Full WMSC decision: Ferrari used team orders but shouldn’t be punished

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The FIA has published its full decision concerning Ferrari’s use of team orders in the German Grand Prix.

The World Motor Sport Council agreed that team orders had been used and that Ferrari had interfered with the race result.

However it added there had been other examples of “what could have been said to be team orders” in recent years and that there had been “inconsistency in its application” of article 39.1 which forbids team orders.

They also took into consideration Ferrari’s concern their drivers might crash into each other in light of Sebastian Vettel’s crash with Mark Webber in Turkey.

The WMSC also noted it had received letters of support for Ferrari from Frank Williams and Peter Sauber.

Despite not adding any further punishment the original $100,000 fine imposed by the German Grand Prix stewards was upheld and Ferrari also had to pay the cost of the proceedings.

Ferrari’s defence

Ferrari’s defence was that Felipe Massa was not ordered to let Fernando Alonso past.

They claimed he was “given relevant information, based on which he decided, for the benefit of the team, to allow Mr Fernando Alonso to pass. The relevant information was that Mr Fernando Alonso was faster than him, and that Mr Sebastian Vettel was closing the gap on both of them.”

Ferrari added:

There is a clear distinction between ‘team orders’ on the one hand, and ‘team strategy and tactics’ on the other hand. The disputed communication should be considered ‘team strategy and tactics’.

Ferrari also challenged the charge under article 151 (c) of The International Sporting Code (bringing the sport into disrepute), saying:

It would be improper to try to make good some deficiency in the Regulations (if such there be) by relying on some generally worded provisions which are clearly intended to apply to different situations.

The example of Lewis Hamilton passing Heikki Kovalainen in the latter stages of the 2008 German Grand Prix was cited by Ferrari, describing it as “the same” as what happened between Alonso and Massa while noting that it did not receive a sanction. They did not offer any evidence that the change of position was instructed by the team.

Ferrari also claimed McLaren’s instruction to Hamilton and Jenson Button in this year’s Turkish Grand Prix to “save fuel” was “a coded instruction to the drivers to preserve their existing positions”.

According to Ferrari, the stewards were reluctant to punish them in way that would affect their finishing positions in the German Grand Prix.

They said: “The decision of the Stewards not to alter the race result no doubt reflects a degree of realism on their part regarding the ambiguous nature of the rule itself, and the difficulties of policing it and ensuring consistent treatment between different teams.”

The FIA case against

The FIA noted the exchange of radio messages between the drivers and the team, parts of which weren’t broadcast at the time:

On lap 19 Mr Fernando Alonso put pressure on his engineers saying “Guys, I am a lot quicker”, and the engineer said in reply: “Got that, and we are on the case, don’t worry”; and on lap 28 Mr Felipe Massa’s engineer said: “You must keep up the lead, you must keep the gap to him, you know the score, come on”.

They added:

It is self evident to the Judging Body of the WMSC that this was an implied team order using a message, and as such was contrary to article 39.1 Sporting Regulations.

The FIA also made the case that Ferrari had “interfered” with the result of the race:

It was said by Ferrari that with 18 laps to go at the moment of the overtaking the race results were uncertain, but the Judging Body of the WMSC noted that from lap 1 to lap 49 Mr Felipe Massa comfortably led the race, on lap 21 Mr Fernando Alonso [passed] Mr Felipe Massa only to be immediately repassed, and that Mr Fernando Alonso only eventually [passed] Mr Felipe Massa on lap 49 when Mr Felipe Massa unexpectedly slowed down after receiving the messages.

This clearly interfered with the results of the race, and with Mr Fernando Alonso standing on the podium for first place, when his team mate had slowed to allow him to pass, was in the Judging Body of the WMSC’s view prejudicial to the interest of the motor sport and contrary to article 151 (c) of the [International Sporting Code]. It is important for the FIA to act to protect the sporting integrity of the FIA Formula One world championship, and ensure the podium finish has been achieved by genuine on track racing.

It also pointed out that part of the reason why Alonso was faster than Massa in the lead-up to the change of positions was because he’d been told to turn his engine up:

The Reporter considers that Ferrari’s argument relating to the fact that Mr Fernando Alonso was faster than Mr Felipe Massa appears not to hold up. Indeed, a few laps prior to the contentious overtaking, Ferrari’s drivers reduced their engine speed at the request of their respective race engineers. Then Mr Fernando Alonso increased his engine speed without Mr Felipe Massa’s being informed. Mr Fernando Alonso was therefore benefiting from a definite performance advantage over Mr Felipe Massa in the moments preceding the contentious overtaking.

Read the full decision here

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

Image © Ferrari spa

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

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167 comments on “Full WMSC decision: Ferrari used team orders but shouldn’t be punished”

  1. Thats the best they could come up with.

    1. So after a day’s wait, it boils down to exactly what the cynics suggested yesterday.

      The FIA agree that Ferrari did it, Ferrari’s defense is “so what, lots of other people did too.”, the FIA’s response to that is “Well ok, we’ll take your word for that and change the rules for you. Thank you for coming.”

      I expect the incompetence. I can’t stand this “can’t enforce the rule” argument.

      Won’t is not the same as can’t.

      Sickening, sickening rubbish.

      1. Wow, I think you’re taking it a little too far. the bottom line is that it was too vague of a team order to punish and more importantly, that the rule itself is way too vague to be punished. I think you should be sickened by the guys writing the rules.

        they cannot prove that Massa didn’t do it for the sake of the team (even if we think he did, they can’t prove it).

        I’m not coming from a pro-Ferrari point of view either. I like Ferrari and McLaren and personally I’m pulling for Button (and was for Massa)…

        1. but the WMSC actually said that it *was* team orders, they found Ferrari guilty of breaking the rule…

          “It is self evident to the Judging Body of the WMSC that this was an implied team order using a message, and as such was contrary to article 39.1 Sporting Regulations.”

      2. This is the Todt quote:

        “And if you understand all the parts that have been asked, everyone has denied that it was a team order.”

        They lied to the stewards. It’s as clear as mud. Are we going to see a 20 minute press conference with Alonso & Massa put up to the press on their own please?

        1. Yea, if Massa was in an actual court and was sworn in, I think he would say he didn’t want to do it…..but we’re not in an actual court….

          1. …but we’re not in an actual court…

            Exactly. It’s all a big put on sham to make it look like they did something. They never had any intention of ever enforcing their own rule. Boooooooo to the FIA, to Ferrari, to Frank Williams, and to Peter Sauber.

