakaway series which we know was in the works last year.

        I can see it becoming a FOTA vs Ferrai + FIA ( and maybe Mercedes ). I think this would be the best option for everyone concerned.

        “F1” would be the same as before and we would finally get a series ( GP1, i think ) which would be what we wanted F1 to be always.

        Safe to say I would watch GP1.

        1. ALSO: Expect Formula 100 ( the F1 Sponsors Group ) to join FOTA along with Bernie.

    5. ” The FIA would have to have investigated every result in the last few years to ensure it was not a unique case.”

      Not if they punished them under Article 151c for bringing the sport into disrepute. Too late now, but they could have argued that while Team Orders have occurred in the past, it was the blatant way in which Ferrari went about it which brought about the punishment rather than the actual team orders themselves.

      They could have followed this up with a clarification to the team orders rule to allow team orders when one driver is mathematically out of the running for the WDC.

      1. So the team rule is only enforced if you are blatant? Thats just stupid.

    6. I think it’s about high time mclaren starts paying button to crash into webber now! :-P obviously, $100000 fine for deciding race events per race is not much a price to pay, if the outcome is a world champion!

      Really dissapointed with WMSC’s decision.

      1. There is a difference between team orders and taking out another competitor on purpose.

        1. How so, they are just FIA rules, if you moan about it enough, and have most teams not willing to counter you, you get nothing from it.

          1. Well, yes and no. For example, in Italy, you may be facing criminal charges for an intentional crash, especially if there are any injuries as a result.

        2. I didn’t see Red Bull get fined in SPA :)

    7. Like good civil system jurists, the FIA, by its own standards of process, does not rely on precedent. And yes Keith’s server will explode at some point tonight after people have got home from work in Europe and learned of this travesty.

    8. It was the correct ruling.

      It was actually a no win situation though, had Ferrari told Alonso NOT to overtake Massa…team orders! Instead, Massa was instructed to move over, team orders!

      If you think Ferrari is the only team issuing similar orders to their drivers, you are mistaken. Ferrari just didn’t try and hide it.

      1. People keep saying that, but I’m yet to hear an example of another team swapping the positions of their drivers this year using team orders. Anyone?

        1. One can argue that Red Bull tried it in Turkey, albeit with a little more subtlety. Perhaps too much, as it turned out.

          1. I don’t think they did use team orders then… I think people were making something out of nothing with that… To be honest I’d like to see evidence that really suggests it.

        2. How about McLaren’s “save fuel” mode at Turkey??

          Button and Hamilton start fighting each other and suddenly they get the magic “save fuel” warning. Undeniably a team order.

          1. This is not a valid example, when they emptied the tanks after the race Hamilton’s car had less than a lap of fuel on board and Button’s had only a fraction more. ie, they actually needed to save fuel in order to finish the race…

        3. I am not aware of any team orders from this year that would be considered as blatent as the Ferrari team orders. There are a couple of arguments to be made from this year regarding team orders, but I would be hard pressed to acknowledge anyone being as blatent as Ferrari were. They didn’t leave much doubt, which I applaud them for, they could have been more stealthy but it would still have been team orders.

          But my line of thinking goes back, not just this year. ….many instances of team orders in F1 history.

      2. There can be not punishment because Ferrari never ever told Massa to let Alonso through, they only told him that Alosno was faster. So there were no teamorder

        1. Exactly.

          Spot on.

        2. and wat was, “ok lad, now hang on, sorry?” cross connection? :P

          No offence to ferrari fans, but I fear his will only encourage more team orders.

          btw, the whole button n hamilton fighting scenario, lewis was asked to slow down, but he did fight back for his position and got it back, didnt just sit there when button passed, waiting for a sorry msg from the pits.

        3. Naive, do you think if I said I wish someone were dead then shot him in the head I’d get away with manslaughter??

          Clearly the stewards, and the WMSC by upholding their decision, thought Ferrari were lying through their teeth by finding them guilty of breaking the rule.

  3. It does nothing to stop them (or other teams) doing it again, which is ridiculous.

    The race damaged F1’s credibility, and this does nothing to reverse the damage. F1 fans don’t like manipulated races like Austria 2002 or Germany 2010…

    1. This for me is the main point. I’m not fussed about Ferrari being penalized further, but I am fussed about the Italian outfit and other teams using blatant team orders in the remaining races of the season, paying the fine, and turning the competition into a farce.

      So the question is: is there a behind the scenes agreement that Ferrari won’t do the same again? Or will FIA issue a change to the regulations or a rewording to discourage them?

    2. Punishing Ferrari just to make a point would be wrong.

      Instead they should either do away with their rule, or clarify it. At the moment the rule is very grey. Ferrari never actually issued any orders. So technically, according to the rules, they did nothing wrong.

      1. Or more precisely, Ferrari didn’t issue any *uncoded* team orders. But just about the whole planet understood the coded message between Smedley and Massa, which is why they were penalized and the penalty upheld.

        Having read FIA’s sorry excuse for a statement, there’s a real likelihood of the situation repeating itself more than once to the end of this season given how close the WDC is. Given the dissatisfaction with which Ferrari’s switching of its drivers was met globally, you’ve got to wonder what FIA are going to do if the team orders escalate and are openly admitted – because if the teams go that route, it’s going to be deeply unpopular as a spectacle.

        Cynically I presume all the contending teams have agreed to mask any team orders as best they can – we’ll get an idea of that from their responses to FIA’s decision.

      2. True. There are loopholes in the law passed by the FIA, and Ferrari just exploited them. All teams are capable of making several decisions regarding tyre,pit stops,and setup strategy, that favour one teammate over another. These decisions can also have an effect on the race outcome.

        Ferrari showed blatant disregard, but every team has done it on some level. I think a slap on the wrist is justified.

        Additionally, the championship stays more interesting with no penalty awarded to the Drivers.

        1. “Ferrari showed blatant disregard, but every team has done it on some level. I think a slap on the wrist is justified.”

          Completely agreed. Itz the same like, blocking the opponent too many times while defending a position. there is no rule, that you shld not block an opponent by swaying your car, it’s just customary to change ur line once, n then stay there.

          Same way, just because the rule isnt clear you cannot exploit it. Sad, formula 1 is becoming more a drama than sport now. :-(

  4. Any other outcome would have been hypocrisy.

    Hypocrisy because motor-sports, and particularly F1 always has had and always will have team orders.

    And hypocrisy because any other sanction would have had more effect on the World Championship than the “crime” Ferrari committed.

    1. For a sport so determined to “improve the show” this is an absolute disaster. After the fallout of Austria 2002 the powers that be decided to ban the use of team orders to the effect of pulling over to let another car win.

      In it’s first test case the WMC has totally flopped when asked meaning it’s totally open game again and to be removed from the rulebook.

      Personally I dont see much difference in Alonso asking Massa to pull over so he can win the race or Alonso asking Piquet to cause a safety car to win the race, and we all go on about Schumi winning at all costs…

    2. Sorry but isn’t the idea of competing in any sport to do it within the rules?

      1. You obviously haven’t been following F1 for very long. Or ever been anywhere near a race track. ;)

      2. F1 has always been about pushing boundaries to gain a competitive advantage and looking for loopholes in the “rules”. Your point was?

        1. So has every other form of racing or any other form of competition/sport where cash flows like rivers.

    3. hypocrisy? Not that old chestnut.

      Hypocrisy because motor-sports, and particularly F1 always has had and always will have team orders.

      So, it’s quite alright to brake the sporting code then is it?

      What I want to know is if they lied to the stewards or not, because they certainly did to the press after the race.

      1. There’s the code. And then there are rules which are so stupid that they are unrealistic. At that point people ignore them.

        I am happy for them to either enforce the rule in every case, ignore it completely, or get rid of the rule.

        Makes no difference to me, as long as they do it consistently.
        In the last few years the FIA, and the WMSC have shown themselves to be almost as disorganised as Ferrari’s team strategy generally is.

    4. There have only been 3 cases of drivers letting the other past for the WDC points:
      1) Massa being passed by Raikkonen in Interlagos 2007
      2) Raikkonen letting Massa past in China 2008
      3) Massa ordered to let Alonso past in Hockenheim 2010

      1. 4) Barrichello ordered to let Schumacher pass in Austria 2001
        5) Ditto in in 2002
        6) Escapes my memory which exact race, but there was one where Barrichello or Irvine was a few places ahead and they dropped him back to give Schumacher 1 more point

        I suppose you can counter with Germany 2008, in which the “favoured driver” passed 2 other cars and the other guy passed none. Wait, that wasn’t a “there’s no point, so don’t crash” order, was it?

        1. 6) For all you actually remember, they could have simply suffered a mechanical issue or some sort.

          Patrickl must have meant after the team orders ban anyway.

          1. Yeah sorry, during the period that the ban on such orders was in place.

      2. What about when Hekki let Lewis past?

      3. WHAT? Schumi on Barrichello? Does this not ring a bell for what was maybe the most famous of them all?

        One could also argue that Hamilton’s pass on KOV a couple years ago on his charge back to the front was a team decision because HAM was faster and didn’t need KOV holding him up. He went on to win the race, if I recall after passing what…Massa and Piquet as well?

        1. The Kov situation is clearly different, Hamilton was clearly faster and there is a point where ruining Hamilton’s race wasn’t worth it for Kovalainen.

          In this instance, Massa clearly had been able to keep Alonso behind and clearly was on a similar level of pace, Also, 2nd would not have been a disaster for Alonso by any means.

        2. He was referring to after the team orders ban.

        3. The situation on track be as different as you like. At the end of the day teams orders are team orders are team orders. You cant say “but lewis was much faster” because it makes absolutely no difference.

          1. It does matter. You cannot penalize every change of position between two team members.

            Massa never intended to let Alonso past. Only when he was told to do so did he let him past.

      4. Heidfeld being passed by Kubica in Canada 08

      5. Selective memory?

  5. Far too soft that’s my words! They made us wait so long for no reason, PR!!!!

  6. I got a feeling that in this month’s Jean Todt Poll he’ll take some serious criticism (although he is not the one who took the decision). I, personally, am happy with this since I’m a Ferrari fan. Yet i think they should’ve done a little bit more than just a fine.

  7. Good to see that the Ferrari International Assistance is still very much alive and kicking!!! A very weak decision from the FIA IMO

    1. Yeah weak, very weak. My prefered would have been docking constuctors, that at least would have sent a message. The majority of fans felt cheated, and feel the rule needs improving not crushing. I hope that at least is what comes from this. Team orders are back on then it seems, Renault and Ferrari will be using them without doubt from this point on, an very probably next year.

      I wish they’d taken the constructors, it would have left Alonso with a chance and sent a message, or a suspended ban that would have crushed all further team orders and basically left Ferrari alone.

      I don’t feel it’s a return to Ferrari Internacionale though, the revamped FIA has made mostly the right decisions and Todt was probably right to stand back on this one. He’d probably have gone harsher, the rest of the FIA is weak, weak, weak though, they’ve been walked all over by Mosley and there used to letting teams ride loose if the president doesn’t lead them otherwise, I can’t belive they couldn’t raise the backbone to clear up a long established, supported and abused rule.

      I’m so disapointed by this, FIA must now confirm and establish better team orders rule, it’s not a technical issue and the fans don’t want to see it, the argument the fans don’t really know best has no relavance is such a case, this a veiwers preferance rule and the veiwers don’t want team orders.

      Now the FIA has spectacularly failed to lay down the law, it must find a way to improve the rule, make it enforcable and above all keep it in the sport. No one but the teams want it back, an if they want us they need to give us this one, a return to the dark old days is not in the interests of the sport.

      1. What makes you think the Majority of the fans feel cheated?

        1. Lots of fan poles on this hur intarweb.



    Atleast a hefty sum of money, pathetic!!!

    1. Very original Daniel, very original

      1. No need to be original if he’s right though eh Christian? pathetic is the best word indeed to describe this decision

        1. He needs to be original if he’s not going to sound like the sort of unknowledgable, casual fan who reads the headline and posts exaggurated responses in block capitals.

          I am not saying Daniel is, but that’s the impression his post leaves.

    2. @ David: I like! well said!

      1. No, no, no. His name is Daniel.

        1. oops! Sorry sorry! :-D
          Daniel, well said! :-D I like!

  9. A very weak decision. A penalty of US$ 100,000 means nothing for a Formula 1 team.

    1. I think that depends on which tea we are talking about. Obviously a $100,000 fine would hurt the new teams.

      1. I’m sure $100 million would.

        1. True, but none of the teams ever got a 100 miilion fine ;)

          And no, McLaren never had to pay that amount

  10. in an ideal world, they would have given Massa the win. Alas, it’s not an ideal world and it’s probably not feasible.

