Todt says he’s ‘against lies, not team orders’

2010 F1 season

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Fans make their feelings known over the German Grand Prix

FIA president Jean Todt said he supports the use of team orders in Formula 1 providing teams are open about it.

His remarks come as the FIA prepares to discuss article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations, which is intended to prevent the use of team orders, in two weeks’ time.

In an interview with the International Herald Tribune Todt said he was “not against” team orders:

I have asked the Formula One championship ? and I go through a sporting working group, technical working group, Formula One commission, and then pass it through the World Motor Sport Council. I asked the sporting working group to review the application of this article and the formulation of this article. I am waiting for this problem to be discussed at the next Formula One commission, which will take place in Monte Carlo on [December 9th].

I am not against team orders, but I am against lies. It is necessary to have the honesty to explain ? to account for ? and to say that you did it and why you did it. It is completely unacceptable to apply team orders and then afterwards to ask a whole team to lie.
Jean Todt

Asked if Sebastian Vettel’s championship success thanks to Red Bull’s decision not to use team orders was a “lesson” for Formula 1 Todt said:

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It turned out that, effectively, it was favourable to them. The night before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix everything seemed to point to it being unfavourable to them, and the price to pay.

But the beauty of racing is that there are, nevertheless, unpredictable situations. Why have they never been able to make a good film about Formula One? Because the races themselves are stronger than a film. Because there are scenarios that we cannot imagine happening.

And that is what happened last Sunday in Abu Dhabi. That is why there is such an interest and enthusiasm for Formula One. And thank goodness, because if we had all the races where the starting grid was the same at the finish line, then it would be a procession.
Jean Todt

As Todt mentioned elsewhere in the interview, he used team orders while team principal at Ferrari, most famously at Austria in 2002, which prompted the introduction of the current rule.

Following Ferrari’s use of team orders in the German Grand Prix over three-quarters of F1 Fanatic readers said they should be punished.

A similar proportion said the World Motor Sport Council’s decision not to dock points from the team or drivers was “too soft”.

Read more: Jean Todt’s Approval Rating X

Image via Adam Cooper on Twitpic

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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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81 comments on “Todt says he’s ‘against lies, not team orders’”

  1. But Red Bull did use team orders throughout the season. In fact, it’s Red Bull that are peddling the lies that they didn’t use team orders that Todt seems to be against in his first point.

    1. But Red Bull did use team orders throughout the season.

      Are you saying Red Bull had their drivers swap positions and somehow hid it from everyone?

      Or are you saying that giving first priority on new parts to the driver who’s ahead in the championship is the same as ordering drivers to swap positions?

      1. Yep, they all use team orders, Ferrari are the only one that are open about it. The save fuel message is hilarious. “Mark save fuel” meaning don’t you dare try a move your team mate.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          26th November 2010, 23:02

          Or maybe he actually does need to save fuel. As is pointed out at least once during the race by the commentators, the cars do not have enough fuel in them to reach the end of the race. At some point during the Grand Prix, a driver must go into fuel-saving mode. The rate of consumption differs for each driver depending on how they actually drive – if Vettel takes the lead, he’ll enter a fuel-saving mode earlier so that he can maintain something close to his original pace without running the risk of running out of fuel; if Webber is chasing, he’ll need to go into fuel-saving mode later and slow down more than Vettel would because he has used more fuel until then.

          1. It would be really cool if it could show a range calculation based on pace per lap for all the drivers but I think that would provide too much info to other teams. So I really think a report at the end of the race is needed on how much fuel is left in each car to defend a save fuel order.

            I suppose though that some people would argue that they should have pushed harder. Plus they throttle back to help improve engine life.

          2. Its ironic how the fuel issue has only occurred when team mates are racing each other. It seems like they have enough fuel everytime they are racing drivers from other teams.

        2. WHat? Seriously? Can I please have some of what your smoking….

          Ferrari were anything but open over the whole matter…. they pulled it off in a completely blatent manner and then bullied the team into keeping stum, then threatened the WMSC with a massive muck raking scandal if they weren’t allowed to get away with it…. If that is what you think counts as open then you really need to look up the meaning of the word open when used in this context.