          2. And the argument that the stewards aren’t an actual court has always held up in other occasions where there has been lying…

            Maybe lying to the stewards is another rule that should just be eliminated. Still I suspect the next team that lies to the stewards is going to get hammered (like the times that have done it in the past). This is yet another example of how this situation was dealt with differently because it was Jean Todt’s former team.

      3. wow Hairs and if i told you that every team on the paddock is as guilty as ferrari what would you say? that you have been lied your whole life dont be naive

      4. I agree 101% with this view. Maybe even 102%.

    2. Shocking. The way they gave examples which were so different and still denied it as team orders makes me wished they were heavily punished as opposed to lightly punished as I wanted before. The fact they got off completely, without even a suspended sentence is ridiculous.

      1. The problem is that further punishment is impossible to be given without actual proof that Ferrari are guilty of giving team orders. And I don’t mean just some vague evidence, I mean actual, concrete PROOF.
        Of course everyone knows they are guilty, but how do you prove that in a court? And how can you prove that you are innocent, if you are? It’s impossible and, since we all know team orders are a common practice among all F1 teams – even without proof, it’s still obvious – if they were to punish one case they would have to punish everyone else as well.
        Just imagine the precedent a Ferrari punishment could have set. After each race, teams would be able find slightly suspicious team radio moments to accuse their rivals of using team orders. Each race would take one weekend in the track and one month in the courts…
        See what I’m talking about?

  2. The more I read, the more this seems like a sensible judgement. Really seems like the FIA is trying to achieve consistency in the regulations, which has been one of its failings in the past.

    Hopefully the “revised” Article 39.1, once the Sporting Working Group gets its hands on it, will be clear and applicable to everyone.

    1. Couldn’t agree more.

      At the end of the day the WMSC has confirmed what many of us said here. The rules are unworkable as they are. And to punish Ferrari for this, and ignore previous transgressions would been seen as hypocritical in the extreme.

      Hopefully now, with some input from people in the paddock perhaps they can come up with a system that is consistent, or scrap it altogether.

      At the end of the day the WMSC decision is the best possible because it forces F1 to solve the problem, and not continue in the way that it has.

      1. I really hope they don’t scrap it altogether. For me it’s obvious some teams are unable to discern a fair and decent way of treating their drivers. A petulant star being handed a win is apparently more important than a loyal driver giving them a well fought and meaningful win. That to me is the bigger issue here. They were being punished for breaking a rule, yes, but the intent of any rule is always more important than the rule itself. And in this case, decency to the drivers and fair play are what’s attempting to be achieved.

        1. Do you think then that Red Bull should be punished for taking off the only available latest revision front wing off Webers car and handing it over to Vettel, potentially giving Vettel more speed in qualy and race?

          How about Mclarens move in Turkey telling its driver not to fight each other (my interpretation of the fuel saving message). Should they also be punished?
          If yes we will end upp with good and consitent rule, but then FIA needs to have payed spies in each and every team so that we are sure we have reliable information neccesary in order to enforce a such a rule. Do you think that is realistic? If not, what is the alternative way to do it?

          1. Favouring one driver over another is not illegal. Giving one driver a better car than his teammate is not a “team order which interferes with the outcome of the race”. Think things through before writing them down please.

            McLaren’s radio instructions to save fuel in Turkey we meant as that. When the race ended, Hamilton had less than a lap’s worth of fuel in his tank, and Jenson just a tiny bit more. Without the saving fuel order they would’ve run out of fuel on the circuit…

          2. couldnt agree more comment of the month

          3. @George M

            Think things through before writing them down please.

            I am tempted to tell you the same actually. So you are arguing that a team that consistently gives better equipment to one of its drivers will not in reality give that driver more speed and thereby interfere with the outcome of the races? Longterm, that kind of behavior will not only interfere with “outcome of the race” but potentially also with the outcome of the championship if we are talking of a team with a competitive car! Do not forget that F1 is all about innovation and EQUIPMENT!

          4. George M, qUattO’s reply was to the comments Joey-Poey with regards to the intention of rules, being fair and equal to the team mates. Letting pass ur team mate (finally, Masssas decission) could be considered even more unfair than having to use old car pieces because your team mate crashes the new parts

          5. was reading again and the last quesion was ment to be a question (sorry for my English)

    2. Consistent? Don’t make me laugh. It would be consistent if any other team were charged with 39.1, but they weren’t. As much as the Tifosi rage about ever incomparable situation they can muster (ironically, including their own), the fact remains this was the only incident deemed to be worthy of investigation since 2002.

      39.1 was brought in precisely because Ferrari made a mockery of the sport. In other words, 151c. Fast-forward 5 years and McLaren are fined $100million for breaking 151c. Two years later Renault are given a suspended ban. Ferrari get nothing.

      The only consistency is that Ferrari walk away to be allowed to do what they want. No doubt it pleases you, but unfortunately it seems that for apart from a minority, being a fan of Ferrari and sport are mutually exclusive.

      1. Well, first off, I’m not particularly a Ferrari fan. I prefer them to McLaren, but then the list of things I prefer to McLaren is pretty long and includes several infectious diseases. Anyway, I digress….

        The fact that “this was the only incident deemed to be worthy of investigation” since 2002 means nothing, because it is the system of investigation that is broken. To add another past situation to the list, have a look at what was said to Giancarlo Fisichella over the radio in the 2005 Turkish GP; in practically every detail it is identical to what happened in Germany (even with the same driver as the beneficiary). Those who argue that Ferrari should have received a penalty might be able to lightly dismiss some incidents, but I’ve yet to see a convincing argument as to why that one didn’t deserve punishment, if Germany ’10 did.

        39.1 was brought in after Austria 2002, but was nothing to do with 151c: the FIA specifically ruled that what Ferrari did in Austria did NOT bring the sport into disrepute (personally I don’t agree with that, but that’s what they said at the time). In any case, 151c is quite a handy umbrella rule for the FIA to punish miscellaneous indiscretions: I’m sure you agree that deliberately staging a crash requires a different investigation and different punishment to having a mole inside a rival team, even if you might have punished the former more severely than the latter. If I’ve misread you then I apologise, but it seems like you’re implying that all breaches of 151c should receive an equal penalty.

        The interests of the sport go far deeper than what happens in this race or that race. For too long there has been a culture of inconsistency in the FIA – I’m sure everyone on the board can chime in with a few examples of such – and it finally seems like the federation is taking steps to address this. That’s far better than perpetuating the same inconsistencies, just for the peace of mind of some outraged fans.

        1. Charles Carroll
          9th September 2010, 17:54

          Except that it may open the door for more inconsistency, or a consistent ethic of corruption.

