Team orders ban scrapped for 2011

2011 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2010

The FIA has scrapped the rule banning team orders from the FIA Sporting Regulations.

As of next year the rule stating “team orders which interfere with the result of a race” will no longer apply.

A statement released by the FIA said:

The article forbidding team orders (39.1) is deleted.

Teams will be reminded that any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code and any other relevant provisions

Ferrari were found to have used team orders during this year’s German Grand Prix.

But the World Motor Sport Council stopped short of imposing a penalty that would have stripped the team or its drivers of points.

Do you agree with the FIA lifting the team orders ban?

  • No, teams should not be allowed to use team orders (46%)
  • Yes, teams should be allowed to use team orders (54%)

Total Voters: 1,264

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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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    159 comments on “Team orders ban scrapped for 2011”

    1. Christian Biddon
      10th December 2010, 15:22

      I think this is a mistake. Nothing leaves as bad a taste in the mouth as a team switching drivers in the way that Ferrari did this year.

      We all know that team orders are used but personally I’d prefer it if they were sneaky about it.

      1. I feel the exact opposite. The team order wasn’t the problem, it was the way Ferrari ‘lied’ to everyone and got away with it.

        Seems about 50/50 on the poll, but for me team orders had to come back in to give the sporting code at least a fighting chance.

        1. Ferrari lied… Dude , the reason they were fined was bcause they did not lie. Massa and Rob smedley made sure that everyone knew they did a favour to Ferrai/Alonso. Had they kept silent and asked Massa to SAVE FUEL, everything would have gone fine. The only mistake Ferrari did was revealing the team orders

          1. The problem I was referring to wasn’t the fine.

            1. John, I agree fine wasn’t the problem and what Ferrai did was absolutely wrong. But Ferrari made full use of the loophole in the reglations. If regulations have some loopholes then exploiting them isnt wrong. It is equivalent to double diffusers which were introduced last year and they were legalized co of the loopholes in rules. My point is if Massa/Rob claim to be a team playe so great that they are ready to forfeit their win so that the team wins, they should not have made it so obvious by saying ” Sorry, good lad, just stick to it”. Even a 2 year ols can understand wat Rob meant. If you look at the post race interviews of tukish Gp,both Lewis and jenson could not answer even 1question properly but since journalists did not have enough proof of what exactly happened , they just went clea like a ht knief thru butter platter.

          2. Right on Gill!
            Ferrari is upfront in what they believe.
            At least they are not thieves as McLaren in 2007.
            It took a worthy honest man, Alonso, to disclose them.
            LOng live Ferrari.

            1. There is a very simple, easy solution to getting rid of team orders: one car teams.

              If you don’t want a two-car team to be able to react, coordinate, and compete as a two-car team, then mandate one car teams.

              Otherwise, let the teams do what they will without demanding that they treat fans like children.

              Ferrari’s actions in Austria 2002 may have been cynical and reflect poorly on the team to those who value equal treatment among teammates, but they are also admirable in that they were the most open and honest of any team orders. They made it explicitly clear who was the fastest driver, then made the switch in plain view. There was no attempt to deceive, no nodding and winking with commands to “save fuel” or other childish insults to the fans’ intelligence. Everyone knew the score, and everyone knew why they did it. If two-car teams are to exist, then team orders will exist, and open and honest is how I like them.

      2. Team orders are as old as the invention of the wheel.

        The problem is that some team orders were to obvious, while others for several years were serving no one else but over estimated Micheal Schumacher.

        If no for team orders Schumacher will NEVER get seven times the World Championship!

        In my opinion team orders which eliminate from the race the racer trough prearranged crashes or other type of Knockouts the entire should result in DSQ of the team form season!

        As it is THE Constructors championship, it is for me not understood at all why the world championship is even awarded also to the drivers!

        Granting that it is the THE Constructors championship the team orders are rather natural for as long as we do not eliminate the drivers from competing against each other, what should be all time ago done done at “Constructors championship”!