          As for Mark save fuel… you do realise that none of the cars on the grid start with enough fuel in the tank to finish the race going flat out the entire way, don’t you? You do understand that means that drivers will have to drive in a fuel saving mode for some parts of the race in order to actually finish the race?

          1. I love it when people get angry :)

        3. I think Turkey is a good example of the other two teams not using them…
          Red Bull has it’s drivers collide and Button almost pulled a fast one of Hamilton.

          If Turkey is what you are referring to with the save fuel order, as I understand it Webber had pushed harder early in the race due to his position on track, So it makes sense to me that he had used a bit more fuel.

        4. +1 – I was going to say that.

        5. Jelle van der Meer
          28th November 2010, 7:30

          Open, how do you mean open?
          Ferrari denied having used teamorders in Hockenheim, they have lied about it, trying to hide it by saying they just provided info to Massa.
          Ferrari is the ONLY team that used team orders (not to be confused with team tactics) to change the outcome of the race by ORDERING 1 driver to let their other driver pass.

          And Todt is lying himself as well, if he was against lying why did Ferrari get off with just 100.000 compared to Mclaren’s 100 million for lying about spionage.

      2. It has the same effect doesn’t it? Furthermore, the swapping of parts is more clandestine than swapping drivers on the track, so if Webber hadn’t complained to the press, we wouldn’t have known that Red Bull were favouring one driver over the other (which is exactly what team orders are).

        Really don’t see how other people are missing this – Ferrari’s team orders were out in the open precisely beacuse it occured on the track. Red Bull’s weren’t until Webber thankfully brought them to our attention.

        1. Rohan,

          You’re absolutely right. I think (I won’t be able to prove) Red Bull seriously indulges in team orders of some sort. The events of Turkey are too compelling to be explained merely as Vettel and Webber “not giving each other any space.”

          And the Turkey incident could be the only outward instance of something like team orders at Red Bull. There could be plenty of other manipulations which we’ll never know or find proof for.

          Vettel deserves the World Championship, but Webber’s relative poor form by the end of the season is perplexing. At Abu Dhabi he was nowhere near his team-mate. Why? He wasn’t good enough, or his car wasn’t good enough or…?

          It seems strange that someone who held a consistent and strong title challenge throughout the season should suddenly give it all away at the last race unless there was some kind of coercion, manipulation…I don’t know, and I’ll never be able to prove.

          It will always remain a mystery quite like how Carlos Reutemann lost the 1981 title to Piquet by a single point at the last race of the season – not being fast enough for an apparent gearbox issue which his team Williams denied.

    2. I agree with you completely here. And, not only RBR, but McM also.

      “Save fuel”…… yeah right!

      1. Its plain obvious that each team puts more behind one driver than the other, be it technical or emotional. Alonso is favorite at Ferrari (very well known), Vettel at RedBull (if you can’t see that you are blind), and possibly Hamilton at McLaren. But its the way life is, and in most cases these drivers are faster than their team mates when you go by averages. So it is normal for them to be favoured. I would be very interested to see if the roles are reversed going into the last couple of races next year at RedBull, if the team ask Mark to help Vettel.

    3. That team order to “pretend to try and squeeze him off the track” to Mark and “pull across and crash into him” to Seb was a cunning plan. And that radio call that we didn’t hear “Mark drive up the curb and spin like a newbie” in Korea was only because they knew Sebs engine was going to fail in an hours time.

      p.s. Please tell me who shot JFK while you are there.

      1. You must have missed helmut Marko’s explanation that Vettel HAD to pass Webber because Hamilton was supposedly catching up. Just unfortunately Mark’s engineer forgot to “explain th esituation’

        So Webber gets told to save fuel and just as that happens, Vettel suddenly starts going 3 tenths a lap faster and Helmut Marko explains that the team had to put Vettel in front of Webber. Ehm yeah, there really was no team plan to orchestrate Vettel passing Webber.

        1. A similar thing happened to Felipe in Germany. Before you say I’m being bitter, it’s mentioned in the WSMC report.

          Disappointing to see these things happen but I would rather it just be honest like Todt says. It might cheapen things a little and perhaps there could be sufficient backlash.