          Let me elaborate. Once you stop enforcing a rule simply because it was inconsistently applied in the past, there is nothing to stop the enforcing of nearly all of the rules if it were determined that anytime in the past someone slipped by without punishment.

          That is a dangerous precedent: To throw out the rules entirely because someone managed to beat them at one time or someone failed to enforce them.

          What that does is neuter the entire rule book by using history, normal human error, and political correctness. What is left is basically a sport without rules, where race fixing will readily occur and the only product the consumer receives is one that is predetermined and prepackaged…just like professional wrestling.

          Well, F1, you’re on your way.

          1. Charles Carroll
            9th September 2010, 17:56

            In summary:

            It is better to start enforcing the rules now, as best as you can, and not worry about “past inconsistencies” or any other mistakes made in enforcement.

            Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water. Just FIX the enforcement of the rule, don’t just throw it out entirely.

          2. Thankyou Charles Carroll. Yours is the perfect riposte to the shallow and devious posts immediately above your own. If a sport as huge as F1 has such an ineffectual governing body that it simply dare not enforce the rules it created to ensure racing fairness and honesty, then we are indeed on a slippery slope. And as you so accurately describe, to use a defence for your laxity which includes the premise that it was always difficult to enforce this rule so we’ll just let things go from bad to worse and do nothing, verges on criminal negligence.

            I have tried to explain to my teenaged sons what these events imply. They are not impressed.

        2. Well I wouldn’t want to start this without saying you’ve satisfied some of my points, and that I mistakenly thought you were a Ferrari fan based on your general comments. Not that my final paragraph was intended for you solely, but obviously it was addressed to you.

          Anyway, here’s the sticking points:

          If I’ve misread you then I apologise, but it seems like you’re implying that all breaches of 151c should receive an equal penalty.

          No, just that they have (a suspended ban) in the past two high-profile cases. And your argument is about consistency. As yet, we haven’t heard the WMSC even mention 151c, but it’s clear they didn’t find Ferrari in breach of it, so they obviously don’t get that penalty. Fair enough.

          What will be interesting is their reasoning for not finding a breach of 151c, and whether their reasoning is consistent; after all, how can you lie to the stewards and not bring the sport into disrepute? Remember the last time that happened? Again, consistency.

          Those who argue that Ferrari should have received a penalty might be able to lightly dismiss some incidents, but I’ve yet to see a convincing argument as to why that one didn’t deserve punishment, if Germany ‘10 did.

          I’ve yet to have seen a convincing argument that because someone else got away with it, everyone should. It might be a good reason to scrap the rule, but not to do the most to disregard it whilst it still exists.

          In the most bitter of ironies, given your comments about inconsistencies, what the WMSC has basically done is undermine the idea of following a rule, but the next time it happens you can bet the punishment won;t be the same. That’s really what’s at the heart of the issue, regardless of who’s being investigated.

          1. I’ve yet to have seen a convincing argument that because someone else got away with it, everyone should.

            This is the crux of the issue. It’s not that someone else once got away with breaking the rule. It’s that prior to Germany, everyone did. And the Turkey incident I mentioned was pretty much exactly the same, yet no penalty. Not even an investigation.

            What happens, in terms of investigations and punishments of subsequent team order incidents, between now and the rule being rewritten is an open question. But I would think that a brief period of uncertainty in that regard was preferable to having the same system of double standards in place, where the level of punishment applied to team orders is (seemingly) proportional to public and media outcry over the incident.

      2. In fact McLaren was charged with breaking 39.1 after Monaco 2007. They were thoroughly checked. Every strategic decision was questioned.

        In the end they were acquitted of wrongdoings and with it the verdict set a precedent that telling you drivers not to attack in the end of the race was a legal team order.

        In that case Alonso was the benefactor of team orders as well …

      3. …being a fan of Ferrari and sport are mutually exclusive.


        1. Not if F Alonso drives the car ;)

          1. He may well be talented, but Alonso ≠ sportsmanlike.

          2. Why should be, Peter? He himself said F1 isn’t a sport, funny at the time it seemed to bother him a lot more.

    1. He is a conservative team boss after all. TO were there in the past, so he sticks with them in the future.

      Good STR have Mateschitz, otherwise they would have to support this same way as Sauber had to for his engine supply.

  3. Depressing to say the least. But then this is what you can expect when you let a bunch of amateurs run a tribunal.

  4. In other words the teams win.

    They’re the only people who want team orders like what happened at Austria and Germany and even though the FIA tried to outlaw it with rule 39.1, in it’s first and last test case the WMSC didnt have the strength to uphold it.

  5. So they get no penalty at all for having practically the entire team lie through their teeth about it to press, stewards etc etc… unbelieveable.

    1. The penalty was 100,000 ….

      1. Plus legal costs

      2. and a whole lot of bad karma (hopefully)

        1. Hahaha! Like it Patrickl…can’t help but think Alonso will claim to have had enough bad luck already, but then he does like a little whinge…. ;-)

          As for the decision – WSMC has simply said we’re convinced it was a team order but agree there’s some ambiguity in the rule. I read that as ‘we can’t prove it and we know if we charge them, they’ll apeal and win and so we’ll look REALLY stoooopid!’

          I think they’ve done reasonably well even if I would have liked to see another fine imposed, but then I openly hate Ferrari and Alonso in equal measure, so I need to temper my enthusiasm to see them kicked out of the championship just for being too damned RED. :-P

          1. haha, like your honesty there Geordie, right with you on that one. Trying as hard as I can to keep a balanced viewpoint, but the reds make it really difficult…

        2. The $100,000 was for using teams orders. They got no penalty at all for all the blatant lying after the fact.

  6. Except the only blatant use of ‘team orders'(i.e. driver position swapping) in ‘recent years’ have both been Ferrari too (Massa being passed in the pits in 2007 at São Paulo, Raikonnen letting Massa catch up at China 2008). Okay so nobody protested in these two cases, but it hardly counts as an excuse for the same team to act in the VERY same way that led to the introduction of the rule in the first place. Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari. Not much else left to say.

    1. No, there have been quite a few more than that since the rule change.

      1. Obviously there has been more teams, and it is mentioned in the article if you want to know the team name.

      2. That involved swapping driver positions and had a direct bearing on the championship? Such as?

        It’s bizarre and completely cynical (of course) that Ferrari claim Massa moved aside of his own free will, without any coded message involved, and then claim McLaren were passing a coded message with their ‘save fuel’ order AFTER we’d all seen Hamilton and Button battle it out on track.