    1. How can they give Massa the win?

      He’s the one guilty of following team orders and letting his team mate past.

      Far too lenient imo.

      1. and get kick out of his job if he didnt let alonso through. yeah ok.

        1. He should be fired for making it obvious.

    2. In an ideal word:

      What we know for sure, from this incident, is that Massa let Alonso pass. So based on this visual and recorder evidence the first person who should be interrogated (within the jurisdictional rights of WMSC and FIA) is Massa himself. If Massa is found to be guilty of purposely changing the outcome of the race, then his license should be revoked. Unless Massa himself gives a statement against Ferrari. If the statement includes that Ferrari gave him the order, then and only then can Ferrari team be held 100% accountable.

      Although we know exactly what happened (and we all hate what happened including me) there is no clear evidence to prove it and possibly why this turned out to be a weak decision. As sad as it sounds, pasting words between Massa and his engineer (“sorry”, “good luck” and all that) and Alonso with the team, does not give sufficient evidence of team order.

      These things happen all the time, even outside of F1 in real world. Rapists and murderers get away with crime every single day because rules get twisted and because “you are innocent until proven guilty” applies. To prove something without a shadow of a doubt is no easy task.

      1. “To prove something without a shadow of a doubt is no easy task.”

        Unless there is an admission of guilt.

        As far as I am aware, Ferarri did not challenge/appeal the stewards decision. They chose not to contest the “conviction”. In my mind, that is an admission of guilt and, as the fine stands, they are officially “guilty” of issuing team orders.

  11. Further damage to Formula one credibility

    1. there isnt any credibility left :)

  12. Far too soft. That almost condones cheating, and invites more.

    It must also mean the end of the road for the rule banning team orders and, effectively, bringing them back into the sport.

  13. Will be interesting to see what the next Todt Approval Rating will be on here, I suspect a quite enlargened dip…

    1. There seems to be a fair amount of Ferrari supporters on the site as well as people who felt the deserved to be punished. So I suspect it won’t be a dip so much as a divisive moment where there will be fewer “no opinion” votes.

      1. But there were a lot of Ferrari supporters who also thought this should not go unpunished.

        1. Very true. We’ll just have to wait and see, since speculating is kinda fruitless.

  14. Jelle van der Meer
    8th September 2010, 17:26

    A #$*^*&^@ disgrace for the F1 sport and enforcing of set rules.
    They might as well have stricken team order rule at same time if they do not plan to enforce it.

    I REALLY REALLY hope Alonso does not win championship this year with less than 7 points difference.

    1. It appears as if striking the team orders is exactly what is going to transpire.

    2. So, you hope Alonso win championship this year with more than 7 points difference..

      1. Jelle van der Meer
        9th September 2010, 0:13

        No absolutely not, Alonso for long time already is WAY WAY down the list of drivers I like, looking at season performance it should be Webber or Hamilton.

        Al that I say is that just in case Alonso would win, I hope it is with more than 7 points to avoid all the discussions, like Massa crying he lost 2008 championship because of Piquet.

  15. That is the right decision in my opinion. Considering teams get away with team orders all the time. What the FIA need to do is to rewrite rule 39.1 to make it more clear on what’s acceptable and what is not.

    1. The fact teams do it is fair enough, but how many get found guilty? If the rule is there and it is broken then there should be a big punishemnt.

      The fact ‘everyone else does it’ doesnt hold up in court so why should it in this case? Its almost a childish reason, you know the rules so either stick to them or dont be stupid enough to get caught.

      Another ridiculous desicion that puts the sport into more disripute than Ferrari originally did

      1. This whole saga only ended up in court because their was a big outcry from the fans and media. If they didn’t complain, we wouldn’t be discussing this.

        1. So its wrong that the fans concerns were heard?

          I agree that if the fans werent so disgusted than no action would have been taken but the fact action was taken was a great step by the FIA. They just did have the balls to follow through.

          Whether we would have been discussing this or not is not important, the fact is if you find someone guilty of breaking a law you punish them otherwie you’re left with egg on your face.

      2. everyone does do it. It was the fact that ferrari (massa & smedley) made it so obvious. turkey comes to mind for other teams that may have done it but because it was subtle no one really noticed

    2. While I still think this is a lost oppourtunity to lay down the law on the rule, which became unenforcable only because the FIA let it. Now the WMSC has made this useless descion the FIA must improve the law.

      An the law must stay team orders must be banned, they damage the intergrity of F1 as a sporting contest. This is a fans preferance law and the fans hate team orders.

    3. Someone from the BBC put on their twitter page that the FIA are going to discuss the team order rule. I don’t know how they know that already, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were going to look at it and I’m hoping they do. There’s no way they can fully enforce the ban on team orders though for various reasons.

  16. i’m a ferrari fan, i consider the punishment slightly soft, maybe they could cut part of their points or give ’em a grid penalty, but not much more.

  17. I feared this would happen. I’m not a Ferrari fan. But this forum will now become bursting to the brim with casual, headline-interested-only F1 fans screaming “Ferrari International Assistance” this and “scam outcome” here, when the only examples of team orders they know are probably this one and the infamous example from Austria 2002 (and actually, more of the $1m fine for that was for the podium debacle…)

    There was no feasible way you could do something ground-breaking as a punishment, as some of the wiser heads have dared say already, this would mean about 15 races since the 2002 example would need to be vigorously investigated.

    Ferrari have simply carried out something that all teams have done, and will continue to do, poorly, making fools of themselves in the process.

    Ideally, I think a heftier fine would have just made good measure for the the lack subtleness, but ultimately I hope this culminates in the ridding of rule 39.1

    1. Disagree, the but look what happend in the past argument is an unhelpfull way of looking at the problem.

      Partly because the generall bad governance of the Mosley era ment madly inefficient, inconcistant and poor application of the rules was routine, an partly because it’s not about what happened in the past but about how f1 wants to be in the future.

      So the team orders rule hasn’t been well enforced, lets not agonise over past infractions that can’t be changed, lets look at what can be done now and change that, lets have a proper ban on team orders, lets make the bounderies and punishments clear.

      Team orders are bad for F1 in the modern world, they make a mockery of the sporting contest, they anger the fans like little else, rule 39.1 needs improving, getting rid of it would mean a return to the bad old days. Part of the reason for the fun we’ve had this year is te top teams now need to top drivers to win both championships, hence the number of drivers competing for the titles, back to one driver teams an we could face the Schumacher era all over again, team orders must stay banned.

      1. Exactly, just the same as doping is a traditional part of cycling and buying the referee is pretty much business as usual in Football does not mean it should not be stopped.

        Todt has started to make the FIA work like a governing body instead of just a Max power organisation. This is an opportunity lost to start enforcing the rules with punishments fitting the crime instead of just politics defining the penalty regardless of the actual crime (compare Renault and McLaren spying cases)

  18. Team orders have been part of F1 for years, and it’s hard to stop that.

    But if you do it as a team, make sure it’s NOT too obvious that you’re doing it. It really, really damages the sport for the fans, sponsors and viewers worldwide!

    Afterwards, Massa could have better ‘braked too late’ in a corner so he would slide off the racing line for a few seconds…

  19. It’s simple. If they are guilty then they lied to the stewards and need to be punished as McLaren were for Oz last year. If not then the fine would have been withdrawn.

    The WMSC needs to grow a number of pairs…

    1. Indeed. The minimum penalkty would have been what McLaren got in oz.

  20. The FIA Ferrari Performance Enhancements Price List 2010

    1.1 Allowed to break “No team orders” rule. Cost: $100,000

    1.2 Allowed to start race from 2 metres beyond grid slot. Cost: Free

    1.3 Allowed flexible front wing. Cost: Free

    Please feel free to add to the list…

    1. 1.4 Getting away with all of it and having tons of free PR. Priceless.

      There are some things Ferrari can’t buy. For everything else, they’ve got MasterCard.

      – Too tempting

  21. very much expected… after all in a couple of days there is the Italian GP and further sanctions against the beloved Ferrari would have had a negative impact on gate money.

    .. having said that, I think that F1 needs much clearer rules

  22. So basically you can corrupt the result of a race, virtually ruin one of your driver’s chances for the title, a driver who has been with the team since 2003 over someone who has just joined, insult the intelligence of the fans by doing this, lie about it, and most importantly, break the rules, and get away with it?
    You know, I always found the whole ‘ferrari international assistance’ thing a bit stupid and annoying but now I think i’ve changed my mind. Oh, and whoever voted ‘far too harsh’ on the poll obviously has a zany sense of humour…(sarcasm)

  23. how in the earth ppl were asking more punishment?
    how could you expect no team orders in f1?
    they invest 800 million dollars and some puppet like massa and his engineer be cocky and ruin it?
    the last time I checked they are on ferrari payroll and the reason that they are there is because they are expected to behave according to team interests not because they think they are unreplacable when there are plenty of others to replace them. The way they carried it was disgusting like they were working for maclaren not for ferrari

    1. “how could you expect no team orders in f1?”

      Erm… because they are against the rules?

      I agree that team orders have been part of F1 as long as I can remember, but you should be able to expect teams not to break the rules.

      1. the only ferrari wrong doing was doing them a little too honestly
        should they pay for they honesty.

        1. I don’t think they were “honest” about it. If they’d been honest they’d have told Massa something like what they told Barrichello at Austria – “let Alonso past for the championship”, something like that.

        2. “the only ferrari wrong doing was doing them a little too honestly”

          No, the only Ferrari wrong doing was BREAKING THE RULES!

          Added to which there was no honesty. They have spent every moment since the incident denying that there were any team orders.

    2. “they invest 800 million dollars and some puppet like massa and his engineer be cocky and ruin it?”

      Jeez. This is an objective post.

  24. I was expecting something like 1.000.000 fine. That would be fairer (if we consider Ferrari’s budget), show desaproval and wouldn’t change points already given to pilots.

  25. I can see peoples’ points about team orders always having been part of F1.

    BUT they are against the rules. It is like saying “people have always stolen”. You are right, they have, but it is against the law and should be punished.

    This has been the first BLATANT use of team orders. I guess the possible reasoning behind it is that there wasn’t sufficient evidence that it was a team order rather than a driver decision by Massa, but if that was the case the fine should have been overturned.

    I would like to hear the FIA reasoning behind this decision, but in my opinion it is a poor one. It appears to basically nullify the rule, as a $100k fine is a slap on the wrist. If the rule is to stay, it needs enforcing, and a harsh punishment was needed.

    I will wait for the FIA to give some justification, but it will need to be a good one to allow them to keep some credibility in this case…

  26. It pays to break the rules. $100K, the price to fix a race. Cheap. I can’t take F1 seriously anymore. Hulk Hogan for president.

    1. And a lot of Ferrari fans complained Lewis got of cheaply with a fine in Montreal. What would the same people say about this!

  27. They did the switch and got away with it? We all know it WILL happen again, although I don’t think they would do it in the opening race. Time will tell.

    As for the punishment, they should have received a multi-million dollar fine, lose the 43 points (or even all) from the constructors’ championship, and not be allowed to score constructors’ points for the rest of the year.

    1. Also I think this has something to do with Todt being their former president.

  28. Methinks Todt’s approval rating my take a turn for the worse.

    1. It definitely will, no question about it.

      1) Ferrari getting away with team orders

      2) FIA haven’t said whether the Korea GP is definitely going ahead yet, with 46 days to the race (not sure if anyone else has though about this one).

      1. Don’t forget the handing out of the 13th spot. First delayed beyond a point where it was impossible to actually get funds, as everyone knew no team would have a car capable of making the 107% rule and then letting us wait another week or two before just cancelling it.
        Why not say up front, that they would want to give it some time and let somebody in for 2012 or 13 (with the new rules).

  29. will that mean team orders can now be heared from all the teams.

  30. Pathetic! What is the point in no team oders rule. stewards already found them guilty. therefor they lied to stewards too. Far worse than austria 2002 as at least then it wasnt against the rules!!! I will not watch Italian GP and see Alonso gloating. Massa you should quit Ferrari with some digity!

  31. I thought something like this would be the most likely outcome, although I wouldn’t have been surprised if the fine had increased or some sort of suspended sentence had been handed out.

    I don’t think any punishment such as docking points or a ban was ever likely to happen.

    If Ferrari had been given a big penalty I would have thought they could have successfully appealed the decision.