      3. Ok, but what Button was doing in Abu Dhabi when Hamilton still tried to win the title? Do you believe he was doing his best to overtake Alonso just for fun?
        This would be hipocrisy to critisize just Ferrari for team orders.

      4. Completely agree. I can see the sense in scrapping the team orders ban because it’s difficult to enforce, but I don’t tune in to watch people switching places, or – and this really infuriates me – driving slowly and blocking to allow their team-mate to unfairly make a gap to the rest of the field. It’s simply unsporting.

        1. Not many will agree with me but i find the rule to be a necessity. You say it can be enforced because they can get away with it but the rule serves the purpose of being there and making sure the teams at least have something to fear and will avoid being shameless.
          They don’t have to catch every single little team order, they just have to have it there so there is at least a certain level of control.
          Ferrari doesn’t do it because it likes to be open. They do it because they think they are above everyone else and they can act shamelessly.
          In our society we have laws about punishing murderers, robbers etc. Many of this individuals commit crimes and get away with it. Does that mean we should just scrap the law since we can’t get all of them and let them spread chaos as they wish?
          Not being able to enforce it in an ideal way doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist.

          1. The problem wasn’t not being able to enforce the rule, the problem was refusal to try and enforce the rule.

          2. Hear hear Monad. I’d rather they looked into radio comms, say have driver -> team and FIA -> driver only, i.e. get rid of team -> driver. The team still has the option of the pit board to tell the driver to conserve fuel, the FIA can warn of yellow and blue flags, etc. and the driver can still give information to the team. But the team can’t repeatedly badger the driver to give way to his team-mate.

            This wouldn’t eradicate team orders, but it would make it much harder for teams to arrange them – and easier for the drivers to disobey.

            I think the majority of fans (and especially casual fans) expect to tune in to watch a fair fight and see the best man win, that’s what the FIA should bear in mind. But I guess that as long as they’re in the open I’ll know which teams to consistently “BOOOO!”

    2. When you think about it, this is actually extremely clever on the part of the FIA.

      Part of Ferrari’s defence against the charges they faced before the WMSC was that there were numerous previous transgressions of Article 39.1 that had gone unpunished (including some of their own actions). By getting rid of Article 39.1 and the blanket ban on team orders, the FIA now has legal recourse to overlook some of the less consequential team order events, while still being able to whack anyone with a disrepute charge if they go too far.

      A step backwards in terms of consistency, but at least it means that any future team orders charges should stick, coming under the remit of ISC Article 151c, rather than Sporting Regulation 39.1.

      1. …and be punished in a manner consistent with Ferrari’s meaningless fine? There’s no point in a punishment that isn’t a deterrent to breaking the rules.

        1. After the Brazil GP Niki Lauda told Dr. Helmut Marko on german television that thanks to Ferrari he knows what to do.

          Just send 100,000 bucks to the FIA and let Webber pass Vettel.
          That “punishment” was a bit of a joke for everyone.

          As long as there is no possible way to control something, there shouldn’t be a ban on it. The teams will find their ways.
          It’s just terrible how obvious Ferrari’s actions were in Hockenheim.

          1. The one thing nobody mentions is that it was Rob Smedley who was blatant about the team orders. I think he should have been reprimanded or even fired by Ferrari. A little more grace by Rob and the whole thing would have blown over.

            Unfortunately he is a good engineer and Ferrari must see that. I just hope he has more team loyalty than driver loyalty next season… of course it doesn’t really matter next year, does it?

        2. That punishment was under a flawed system, which is what Red Andy was saying.

          Going forward the excuse that other transgressions had gone by unpunished before will not be able to be used and therefore the FIA will be able to punish on a basis they see fit.

        3. Not necessarily Keith, punishments under 151c have ranged from $100,000 to $100,000,000. With the rule banning TO’s gone so is the precedent established under it, it remains to be seen just what will be enforced and how heavily in 2011.