        1. I find this a very poor excuse by Ferrari as well.

          The sole fact they could not think up more than those 2 examples (one of them being at most a misunderstanding, the other perfectly normal team strategy to give the faster one a chance to win the race) shows on what level Ferrari pushed over those WMSC members. Those are worlds away from the blatant infringement by themselves.

          Interesting they felt the need to pick on McLaren, why not Renault, where the incidents of Fisi moving over for Alonso could have been confirmed by their own driver?

        2. Such as Mclaren 08 Kov letting pass Ham and Ham winning the tittle by 1 point difference. This is not only altering the race result, is altering the whole championchip!!! Sure the engineers ordered Kov to figt his position to death

          1. Yes, but there was no damning radio evidence, and Hamilton didn’t just sit around directly ahead of Kovalainen. He put 3 extra cars between them.

          2. Well, Alonso could not put 3 cars between him self and Mass, could he. He was nr 1.

          3. Sure, remember just 1 point difference at the end of the season. If Kov would have fought to keep position and resited longer, Ham might not have had time to catch up other cars, or not all of them. Just 1 point ahead…
            And radio talks get recorded to serve stewards but obviously, if an investigation is not started, end up in the bin

  7. Sound_Of_Madness
    9th September 2010, 17:16

    So team orders are officially legal.

    1. If you’re Ferrari, yes.

      Otherwise, put your rain jacket on…

    2. no, when the rule were changed then yes. Now, if you do team orders then you pay $100,000 and get a lot of bad karma, as someone said.

  8. lol…reading the full decision..this line grabbed my attention.

    “Ferrari ordered Mr Felipe Massa, driver of Ferrari car number 8, to let Mr Fernando Alonso driver of car number 7 pass durin the German Grand Prix”

    Anybody see the cock up?

    1. The car numbers or the verdict as a whole?

  9. The reasons given for the decision make sense I just hope that they clarify the rule soon so everyone knows where they stand for the Championship run in.

  10. Who’s fault was it that there was inconsistent enforcement? Theirs!

    The decision is looking more and more like a farce the more you look at it. Even rescinding the original punishment on the basis of a lack of evidence would have been legitimate. But now the WMSC have said that it’s okay to break the rules because someone else might (not even “definitely have) have gotten away with it in the past.

    The sport’s governance is more incompetent than I thought. At least Max Mosley would have shown some backbone in whatever happened. Todt’s FIA have shown they don’t even have the backbone to stand by an unpopular decision so they have to make a halfway-house that doesn’t stand up to any logic. Cowardly.

    1. Charles Carroll
      9th September 2010, 17:46

      You’re on point here.

      If we all judged history the way the WMSC just did, in that current rules cannot be enforced because in the past mistakes were made and we don’t want to be hypocritical, such political correctness would strangulate progress and effectively end society.

      Mistakes in the past are where they belong: In the past. Do not let those mistakes preclude you from doing what is right and proper now, such as enforcing laws and rules.

      It really is beyond the pale to me.

    2. Exactly! Bring in that international tribunal as soon as possible Todt.
      These guys are the same lame ducks they have been for years. First they let Mosley use them for endless politically motivated “rulings” that are the epitomen of inconsistency.
      And now that Todt left them to themselves to decide, they continued the inconsistency and let themselves be buried under non arguments by Ferrari.

      I do understand, that it is hard to decide when you never took the trouble in the past. But it has to start somewhere. And those alleged team orders, its rumour and slander until they give at least strong clues.

      The fact that Alonso was not even genuinly faster (just the same trick with turning engines up/down Red Bull gave us in Turkey) makes this even more unbelievable.

      How come they did not bring the sport in disrepute? And isnt it clear they misinformed the stewards, if not lied to them?

      1. The fact that Alonso was not even genuinly faster (just the same trick with turning engines up/down Red Bull gave us in Turkey) makes this even more unbelievable.

        That was the most horrifying bit of information to surface. Proof that they really had ZERO justification to manipulate the race except that they wanted Alonso to win. The fact that it happened a year to the day after Massa’s crash and would have been a huge morale boost for him (and likely many in the team) just makes it that much worse. It’s just disgusting. I will never support this team.

  11. How much money do you think you get for winning the championship? If it’s only $100,000 fine to break the rules why doesn’t someone like Renault/Force India just attach massive Turbo boosters to the car.

    It would be miles faster than anyone else but they’d win every race. And $100,000 fine would be nothing for them when they’ve won the championship.

    1. According to the rules, that would stand for disqualification. I understand your sarcasm, but not all rules are punishable in the same manner.

      1. Let him have his fun mate!


  12. for the optimists out there…ferrari have shot themselves in the foot as maclaren and red bull will successfully order there cars to block out ferrari (who are way to far behind) and run away with the championship. it’ll only cost then a small sum of £100,000 per race……nice one ferrari..well done

    1. Well, for us optimists a matter of 7 extra points was never going to be enough for the mistake-prone Alonso to beat Hamilton or Webber to the championship!

  13. As I said on Twitter yesterday, the WMSC should be brought before a panel of F1 fans for bringing the sport in to disrepute. Doesn’t matter what way you cut it, this result is rotten.

    They either did the crime, in which they should have lost the points gained at the very least. Or they didn’t, in which case the $100000 fine should have been reversed.

    Ferrari broke the rules, and have pretty much been let off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, and a license to do it again. This stinks. In fact, this sport stinks. The corruption running through it is beginning to disgust me.

  14. Ferrari added, “there is a clear distinction between ‘team orders’ on the one hand, and ‘team strategy and tactics’ on the other hand. The disputed communication should be considered ‘team strategy and tactics’”.


    1. Dear Ferrari,

      Look up the word “semantics.”


    2. I guess that statement really clarifies which side of this debate you are on.

      I am not a Ferrari fan. I actually loathe the team, but have supported certain drivers who turned up there because I like the drivers.

      But, even with my overall distaste for Ferrari as a team their statement is exactly how I see it.

      “Team Orders” are a form of strategy.
      Stirling Moss thinks so. Frank Williams thinks so. And so does just about every person in the paddock that I respect.

      1. You sir, are full of win.

      2. Is lying to the stewards a form of strategy? Or is it okay because the team order ban is undesirable ;-)

  15. This is the wooly and illogical explanation I was expecting.
    Ferrari claimed it wasn’t team orders, but by backing the stewards the WMSC basically said it was.
    To claim there might be other unpunished offences is no cause for a judge to throw out a case and it shouldn’t allow the WMSC to disregard the one before them either.
    Where rules are broken they need penalising consistently. Anything else makes F1 look more like politics and less like sport.
    As for bringing the sport into disrepute, that’s probably unprovable and the rule should be removed. Otherwise it will just be used to punish teams the FIA feel ought to be penalised.