    They could say that when they told Massa that Alonso was faster than him they were just keeping Massa informed of what was happening in the race just as they would do if it was any other driver behind him who was quicker, and that it was Massa’s decision to let Alonso through.

    1. “They could say that when they told Massa that Alonso was faster than him they were just keeping Massa informed of what was happening in the race just as they would do if it was any other driver behind him who was quicker, and that it was Massa’s decision to let Alonso through.”

      Well, why were they fined at all then?

      1. Because the FIA are a law unto themselves and don’t have to prove anything to impose sanctions. Simple.

  32. If you aren’t going to enforce the rule with any serious form of punishment, you might as well not have the rule.

    Letting them off with no further punishment shows that the WMSC is a toothless tiger. Now it’s essentially given teams carte blanche to use team orders to adjust the result, and if they get caught, the punishment cannot be any more or less than what Ferrari received without showing obvious signs of bias.

    1. I’m really hoping that Red Bull and McLaren come on the radio and say such things. Unfortunately, the chances of it being broadcast by FOM are minimal.

  33. What I hate most about the FIA is how inconsistent they are.

    In 2002 team orders was allowed, yet Ferrari received a $1million fine. 2010 team orders is clearly against the rules and Ferrari receive only a $100k fine.

    Go figure…

    1. The fine was because Schumi & Barri exchanged positions in the podium, wich is against the protocol

  34. Charles Carroll
    8th September 2010, 17:51

    The effort to make auto racing into some sort of a team sport is at the heart of what is wrong. Ferrari’s actions are just a symptom of a larger problem.

    The two cars on a team are not really on a team nor are they competing. The second car’s only purpose is to prop up the lead car, run defense for it, and finish races when it fails to.

    Get rid of two car teams. One car, one driver, one team.

    1. F1 is a team sport in 2 ways:
      1) The constructor develops the car for both drivers as a team
      2) The driver has a team around him for pit stops, strategy etc, which is separate from that of his “team mate”.

      When it comes to the race, it is not a team sport involving 2 drivers, it is a team sport involving individual drivers and their “team”.

      OK reading that back it may not be very clear, but I hope people get the gist.

      1. Charles Carroll
        8th September 2010, 18:10

        Point #1 has been shown to really mean:

        “A constructor develops the car for both drivers, but one receives all preferential treatments, parts, instruction, and support while the other driver is there to make sure the lead wins.”

        Point #2 has been shown to really mean:

        “The lead driver receives the best that the pit crew has to offer as well as time preference over the other driver, who is more of a nuisance unless he is helping the lead driver win.”

        There is no “team”.

        One driver. One car. One team. And that is how it should be.

        1. I agree. For cost purposes, allow some limited chassis sharing so there aren’t 24 sets of engineers designing 24 distinct cars. But one car per team would be the only way around the farce that is team orders. Every driver should be able to drive with team assistance, but without team interference.

          1. Charles Carroll
            8th September 2010, 20:41

            “Every driver should be able to drive with team assistance, but without team interference”

            I like that!

  35. The WMSC are simply pathetic.

  36. Ferrari’s defense was that Massa elected to let Alonso by on his own decision.

    I feel that no additional “punishment” was warranted, a clear message was sent to all the teams; be discreet in how you manage your race results.

    After all it was 1-2 for Ferrari, let the team have some control over the finishing order if it helps in their driver’s championship chase.

    1. “After all it was 1-2 for Ferrari, let the team have some control over the finishing order if it helps in their driver’s championship chase.”

      Totally agree. But that is for a different debate – whether to have the rule or not. This about what has happened with the rule in place.

      That’s why all that hypocrisy rubbish about Lauda was so misguided – there were no team order rules back then!

      1. To be honest, in case Alonso does manage to win this WDC, and the difference will be 7 points or less, I will feel almost as bad with it as when Ferrari celebrated having their win in the WCC championship after McLaren was stripped of all constructor points in 2007.
        A hollow victory and no reason to celebrate.

    2. I disagree.

      If it was Massa’s decision alone, it was not team orders and the fine should be overturned.

      If the fine stands, they have been found guilty of team orders and the punishment should be harsher.

    3. If Massa is even half the race driver he should be, he should never yield to anyone on the circuit unless a marshall is waving a blue flag at him.

      If F1 drivers are highly competetive, selfish, victory-driven atheletes, the suggestion that any one of them would yield ‘for the good of the team’ is complete rubbish.

      Let’s face it folks, we’re watching a sport where some economist manager person on pit wall is allowed the manipulate the outcome of a race ad go virtually unpunished.

      F1 and figure skating have more in common that any of us are comfortable enough to admit.

  37. As I said earlier, it was too late to alter the race outcome, but I think a MUCH HEAVIER fine should have been imposed, along with a reprimand stating clearly that this is the last time this will be tolerated, and a rule clarification to make enforcement possible in future attempts to violate it.

  38. What do you expect with ex-Ferrari head honcho Todt at the FIA? He’s not going to screw his old team.

  39. Just what I thought. and the reason I think that it came to this is that it was too hard to judge. A point reduction or ban would have been more punishment than there was evidence. Basically, after Massa made it obvious, he kept his mouth shut and there was no was to PROVE that it was in-race team orders….

  40. “puts on his ********* helmet and ducks for cover”

    It wasn’t that hard to predict that Ferrari would “get away” with the stunt they pulled.


  41. If this was McLaren they would have been penalized all points earned and 50 million pounds.
    fairness? NO.

    1. Mclaren did something worse they had data of other cars.

      1. And yet, as the fine stands, they have been found guilty of team orders. Hence they lied to the stewards.

        Can anyone remember an incident of lying to the stewards being punished more severely than this?

        1. Yes I can, in spygate McLaren was not punished initially. When it was discovered they had been lying: £100 mill fine. and …..well we all know the rest……

  42. Was spygate really 1000 times (yes that’s one thousand times) worse than this?

    That shows how ridiculous the FIA really are.

    1. Charles Carroll
      8th September 2010, 18:12

      I don’t know. For me, this charade by Ferrari took excitement out of the race.

      I only watch F1 because its entertaining. Its only entertaining if the drivers actually compete with one another. When someone deliberately fixes a race, it takes competition and entertainment right out and I change the channel.

      So, not that I give a care about McLaren, but this whole thing bothered me much more.

    2. Listen you need to understand Mclaren at that time had a clear advantage in a wrong way. Yes Ferrari did break the rules but they spend millions every year to win the championship as well do Mclaren. So I think that all teams have the right to do whats best for the team.

      I am sorry but would you really be angry if Mclaren used team orders here?? And got away

      1. Charles Carroll
        8th September 2010, 18:16

        Of course. I don’t care if it was bizarro world and the Yam was leading Senna at the time. Regardless of the team and the drivers, it made the sport seem about as legitimate as professional wrestling.

      2. Yes totally.

        I was completely in agreement with McLaren getting DSQ from Aussie 2009, as probably were most McLaren supporters.

        1. Same, huge lewis fan, but he messed up badly and deserved DSQ.And the main problem with all of this is that Ferrari BLATANTLY broke a rule, which, contrary to most things in f1, is pretty clear. In most sports, if you break a rule, you are punished, regardless of how impractical the rule might be.

  43. “Hello? Is that Ferrari International Assistance?”

    Shambolic. I don’t care whether they’re looking at changing a rule, the sport is governed by the rules that are in force at the time. What will they choose to conveniently ignore this coming weekend in order to please the tifosi?

    1. lol, i’m sorry but i love that intro!
      100% agree!

  44. Im disgusted by this!
    No further penalty means that they have gotten away with breaking the rules, and now every team down the pitlane will be doing this soon! Im not deniying the fact that it hasnt happened before, i know team orders have been around for ages. The FIA needed to make an example of Ferrari today and they have failed and let down the sport and the fans. Ferrari needed and need to be punished for what they did, The FIA made a great example of Mclaren in ’07, they got caught and paid the price, £100 million fine and stripped of all points, that was a hefty punishment, everyone took notice and thought, “christ we better not try anything like that” has anyone done that since? no, but to let ferrari get away with this its criminal, now they know they can get away with it, they WILL do it again! Im not saying ferrari deserved a punishment as big as mclaren got, but they needed to be punished as a warning to the other teams, an increase to the fine, stripped of the points from Hockenhiem and a suspended race ban would have been appropriate…
    but no further punishment, the FIA have just stuck a middle finger up to all of the fans!
    I hope your happy Fernando Alonso you spoilt whinging little brat!

  45. No Further Punishment!
    Ridiculous, They Should Have Been Stripped Of The Result, Simple.
    If Rule 39.1 No Longer Stands as of next year I am Forgetting The Sport Because What Racing Remains Will Be Stripped along With That Rule.
    An Absolute Disgrace.

  46. Now that´s over, FIA should ban this rule that only brings controversy to our sport.

    1. No the rule ain’t what brings the controversy, that would be the team orders. Think, if there hadn’t been a rule banning team orders, would this race have been any less controversial, answer of course not.

      1. The problem is that, all this will happens again, with Ferrari, most certainly, but not this year, but can happens still with the others, and then what ????
        We will be here discuss the same all over again and again.( not that i don´t like ).
        This has to stop.

        1. How about introduce some harsh penalties? That would stop it as well, getting rid of the rule isn’t the only option.

          I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t see it again and again if they got their points taken off them and a more meaningful fine

    2. Charles Carroll
      8th September 2010, 18:22

      Let us ban all rules in the sport. I am positive that will solve everything.

      While we’re on the topic, I’ve always enjoyed driving blind drunk, naked, and in reverse on busy highways. I believe laws that ban such behavior are controvesial and difficult to enforce (since I am an excellent drunk and naked driver), and henceforth shall be banned.

    3. Ferrari had the biggest laugh on F1’s behalf, precisely by taking the “sport” part out of the equation. That’s what brought the controversy. Regardless of there being a rule or not F1 fans won’t put down with being treated like idiots as was proven in 2002 already. Just a little something for you to think about…

    4. There was plenty of controversy at Austria in 2002 without the rule.

      What offends people isn’t the rule, it’s the sight of one driver being ordered to give up his championship chances for his team mate.

      Not only that, but seeing the championship devalued when it is won by drivers whose team mates are forced to support them instead of being allowed to compete for the championship themselves.

    5. The controversy existed (Austria 2002) before the rule was created. The rule exists because of the controversy. They need to clarify and amend the rule so that ‘our sport’ remains a sport… so that it doesn’t simply become ‘sports entertainment’ like the WWE.

  47. I guess Ferrari haters won’t be happy until the fine is so big, or a points deduction costs them so much prize money at the end of the year, that the top brass start laying off innocent employees to ensure that their Christmas bonus isn’t affected.

    1. Yes say if Mclaren did something like this no one would be saying anything

      1. Charles Carroll
        8th September 2010, 18:28

        Again, if this were the Yam and Senna with Horrible Racing Team (HRT), we would all feel the same way.

        I would watch this sport if neither McLaren nor Ferrari were in it, provided the racing was good.

    2. Yes, non-Ferrari fans lie awake at night in fury that the Maranello factory janitors have not been turned on the street with two-weeks’s severance—because as we know FIAT hasn’t got two nickels to rub together and would shut down the F1 factory for want of 1/3rd the MSRP of the cheapest Ferrari. Give me a break.

      Besides, everyone knows it is legally forbidden to fire anyone in Italy.

      1. I wasn’t suggesting $100,000 would set them back very far… I was saying the frothing-at-the-mouth Ferrari haters wouldn’t be happy until the penalty was big enough that they did.

        It’s amazing how much more fulfilling an experience this can be when you actually read comments instead of just skimming them.

  48. Its a shame, but there’s no evidence of a direct order being given for Massa to move over. Without evidence you can’t give a punishment. The intent of the “Fernando is faster than you” message is crystal clear, but unfortunately you can’t punish for intent.

    They should just throw out article 39.1 or change it or something, because as it is its unenforceable. Teams will always find a way to get around it.

    1. “there’s no evidence of a direct order being given for Massa to move over. Without evidence you can’t give a punishment.”

      Yet another reason this result perplexes me. If there is no evidence, why have they been punished? $100k is a slap on the wrist, but still a punishment, which implies there was enough evidence to “convict”.

      1. This is the most confusing aspect at the moment. Hopefully the reasoning for the decision will be published soon and go some way towards explaining it.