        4. And anyway, it still only means: as long as you make sure that it looks like it isn’t planned, or alternatively, if you can convince the stewards that you are using team orders as has been done in the past (with Ferrari 2002 and 2010 as extreme examples of what was ultimately allowed), then you can do it.

          Unless the FIA don’t like you, I suppose, leaving a comeback for Ballestre/Mosley like vendetta’s from FIA open.

          I am against team orders in principle in modern F1. But, if it is done, it should be very clear how, why and when it will happen, preferably in advance. That way it won’t be an appalling surprise, but just a disappointing event that unfortunately effected the race. Still not great, but more like a rule we don’t like than a scandal.

        5. I agree. But wasn’t it up to the WMSC to make the punishment meaningful?!
          In practice now we can see in every other race a team orders their drivers to swap positions, whenever team’s drivers are trailing each other. At the end No.1 driver wins WDC by a handful of points and we have to believe he is worthy champion!? I say if F1 is so much a team sport as they want us to believe let’s abolish the WDC. Or maybe we can introduce something like Jim Clark Trophy again for No.2 drivers.

        6. Who was that said ‘If that’s all FIA was going to fine then all the teams will put it in next year’s budget as a line item. Let the bean counters do their thing!

      2. I think its just a cop out… The FIA should have given clear guidelines on how team orders can be used, and how they should (must) be made public.

        We all know that in seasons to come there will be times when teams will want and need to swap their drivers around, and they will… Its happened plenty of times and no one has really muttered too loudly, what upsets people is when its done unfairly, when we are lied to and treated like mugs, when the team gets caught but gets let off with a paltry 100,000 dollar fine. Put it above board and let us fans decide who we will and won’t support and see how that affects the sponsors….

    3. The team orders issue is one that I always change my mind about, because it seems to be a no win situation. Banning them all together doesn’t work because its impossible to police, and its part of the sport. But removing the ban altogether means that there is nothing to stop teams insulting everyone with actions like Austria 2002 or Hockenheim this year. And what if teams start to write team order situations into contracts? That would not be becoming of something which claims to be a sport.

      Bringing the sport into disrepute is not a quantifiable rule, its a wishy washy clause that was put in for kangaroo court situations. And it seems that as long as a team doesn’t lie about what they’re doing, the FIA are happy for them to do whatever they want with their drivers.

      Something needed to change, but I’m not convinced that removing the ban altogether is the right solution.

      1. I pretty much agree with you on that.

        Sure, using the “disrepute” for any cases where the FIA feels it was done wrong might work.

        But it is another rule that will only work depending on circumstances and people involved, which is a bad thing for any sport or society.

      2. +1

        We don’t need another generation of Eddie Irvines. But like you say, it’s impossible to police.

    4. Well at least they are going to do something about teams who cause problems for the sport. But I still think there needs to be a proper rule out there concerning teams which tell their drivers to switch positions. The team orders rule just needed more clarity, it needed to say what team orders are acceptable, and which team orders are not.

      1. I think the word ‘team orders’ should be dropped from the rules but not the rule itself. It could go something like ‘…any information or gestures given to a driver that would lead him to make a decision to swap positions with his team mate is forbidden…’. That would make the rule more specific and policeable.

        I’am thoroughly disappointed for the decision to drop the rule.

        1. That would make the rule more specific and policeable.

          No it wouldn’t. There is still no way to prove which information or gestures are significant and what they meant, you would still have the same unenforcable rule you had in the past.

          1. You don’t need to know what information meant what, if drivers swap positions then by that definition you could punish the team even for showing the split time on the pitboard or any radio message.

            1. Driver’s swapping positions is the definition of racing, by your rules a driver can never pass his team mate without the team being punished for it.

            2. Well I mean ‘let past’, going half throttle for a half of a straight is somewhat obvious.

            3. Yes it is but you can always make a small “mistake” and run wide in a corner letting your team mate slip through. Who will judge whether this was a legal pass and based on what information?? The point is that the whole Team Order business is unenforcable, no matter how you define the rule the Teams will find a wayt around it. Better just to scrap the whole thing.