  16. Very strange.

    This doesn’t match what Todt was saying about lack of evidence. Stripped to it’s basics the judgement says, you gave team orders, there is plenty of clear evidence, but we are not going to do anything about it because nobody has been punished for it before.

    The last point is certainly true, but hardly a good reason to do nothing now or in the furure. I am surprised that they did not at least impose a suspended points deduction as was proposed, that at least would have been symbolic like Renault in the crash gate scandle, but without any real effect.

    I’m also surprised that penalties on the drivers were never considered an option even though it was only the drivers championship position that was changed by the orders.

    I do think though that the FIA were in an almost impossible position, damned if they did and damned if they didn’t so a fudge was always on the cards, but I’m far from convinced that is good for the sport.

    1. Exactly, giving only a suspended penalty would make perfect sense, if the FIA felt that it would not be good to start dealing heavy penalties the first time such a case is proven.

      With a suspended ban, the penalty does not hurt, unless they do it again. In that case they have been warned and the argument about it not being penalized before does not count any more.

      1. Forgot to add.
        without a suspended ban, this means rule 39.1 can now officially be considered disfunct and unenforcable.

  17. So Ferrari’s defence boils down to:
    1. We didn’t do it.
    2. And even if we did, you can’t prove it.
    3. And even if you can, it’s not wrong.
    4. And even if it is, other people have done it too.

    And the FIA’s response:
    1. Nobody believes that.
    2. The stewards found enough evidence.
    3. It’s against the rules (151c as well).
    4. We’re talking about this (blatant) occasion.
    5. Er, but we’ll let you off.

    1. That sums it up nicely

    2. Todt’s response:

      1. We have enough evidence to convict you.
      2. We don’t have enough evidence to punish you further, despite the other charge not being dependant on how much evidence we have about the first one, which we deemed ample anyway. 3. Yeh, that makes no sense.
      4. Tough.
      5. Where’s my limo?

    3. Yeah, that sounds exactly right :)

    4. Pretty much right apart from 5) for the FIA should read. “But considering this is a a rule which can’t be enforced we’re going to not penalise Ferrari and scrap the rule”

      1. How is it not enforceable when we’ve just witnessed the first time it’s been enforced?

      2. The WMSC didn’t say it was unenforcable. Just that it hadn’t been enfoced (ie point 4)

    5. Exactly. It’s embarrassing to be a fan of F1 today.

  18. Good job Keith – Of all the blogs I visit only you and Joe Seward think the same as the fans. You Have shamed the so called jounalists at the BBC & James Allen.

    And this is why we the fans love you

  19. I’m looking forward to the next “Todt Approval Rating” poll.

    1. Yeah. Todt has been lying flat out about the matter.

      He claimed there wasn’t enough proof to penalize Ferrari when in fact the WMSC stated that they do feel that there was enough evidence.

      Either the guy is an utter liar, or he is so out of touch with the actual goings on that he should have kept his mouth shut.

      Either way, bad marks for him.

      1. Very bad indeed. Can’t wait to click “disapprove.” Keith, maybe you could add a special “highly disapprove” option this month.

  20. Interesting observation from Jonathan Noble:

    “…Fascinating the revelation in the FIA document that Alonso was allowed to turn his engine up a bit when following Massa to be ‘faster…

    — Jonathan Noble via Twitter

    1. It is in Keiths article as well. I find this very worrying.
      Even the argument that Alonso was consistenly and genuinly faster is shown to be manipulated.
      If Felipe and Smedley would have known, would he have moved aside. And now that he knows, what about him saying he is not a second driver?

    2. you must understand, massa had to save fuel ;)

  21. Wasn’t it John Todt who got this whole team orders ban rule?
    Looks to me like he did it so Ferrari can exploit it while other teams don’t cause well, u cant according to the rule book!

  22. How does it work at the WMSC anyway?

    From what I understand there is just a bunch of national car union leaders sitting together. Probably someone explains them the case from the steward’s point of view. Then they hear the case from the defendant. Followed by a vote on the matter. Based on this vote they decide if they favor the stewards or the defendant. From that vote they work out some sort of verdict to go with they vote.

    1. I think thats about it. Let us just hope Todt makes up for this mayor fail in the future and brings some genuin rule enforcing and judicial system to the FIA, or just quit “governing” F1 altogether.

  23. Oh and one more thing. I realise the WMSC is not a law court but they could learn a few lessons. Surely the fact that Ferrari were STILL claiming it wasn’t team orders is akin to pleading not guilty, this should surely provoke a harsher penalty. Didn’t McLaren get persuaded to plead guilty in order to reduce their penalty. Oh uhm …

    1. Yes, but McLaren have some shred of integrity. Ferrari does not.

      1. Spygate, anyone?
        Oh, yeah, it was McLaren so it is ok to steal and copy as long as you do it with integrity.

        You are the very definition of a fanboy.

        1. I wasn’t following F1 during the Spygate saga, so I’m not familiar with the details of that, and McLaren isn’t even in my top five favorite teams. Sorry to disappoint.

      2. It’s not a question of having integrity or not. McLaren had solid proof against them in the spygate case. In Ferrari’s case, there was none.

        Unfortunately, courts have to stick to the available proof when giving their verdict. Just because something is obvious doesn’t mean it can always be proved.

        Just to back that, remember how Al Capone was finally caught? ;)

  24. What I don’t understand about this farce is that Ferrari now claim that team orders were used to interfere with the race result in Hockenheim 2008 and in Turkey 2010. If so, they should have protested.

    Seeing how they didn’t protest, how can they now claim that a penalty should have been given then?

    Besides, the verdict of the 2007 Monaco team orders inquiry quite clearly states that what McLaren did in Turkey is allowed.

    Also the suggestion that Vettel crashing into Webber at the same race is an excuse to allow team orders is just absurd.

    Utterly disgusting verdict. I don’t think I have ever read something as incredibly lame in my life.

    1. It is FIA’s job, and not Ferrari’s, to enforce the rules.
      FIA should have investigated such an apparent breach of the rules that was witnessed in Germany 2008, no matter if someone protests or not. Especially as it enabled LH to win the race at the time.

      When rule enforcment becomes protest (or media driven as in this case) then FIA needs to punish itself and that is i reality what has happened.

      1. By the WMSC’s own verdict, they do not consider it “interfering with the race result” if the driver could have gotten past on his own. Obviously Hamilton and Kubica were so much faster that there was no doubt that these were not illegal team orders. Why investigate?