        1. Fingers crossed… I’ll be keeping an eye on this site (while I should really be working…)

        2. I suspect that the reason behind the WMSC decision is that there was simply no proof that team orders had been issued by Ferrari.
          But whatever the reasoning of the WMSC, the fine levied by the stewards would stand because Ferrari chose not to appeal it. The WMSC meeting was about further punishment as referred to them by the stewards.

          1. Still they might have handed a million EUR fine for bringing the sport in disrepute. That is something very easy to prove when looking at any poll on any motorsport site in the world.

  49. Where’s that list of who is on the WSMC? Lets contact them all individually and ask them what justifies not making any decision at all on this?

  50. Not particulary in favor of team orders, but something you can not police properly, you have to leave it open.

    It has been in F1 since long time ago and there’s no way you can control…
    Any team can adopt a simple “how’s your oil pressure?” sentence to mean “let your team mate pass you” and nobody will know…

  51. rob from inverness
    8th September 2010, 18:28

    For folk like me who have watched Grand Prix races for decades, I have never had a problem with team orders. It is a natural part of racing for a team of up to a thousand people, focused one winning this race or that WDC.Look at Tour de France bike racing for similar organisation. Two things have changed. The first is the present rule which was a knee jerk reaction to the ugly sight of Barri. ceding his lead to Schumacher. There is a legal axiom that “sad cases make bad laws.” In other words, introducing a new law in reaction to a nasty case
    often looks ill thought out in the long term. So it has been in F1. The natural requirements have re-appeared in ” go into fuel saving mode” etc etc. Time for the FIA to get real. For the second change, I risk sounding snobbish but here goes. While the British F1 fan is better informed than any other in the world, there has arrived a new type of fan, probably more used to football. This new fan has a limited mentality, as evidenced by the “fan-boy” internet traffic, and is ill equipped to understand the subtlety of F1. In their wake has arrived the daily newspapers who have ignored Grand Prix racing for decades. Their F1 correspondents stay with F1 for a few years before being moved off to football or cricket. The new “fan boy” audience feed off the red-top journalists. ( I have to include the “I want overtaking every lap”constituency in this new audience) Let’s hope that the Ferrari Scandal gets things back into a proper perspective. Let’s hope that the 2002 race orders rule gets kicked into the long grass at the edge of the race track.

    1. Charles Carroll
      8th September 2010, 18:31

      Well, as much as you may not like new fans like myself who want to see fair competition and lots of overtaking, we’re not going anywhere yet.

      That, and you and Formula One depend on us for money and the existence of the sport.

      If F1 wants to keep only its cult of aging and elderly fans who care not for rules, overtaking, and excitement, it will not last much longer with those same fans occupying space in local cemeteries.

    2. Thank you finally someone who is not biased Thank You Rob from Inverness

      1. Charles Carroll
        8th September 2010, 18:33

        Said Faraz, the Ferrari Guy.

        C’mon man. Save us the “bias” talk. How much red is in your closet?

        1. LoL Im a Mark Webber fan I just feel a lot of us British fans here are hating Ferrari because they are Mclaren fans they are not being logical. You hear our commentators all the time when do they ever say anything bad about Lewis or Jenson or Mclaren? Are they perfect? But they are quick to criticise other teams and drivers. See biased. :)

          1. Charles Carroll
            8th September 2010, 20:43

            Ah, a “Weebs” fan. Carry on then.

        2. I, like you, am a F1 fan ( old one )and i miss the excitment and overtaking in this sport of older years, that´s why i watch other racing series, you should too, try watch Nascar, it´s a lot of excitment and overtaking
          and less politics.
          But if you only like open wheels try indy, it´s fun too.

    3. It is a natural part of racing for a team of up to a thousand people, focused one winning this race or that WDC.Look at Tour de France bike racing for similar organisation.

      The last place F1 should be looking for inspiration is that contest, forever tainted by association with another form of cheating.

      Teams have the constructors’ championship to win. Drivers have the drivers’ championship. And teams should not be interfering in the drivers’ championship.

      I’ve also been watching F1 for decades by the way. I respect its history.

      But I respect sporting principles as well. Which is why I think ‘team orders’ as a by-word for ‘race fixing’ should not be allowed.

      1. Maybe we should look at bycicle racing, i.e. Tour the France Keith.
        In the last few years the organizers have gone to any lenghts of trouble to crush down any suspicion of drug use.

        Todt’s FIA changes were looking hopefull for improving the governance of F1 as well, only to stop here! Look at the Tour organisers Todt, and don’t stop with enforcing the rules to the best interest of the sport, not any single team.

      2. “Teams have the constructors’ championship to win”

        But the teams care more about the drivers’ championship. Does Ferrari winning the 2008 constructors’ trophy make up at all for losing the drivers championship at the last corner for Ferrari or its fans? I seriously doubt it.

        Sometimes I wonder if teams should just run one car and one driver. It would save money for the teams and save fans from the grief of team orders.

      3. It’s interesting that you see ‘team orders’ as ‘race fixing’.

        I see it as strategy. It may not go the way the fans want, or the way individual fans of individual drivers want. But it is a reality of the sport, and will never ever go away.

        Trying to ban team orders in F1 is like trying to make prostitution or religion illegal.

        1. I don’t want to get into quibbling over semantics, but it literally is “race fixing”. One driver is in the lead, the team tells him to pull over and let someone else win. That is fixing the result of a race.

          1. I can see your point. And was merely intrigued that you see it that way.

            Sure in its worst form it could be used to manipulate the result of a race. Perhaps even to the extent that a lower order team may be bribed to run interference, or a number 2 could be used to “take out” a team’s rival.

            But the problem is it seemed very legitimate to me on both occasions that Massa and Kimi swapped places in recent years. The racer, the fan, and the purist in me wanted to see them fight it out, on both occasions – despite my leanings towards Kimi.

            In a perfect world perhaps we shouldn’t have team orders. But I don’t see it as race fixing in the way that cricket has recently been ensnared.

            I see it as an extension of team strategy. A much needed point can on occasion (if the right situation comes into play) be shuffled around inside a team to benefit them against other teams. That is all part of the surreal and wonderful multifaceted mix of all the different aspects of F1 IMHO.

            For the record, in my own racing career I have both received and given away places, and compromised my strategies to benefit the team, myself and my teammates. And on some of those occasions the race craft involved was comparable to that of some of my hardest won races.

          2. Drivers cannot win the WDC without the team.
            Teams cannot win the WCC without drivers.
            The two are inextricably intertwined and cannot be separated.

            A team invests hundreds of millions of dollars annually in cars, organization and drivers. A driver invests his talent, experience, title hopes and life (fortunately, more and more rarely nowadays) and limbs in a team. The one difference in the equation is that the team pays the driver who is a part of the team. The driver signs a contract with a team that neither you nor I are privy to, we do not know what Massa agreed to do for his reported $17.5 million annual salary but if he did not like the terms he could have gone elsewhere, perhaps for less money. I am pretty sure that there would be a clause in it (and Smedley’s) about bringing Ferrari into disrepute, which they have plainly done.

          3. And how are you going to fix that problem.
            It can´t be donne.
            What happened in Germany was a well donne strategy with a bad character ( Massa ).
            What happened in Austria 2002 was race fixing with a bad character ( Jean Todt ).

            I´m more worried about what will happen in the future, seems like were´re going to watch more of this with good or bad characters, and we will be here to witness and discuss.

      4. Keith, you have nailed it.

        And let’s not let history get in the way of progress. Historically present or not, team orders are a wart on the face of fair competition. Team orders are a distortion of the truth, where truth is ‘may the race be won by quickest and most capable driver in the quickest and best engineered car’.

        Anything less than an expression of that truth falls short of a fair sporting competition. And the opposite of fair is ugly…

    4. I’m a relatively new fan. Being only 28, I wasn’t old enough to appreciate F1 until the mid 90’s.

      Personally, I could never be called a “fan boy”. I don’t support any driver or team in particular, although I enjoy watching Lewis racing. A bit more overtaking would be welcome, but it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all.

      What counts for me are 2 things.
      1) The technical developments. I’m an engineer and love following the team’s work on the car, even though most of it is beyond my limited understanding of aerodynamics.
      2) Seeing an good race. This doesn’t mean it has to be wheel to wheel every lap, but there should be a few good spatterings of action throughout the field.

      What ruins a race is the thought that the race has been fixed. This incident was one of those times.

      1. Charles Carroll
        8th September 2010, 20:44

        I agree, Doc, especially on point #2 and the following statement.

  52. Anyone else noted that the BBC have just pasted a long section of yesterday’s article onto their ‘new’ article about the ruling? Poor show Auntie, they haven’t even changed it into past tense!

    1. That’s because the Beeb, like a lot of traditional media, are trying to keep up with the likes of Keith – and losing. They’re slower, and less interesting. For long term analysis a couple of days after the event, they’re excellent.

      1. Well said, Keith rocks!

    2. It’s called collating information. If someone wants to find out about it in a year’s time they can go to one story and see the premise and the aftermath all in the one place.

      It’s a far better solution than having to find multiple archived articles to get a full picture of what happened.

      1. It’s just that they left one or two sentences in the past tense, but I see your point.

  53. This is an appalling and cowardly decision. Absolutely gutless. Spineless. At the time and place this blatant action occurred the rules were clear and unambiguous.
    They may well be altered later, but at that time, in that place Ferrari conducted a fraudulent exercise in pure cynicism and they got away with it.

  54. Ferrari International Assistance is no more. Yes, they’re unpunished, but look at what has happened to them this season. Valencia, Silverstone anyone?

    1. Talking of Silverstone, I’ve just been watching it and was surprised to see, on around lap 40, Massa over cook it (Piquet style – without hitting a wall) alowing his team mate through. Now if that’d happened after Hockenheim…..

  55. Whichever side of the team orders debate you’re on the result of this ruling is to make the team orders rule completely untenable and I fully expect them now to repeal it. It seems unless Ferrari had actually said “let Fernando past for the championship” the evidence is insufficent to punish them.

    Personally I think its better that way. Perhaps the rule should be dropped but teams have to be public about any team orders that way people will perhpas understand the team nature of the sport a bit better. If teams are being too unsporting them fans and sponsors will vote with their feet.

  56. Massa got cheated from a win that he clearly deserved. Will the record books show that Massa had to relent to Alonso????????? If a driver knows that he will be asked to move over for another driver why should he put his life on the line knowing that he will just be used for cannon fodder. What is to prevent one team like Ferrari to buy a pull over / slowdown by another team to put their driver in a better position or a win……….. The 3 newer teams could surely use a couple million bucks/sterling/euros to keep them in the game and the biggies could easily afford this kind of activity……….. This is not so absurd considering all that has happened in the last few years with under the table money, car specs info from McLaren, etc. Seems kind of strange that most of the questionable activities have involved Alonso.. R & R

  57. Slightly soft. They can’t punish Ferrari massively without going through every past case and they couldn’t banm them for Monza because it would spark off a political war for nothing. They can’t punish the drivers because that would be just as ridiculous when technically Alo didn’t do anything, Massa actually moved over and they can’t turn back time.

    Ferrari should have lost constructor’s and a possible race ban. I can’t say I’m satisfied but at the same time, I can’t really think what more could have be done. Clearly the ban on team orders means nothing more than a slap on the wrist and is barely worth the time someone typing up then rule which is the really sad part.

  58. Here is the reasoning:

    Luca calls Todt – ‘Alonso needs those points’ ‘do you understand’

    Todt says – ‘yes boss consider done, reminds me of old days’

    Luca says – ‘yup, i knew you will fall in line’

  59. 100% the correct decision. I pointed out a couple of days ago that when a rule is unclear, what the FIA has tended to do (this season at least) is let the original offence go unpunished, but clarify the rule for future occasions. See, for example, Hamilton’s “low-fuel run” in Canada qualifying, or the Vettel/Hamilton pit shenanigans in China. Given the tendency of F1’s rules to be very ambiguous, I think that these are positive steps.

    As written, 39.1 is pretty clear, but in practice it is not, since many examples of “team orders that interfere with the race result” have gone by without punishment. Given the reaction of the fans to the Hockenheim incident as opposed to other such occurrences, I would say that the majority would agree that the rule needs clarifying.

    So, the FIA accept that the rule needs changing and alter it accordingly. I can’t agree with those who suggest that this will set a dangerous precedent, because next time, the rule will have been clarified and everyone should know where they stand.

    1. Sorry to disappoint you Andy but once again I agree with you. I like the new style of seeing what needs to be fixed then fixing it by the FIA although this year seems to be exposing the flaws of certain rules.

      Maybe I would have been slightly harsher but in the end addressing the rules has to be the most important thing.