    5. i just voted, now there is 46 votes for, and 45 against… i voted for.

      How much more divided can the community be over this issue?

    6. Wow,

      50% / 50% with 45 votes each. Must say i am surprised!

      1. I just vote for yes,and the votes for yes are now more.You can have team orders but more in a subtle well planned way,you cannot NOT have team orders,it just doesn’t work.

    7. “Teams will be reminded that any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute …”

      The FIA have not come out and said that they are unequivocally allowing Team orders. They banned a rule that was at best difficult to prove, especially if everyone on the Team lies about it. A blatant act – such as one which interferes with the result of a race and produces a public outcry – can still be dealt with under Article 151c.

      1. But Todt stated before, that he does not mind it being blatantly obvious. Instead he minds when the teams are not being open about it.

        That would mean that what Ferrari did ion Hockenheim would have been OK, if they had not lied and tried to convince us it was not a TO!

        1. Exactly. That’s why the FIA have got this one correct.

    8. No, teams should not be allowed to use team orders.It was a mistake,yes it is a team sport, team-order should only be used when the other driver is out of contention not when he is still in a chance of fighting the WC.

      But one best thing is that the second driver may get angry & may do something crazy, we may hear a lot of ” Not bad for a number two driver”

    9. I know they had to do it because it is impossible to police, but it still seems like a sad moment in F1…..

      December 10th 2010 – Team orders officially legal.

      1. It’s only for a comparatively short eight-year period that they’ve actually been illegal at all. Maybe it’ll be one of those things like mobile phones and the Internet, that we won’t remember how we survived without… ;)

        1. It’s been there since I started watching, so it’s all I know, just like refueling and slicks were new to me :D

          1. Team orders were banned? Man, how did I miss that one .. I’m really sure I saw tons of teamorders from many teams in the last few years .. that can’t be right …

    10. Good news! No more hypocrisy! Btw does that mean Jenson will quit? He did say he will if team orders were to come back :)

      1. Good cacth – he did say that. should make for some interesting quotes, from him and all the other drivers.

      2. He said he would quit before being a part of team orders, not if it was declared legal.

    11. I suppose now people will be arguing over the definition of “bringing the sport into disrepute.” It doesn’t seem likely to be something many fans, the FIA, and the teams themselves will agree with each other about.

      1. “Bringing the sport into disrepute” has been a useful catch-all rule for the FIA for years, dating back to the days of Balestre when drivers like Senna would be hauled up before “the beak” if they dared criticise the FIA. More recently it was the rule that collared McLaren (for Spygate & Liegate) and Renault (for Crashgate).

        It’ll be very useful for the FIA to only investigate those team orders offences they feel like without setting any irritating precedents, although as I said before it is a step back in terms of consistency.

        1. Exactly. Any rules set reliant on something like the “disrepute” thing for many/most of the groundbreaking rulings is foul and inconsistent. Exactly the opposite of what a ruling body should try to achieve.

          1. Indeed, both your posts make clear why this rule is too unclear and vague to be fair and consistent. And thus it again will put the burden on the stewards to react promptly and make arbitrary decisions with little guidance.

        2. Yeah, I can see how that would be useful to the FIA! How well the teams will be able to anticipate the way this applies to team orders now is, I guess, what I don’t get. (One of the things I don’t get, anyway.) Presumably they shouldn’t use them in circumstances like the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix…

    12. What a bad move by the FIA. I predict that we will hear a lot of cynical radio transmissions next year that will anger fans to no end.

      1. One positive might be, we could actually learn, weather Red Bull are using TO or not.

        1. You mean, confirm what we already know, surely.

    13. I think it’s good, not because I support team orders, but because there’s no point in having rules that you cannot execute.

    14. I am curious what the point is of the reference to Article 151c. Does it have any teeth at all? The same article already existed this season, it’s hard to think of anything that brings the sport into more disrepute than certain events this year, and it still wasn’t enough to really invoke this rule and its “dire consequences”.