          1. Thats right, in both cases the favored one was told to turn the engine up while the other was told to turn the engine down… then they say well he was faster than you. I hope next season Webber and Felipe turn the wick up all seas on long even if they don’t get to the finish.

  2. In mu opinion the team orders should be brought back in F1 starting 2011!
    Why? Because in every team we have one driver that’s more paid, and who is in 99$ of the cases the team’s favourite (Vettel in RBR, Schumi/Alonso in Ferrari, Hamilton in McM (2007/2008/2009), Alonso in Renault (2004/2005/2006/2008/2009) etc etc)!

    Hence, there always will be a unofficial no.2 driver who at some point in the season will experience:
    *an “inferior” strategy for his quali/race
    *a delayed updates for his car (or in this year’s case with RBR, upgrades shamelessly taken away from the no.2 driver’s car and put on the no.1 driver’s car)
    *a team order telling him (prior or during) the race to make way for the higher paid driver (Massa/Alonso at the German GP)
    *etc etc

    The solution is pretty clear: legalize 100% the team orders, because you can’t prove in any way that “save fuel/tyres/engine” was a “hidden” team order.

    If you don’t like the team orders, then find yourself a 1 team 1 driver motorseries! ;)

    Anyway, Todt should know better… and lif the ban of t.o.! :)

  3. Most teams don’t appear to need #1/2 arrangements, preferring to work within the unofficial conventions that have been in place in F1 for many years. What is needed is for those conventions to be codified, not sanction stuff “as long as it’s blatant” (which in practise means teams will still practise secret team orders because hiding information constitutes a competitive advantage, they’ll simply get better at it). Meanwhile, blatant team orders which many people find offensive due to them being unsporting will be sanctioned – and anyone who legitimately wants to convey an instruction which happens to be in language previously used for a covert team order will be penalised for racing sensibly (and without orders)!

    1. I pretty much agree with that Alianora.

      I think Vettel winning in the end was the best reason not to have team orders. Who knows what Massa might have been up to without them, he could well have taken more points of others.

      The idea of comply or explain is widely used nowadays (accounting practises, environmental targets for companies etc.), but the result is still large scale not complying companies doing only minimal explanation.
      That might be acceptable in buissiness, but not in sports.
      What if Mercedes and Renault would state that they will use TO, and possibly RBR and Ferrari won’t (for example, just to show this is not about Ferrari hating). Isn’t that getting us into a 2-tier championship?

      1. Irvine could have won the championship if Ferrari hadn’t imposed team orders as early as they did in that season. They would still have needed to use them, but only in having Salo defer to Irvine, and Schumacher defer on his return (neither of whom had any chance at the championship at those points).

        1. History revision: Irvine didn’t win because he was not a good enough driver!

          1. Irvine was a very good driver…
            In 99 he was a match for most other drivers in the series.

          2. Part of me really wanted Irvine to win in 1999, as I was always a fan of his. But the other part of me suggested he wouldn’t have been the most deserving champion. I think having a WDC who had never scored a single pole position or fastest lap would have made a slight mockery of the sport.

          3. Whether Irvine was an average driver or not the fact remains that had Ferrari chosen a different point to start issuing team orders he could have won the title for them. The race where they kept him behind Schumacher with an ailing car was crucial. If they hadn’t done that, Schumacher could have given up positions at the final race and given Irvine the title.

            This isn’t revision of history, rather a mathematical calculation.

          4. @Red Andy: I would have thought winning without getting any fastest laps or poles would make you statistically the ultimate racer, not the other way around.

            (Kind of the polar opposite of Jano Trulli)

  4. I am with Todt on this one. Hypocrisy like “Save fuel, save tyres, minor damage on front wing endplate, highe engine temperature” (which Mclaren and Red Bull use) is worse than what ferrari did. Do they think fans are idiots? and don’t understand what the message actually meant? Atleast have the balls to accept that what you did was wrong like Ferrari did.

    Even in the WMSC hearing, Ferrari did not say that they did not issue team orders, they only pointed out to this hypocrisy done by other teams. Which is good, now there can be an open and honest discussion about this issue and a solution can be reached.

    1. Didn’t they say it was a driver decision?

      Otherwise I agree with you strongly.