        Clearly the WMSC does not consider Hockenheim 2008 and Canada 2008 as illegal team orders.

        Similarly they do not consider Mc:Laren’s save fuel orders in Turkey 2010 as illegal team orders because of the verdict of the Monaco 2007 team orders case. Apart from the fact that they really had to save fuel.

        Every example that Ferrari has mentioned is clearly NOT in breach of 39.1. How on earth can the WMSC then say that the order has not been applied properly?

        I’m all for more stringently enforcing the rule, but to say the rule cannot be inforced because some clearly not illegal team orders might have been illegal is just ridiculous.

        1. LH was faster than Heikki? 100% Correct! Did he overtake him by speed/making a move? 100% not (refer to video). It looked exact same way as when LH overtakes a back marker, only that time the back marker was sitting in a Mclaren F1 car.
          However, I agree with you that there are important differences between the two cases, which changes how the observer will react:
          1. Heikki did not have the courage to slow down and let LH by on the straight, as Massa did.
          2. Mclaren management has more experience than the current Ferrari management. They did not ask Heikki’s race engineer to make things happen, hence they avoided problems similar to the one Rob Smedley created for his team by being so outspoken.

          1. @ ‘It looked exact same way as when LH overtakes a back marker’

            Which pretty much sums up how it looked when Hamilton subsequently overtook Massa and Piquet too.

          2. qUattrO, you obviously haven’t even read the verdict.

            Both the FIA prosecuter, the WMSC and Ferrari in it’s defence agree that whether the driver would have been able to pass on his own merit is a key element in determining if the order was illegal or not.

          3. @David BR says:
            September 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

            Which pretty much sums up how it looked when Hamilton subsequently overtook Massa and Piquet too.

            So you are admitting to that Massa behaves like a back marker…and you still want Ferrari to allow championship contender Alonso stay behind?
            The only time Massa does not behave like a back marker is when it is Alonso who is behind trying to pass. And regarding Piquet…oh well…oh well

    2. Ferrari aren’t asking Mclaren to be penalised for Germany 2008 and Turkey 2010. Ferrari are saying, “don’t punish us since, you did not punish them” and not, “punish them first!” While both sentences mean the same colloquially, they mean entirely different in legal sense.

  25. Well, one thing holding back a non-approve of Todt next time is that he did start a process to stop this stuff and hand appeals to a proper forum instead of this bunch of wafflers.

    1. Not enough, and far to late to influence this months approval rating.

      If he puts that through, wait and see if it will work better. The WMSC process is still pretty much defunct for justice in the sport.

      1. He’ll have to work miracles rewriting the team order ban rule for me to vote anything but “disapprove.”

  26. Here is an idea to kill this. Let teams race the number of cars they want. If Big Red want three, let them, if Force India or Virgin want to just run one then let them. Part of F1’s issue it the are required to run two cars, no more or less. I still find that to be a dumb thing.

    1. How would that kill this? Ferrari would then have two drivers at their disposal to act as road blocks/speed bumps and manipulate races for their golden child.

      1. Sorry poor choice of words.

  27. The only way to stop this happening again is for the fans who are aggrevied to take legal action against Ferrari/Alonso/Massa/Todt/FIA for loss of earings thru placed bets. There is no difference between Pakistan cricketers & Ferrari racing drivers influencing the outcome of a cricket match or F1 race.
    How about F1Fanatic presenting the case on behalf of it’s loyal fans? Think of the publicity & the promise of good racing in the future.

    1. Betting on F1 is a fools bet in the first place.

    2. Pakistan fixed the game to let another team win. Ferrari didn’t move their drivers over for Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton.

  28. The law can subvert the reason, but the reason can not subvert the law. I took this quote from the book Shogun by James Clavell. Any civilization/Organization which doesn´t respect this idea is doomed to caos.

  29. I have read the article two times now, and I just cannot find where the evidence proving Ferrari really deployed team orders is. The author claims that “The World Motor Sport Council agreed that team orders had been used and that Ferrari had interfered with the race result.”, but nowhere it is mentioned how they can prove that. The “evidence” that is mentioned is the observation that first Alonso was NOT able to overtake Massa and then suddenly he was able to do it when Massa slowed down. But that is really only evidence of Massa slowing down, without proving the reason. Unless FIA can prove Massa did not do it for the best of the team but was forced to take that action, they have no case.

    1. Read the verdict

      1. I have already. If you have found the text stating the evidence they have, I would very much appreciate it if you could paste it in a reply!

        1. Read the text under “The FIA case against”.

          1. I had already figured that one out. Thanks anywhy.
            English is not my mother tongue so I may not understand every phrase.
            I guess you are referring to:

            “You must keep up the lead, you must keep the gap to him, you know the score, come on”

            I am not sure if I get what “you know the score” is supposed to mean. Or even how “cat was out of the house” should be perceived…

          2. “You know the score” is another way of saying “you know what that means”.

            As for”cat was out of the house” I’ve no idea! “The cat is out of the bag” would mean a secret has been revealed.

  30. The comment about the rev-limit orders is crucial, and, to my mind, the most damning evidence there is against Ferrari. The team told them both to turn down the wick, then, a few laps before the crime, Alonso turned his engine up, all the while Smedley was berating Massa for not going faster. So while Massa was being told “you know the score,” i.e., the rule that if Alonso is on your tail let him by, the team were contriving to let Alonso catch him up by cheating against Massa. This is a tremendous indignity to Massa.

    I find this the most dastardly aspect of the event. When you think of the blow to Massa’s confidence of these events, you must consider this a great cruelty. Further, it is instructive for all the fans of Alonso to know the only reason why he was able to catch Massa again, was due to the team contriving to give Alonso more power. This also throws the RBR are catching us gambit out the window.

    As to the ruling itself and Ferrari’s sorry defenses, weak sauce. Ferrari couldnt resist using the words “Lewis Hamilton,” but citing past events is totally irrelevant because these events they name were not the subject of WMSC decisions defining the rule. The most relevant examples, like Monaco 2007 distinguish the facts badly against them, so there may be a reason they want to ignore actual precedent. And 151.c is not intended to apply to this situation? What does it apply to if not the open manipulation of the race result.