      1. It had the teeth to give McLaren the 100 Million $ fine!
        Also one of the favourites for infamous Balestre rulings against Senna in several cases.

        This is the perfect rule for ruling with injustice and politics/backroom politics, as it is impossible to clearly define up front.

    15. I voted no for emotional reasons.

      It’s just impossible to police, however.

      “Saving fuel”, or “Managing tyres”, or “brake temperatures” or whatever can all mask teamorders.

      And the only way to really police those things is to look into all the data and telemetry after the race, resulting in more green table decisions.

      Alternatively, there should be a steward at every team, continuously looking at all the data… “How come you’re asking Massa to manage his tyres, mr Smedley? I see no indication of graining in his laptimes”
      or..”Why stop at lap 15? There’s no advantage in that, unless, mr Domenicalli, you want Massa and Alonso to switch places…”

      It’s just impossible. Maybe I should’ve voted yes…

      1. It’s just impossible. Maybe I should’ve voted yes…


    16. Is this improving the show? i think not. If they cant enforce the rule i don’t see the point of having a two driver team. If Red Bull had used team orders this season, the championship would have been over half way though the season. Then the team with the best car will stand a much better chance of winning the drivers title then they do when they don’t use team orders. I don’t watch F1 to see the 2nd driver holding up the competitors, i want to see drivers fight, team mates fight and even crash. There is nothing as exciting as seeing some serious team mate rivalry. I just hope that Red Bull and McLaren won’t jump the TO boat next season.

    17. Whether a team is sneaky and issues team orders in a stealthy fashion or if it is done in a blatent manner in front of everyone it is all the same in the end… TEAM ORDERS. How they are issued should not matter.

      Not being aware of when team orders are used shouldn’t matter. It is still team orders. It makes me think of stealing is ok, as long as you don’t get caught. It still the same thing.

      Team orders are team orders and team orders are integral to F1 in it’s current formula and in all formulas from it’s history.

    18. ooh wheres the finger wagging “this isnt sport” merchants now? brilliant rule change. i agree with keith on most things but ive fundamentally disagreed with this stupid rule from day 1. so Keith, if most people agree there should be no team orders, why have they been allowed again?

    19. I’m against team orders being used but I’m glad the ban has gone. If team orders are used then I’d rather it was done in an obvious and open way rather than with a wink and a nod which I personally feel is even more insulting to the fans.

      The fans should always be at the heart of the sport but this is a business and the team always comes first. They’ve not just got their own cars to think of but sponsors etc and while I’ll never like any team order I do accept that sometimes I can see why they’re used and I don’t think the ban was ever really workable. Take Ferrari, that was so blatant but still they got off pretty much.

      I do feel that drivers aren’t as protected now which is a shame but I’d rather they got rid of a rule that wasn’t working than kept it for appreances.

    20. the fine should be increase to something like $2 million IMO. but than again that amount is still just a penny to big team like ferrari and mclaren

      I’m against removal of team orders but let’s wait and see when 2011 season finally unfold

    21. My opinion is that these teams spend millions on their cars so they should have the right to do whats right for them

    22. 2 cars. 1 aim. whats so difficult to understand?

      1. the existance of a drivers championship.

        1. lol, nailed it ……………………

    23. Finally, some clarity. At least we can now move forward knowing exactly what the teams intentions are and aren’t.

    24. doesn’t mean much. Massa is still the only one in the top teams that will accept a team order. you won’t find lewis, jenson, sebastian or mark moving over if they are still in mathematical contention, no matter what they’re told.

      1. And they won’t have to be told if they are out of it. Which is why I think the repeal was silly. But we’ll have to see how it plays out.

    25. I thought the news of all team radio communications being made available to broadcasters from the 2012 season is quite good as well.

      1. That is definitely a good thing indeed, and I am looking forward to getting some good quotes, although I suppose it will also mean that teams will become more circumspect in discussing tactics and performance/testing plans.