    2. The low fuel run was not a breach of the rules. There was no rule there, but rather an MOU among the teams on the issue. The pit issue was not a lack of clarity, but a case of off-setting blame. In this case, they simply declined to apply the rule. They didn’t say that it was not relevant to these facts, or that it was breached but there were mitigating circumstances, they just said, “pass.”

      I would have been happy with a suspended ban. I don’t really think the practice will go away, but the sport needs to stop teams from turning this into a farce with drivers basically stopping on track to give way to another car for position.

      Now the burden of the new non-rule is really on Felipe Massa’s shoulders. The next time he is called upon to give way, will he snark it up on the radio or place his head calmly upon the block?

  60. They should have stripped Ferrari of constructor’s points from the race and then switched the driver’s points earned from Alonso to Massa. Possibly taken Alonso’s points away too as he initiated the orders.

  61. Ferrari didn’t order Massa to back off. So FIA can’t proof anything.

    1. Well why were they fined $100,000 then… for a laugh?

  62. So if jenson happens to be leading a mclaren one two this weekend all mclaren has to do is ask jenson whether he understands that lewis is lapping quicker than him and let him pass. $100k fine and lewis increases his champs points lead. brilliant!

    1. No sorry mate, if that was the case it would be race ban, disqualification, and £10 mill. fine……..

      1. Not if the blaze up on “hypocrisy, and oh, we will sue FIA over this”, or McLaren have a valid case for sueing FIA for discriminating them in favour of Ferrari, bringing up past precedents where they were harshly punished and Ferrari were let of easy … please not that again.

    2. I fully expect this to happen with Jenson & Vettel just to embarrass the FIA

  63. Whether or not the law subsequently requires modification, surely it stood and was clear at the time of the blatant offence.
    I don’t see a logic by which the $100k fine remains in place. Surely if this merited penalty, then that penalty should have rather more severe, or if the council has decided that the offence was not in fact worthy of punishment then they should have stood by their convictions and the $100k should be returned. This indecisive middle ground doesn’t satisfy me as a fair and just outcome.

  64. I will just have to accept F1 is now simply a very loud, contrived,choreographed corporate event. And no longer the pinnacle of motor sport.

    1. I concur, to call it sport is a joke. And for me to continue to watch it means the joke is on me. I’m outa here.

  65. Ferrari have won, can you confirm you understood this message? Just kidding!

  66. Alonso is a lucky duck. He is in every scandal there is and somehow never gets caught.

    1. There was a man, no scandal, no matter how hot or sticky would stay attached, no matter the circumstances no matter the evidence, he always came out with nothing on him.

      His name:


      1. Teflonso the guy who is above all.

  67. The issue isn’t really Ferrari’s non-punishment, it’s the precedent the decision sets.

    First of all, the WMSC found that Ferrari breached 39.1, otherwise they wouldn’t have upheld the fine – legally, they couldn’t, in fact.

    So Ferrari broke the rules. The WMSC’s next step was to indicate that breaking this rule doesn’t really matter to them, because the fine isn’t even pocket money to the teams.

    They then indicate that they’re going to “review” the rule – which basically means they’re going to weaken or abolish it altogether, or at least hope that the Working Group does so (which it will).

    So to recap, a rule is broken, the authorities acknowledge it was broken, and then do everything they can to minimise the fact and pave the way for its abolition. Leadership of the most cowardly and lacking kind that signals the end of Todt’s honeymoon at the head of a “new” FIA. It might be structured differently, but it does the same thing in the end that it always does: wash its hand of responsible management of the sport it likes to interfere in more than anything else.

    And the question really should be asked: if it wasn’t Ferrari, would there have been a different result? Given that breaking 39.1 immediately breaks 151c and given what happened to Renault and McLaren for breaking that rule, this decision must stand as the blackest day for F1 since the Singapore scandal broke out.

    Today, F1 has completed the slide out of being a sport. It is merely a set of rules that can be changed and bent depending on the player and the situation. At least there are still 11 other teams who have the decency to be sneaky enough about back-room decisions to make us poor naive fools believe it’s something more.

    And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be looking forward to seeing the cheats stuffed on their own home ground. I hope their fans enjoy tainted titles, because that’s all the ones they’ll be cherishing for a while yet.

    1. “The issue isn’t really Ferrari’s non-punishment, it’s the precedent the decision sets.”

      I don’t believe it does set a precedent at least not yet, because the rule is going to be clarified.

      Also, Icthyes I have a lot of respect for you, you’re one of my favourite users on here and I always look out for your comments but not all us Ferrari fans think the same. I would have liked a harsher penalty myself and I’ve said from the beginning that whoever wins the title deserves it but if Alo wins it this year I won’t cherish it the same way as I did with his 05 and 06 titles.

      1. The precedent is rather that rules are there to be challenged and broken, rather then comply, if you don’t like them. At least, if you are a big team with lots of fans and a big name that has been receiving perhaps more than its fair share of bad luck in strategy with respect to race control.

        In other words, again fueling the “Ferrari International Assistance” paranoia – not something we needed at all.

        I guess they couldn’t charge Ferrari with bringing the sport into disrepute, as they could do it way better themselves with this verdict, contrasting rather finely with, for example, the lying to stewards that got Hamilton justly disqualified from Aus’09.

      2. Sorry Steph, I meant no offence to you personally or any other Ferrari fan in the minority.

        The team has been found to have cheated and it’s them I mean by the insult. As for tainted titles, well it will be one if Alonso wins it, as are previous ones tainted by their former #1 policy (and yes, I supported it at the time, but I make no claims to being a mature individual back then). When applied to fans like you, it’s more a pity than anything; that Ferrari should drag its reputation through the mud when they have true F1 fans like you as their own fans too.

        1. PS: If Massa wins this weekend in a Ferrari 1-3 and in doing so ends up denying Hamilton the championship, it’ll almost be okay by me (sorry that’s as much as I can give ;-))!

          1. Oh I know you didn’t mean any Ichtyes you’re one of the nicest guys on here!

            There’s been plenty of generalisations from the Ferrari fan side too (I’ve became very weary of the whole British bias thing and that’s just one example) and I’m a Massa lunatic myself so I didn’t mean much by it but I just wanted to say that some of us really aren’t proud at all by this episode so don’t think too badly of us! I really appreciate your comments though.

            I think it’s a pity for everyone involved really esp the fans no matter what side they’re on. I don’t like team orders myself but I’ve always sort of understood them but when it comes to breaking rules I do believe there should be punishments. I’m a fan of the sport first and Ferrrari second so if Ferrari had lost constructor’s points I wouldn’t have whinged at all.

            That’s good enough for me Icthyes although that would mean Alonso would have once again relied on Massa to help his own title challenge to some extent:P

  68. This looks really bad on the FIA (once again). If Ferrari break the rules and embarass the sport, absolutely minimum punishment. No disincentive to break the rules in the future.

    Oh, and because Ferrari never really liked the rule, we’ll have to review it.

    What a joke.

  69. I can hear them laughing all the way from Maranello……

  70. I think I’ll create a website for people, who want the money back, they have spend, so far this year, watching F1. Then we try to claim the money back from FIA and WMSC because they don’t deliver a sport, following the reasonable rules written, but they deliver a farce instead.
    I went to Spa and enjoyed it a lot, but I’m glad I didn’t know Ferrari wouldn’t be punished deservingly at the time of the Spa race. But I feel somehow the show gets money from me watching it on false conditions. A rule is a rule and other teams have proven not to be using team orders, as to change the result of a race.
    The teams who are against this verdict should deposit 100.000 $ with the FIA before every race, just in case they feel the need of issuing a team order affecting the race result.
    I haven’t read their arguing for the non-punishment, and frankly I couldn’t care less – the result of their verdict is the worst case of “bringing the sport in disrepute” I can recall…

  71. Interesting not a word in the statement about Article 151c Bringing the sport into disrepute. The stewards refered that as well to the WMSC, it’s almost as if that was ingnored. Also the wording of the limited statement sounds as though the FIA were treating this as an appeal, it wasn’t, Ferrari never appealed, and had admitted guilt by not doing so, it was to consider additional punishment.

    Perhaps the result is fair, perhaps it’s not, but one thing is for sure the FIA in both the length of time it has taken to hear this case and the way they have handled it have not covered themselves in glory.

  72. I’m a massive Ferrari fan but tonight I feel embarrassed if i’m honest. Regardless of whether people agree with team orders or not. There was a rule there and it was broken and so they should have been properly punished.

    1. Charles Carroll
      8th September 2010, 20:53

      See mango gets it, why can’t everyone else?

      1. The rule was broken before by other teams without punishment wheather you like it or not!, If ferrari were found guility so would Mclaren. No one seems to understand that.

  73. Slightly too harsh for Ferrari. Why?
    1 The team order rule is totally ridiculous. Pretty much every team breaks it every race. It is quite unenforceable. The only reasonable thing to do is to revoke the rule and to condone the 50.000 $ fine, even if it is only pocket money. The alternative is to change the results in just about every race since 2002.
    2 The disrepute rule does hold water. The problem in Hockenheim 2010 were not the team orders but the ugly job Rob and Felipe made of it. But neither Ferrari nor Fernando were to blame. So the second 50.000 $ fine is OK, but Ferrari should make Rob and Felipe pay it from their pockets

    1. Charles Carroll
      8th September 2010, 21:04

      “The team order rule is totally ridiculous. Pretty much every team breaks it every race. It is quite unenforceable.”

      Well, in THAT case…because EVERYONE’S doing it, its OKAY then.

      What are we, 9 years old?

    2. “But neither Ferrari nor Fernando were to blame.”

      I agree that Fernando was not to blame, but to think that Ferrari were not involved is just ridiculous. Who do you think it was who told Massa and Smedley to lie to the press after the race? Come on.

    3. “The disrepute rule does hold water. The problem in Hockenheim 2010 were not the team orders but the ugly job Rob and Felipe made of it.”

      In my view, you have contradicted yourself there.

      If they had been subtle, hidden their cheating (yes, cheating. Even if ‘all the teams do it’ it is against the rules hence cheating), it would not have brought the sport into disrepute because no one would know.

      As it is, they DID bring the sport into disrepute, PURELY because it was so thinly veiled.

  74. I’m absolutly disgusted.

    I you don’t think it’s all wrong, your wrong.

    Whats the point in any of it if it’s just made up as we go along?

    Right now F1 has got about as much integrity, and is as much of a sport, as American Wrestling.

    1. Don’t shame American Wrestling, at least the WWE know that it’s a show and not a sport.

    2. Peteleeuk, your just another person who doesn’t get it, the rule was broken in the past therefore Ferarri could not have been punished.

      1. “the rule was broken in the past therefore Ferarri could not have been punished”

        There are many people who keep saying this, and it doesn’t work as an argument.

        Say my car gets nicked. A miracle happens and the cops catch the guy. Is it a valid defence for him to say “all my mates do it and they’ve never been punished”?

  75. I can see the good arguments for not having a rule against team orders, as the teams pay the drivers and own the racers.
    But as of now the rule is there and thus a severe punishment must be given, even if they want to get rid of the rule…
    Ferrari did a bad job of hiding that they broke this rule, instead of giving the fans a fair show of battle between their two drivers with the inherent risk of a collision between them, which would then have been costly. Other teams would have had more points and their competitors less, if they had too used team orders where useful. Other teams and drivers have been punished hard for other types of breaches to rules this year, so why the soft hand in this case?

    1. Not that we can vote, but COTD – everything in a nutshell.

  76. I completely agree that it was incredibly disappointing to see Massa let Alonso win in the way it happened. However there are a number of reasons why this kind of thing happens, one of which is the  unavoidable tension between multiple-million pound businesses and sport that is F1. 

    All teams want one of their drivers to win the drivers championship. In 2007 mclaren allowed their drivers to race for the title. Earlier this year we saw Vettel nearly take webber out, because red bull allowed their drivers to race eachother. Had mclaren given even one team order during 2007 they would have won the drivers title. Ferrari tried to avoid that. It’s just good business sense.

    Once there are business and sporting interests operating in the same arena you will get these kind of outcomes. 

    1. Remember MW the McLaren team order in 2007: ” we were racing Alonso ” ( ron dennis words in China)

  77. bernie: “that’s team tactics, and it should happen, obviously. what’s wrond is when two teams get together to fix the result. then it’s criminal.”

    martin brundle: “like we had in ’97, with williams and mclaren working against ferrari. maybe.”

  78. Oh dear Lord!

    At some point in the future, Ferrari is going to do it again.