  5. So what if Todt’s not against team orders. The ambiguity surrounding Ferrari’s actions aside, I wasn’t aware that’s it his choice to enforce rules according to his own whims.

    1. He’s not obviously. But seeing as how he is the elected head of an organisation, and he’s expressing a view point that we haven’t really heard before it’s an interesting story don’t you think?

      Others might consider his remarks before making a decision. He has a unique perspective. Why shouldn’t we talk about it?

      1. Because the FIA president thinks that “It is completely unacceptable to apply team orders and then afterwards to ask a whole team to lie” doesn’t mean that the existing rules of F1 don’t apply. Basically it’s okay to break the rules as long as you don’t “lie” afterwards. That’s absurd and irrelevent whilst the no team orders rule still applies.

        1. It’s personally OK with Todt. But by admitting to using team orders in court, wouldn’t they still be punished?

        2. I think his point is that he doesn’t want team orders to be against the rules. Thus nobody would be breaking the rules or feel the need to cheat/lie.

  6. Why can’t it jsut be so any ‘team order’ or suspicion of a team order or coded message be given to the stewards or another body to assess? Rather than depending on a cleverly written sentence in the rulebook solely for teams to find loopholes in!

    1. That sounds pretty reasonable, and it would work for stewarding.

    2. It can’t be that easy because if nothing was in the rules regarding the subject, on what grounds would race stewards be tasked to investigate?

      1. The only thing that’s illegal is a driver passing his team mate when he normally would not have been able to do so. This doesn’t really happen that often.

        1. It happened at Istanbull park with Button passing Hamilton;)

          Save fuel Jenson!!!

      2. It would be something along the lines of any incident interpreted by the stewards to be signs of team orders will immediately be assessed, or something.

        I just think it’s a delicate issue which relies on common sense rather than concrete rules because we’ve seen it doesn’t work.

  7. It’s artificial in my eyes, plain and simple. Yes, I don’t want to be lied to, but I also don’t like seeing teams like Ferrari take moments like Germany to needlessly favor one driver over another. Especially when it robbed fans of what would have been a beautiful moment in racing history. It’s that sort of callous and careless behavior that makes me dislike team orders. Making it legal just means they don’t have to hide cruel decisions like that anymore. It does not change how disgusting some of their choices are.

    1. Is it all team orders you dislike, or just certain ones?

      I say, it’s their team they can do what they like with it. But they should keep in mind that what they do affects the perception you and I have of them. In the same way a person’s actions define them, so it is with an F1 team.

      Being greedy or uncaring aren’t crimes, team orders shouldn’t be against the rules* but F1 teams better expect that we will judge them on the course of action they take.

      *Obviously I’m not including any order that breaks another rule, like the PK-Renault thing in Singapore. And those type of orders should result in a DSQ for the whole team.

      1. Yes, you’re right in that their actions do determine our perceptions of them. However, it still detracts from the racing regardless of if it’s legal or not. The point behind the rule is to keep the play fair. I would rather see teammates racing than being told to let one another by. Racing will never be like other team sports in that there is only one winner. In other sports, the entire team wins. Therefore, even if they are under the same flag, two drivers and their respective pit crews are their own teams in each race.

        My main issue from above is that given the chance to self govern, it’s obvious that teams like Ferrari don’t have the sense of sportsmanship and decency to allow a driver a hard earned win. It artificially effects results that come into play down the line. If they’re really that worried that they must put themselves behind one driver from so early on, just in the hopes of winning a driver’s championship, why not just hire an utterly terrible second man? If it’s such a “team sport” then it shouldn’t matter to them who finishes first or second because the team as a whole would have gotten full points with a one-two.

        Being uncaring and greedy aren’t crimes, yes, but changing a race result is unfair to drivers and to fans who invest time, money and care into following what they hope will be a genuine contest of sport.

        1. Joey-Poey
          Lesson 1: Why are we calling “Team Red Bull”, “Team Ferrari”, “Team McLaren” and so on….
          Because it is a team effort that win world championship.. and if a driver happens to be faster and better than his team mate that’s about it!
          Stop the godd… HYPOCRISY!