    26. Hmmm, so is Jenson going to quit now? My guess is not as I’m sure McLaren will say nothing is changed in how they run their team, but I believe McLaren could now be his last team as I can see the majority of teams using team orders.

      1. why would mclaren decide to use team orders? red bull didn’t apparently use on track orders and came up trumps against ferrari this year.

        just because they are no longer banned doesn’t mean that they are obligatory.

        1. I would also hope that some sponsors might prefer a team that is sporting and thus refuses to live by team orders, as there is clearly a group of people who prefer that way of racing, like myself.

    27. Bad idea IMO. I just hope we won’t see something similar to Schumacher last lap pass on Barrichello. Why didn’t the FIA reformulate the rule, or make a new one to replace it ?
      I think a good idea would be to allow team race order, but during a limited time period. For instance in a 40 lap race, team order would be allowed from lap 20 to 30. After that, it would be forbidden to switch two drivers.

    28. Theres only one way to truly get rid of team orders.. one car per team and ban customer teams or collaborations of any kind! :)

    29. Great! Definitely the right decision, well done FIA.

      Interesting the general opinion is also changing, according to the vote so far.

    30. team orders aren’t a way of getting more points in a easier way?

      1. Switching drivers don’t give more points.

    31. If there is no ban on team orders what is the good of emphasizing rule 151C?

      How can anyone be punished for “violating” a rule that is no longer a rule????

      “Felipe, get your ass out of the way and allow Alonso to pass”, would no longer be punishable. Are the FIA now going to regulate the manner in which team orders are issued????

      Even more ridiculous than the ban on team orders, IMHO. What next, will the FIA issue a set pre-approved phrases for the teams to use in issuing team orders to fool the uninformed about what is really going on during the race?

      1. It seems to me that the reference to 151c is targetting Teams that lie to the public, race officials and the FIA about what they have done. Team orders are no longer banned and given Todt’s previous statement that he is in favor of their use as long as it is done openly and the FIA’s previous punishments under 151c, it is Teams that use Team Orders surreptitiously and then lie about it that will be under scrutiny.

        1. I suppose so – but given Todt’s comments about Barrichello and Massa making it so clear they didn’t like it, I worry slightly that it would have meant Smedley and Massa would have gotten a penalty under the rule because they didn’t go along silently. (Even before anyone at Ferrari started denying it was a case of TO.)

      2. But that would be punishable. All the bad language in that sentence would surely be judged to be bringing the sport into disrepute, justifying a ban from the sport for Ferrari :-D

    32. Making team orders legal is like saying ‘we know everybody cheats at exams, but since we can’t really stop students from doing so at every occasion, let’s make it even easier for them by legalising it.’

      Up to now the ‘spirit of the rules’ put the driver above the team. I for one think that’s good, as fans are primarily interested in the drivers rather than teams. Yes, teams did everything in their power to reverse that order, but at least in theory the ban made it risky to do so. Hence why Ferrari should get penalised for what they did in Hockenheim – they could have handled it differently, but they did not. They made it obvious that Massa was merely an employee rather than an equal who signed a contract which is based on mutual co-operation.

      The scrapping of the team order ban takes away the last bit of a driver’s autonomy in a sport that is primarily about driving. Effectively he is now fixed on the Great Chain of Being as an inferior to the team.

      1. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Its saddens me to see that the Sports leaders, the FIA, basically have no ‘cojones’ to enforce a rule to promote the spirit of fair competition, which is what racing is about I think.
        Just another black-eye for Formula1. I just wish we fans had more of an influence on how things were run in the sport.

      2. The scrapping of the team order ban takes away the last bit of a driver’s autonomy in a sport that is primarily about driving.

        The “purist” insist it’s primarily a team sport and drivers are ancillary, therefore, telling drivers to give up a position to their teammate without a fight is their job. How they feel as racers does not matter.