    Their patting the WMSC on the head, saying that letting them off was the only thing to do with such a hard rule to apply, was offensive. The WMSC crawling into Ferrari’s lap to have its ears thus stroked is also pretty profound. The excuse that the rules have not been enforced by stewards, or decided by the panel, consistenly in the past is totally irrelevant. Their job is to decide the case before them, not the ones that happened before—or the ones that never happened, but could of, if Ferrari were the stewards. If they are claiming that acquitting brings more consistency to the rule that is one thing, but they are only saying that justice requires that the judges throw their hands up. In this case, they should decline their next pay check and seek new work.

    1. Great post, love your writing but it has been repeatedly said in posts here, that “save fuel orders” are considered “team strategy” and not “orders”, and that is perfectly comparable to limiting motors.

      Legally, there is something called law of precedent, based on past actions and decissions: if a case has not been investigated because it was legal without a doubt, my very same action can not be judged just because it didn’t look “morally correct(?)” no case there.
      Ferrari said they would have gone to ordinary courts in case of further punishments. That would have been a huge slap in the FIAs face after final veredict, no case.

      Finally, Ferrari did not walk away for free. Apart from the 100k paid (don’t know if it’s true, but Ive heard the race stewards can not fine over 50K, dodgy… Whiting in da house) Ferrari has received constant attacks from Britsh and German media, and this will continue as for many of them the WMSC veredict was “too soft”, further harm to Ferrari…

  31. like it or not, they were far too soft with this…

    the result was interfered, yes. That the others did it doesn’t mean you’re also allowed to do it.

    They talk about Mclaren in 2008, Heikki being asked to leave the door open for Lewis…

    but in 2007, Mclaren was penalized in Hungary AT QUALIFING!… they didn’t score points as a team in the race, and penalized Alonso 5 places (or 10, i dont’ remember) for the starting grid…

    They should’ve done the same here… just remove the constructor points

  32. Crime? Wow, that was strong word. Not that it was espionage or something like that…

    1. No it was more like lying AND breaking 39.1. So you’d expect at the very least the same punishment as was handed down to another team for lying.

  33. So….. the lunatic are running the asylum :(

    1. Haha! Just about.

    2. No, they’re just posting on blogs….

      (I jest, I could not resist)

  34. Last week NASCAR collected 16 engines from several teams to put on the dynamo for testing. Heaven help anyone whose engines exceeds the specs.
    NASCAR is hard and fast with it’s rules and no amount of semantics is going to get you out of severe fines and points lost. Ask any driver, engineer or team owner, they all understand the rules and the consequences for braking them.
    It is a shame that FIA is no NASCAR.

    1. And fans appreciate the fact that they can depend on NASCAR to protect the integrity of the sport. They take it for granted that NASCAR will do it’s job.
      I’m not a big NASCAR fan but I appreciate the organization. It’s too bad we can expect the same from FIA.

      1. It’s too bad that NASCAR is a boring sport. Maybe we can recruit its governing body to take over the FIA.

        1. Is it a boring sport????
          Than what´s F1?? Painfull sport!!, and i´m a big F1 fan. ( don´t loose a F1 race since 1983 ).
          You should try to watch it some time, i would be a happy F1 fan if F1 had 20% of the excitment and unlikely that nascar races usually have.

          1. I’ve tried. Just does nothing for me.

  35. I’ve been trying to get on FIA.com now for hours to read the Thursday press conference, but FIA.com won’t load. Angry fans inundating their site to find a contact email address?

    1. Finally got it to load:

      …but they still don’t have today’s press conference up.

  36. Most sports fans support 1 team/athlete/player etc. It is hard to remove oneself from such loyalties, but it is largely pointless to conduct a debate about the generalities of a sport in general if you are unable to do so.

    However, is F1 truly a sport in the way that tennis is? The massive reliance on technology is leading it to become largely a measure of technical prowess.

    Keith, it would be interesting to look at the fundamentals of what we really want F1 to be. I primarily follow one driver rather than a team, but have teams I am fond of. There are other drivers I follow & find the technology fascinating. I almost enjoy the Friday sessions more than the race…

    If we want a sport that is purely about driver prowess, then we need something more like A1GP (?) with same engines, chassis etc etc.

    Whilst none of this tension justifies ‘cheating’ or manipulating rules I think we will always have conflicts between the commercial needs of business that invest in running a team, the indivuality skills of drivers & what fans think or want the sport to be.

  37. In reality, team orders on this occasion resulted in us as the viewer being robbed of a chance to watch a hot headed Alonso have to make an over taking manoeuvre on Massa, whilst taking on the possible risk of (I can’t over take without carnage) Vettel joining the battle from behind. In a sport where over taking has become even less common, our right to view were manipulated in such a blunt and obvious way (nice one Rob Smeadley, we needed to know) that further action needed to be taken, or the rules change; but let’s face it, we are talking about Ferrari here, nothing was really going to ever happen, was it?

  38. Seems fair I guess.

    Opens a can of worms really doesn’t it? And the last thing they want is a media circus by trying to be all ethical about it.

  39. Just caught this update where they finally mention 151c.

    As I’ve been told elsewhere, breaking 151c hasn’t always resulted in punishment. McLaren didn;t have one for the first Spygate hearing (not enough evidence at the time, it was said), and Renault didn’t for doing the same thing McLaren were fined $100million for (I don’t recall the reasoning). So conviction doesn’t always equal punishment.

    But note the reasoning for the McLaren case: not enough evidence. At the time, there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest it was McLaren at fault rather than an employee. McLaren were at fault for having the guy, but that was it. So the precedent is that if there’s enough evidence that the team or its principals was complicit, there’s a punishment.

    In this case the evidence is watertight, as per the WMSC’s own interpretation. So I’d really like to know what exactly more they needed to give a punishment for 151c, rather than simply find a breach.

    So today we’ve learned that Ferrari manipulated a race (Massa’s engine) so that it could be manipulated further (to make him move over), then lied to the stewards, but that’s not enough to make the sport look bad. In 2007, the mainstream public only really got bothered when the actual final proceedings came around (not that I’m implying that’s any kind of defence). In this case, the public were mad at the time of the event. And yet F1 didn’t look as bad with the latter occurrence than it did with the former? Absolute madness.

  40. Mark my words. This will come back to bite Ferrari. I can only assume that after Felipe has left Ferrari he will no longer be restricted to voice such controversy.

    Personal opinion:
    The punishment was an embarrassment. $100,000 is cheaper then a Ferrari car and if you asked Ferrari if they would like a race win for Fernando for a measly $100k thats spare change talk. It will only encourage more race fixing and less enjoyable races/championships.