    1. This weekend if necessary.

      1. If necessary yes they will.

        What about Red BUll or Mclaren in a few races, by the end of the championship??????

    2. Of course they will, its a TEAM sport ! Remember?

  79. “Recently, the sport’s broadcasting officials gained access to the radio feeds, but the pit wall retained the ability to press a button to censor certain messages. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that, as of this weekend’s Hockenheim event, all radio broadcasts will be eligible to for the worldwide television feed.”

    Ferrari was just a victim of this. Normally they would have cut the message halfway (like all teams do when they know something harmfull has been said) and we would just have heard “Alonso is faster CUT AWAY”. Then there was no problem. Ferrari was a victim of this new concept

    1. Just a quick note. I found it quite obvious during the German GP weekend that we heard alot more messages then in other races.

    2. Ferrari was no victim, they broke a rule plane and simple. They cheated and got away with it.

    3. This link makes me think that maybe FIA is trying to cover up a big scandal: FIA has for years been listening to a number of team-orders affecting the race result without punishing it. Now Ferrari’s offence was suddenly public and they had to react somehow or at least make it look like they reacted.

  80. I just can’t seem to find the right words to describe this farce.

    You break the rules, you get punished ACCORDINGLY.
    How hard can it be?

  81. I can’t understand why most of you in here are so upset about this decision today! MANY of you here have a VERY VERY short memory in terms of formula 1 regulations in the past 11 years.

    First of all, those saying ” why did they leave the £100,000 fine then?? ” Well very easy, there was a rule and it was broken, you can’t revert the fine, plain simple. Secondly, ” why are they going to revise the rule? Is it becuase it’s FERRARI again? ” NO, simply because the rule is stupid, dump, useless and nonsense.

    For those of you have a very very short memory, may I remind you that after the 1999 championship ended with McLaren Fans celebrating and pointing fingers at how Ferrari had yet to win the drivers championship after 20 years, from 2000 till 2005 they all got their answer, thus urging the FIA to change rules because the sports NEEDED it they said. Not because other teams couldn’t catch up! All teams were angry with themselves because Ferrari had done what others never dreamt of; they made ferrari look like it was their fault the sports was becoming monotonous, not becuase the rest of the 9 teams were out of ideas and out of resources. They even tried to make ferrari look bad when Michelin tyres weren’t good enough to comptete in the US GP, now that’s really Ferrari’s fault! Yeah what ever, they tried to stop the race…but useless, so let’s again blame Ferrari. None the less, after 5 years of total dominion by the Ferrari’s, the FIA started messing with the rules, aerodynamics, teams orders crap and stuff we all know about but we don’t want to be reminded about. All these problems about the lack of show, the lack of overtaking, the testing ban and the lack of sponsors wanting to enter F1, is because the FIA messed with the rules after a 5 year total domination from Ferrari to try and put ferrari down.

    Today F1 is seeing the end of the tunnel again, we hope for a better F1, with stupid rules like the team orders to be eliminated. It’s a team sports, why no team orders? Why blame Alonso if he had more points then Massa and the championship is a 5 way battle? You seriously think Massa can do something this year? Its obvious Ferrari will count on it’s best driver of the season, so what if he needs help? IT’S A TEAM SPORTS. You don’t like it? Stop watching F1, plain and simple. By backing team orders we might even see more fun in the track, more holding up rivals, more overtaking…so let’s just wait to see what the revised rule will say. As I said before, you don’t like the rule? Stop watching F1, but in any sports with TEAMS, there should be team work. If you don’t like Ferrari, it’s not the FIA’s problem.

    1. To me it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it was Ferrari, who did it…
      When I watch F1, I evaluate what I see from a frame of reference, which is primarily the rules.
      It is fair to demand that the sport is regulated according to the rules, everything else is a scandal. When those who regulate the sport can’t find out how to issue a fair punishment for a breach of the existing rules, then they do not full fill their “contract” with the audience. If they want the rule to go away – fine, do that, but not before next season, and punish Ferrari accordingly.
      Alonso gained an advantage by cutting the corner on Kubica – he was punished according to the rules, fair enough. But by issuing a direct team order Ferrari gained a risk free 1 – 2 victory with most points to the driver, they believe can win the title, and Alonso gained 7 points and a rival of his lost 7 points. For this they got a fine, not a fair reduction of points.
      I strongly suspect that the FIA knows about several more cases of team orders, which are not known to the public and maybe therefore they can’t punish Ferrari as they should. Like if the International Bicycle Union knew about EPO but didn’t act on it unless it got public…And this is definitely bringing the sport in disrepute – it is a farce.

  82. Going back to past examples.

    Since the team orders ban we’ve seen.

    Fisichella letting Alonso past at Istanbul in 2005, Massa letting Schumacher past at Suzuka in 2006, Kimi been helped past by Massa at Brazil 2007, Heikki helping Lewis past at Hockenheim in 2008, Kimi letting Massa past at China in 2008, Heidfeld letting Kubica past at Montreal in 2008.

    Plus many others I’ve forgotten,

    Hockenheim 2010 was not the 1st time since 2002 team orders have been used in a fairly blatant way, It was however the 1st time we heard tha radio comms as it was the 1st race FOM had permission to broadcast any radio traffic they wished to.

  83. If alonso he should receive more points, surely would have sanctioned.
    The FIA continues to be the Mafia

  84. Thank Christ for that. Trying to ban team orders is like trying to ban drugs – that is to say it is an utterly futile exercise. Clearly the only way forward is to embrace it in a form that is acceptable rather than attempt full prohibition.

  85. Don’t shoot me down here, but just a few observations. Alonso has been involved in a fair few controversies in his career so far and in each one, he has walked away without any direct punishment. The spy scandal, the deliberate crash and now the free victory from Massa. Not to mention all the smaller incidents such as deliberately running yellow flags (Brazil 2003, Japan 2009) etc.

  86. I think its time for Mclaren and Willams to step-up and really work on a “GP1” series for 2013. ALL current contracts run till end of 2012, so its the most obvious thing to do. F1 = Ferrari, Mercedes, FIA, Schumi, Kubica, Vettel. GP1 = Mclaren, Willams, Red Bull, Bernie, Webber, Hamilton, Button, et. al.

    This would be perfect. Ron, are you listening?

  87. The team orders ban should be removed. Instead the FIA should make it difficult for team orders to happen during the race. Pit-to-car radios should be banned. This would mean the only teams orders that are given are before the race or via the pit board. Both of these would have their big limitations on affecting the result of the race. For safety reasons e.g. debris on track, the FIA could use the standard ECU to display pre-set messages to the driver.

    I think this would work and may also improve the racing as a result because the drivers will have less information. For example the instruction to the driver from his race engineer to save fuel at the end of the race would be gone. The drivers would also have to make more decisions themselves during the race which would open up more room for mistakes or master strokes by the driver. Imagine it starting to rain during a race the driver alone would have to decide when to come in.

    All of these could go towards improving the overtaking during the race.

    1. This could be a good idea, but can’t remove the stains from a failure to regulate the sport according to the set rules for this season…

  88. I hope smidley and massa quit the team after causing this problema with their child’s behaviour

    1. This could be an internal Scuderia perception, but if You are just a Ferrari fan, how would You think of it, if it had been RedBull doing it in Turkey?

  89. Thank you FIA for your efforts to disappoint F1 lovers all over the world. The big question is why? Why one more time FIA’s decision is unfair? What are the purposes and what for?
    well, what FIA did today well let the door open for all the teams to show us their politics skills rather than racing!
    One more time I’m very sorry for the F1. Sorry and sad!

    1. Why did Mclaren never get punished for their orders? why are you so mad? This is a win for comon sense, this is a team sport mate !

      1. i am a fan for ferrary from early nineteens, although this a team sports, it was humiliating for messy and ferrary! there is no comon sense, after all Alonso is fighting for nothing, he nave no chance to win or to fight this season, it wasn’t worth it!

  90. I’m gonna start watching wrestling less chance of a rigged result.

    1. What F1 needs is some competition from another World Series of single seater race cars. In many ways, it’s a shame that IndyCar is nowhere near as popular as it was in the early-mid 1990s. If fans had a credible alternative, that listened to them as the American series do, then Bernie might have some cause for concern…

    2. hehe, great comment

  91. This is nothing compared to all the crap that they have let Lewis get away with and even the drivers are shaking there heads as to how he has been able to escape…. Had they enforced those rules he would not be leading now…. Which by the way is a JOKE…

    1. Another Mclaren fan?

  92. I hope people remember US Grand Prix 2007, if not let me refresh your memory.

    FA wants LH to move aside. FA does not get his way, and we all know what happened next. Mclaren lost WDC that year because they let their drivers race. Had Ron forced Lewis to step aside FA would have won WDC 5 times by now and would still be at Mclaren and Lewis may have gone off to some other team and we would have seen another Schumi\Ferrari like era. Thank Ron that it did not happen.

    This is the same FA now at Ferrari, shouting on the radio “This is ridiculous” the same way he punched his hands towards the team pit box.

    US GP 07 was the turning point.

    My wish is a breakaway series( aka GP1 ). No FIA, no Ferrari, No Fernando Alonso, No Vettel.

    Ideally FOTA minus Ferrari, Mercedes and some loose change.

    GP1 rights are held by Bernie ( unlike F1 heald by FIA )

    Come on Bernie make it happen!

    1. no ferrari no f1 get real will you

      1. Thats the whole point. It wont be F1 and it wont have Ferrari. All problems solved in one fell swoop. FIA and Ferrari can continue the excellent international assistance, IDK. We get to watch a good open series which would listen to fans. Ferrari fans wont moan about the website user demographics and the world will be a better place. Time for ;)

      2. F1 doesn’t need Ferrari. Many fans may forget that they were somewhat of a laughing stock before the then ‘dream team’ turned their fortunes around. Besides, there are many other big (though not as big, granted) names in F1. F1 would survive quite happily sans Ferrari.

    2. Well, it was the turning point for Hamilton, in driving Alonso from that team—and in making way for Hamilton to claim the title the next year, with only Kovalainen to deal with. Hamilton was young enough to care nothing that a 2X WDC was waving his fist and swerving around behind him, and was so unchastened that he maliciously shut the older man from his agreed last lap turn in Hungary later that year. Hamilton didn’t care that it cost uncle Ron a trophy.

      Massa needs to have his Indy moment. Is he as good as Alonso? Nope. Probably neither is Hamilton. But Massa is good enough to top anyone else Ferrari could bring in. If you want your title you must take action in your self-interest, and at this point unless Massa can run Alonso off or jump to RBR, he will never win a title.

      1. I think the interest of the sport is far greater than than those of drivers. Massa will never have any Indy moments but he will have many Austria moments. If you think you have seen 2007 season and still say that FA is better than LH, well then nvm. I am looking forward to a final solution to this “Ferrari” problem plaguing motorsports.

      2. ‘Is he as good as Alonso? Nope. Probably neither is Hamilton’.

        ! Lewis beat Alonso when Alonso was the reigning double-world champion and Lewis was a rookie who didn’t know half the tracks. Look how much Lewis has matured over the last few years since his debut: the few mistakes he used to make, mostly through impetuosity, he makes no longer; his driving is much calmer; he looks after the car and tyres much better; he’s much more relaxed. Lewis is already better than Alonso. But Alonso has (probably) passed his peak; whereas, Lewis, at 25, with just three years experience of F1 under his belt, is nowhere near his peak. A scary thought for his competitors!

  93. Anyone interested in supporting an Online Petition
    supporting a new “Formula” which is not controlled in anyway by the FIA and does not include Ferrari?

  94. Well, this is the result I expected, (and predicted)

  95. No. No. No.

    I can’t believe I woke up to this news this morning.

  96. Obviously Todt is still Jet setting on Mclaren money, seriously though this sets a bad example as we are in the midst of a Cricket betting scandal, Betting syndicates talk, fair play walks.

  97. Massa should go study barrichello’s career, his is going to be the same now.

    1. Clearly, Massa should never have moved over for Alonso. To do so was to capitulate to Alonso and Ferrari in front of the world. So long as Alonso drives the other Ferrari, Massa’s hope of winning a championship and even a race, in many circumstances, is dead. So are his dreams of being regarded as one of the very best; for one of the very best would never have acted as he did. Even Damon Hill apparently said he would have Ralf off the track if he tried a pass at Spa 98. That’s how you do it!

      Rubens now says that his decision to move over for Schumi at Austria was the worst decision of his career. I wonder how long it is before Massa thinks the same, mutatis mutandis?