        2. My point is that it is any team’s or person’s right to be a jerk if they want to. Trying to regulate against that I find a little distasteful. Just expect that if you are a jerk or unsporting expect the rest of us to react to it.

          This is my problem. There are plenty of people saying that team orders are fine if one driver is mathematically out of the championship. Well, that seems unfair doesn’t it? This year Massa was mathematically out when neither of the Red Bull or McLaren drivers were. If Ferrari had backed Alonso only at that point few would have complained, but Alonso would have had an advantage because at tracks where Ferrari had the upper hand he wouldn’t have had to worry about staying ahead of his team mate. The others wouldn’t have been so lucky. Why should Red Bull and McLaren be denied the opportunity of backing one driver that Ferrari had at that point because both of their drivers had performed?

          Another thing, I like when teams split the strategies of their drivers, or alter the strategy of one to try and give the other a strategic advantage on track. It makes things more interesting, it’s a tactical use of the team’s resources. Without team orders you wouldn’t be able to have that. To me, the tactical use of drivers in a team, is similar to what is done in competition cycling. A blanket ban on team orders robs the viewer to a tactical aspect of the sport. Sure, if we allow team orders, some teams will use them like spoilt children, but so be it. That just helps me decide who to cheer for, and who to jeer at as if they are the pantomime villian.

  8. Expectable statement from Mr. Todt, however, I still don’t see how this would in any way benefit the sport. Motor racing is fundamentally based upon the idea of drivers in cars racing each other. Teams should enable and encourage this, instead of constructing more or less arbitrary circumstances where they want to and, thus, believe they should be allowed to prevent this from taking place. And basically all explanations for it one ever hears appear to be excuses to me:

    “It’s always been that way, always will be”? There most certainly has been fraudulent conduct, stealing and killing ever since humans lived, obviously at least since some laws and rules were put in place. There is a significant difference between acknowledging those facts and actually arguing in favour of people just sitting on their hands saying, “Well, that’s been happening for all this time, so why should we bother anymore? Let’s just legalise it and get on with it, for those of you who do mind, go look for a world where people don’t do what you don’t like.” This kind of dismissive attitude is what enables people who don’t want to play by the rules to keep doing whatever they want.

    In the same vein, I find the allegation that a ban on team orders in the rules “asks” teams to “lie” inaccurate and untrue. If teams choose to ignore and act to subvert parts of the rules, that is a serious problem and as such, it should be dealt with, rather than to be seen empathising with teams who, on top of what they did wrong, may also have lied to cover it up.

    Finally, I think the whole idea that team orders would be “okay” if only the teams were allowed to and would do it openly is absurd. If that were true, masses of people would have applauded with the kinds of obvious position-swaps prior to 2002 when nothing was denied and team members openly talked about what they did. That was quite obviously not the case, so I don’t know where anyone gets the hope that sporting fans would just put up with whatever is done just because as they might not (or no longer) be lied to.

    1. Thank you for writing the best comment/post/article on this matter.

    2. If teams choose to ignore and act to subvert parts of the rules, that is a serious problem and as such, it should be dealt with,

      But this is exactly what Mclaren and Red Bull do – subvert the rules – by issuing orders like “save fuel”, “high engine temperature”.

      Why do F1 fans need to see such smokescreen to get around a rule, when the most casual fan can make out what it is.

      Infact, if you see the last few races, you can see that mclaren drivers are being issued orders like “shift to fuel mixture B” – which makes it impossible to know what is going on. The whole point of making radio transmission was to make viewer understand the situation better. Yet another smokescreen. Yet another attempt to undermine the rules. Teams are – and will always – try to find ways to subvert the rules. That is the essence of F1, and always will be.

      1. But this is exactly what Mclaren and Red Bull do – subvert the rules – by issuing orders like “save fuel”, “high engine temperature”.

        So, what proof do you have that what those radio transmissions mean are anything more than your paranoid delusions?

        Assuming that Formula 1 cars are as finely tuned and on “the edge” as teams claim them to be, how do you differentiate from the truth and a lie on the basis of radio transmissions?

        Now we must have verifiable transcriptions of the data coming off of the car to prove or disprove unsubstantiated allegations such as this.