    What needs to be done is a strongly enforced rule that is along the lines of “under any circumstances that team orders that ultimately influenced the result of the race are believed to be used then points should be deducted from both drivers. A protest will cost $100,000, if the decision is changed then the $100,000 is returned”

  41. This case just proves the theory that Flav tested – The FIA is not in charge. They are a redundant Gentleman’s Club.

    F1 itself (ie. it’s owners) should create a rulebook so anyone competing must abide by it or get kicked from the sport. The referee’s decision is final. A race review panel could act as an after-the-fact court, but the sanctions would be enforceable without fear of teams/drivers running to the law to bail them out.

    Lose the FIA = F1 is a sport again.

    1. So you’re saying Bernie should have full control over everything? That sounds like a great idea! We’d have shortcuts, new races every year, and a new formula once a month or so depending on his mood.

  42. Why did Ferrari bought up the battle of Mclaren in Turkey? They fought for their position! They should look at their eggs other then counting how have bad eggs do Mclaren have.

    One thing which we all learn from this is TEAM ORDER isn’t ban, so any team like Mclaren & Red Bull can use it.

  43. So basically, yes it was illegal on two counts
    – use of team orders wich interfere with the race result
    – discredited the sport by having a podium which did not reflect on track racing

    Conclusion: no punishement

    The mind boggles.

  44. Shame on FIA. Todt being old Ferrari president how one can expect harsh decision. Ultimately F1 is looser. By this way Ferrari not going to win title.

  45. Keith: I think theres something wrong in your article. You quoted:

    “…Alonso increased his engine speed WITH Mr Felipe Massa’s being informed. Mr Fernando Alonso was therefore benefiting from a definite performance advantage over Mr Felipe Massa in the moments preceding the contentious overtaking…”

    But the right one is:

    “Alonso increased his engine speed WITHOUT Mr Felipe Massa’s being informed. Mr Fernando Alonso was therefore benefiting from a definite performance advantage over Mr Felipe Massa in the moments preceding the contentious overtaking.”

    I think this is vital to understand that Ferrari had misled Massa shortly before Alonso passed him.

    1. Well spotted Becken – have changed the text accordingly.

    2. “I think this is vital to understand that Ferrari had misled Massa shortly before Alonso passed him.”

      Although I’m happy on one hand that Massa was genuinely shown to be quick it certainly isn’t a nice situation and is possibly the worst bit about it as I doubt Massa has the same faith in the team now.

  46. Ahh I don’t care anymore!

    Lets just have a great weekend watching F1 at Monza! Come on you Brits!

  47. The most surprising to me is the letter from Frank Williams.
    Sauber’s running Ferrari engines, so no surprise there.
    I guess Williams are planning to use Ferrari power as well then …

    1. Williams have Ferrari engines? Surely the world would implode?! :P

    2. There are actually a great number of people and F1 personalities that have been supporting Ferrari throughout this process and are against the rule. Following your great logical thinking, all those against Ferrari are Mercedes/ Renault powered or might be in the future. Uh!

  48. I respect that they are trying to be consistent, but it is in the rule book, like all other rules so not punishing them is still inconsistency. All this “the others did it too!” yeah but that was previous seasons. This season is a new season with new rules and the rules should apply if they are in the rules book no matter what the others did years before. I know that the rule was also there in the Hekki vs Lewis case, but that was another season. Forget the past because it is not relevant to the sport this year!And the Lewis vs Button “save fuel” argument is ridiculous. If they can prove that there was plenty of fuel left in the tanks to finish the race when racing each other, then YES they should e punished. But was that the case? I have never heard that it was.
    Also it is very unfair because Red Bull who did let their drivers race lost 43 points because of that, Ferrari should have to risk the same when their drivers are racing each other. Now i think that Red Bull should be allowed to get their 43 points back for the basic price of 100.000$ because if they had done the same they would never have crashed in Turkey.

    1. “If they can prove that there was plenty of fuel left in the tanks to finish the race when racing each other, then YES they should e punished. But was that the case?”

      We won’t know anymore. If all teams are to be treated equally, why has this case not been investigated????

    2. Nice post!

      Also it is very unfair because Red Bull who did let their drivers race lost 43 points because of that, Ferrari should have to risk the same when their drivers are racing each other.

      I have to disagree with you when you regarding the point above. Comparing the Red Bull point situation with Ferrari is not fair. Red Bull is dominating the field. If not for all the mistakes the drivers of RB has made throughout the season they would comfortably have won the championship by Monza at the latest.

      In the Ferrari case, when they arrived at Germany (after Turkey and Canada) they were so far from the battle for the championship that they could IN NO WAY loose or risk loosing more points. And if you had been following the season until Germany you could easily point out which of the Ferrari drivers that had the potential to take up the fight with the other team for the championship. Therefor the decision that Alonso had to score the maximum (without risking crashing with Massa) was the only one available and any single one of the team managers on the F1 grid would take the same decision that Ferrari took. If they say “No, I would not” I would see it as either they are not doing their job properly or they are lying.

      1. Well i think that it is comparable, first of all since Ferrari used it as an argument that they would not want to risk it. And i do think since Red Bull have favored Vettel over Mark i think that they would have said that Mark should move over. They did ask him to do so, but they still gave him the choice. Because team orders are not allowed.
        You are right that it is clear who is the fastest of the two Ferrari guys and it does make sense what they did, but that don’t change the fact that there is a rule in the book which says that it is illegal what they did.
        I just think that if Christian Horner goes to FIA and says that if team orders had been legalized or priced at 100.000$ then they would have used it to get Vettel the lead in Turkey then FIA should have to give Red Bull the points they lost because of the crash and strip McLaren for the points they gained because of it.
        That would be more fair then letting some play by the rules and let the once who don’t get away with only a slap on the wrist.

  49. 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.

    1. I don´t agree with Button but I perfectly understand that he declares that.
      Anyone doubts who would McLarens nº1 driver??

  50. As expected. What a joke. I guess I know what my Todt vote the next time around will be…

  51. WMSC is FAKE
    more words i am not going to make dirty on this

  52. why is there no FORMULA ONE IN africa these days? and yet we have ONE VERY SENIOR FELLOW on the WMSC?

  53. Anyone who does not understand the concept and unavoidability of team orders simply do not understand what the word ‘team’ means.

    If you part of a team you play by the teams rules. Thats is the way it has always been and always will be. Artificial, superflous and unenforceable rules which attempt to stop team orders can never be implemented. I challenge anyone to formulate a ‘no team orders’ rule which is workable.

    Team orders do not manipulate the result of the Grand Prix. They cannot gain extra points or positions! They maximize a teams potential to improve the positions in the drivers championship, which is what teams are there for among other things. Remember, no team, no driver, The drivers should rememeber that.

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