      1. Didn’t Massa blame Alonso for losing the world title in 2008? I think Keith had an article on it very early in the year. Then he gave Fernando’s hopes a boost his year.

        Massa should have called Ferrari’s bluff; Ferrari would not be allowed to fire him (any basis to do in his contract would be an illegal clause) and by the time his contract was up another op team would be waiting for him and his services.

  98. Someone said they expected 300 comments, well, here is the 300th. Couldn’t resist when I logged on and saw ‘299’ mentioned.

  99. Now i definitely hope Alonso wins the WDC this year (after Webber, that is) – just to see the reaction on this site :D

    1. Im sure Mr Todt is working hard to make your dreams come true. LOL. A sad day, I wonder what Senna would have to say all about this. If only, :-(

  100. As a Ferrari fan, who particularly feels that Felipe is owed a World Championship for his 2008 performance, Team orders, once one driver is mathematically out of the runnings, SHOULD be allowed. Before that time, it’s up to the stewards to decide whether it spoilt the show, or kept the show running until the end of the season. As it turns out, Ferrari’s orders in Germany have back-fired on every level, because Alonso, rather than maturing, is becoming more of a child. He’s a great driver, but doesn’t deserve anything this year.

    1. Given how comprehensively Alonso has outperformed Massa this year, and how well a rookie Hamilton matched up to Alonso in 07, one finds it hard to avoid the conclusion that Massa simply had a superior car to Lewis in 08: that and the record number of penalties dished out to the Brit and his team. Unless the accident he suffered at Hungary has reduced his speed significantly, Massa was simply flattered by his car in 08; and by his lazy team-mate who had nothing left to prove in F1.

      1. Thank you for that, Mrs. Hamilton. It had nothing to do with the Ferrari being faster than the McLaren – if anything, both cars were perfectly matched, you just saw a season where Massa was absolutely on top of his game. Drivers are allowed drops in form, you know, and anyone can see Massa has had an average 2010.

  101. This momentous decision warrants a lengthy post!

    That Ferrari received no (further) punishment has set a dangerous precedent that team orders are now allowed in F1. For, the FIA had the opportunity to punish a team for blatantly using team orders, following the rule that they’re banned; yet it did not do so. The only way for the FIA to be consistent, now, is to likewise not punish any other team who uses team orders. The FIA might as well formally renounce the ban: it’s the only action that makes sense; it would at least provide clarity.

    With the dangerous precedent in place, teams will now be able to employ team orders without fear of reprisal. So Ferrari will do this again, much to the annoyance of the fans who want to watch a genuine sporting contest; the fans who bankroll this sport: directly, through TV money; indirectly, through sponsorship. Whether the rule is sound or not is irrelevant: the rule exists and must be followed. By analogy, I can’t just declare that a law, such as those governing speed limits in a built-up area, is silly and choose to flout it without fear of sanction. Ferrari broke a rule (regardless of the merits of the rule) and should have been punished accordingly. There must be rule of law: Ferrari cannot be above the law. With the dangerous precedent in place, Red Bull, to be sure, and perhaps others, though not McLaren, will follow suit: much to the fans’ further annoyance.

    And don’t think that the ban on team orders is ‘unenforceable’. The stewards and the FIA have access to all the telemetry on the car: they will know if a driver makes a suspicious move in the car. They have driver advisors, too. Moreover, they have all the radio conversations to police. A team will find it very difficult to get away with a team order. A further important point to note is that team orders will almost always be executed clumsily. For drivers have egos. They want to win. So if they’re told to cede a position, they’re going to make sure the whole world knows that they did this because of a team decision and not because of their own error. Hence, I further dispute the contention that team orders ‘happen all the time in F1’. I challenge anyone to cite eight instances (just eight for such an allegedly commonplace phenomenon) of team orders in the past eight years – since they were made illegal. And I suspect most, if not all, examples will be from the last few races of a season, when team orders have always been accepted by all involved. So much for that contention.

    One final point: Ferrari did lie to the stewards. They said that there were no team orders! Every fan watching the German Grand Prix knew that a team order had been delivered. Namely, that ‘Fernando. Is. Faster. Than. You’ is tantamount to ‘We, Ferrari, are telling you, Massa, to move over for Alonso’. There is no difference, in substance, between that message and once such as: ‘Massa, this is your boss speaking! You are to move over for Alonso, now’. Any such message, howsoever phrased, of course leaves the decision up to Massa: he’s driving the car! But there can be no doubt that Massa was given a team order. Ferrari categorically denied to the world that there had been a team order (it’s not a good defence to openly admit to your breaking the law). Ergo, they lied. In the interests of consistency, a vital component of law, they should have received the same punishment as Mr Hamilton: all points from said race to be deducted.

    (M)assa; (A)lonso: (F)errari (I)nternational (A)ssistance Inc.!?

  102. After SPA 2008 when rules were VERY CLEAR when LH was at fault is it surprising that FIA find 100k sufficient this time around for breaking rules? Coincidence?

    1. The difference is, in this case there is a rule saying “team orders that interfere with the race result are prohibited”.

      In your example, there was no rule saying “if a driver gains a position by going off the track and gives it back to a driver he can’t then pass that driver again at the next corner”.

      Nor did Ferrari, like McLaren in that example, ask the race director if what they did was within the rules and were told (falsely, as it turns out) that it was.

      These are clearly two very different sets of circumstances.

  103. This is ridiculous.
    First, I want compare to this to when a fine officer of the law pulls up my dad for speeding considerably over the legal limit, and then my dad avoiding punishment because he manages to debate with said officer about the validity of that law, mainly because “everyone does it”. I havn’t seen this in practice yet, and I won’t hold my breath either.

    Maybe I’m being to strict, Maybe this is like the Pirates code in Pirates of the Caribbean, Maybe 39.1 and 151c are more of, guidelines than actual rules.

    Whether you agree with this or not, it has to be noted that clearly, their was enough evidence. If lack of evidence was an issue, I doubt any rule will be enforceable again. Let me ask you this, Have you ever seen a murder trial end, with the innocent verdict, Because the murderer said, “I didn’t do it?”. No? Well now you have. So that is where we are now. A guilty verdict does in fact, for the WMSC at least, require the respondent to admit they did indeed do the crime. I am also concerned by the lack of information about how they actually came to their decision, The Proceedings section in Keith’s article, is clearly, how to put it… .. Lacking. And this raises my concern that political pressure and underhanded dealings may have infiltrated the WMSC. Surely not.

    This ruling sets a VERY dangerous precedent, because it suggests that RULES are only enforceable if the WMSC is willing to use lawyers to fight it. Which leads me to be worried that any semblance in my mind that what I am watching is indeed still a sport, is almost gone, sadly. I think it needs to be noted, that if Formula one isn’t actually a sport, that it is indeed a business. Then I will go and watch NASCAR, And it pains me to say it, for more than one reason.

    It is clear now, that Team Orders are completely fine in F1, I think poses a problem for some of you, in fact, myself as well. Remember the outrage after Austria in 2002? Well, not only was that not against the rules, but now it was also in the modern spirit of the sport. So I don’t want to hear anyone criticise Schumacher using that line anymore. Because, that’s what the sport is about.
    For the team!
    Forza Ferrari!

  104. So the FIA has decided to go with Ferrari’s notion that the team’s all important and the drivers mere pawns. But then, if the FIA is coherent, shouldn’t it eliminate the Driver’s Championship immediately and only keep the Constructor’s Championship?

    1. No one can credibly deny that there was no team order at the German GP. Nor can anyone deny that team orders are banned. So either Ferrari is guilty for giving the team order or Massa is guilty for acting on it. Either way, there is guilt; and there should be a penalty. But there was none…

      Now, I can see the next race and those after it: ‘Markie boy, Prince Vettel. Is. Faster. Than. You. Can you confirm you understood that message? Or do we have to turn down/blow-up your engine? You know we’ll do it’

    2. Is it possible this desicion is because of the guys sitting in that world motorsport council? They are the regulars who sat there under Mosley as well.
      Bernie nor the italian representive would want a hefty penalty for Ferrari, who knows about the other.

      Very disappointing and a bad day for the FIA as governing body witch does not enforce it’s own rules.

  105. Disappointing to hear, as this remains in line with the council’s previous dealings regarding team order allegations. Way too lenient, in my opinion, regardless of which team exactly had been investigated.

    If the direction taken would now turn out to be officially legitimating team orders, at the very least the teams should then be required to communicate transparently when and why they are picking one of their drivers as a favorite, so viewers or fans can at least be surely aware of when not to expect open and unhindered racing.

  106. Scratching my head over this one:

    Ferrari said there were no team orders. WMSC finds that there were in fact team orders and upheld the stewards’ decision. So Ferrari lied to the stewards. No punishment. Hmmm…

    No matter how you feel about team orders, the actual decision itself seems to be riddled with more and more holes the more you analyse it.

  107. Its time for a palace revolt! A different perspective.

    I’ve spent the last few evenings reading all of the comments that many passionate F1 fans have submitted. All good stuff. But… reminiscent of watching lawyers argue points of law, missing what we the public would consider values of fairness, and ethics, and morals, these arguments fall into the same category.

    What we the viewing public object to about the WMSC decision is that the WMSC have totally ignored the Drivers Championship and have placed the Team championship as being the focus of F1.

    As the 4th largest economy in the world, F1 has just proven that it is a government with no respect for its constituents, its fans. Its sponsors must be getting very nervous about associating their hard-earned corporate brands with such childish whining and a lack of ethics and fair play.

    I first followed F1 as a kid in England, reading about Fangio, Mike Hawthorn etc. My first F1 race was my home race at Mosport in Canada in 1961. I’ve probably followed 98% of all F1 races since then and watched most of the televised ones. I’ve seen a LOT of races, a lot of bad driving and a lot of bad politics. Sorry, but FIA/WMSC, you are quickly losing me as a fan.

    This has been one of the best seasons in a long time for great races, but the commercial side that has the Team taking priority over the Driver has gone too far. Those of us with many grey hairs have always followed the driver, pointing out who they drove for. In the USA, I note that they talk about the ’24 car’, rather than the name of the driver in the car as if the car has a soul, a racing spirit. This is distressing. If the Team is to take priority over the Driver, then the Driver’s championship should be eliminated, because to continue it, under the current guise, is a sham. Today’s decision only supports the Team concept, not the Driver concept. Keep this up, and you will lose me as a fan permanently. We expect FAIR racing, not POLITICAL racing.

    In my mind, F1 is now rising to the stature of wrestling and other ‘fixed’ sports where success is measured by the number of viewers and readers. This is not what F1 founders had in mind. Its lost is purity, its raison-d’etre, overtaken by a governing body that appears to be suffering a lack of vision and ethics.

    So WMSC, if you think that you won’t lose this 65 year old viewer, think again! There are many other forms of 4 wheel racing that still offer pure, un-rigged racing. Golf is still as much fun to watch without Tiger just as F1 has become more interesting without Schumi winning week after week. Car racing can be just as much fun to watch without F1. Maybe the breakaway league should have been formed, because the WMSC are about to break up the sport with their lack of vision in just the same way as Tony George broke up the original Indy Car series (which by the way was often a better viewer sport and offered better racing than F1). But, as Tony found out, fans didn’t want his vision of IndyCar. The now distilled format is poorly watched.

    In baseball, a strike in ’94-’95 over player salaries let the Commissioner become sacrosanct, to the point that in ’94, the owners reduced the Commissioner’s power to act in the best interests of the sport. But it was too late, and baseball lost its lustre lost so many fans that stadiums are now usually 75% empty. Cricket is now facing a scandal over ‘rigging of the game’.

    In F1, its bad enough that these new ‘Tilke’ circuits are boring while iconic circuits like Spa are suffering under Bernie’s revenue regime. I don’t want a return to yesterday, to the crashes and the deaths. That was a tragic time in F1. But driver’s like Jackie Stewart said that racing can be exciting, and safer, and made it so. But now, money and politics have taken over, with a governing body that makes silly decisions because it has no frame of reference for making decisions as it has ignored its charter, the rule book, and now makes decisions based on what? A committee who are not team owners or ex-drivers?.

    So F1, Bernie et al, this may be the last season you will have me as a viewer. Clean up your act or become another dinosaur. To Ron Dennis, Eddie Jordan, Peter Sauber and others, its time for you to step up to the plate and lead F1 down a better road. Re-think the breakaway league. Fans will follow you, with or without the Tifosi, Todt, Bernie et al.