        Get a grip, dude.

      2. The FIA already has stated that “saving fuel” is not an illegal order. Maybe they should write that down more clearly, but anyone with 5 seconds of thought put into the matter realises that swapping drivers around is lightyears apart from telling them to bring the cars home (in a sport where overtaking is nigh on impossible anyway)

        1. So, you are ok with some team orders like ‘Hold position’ but not ok with swapping positions.
          Is it better to see a driver having a purposefully botched pit-stop so that his team-mate can get ahead?
          I am sorry, but I passionately follow F1 because it is an intelligent sport. It rewards strategy, out-of-the-box ideas, opportunism, foresight unlike any other sport. And I would hate to see that a team is trying to fool me by purposefully jeopardizing the race of one driver to benefit the other.

      3. The FIA can examine all telemetry and decide if fuel needed saved or the engine was too hot in exactly the same way they could see that Piquet had hit the accelerator into the wall.
        No-one can seriously believe McLaren and Red Bull were ordering their drivers to do anything other than cautiously hold station for legitimate reasons. They may err on the side of over-cautious and that may be useful to ensuring your drivers don’t take each other off, but that’s not a team order, nor is it subverting the rules – it’s only sensible strategy when millions are riding on it, and ensures there’s the legal amount of fuel left to get the car back – remember the change in regulations mid-season? And Webber and Button could always choose to ignore the request – judging by Webber’s comments in the press he would have if he thought he was being manipulated. These weren’t commands of the sort Massa received.

    3. ““It’s always been that way, always will be”? There most certainly has been fraudulent conduct, stealing and killing ever since humans lived, obviously at least since some laws and rules were put in place.”

      So team orders is now in the same vein as stealing and killing? Niiice.

      Remember, the drivers WORK for the team. The team’s interests will ALWAYS, always come first. End of the day, if there are no teams, there is no racing.

      1. End of the day, if there are no teams, there is no racing.

        For starters that is wrong. Check out the amateur rallying that goes on, it’s quite good.

        the drivers WORK for the team.

        … The drivers are PART OF the team…
        Otherwise we might has well be arguing about who our favourite billionaire is, instead of who the best drivers are.

      2. That’s not the case in all other series, so why in F1? It’s very explicitly not been the case historically in Indy Car, where for example Team Green could have won the championship with Franchitti, but deliberately didn’t swap drivers around and let Montoya win the title (fairly). Shouldn’t F1 – with we’re told the best drivers in the world – hold to the same values and let the best drivers race?

        No-one is suggesting it’s in the same vein as killing (although Piquet could have killed someone) but extending an argument ad absurdem to demonstrate its failings is legitimate debate.

    4. Great post!

      Your trousers are a bit too short. Please go back and try again.

    5. Your summation is spot on.

  9. In other breaking news: scientists prove salt tastes salty! Not exactly a shocker of a statement from the man who made team orders infamous, though a little distasteful from the FIA president. Without going into for and against arguments, what I find worth pointing out here is that if you cut to the core of what he says (more of the interview here, it is that basically things were just fine they way they were when he ran Ferrari until the team orders ban, and the only bad thing about Austria 2002 was that Rubens didn’t move over fast enough. Hmmm… I wonder what the results of the next Todt popularity poll will look like here?

  10. Reducing TO into a matter of PR is just avoiding the problem, or just an excuse to focus on the wrong side of the problem: the enforcement of a ban on TO would be too much difficult, so we’re going to legalize it but we will also make them “pretty”.

    If they’re going to legalize TO, i simply won’t care if a team tells me the whole story or not, as many fans would do as -A- said in his comment. It won’t make them right.

    Fans clearly don’t want them. Teams clearly wants them, and they’re avoiding to even trying to make the obvious right decision by hiding themselves with the Difficult Enforcement shield. Which is, i must admit, an almost insurmountable reality.
    But here is the key: they are the right people to find some way to make the enforcement practical, but they have no interest whatsoever in doing it.

    Personally, i have nothing against a team having a hierarcy, a #1 driver and a #2 driver. Nothing of what Commendatore has pointed out really bothers me. The only thing i eagerly don’t want to see anymore is ordered swap of positions.

  11. I have a quote, from Eddie Jordan I believe, who, for once, was not saying random Irish gibberish at this point:

    “Any team that says they do not use team orders are clearly lying”

  12. team orders were
    team orders are
    team orders will

  13. Prisoner Monkeys
    26th November 2010, 23:27

    I really don’t see why a ban of any kind is necessary at all. I’m not doing an about-face on my stance towards team orders – a thought just occurred to me. For months now, we’ve been hearing about how the teams want to “improve the show” (which is becoming more like a party line with each passing day). If they genuinely care about the show and finding ways of improving it, then they won’t use team orders because the negative reception they get will not improve things at all. Quite the opposite, really.

    Speaking of negative receptions, I suspect that’s what Todt wants: he wants the teams to admit to using team orders, complete with the knowledge that if they do it, it will be very poorly-received. Teams will (hopefully) have to balance the ains they will receive with the reception they will get. Ferrari, I think, are the only team who would continue to use them, even with that in mind.

    1. Because Ferrari cares about winning the championship, and that’s it.

      Let’s face it, if Alonso won the championship, even if the hardcore fans criticize them for what they did, millions of casual fans (not to mention most people in Spain) would cheer Ferrari’s return to glory, team orders or no.

      1. Because Ferrari ONLY cares about winning the championship, and that’s it (they will do anything to win).

        1. Anything, yes that is legal not the like of Renoult or McLaren!

    2. But dont you think once team orders are legal they wont be poorly received. The team can turn around and say its legal and it kills every argument. People will say they are legal, been part of formula one since the beginning so fans should just accept it.

      1. Team orders were always part of F1 up to Austria 2002. they weren’t always well received though. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right, you can still win that way but people won’t remember you well.

        For those who follow cricket think of the underarm incident or someone being mankadded without a warning. Chappell apparently still gets booed sometimes in NZ 40 years later, and what he did was perfectly within the laws of the game.

  14. well hopefully Todt does something about the rule then. Teams can’t tell the truth because then they’d be in violation for being honest. This whole fiasco and fan disgust is ridiculous. Which teams experience bitter teammate rivalries ?? The ones fighting for the championship. Only McLaren’s was subdued because Button is a nice guy. There is no such thing as equal treatment because you can’t have 2 equal AND ideal things whether its the chassis, engine, strategy, emotional support, etc.

  15. They got to do somethings with the rules whether have “team order” or ban it completely,the rules needs to be clear.

  16. rather than accepting team orders, I would prefer one driver per one team. Somehow, team orders are against the spirit of racing sport.

  17. For me its simple. Keep team orders banned. Modify the rules so that the stewards can investigate anything they believe to be team orders, using all telemetry and radio recordings. (That way they can see if a team is lying when for example they use engine temperature as a reason to slow a driver down when the temp is actually normal!).

    If they give the stewards these powers and more hefty punishments to give out, I.e. disqualification, points deductions etc it will cut it out straight away. Especially when after a few attempts they realise they can’t get away with it!

    Then all the FIA need to do is stick to their guns and be transparent about it. They should publish a report that fans can access whenever they investigate things and it would add another dimension to this side of things for us!

    1. This is difficult, I reckon. Two words: fuel economy.

      How would one know the difference when one is saving fuel early on as insurance for later or if he’s being forced to slow for someone else?

      Even with all the data, the answers will rarely be 100% straightforward.

      1. I’ve reworded the above to be completely specific about what I mean!
        For me its simple. Keep team orders banned. Although I have a huge rant and explanation about what I think should happen so take a deep breath and read on!

        All the need to do is modify the rule so that if the stewards believe the rule has been broken they can investigate using every single resource. (i.e. using every piece of telemetry and radio).

        On top of this the give the stewards powers to give out much more severe penalties with respect to if a team breaks this rule; specifically a concrete penalty for if this rule is broken. My preferred penalty being disqualification from the results from the race the offence took place and be banned from the next race as well (although in some cases the investigation may take longer in which case they are simply disqualified from the results of the next race).