    Thanks for reading.

    ps. To Fernando … in my day, if you thought you were faster than your teammate, then you passed him. You didn’t whine and ask Mommy to ask Johnny to move over. Your driving talents are being diminished by your whining.

    1. Your arguments would have more merit if you hadn’t gone through the elaborate ruse of inventing a 65 year old persona; the first Canadian Grand Prix was held at Mosport in 1961 but it was for sports cars, it did not become an F1 race until 1967. After this fabrication the value of the rest of your post is greatly diminished.

      1. In those days, it was considered a Grand Prix! The interest it generated resulted in open wheel cars quickly coming to Canada. And I am 65!

        1. Barry’s right – as much as it pains Bernie, the term “Grand Prix” isn’t exclusive to F1. There has even been a Monaco Grand Prix that was run for sportscars instead of F1.

          That said, when F1 was founded, although there was no WCC yet, it was when team orders were most rife. If you looked at Ferrari and Mercedes of the 1950s, team orders was everywhere. Why? Because the drivers always had to work for the greater good of the team. And those championships coexisted just fine then, as they will now.

          And a breakaway would be an even bigger mistake. That may just end up dividing a disinterested TV audience. Like it or not, people forget quickly. This scandal isn’t even anything like previous scandals (see: Spygate). People will forget and will continue to watch F1. Always the case in the past, and will be the case again. Because even if there are other series out there, F1 is still unique. Have a breakaway, and you lose that uniqueness.

          1. “I first followed F1 as a kid in England, reading about Fangio, Mike Hawthorn etc. My first F1 race was my home race at Mosport in Canada in 1961.”

            And your right of course Journeyer, F1 in the Fangio, Hawthorn era was way more about drivers working together for the good of the team (even without a WCC) than it is now.

          2. i don’t have a problem with the Team concept. I do have a problem with the lack of respect shown by teams for the Driver’s championship. The media and fans don’t talk as much about Ferrari or McLaren winning a world championship as they do about Schumacher or Button winning a championship. The driver’s championship is very important. The rule book and its interpretation doesn’t seem to support a drivers championship.
            I agree, that all of this will be quickly forgotten. But… that doesn’t make it right or a good strategy for the future. Mature major sports don’t like things being ‘fixed’ either with graft, or drugs or bad policing. Look at hockey in North America.
            F1 needs to respect its fans more, and I think, its sponsors.

            I’m curious that you already think that the audience is ‘disinterested’. F1 is not unique because of its regulatory body. Its the drivers and the cars that make it unique. So, which ‘council’ they run under is somewhat immaterial. So my question to you is… is it not worth fixing, this driver’s dilemma? Do you love the sport as I have done for 50+ years. Do you not want to see it mature? People divorce their spouses, even though they often still love them, because they can’t live with their spouse. I love F1, but I’m ready for a divorce.

          3. “I’m curious that you already think that the audience is ‘disinterested’. F1 is not unique because of its regulatory body. Its the drivers and the cars that make it unique. So, which ‘council’ they run under is somewhat immaterial. ”

            I think you missed my point. F1 IS unique because of the drivers and cars. No one else is providing it ATM. Have a breakaway and you have 2 series providing the same thing. And therefore you lose the uniqueness of it.

            Bottom line – When I started watching F1, I always knew team orders were part and parcel of the sport. I love it anyway. All I ask of the teams is that in applying it, they shouldn’t make the fans look stupid. I completely understand why Ferrari asked Massa to move over for Alonso. So many points down with so many races to go (not to mention so many people ahead in the standings), so they had to do something. They could just be a bit more… creative in pulling it off.

          4. So what do we imagine teams will do in future? Put out press releases saying “from this point on Massa will have to support Alonso’s championship bid”? Albeit dressed up in PR-speak.

    2. Great, great post.

    3. I agree 100% Barry. I’m not looking forward to this weekends race. I’m not that interested on who wins anymore. I like the community and the live blogs. That is what interests me now. I have said it many times, F1 is the new pro wrestling with its flexible rules, false podiums and stupid fines. I will get bored one day and loose all interest in this ‘sport’. I doubt I’m alone. I do watch wrestling and take it for what it is, entertainment. Rick Flair attacking the boss and still being employed? Yeah, believable. The Nexus Slamming and beating up The GM and being handed contracts? Mr Alonso on the top step? It’s all real. NOT.

  108. I am a Ferrari Fan and I voted “Far too soft”. I am expecting a punishment at a certain degree but with the result, I feel disappointed with the decision. I still remember the my feelings hearing the radio message and eventually the “pass”. As a fan I do not want this to happen again and hope for the FIA to immediately revise the rules more clearly and state it with no holes for any teams to take avantage of.

  109. I don’t understand how the fine and court expenses can remain but no further punishment given? Either they did nothing wrong, in which case Ferrari get their money back + profuse excuses from the FIA and fans OR they were guilty and receive a punishment withing the sport (ie points, grid penalties or whatever).

    There is no middle ground possible.

    1. From what I understand, Carlos Gracia says a punishment today would’ve been, for him, a second punishment for Ferrari. As Ferrari had already been punished with the fine, they couldn’t have been punished twice.

      There are holes in this logic, but if he persuaded the WMSC to see things this way, then that’s how we could’ve ended up here.

      1. If it shows anything, it shows the urgent need to really reform the FIA judicial system.
        These guys that are in the WMSC are not the right ones to judge on infringements. I must say i am very disappointed with the FIA and Todt for allowing this to happen.
        The proposed step of forming some kind of tribunal for it might work out, but i will be very sceptic indeed until it’s proven its better than the joke they have now.

      2. That argument is bovine excrement.

        Ferarri received that punishment because it was the max the stewards could hand out. They referred it to the WMSC, not to add to the punishment, but to define the correct level of punishment.

        If a person is sentenced to a fine and community service, say, for committing a crime, that is not 2 punishments. It is one punishment consisting of 2 parts.

        1. I believe the WMSC defined the 100,000 fine as the correct level of punishment. Thus, no further punishment given.

  110. Its nothing new…revising the championship would only due more damage…

    I think the revisions made to 39.1 should be revised to include some kind of mathematical rule. In that way, teams would be prohibited from issuing orders if drivers are: a) mathematically still in contention for the championship or b)within a certain range, difference, or percentage of their teammate. Yes I prefer to see drivers duke it out on the track, but F1 is also a team sport. If you dont want any kind of involvement then we should ask for a one car per team rule to avoid such “acts of controversy.”

  111. As a Ferrari fun that im, im totally disgusted. alonso deserve loose all the points and the same for Ferrari. F1 becomes a lie. They think that we are stupid? Like i said, im a “tifosi”, but, like i race driver and a F1 fun im totally disgusted with this. Team orders is for loosers. Forza Villeneuve (Father & Son), Forza Fangio, Forza Senna and all the real race drivers)…. not forza Ferrari this thime (Don Enzo is suffering into his grave)

    1. Enzo invented this, so he’d be happy now.

    2. Right, the FIA should review all the past (long term) history to apply the same punishment, that way all past championship result would be changed according to your very logical proposal.

      Yes, from my point of view you are absolutly right.

  112. what should be reviewed? its very clear ferrari broke the rule. what a shame and what a waste of time. maybe ferrari already knew this thats why they told their drivers not to appear at the hearing. at least they could have swap the places and ill be happy for felipe. so this is what happens if ferrari broke a rule, no punishment at all and then review the rule, what about michael who still got the penalty on monaco which there was clearly a flaw in the rule. im not defending michael, i just want consistency.

  113. Team orders have and always will be used in F1. You’re kidding yourself if you dont realise that. Sometimes your driver wins them, sometimes he doesnt

    1. People have always and will always:
      * Steal
      * Cheat
      * Lie
      * Murder
      * Rape
      * Assault

      The list goes on. But if they are against the law (or rules in this case) and they are caught, they should be punished.

      1. The thing is, Ferrari was punished, 100,00 for it’s “crime”. I am having trouble following your logic….

  114. This whole sorry debacle stinks – what is the point of rules if they’re disregarded by both the participants in the sport (the Teams) AND the Rulemakers (WMSC) when it comes to the crunch.

    Something we don’t know about is going on here…maybe Ferrari ‘pulling weight’ by threatening to pull out of F1 completely (nothing new) if they were punished?

    Ferrari are whingeing like Alonso in the first place….GET A GRIP AND GROW UP!!!!!

  115. Absolutely disgraceful verdict (but of no surprise what so ever).

  116. Now, the teams should hide the same as until now and if they say “do you understand the message?” then they will have a 100,000$ fine, as the rule already hasn’t changed.

    So, we are now in another impasse thanks to FIA. Until they change the rule, team orders are allowed only in some cases not very clear, but now there’s a new case even less clear.

    I’d like that they had only warn ferrari but from now and for the rest teams then it won’t be allowed, as FIA has done with some regulations this and last year.

    FIA is really sad.

  117. The way things are, any teams using team orders will not be guaranteed a $100k fine. It will vary like all the punishments handed out. I think the logic works by how big the fan base is and what race is next on the calendar.

  118. I have read almost all the comments posted and what is shocking is that no one is asking what can we do ( as fans ) to improve the situation.

    Ultimately, as the people who watch the sport have a very big power in our hands, CHANGE THE CHANNEL.

    I personally feel the FIA and Ferrari are “beyond repair” and so are their fans. This could be the last straw, I have seen countless ridiculous decisions going against so many team but very rarely Ferrari.

    Take power in your hands, if you feel so strongly then lets start an online petition which they cannot ignore.
    F1 is a “billion dollar industry” which has lesser integrity than most bookies.

    Another interesting fallout can be reaction of “Formula 100” for banding together and supporting race fixing while trying to ( apparently )shove Marlboro down our throats.

    My personal action list.
    1. I will never buy \ use any products or services associated with Ferrari in anyway.
    2. I will wait to listen to the comments of the remaining team and the stance taken by them. If everyone falls in line with the decision then I will completely boycott F1. Probably will concentrate on “SPORTS”

    I know that I alone cannot make a difference but at least I am trying to do my part.

  119. Todt, by saying that there was not enough evidence to prove using team orders by ferrari at the German Grand Prix, is just trying to say, that the WMSC is occupied by half-minded imbeciles? Isn’t he?

    Whole world has saw and heard, what happen and what was said by than.

    I’m getting sick. It is RED-FLU.

  120. A bit too harsh i think a fine would be a fair punishment i think for all that time they spent talking this was a slightly stupid decision.

  121. Todt has told the press that there was no enough evidence to convict, and because the team denied that there were team orders. Too funny.

  122. Keith what is all these?????

    “@f1fanatic_co_uk: So one point costs $14,285. Ferrari will wonder who they can pay $614,285 to so Alonso can lead the championship”

    “… It’s fair to say it hasn’t gone down well”

    “Hadn’t realised Massa has out-scored Alonso 24-18 since Germany. Would be funny if he kept that up…”

    You hate ferrari and alonso (he detroyed your english team in 2007….he told the FIA for the spy gate)…..but this is ridiculous!!!! Why you are saying all these??? Why your poll don’t have an option RIGHT!!!!!! You hate us but we win it! Next one comes the championship!!!! bye bye

    1. First of all, the poll does have a “right” option, it’s the third one.

      Second, what’s your complaint about the Tweets? I’ve not said anything that’s untrue. The balance of reaction to the verdict on here was negative (look at the poll results).

      It is true that, since Ferrari favoured Alonso in Germany, Massa has out-scored him. I thought that was funny.

      I don’t hate them at all but you seem to have made up your mind on that one and I doubt I’ll convince you otherwise.

    2. Are you bragging about Alonso’s participation in the spy gate debacle? Are you sure you want to go there? That was not one of his (Alonso’s) better moments. That little incident exposed him as a very fragile and tempermental young man when under pressure.
      Hamilton called his bluff on the track and he could not respond then he fell apart. He expected a Massa but got a racer who is better than him. To make matters worse the whole world could see it.
      No hating here, just an observation of the facts.

      1. And if Alonso completes this year behind Hamilton on points, it’l be the fourth year in a row….

  123. I completely agree with Jenson Button, who said that he would walk away from F1 if team orders are legal.

    READ :

    I will certainly walk away from F1 if that was the case. I am honestly disappointed that Willams and Sauber turned out to be kissing Ferrari and FIA in the wrong places.

    But I will keep a close eye on F1 to ensure I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with any company that financially supports or participates in F1.

    I will setup a Online Petition for a comprehensive boycott of the corrupt, amoral, farce called F1.

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