        Obviously for this to work the radio needs to be tidied up as well. Any codewords for settings therefore should have to be supplied to the FIA with their meanings prior to their use, for example “yellow G4” must be defined etc. Obviously these codewords are confidential to the teams and therefore only the teams and the FIA will know the meanings of these unless a contravention of the rule takes place.

        With this, using the telemetry and the fact that the stewards will know what codewords mean if a team orders a driver to save fuel when his teammate is following him with an identical fuel load and they make them make them change a setting, they know a covert team order is taking place and they can investigate.

        I know this is very complicated, but I don’t feel it will need to take place much because after a few examples have been made, all the teams will know they can’t get away with it.

        This is a sport I care about so much, I just want things to be more transparent to this level. I feel the FIA should also publish reports of all investigations, whatever the outcome and make them easily available to all fans.

  18. You know, there is a really big problem with this.
    I’m seeing a move towards having team orders legal, but only if it is clear to the fans that they were team orders.

    One of the problems with team orders being banned, was that it’s hard to work out what is or isn’t a team order, in fact it’s that very problem that Ferrari used to get away with it’s blatant use of team orders earlier this year.

    Now, the last thing Ferrari wants is to be seen doing team orders, it would be a PR disaster.
    So what are the chances of a team, Ferrari or not, trying to hide a team order despite the rules? I think it’s quite high, considering the rules don’t seem to carry much weight.

    So what happens if Ferrari (using them for an example) Are found to have used a team order next year? Maybe the FIA would put them up against the WMSC again, And what happens then?
    Ferrari argue that they did make it clear, And say that it not being clear is just a misunderstanding due to their Italian-English language combination. So Ferrari get off again.

    Whether something constitutes a team order or not is a huge grey area.
    But whether a team order was hidden or not is another ball game altogether.

    The team order rule in place this year is untenable, due to it having such a large grey area.
    But this new idea, is even worse.
    The idea itself is great, and if they can make it work it will allow teams to use team orders in a fair manner.

    But could the FIA write it in such a way that can easily be enforced and not be worked around?
    Not a chance.

    1. I agree. I think that any conditions built in to the rule on team orders will constitute grey areas, and make interpreting the rule even worse than presently – and that’s with a rule that is supposedly clear!

      My position, though, is to lift the ban and allow the teams to regulate themselves. In that case team orders will necessarily be rare, and confined to the latter part of the season. Pretty much exactly what we have today, except without all of the “Lewis, the cat is out of the bag; Felipe, Fernando is faster than you” skullduggery we get.

      I can see Todt’s point. After all, is swapping two drivers on track any different to swapping them by ensuring one has an unusually slow in-lap and pit stop? That’s been done before (e.g. Spa 2005, Indy 2006, Brazil 2007). One’s more obvious but not necessarily more illegal. However you phrase a ban I’m not confident that it would stop team orders altogether. So I think the simplest, and fairest, solution is just to lift the ban entirely.

  19. Let team orders be. And then ban the radio communication so the driver can blame he didn’t know who was around him and who to let pass. And then the team can kick him out for next season and pay another driver next year to do a better job. :)

  20. Allowing teams to switch their cars in the style of Hockenheim will only benefit one team: Ferrari.

    Why? It’s pretty clear the other teams have qualms about doing so, whether out of principle or – just as likely – because it would make them look bad in the eyes of sponsors. But Ferrari doesn’t have that problem. They have never pretended any principle and their two major sponsors are a Spanish bank who are hardly likely to lose face by anything benefiting their hero Alonso (it’s hard to imagine a situation where this year’s roles were reversed) and a tobacco company who will always find a sponsor to sell some space to because it’s on a Ferrari.

    I don’t know if Todt is consciously aware of this and I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt. But it’s ironic that the fear about him taking office was possible pro-Ferrari tendencies.

    1. I think Todt understood it well, that is why the regulation was poorly worded

  21. hes just tryin to make it look ok because he did it at austria 2002

  22. For me, they can ban pit-to-car, car-to-pit radio, telemetry, the whole lot!

    Have limited info on pitboards, and then you can issue team orders any way you like.

    Sometimes you have to go backwards in order to go forwards.

    Fuel guages would also come in handy for drivers, and a fuel consumption readout…like, in the real world!

    Isn’t it about time that the drivers drove the cars?

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