    33. Completely predictable decision – and I’m not convinced this will improve things one bit. I also don’t think this will mean teams won’t lie to the FIA or to the public anymore in regards to team orders. I just expect the lying to shift from “But we didn’t do team orders” to “But we didn’t damage the sport”. Even more so, without a ban in the rules, teams can resume their arguments from 2002 and prior that they just couldn’t possibly be asked to afford risking their drivers race each other. And finally, even if a case warranted disciplinary action from the FIA, teams can parade around stating that there is no rule saying they shouldn’t issue team orders, so they see no reason to be punished for it.

    34. Really disappointed to see this out come. Switching driver like that makes a mockery of racing. Surely if a driver is doing well he should be encouraged and congratulated not knocked back because it might help the other driver win the championship and better for the team. Each driver should be treated equally in my opinion.

    35. An expected decision. When Todt said, he is okay with TO, not okay with lying, it was clear this was going to happen.

      What is unexpected is that more than 50% of votes are in favor of Team orders. I think this is a sign that the viewer hates being lied to under the pretext of ‘save fuel, save brakes, save engine’ more than he hates a swap of places between drivers. Which I think is good.

      F1 is an intelligent sport, and such a sport should not make a fool of its fans. And above all, F1 is a team sport.
      Most F1 pundits agree that F1 these days is 90% car, 10% driver. So, if teams decide that they want Team orders, there is very little drivers can do anything about it. Yes, drivers are what bring popularity to the sport, but it is the teams who put in all the precious money. And the stakeholder must get to decide who benefits most out of its money.

      1. +1. Nail on head, really.

      2. Then it’s not a sport it’s a business. With that in mind, it will gradually lose it’s market appeal, then it’s television contracts, and finally it’s paying customers, highend and workers. All that will be left is the Tifosi.

    36. ‘A sport that is impossible to police?’

      Welcome to Pro Wrestling, anything goes. I look forward to following ‘Pro F1’ next year.

      The FIA is a joke.

      1. It has been since long time …

    37. Didnt Button say if team orders ban were to be lifted, he’d quit formula 1? :-?

      1. Good opportunity for Nico Hulkenberg to race next season. :)… naaahhh… I don’t think Jenson has the balls to stick with his words

        1. I hope somebody asks him this for his next interview. Would be fun to watch him that time :D

    38. The FIA can’t police it so they have decided to allow team orders.

    39. team

      — n
      1. a group of people organized to work together

      Team Sport

      A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective.

      Sense has prevailed.

      1. The shared objective being the WDC for Alonso? That’s a pretty crappy deal for Massa. Would you really want to compete like that? Working as a team so that only one of you gets the reward? Sorry, but if it’s a team sport in that way, then the WDC title would be shared between both drivers. Doesn’t work like that, though.

        1. Interesting bias in your post there.

          Working as a team in F1 could manifest itself in the form of avoiding collision, as Webber & Vettel failed to do in Turkey. It might also manifest itself in the preference for one driver over another such as the preference that was given to Vettel over Webber in Britain.

          Being a number two in a top team is only a bad deal if you’re faster than your team mate. If you’re not then you might as well count yourself lucky that you will get the chance to win a GP or two and drive a nice car which is more than most F1 drivers can say.

          Lets not kid ourselves, Massa is not in the same league as Alonso. That much was evident in their respective rookie seasons let alone now.

          F1 is a team sport.

      2. The shared objective or target here is the WCC. That is what they are working together to take. The WDC should be all down to the individual driver not about having a good rear gunner to keep the other drivers at bay while he storms to victory.

    40. i think it was the best option, although i don’t love TO.
      Team orders have more ethical than legal impact, it’s like ‘fair play’ in football. Public opinion is much more effective than article 39.1, in my view, so it was meaningless to keep that, considering the easy way a TO could be hidden behind code words. i believe the blatant “Fernando-is-faster-than-you” order was meant by Ferrari in order to reach this political result.

    41. F1 isn’t a sport, it’s a show business. An activity where all the sportmen can’t compete between them for an individual trophy (the wdc) can’t be called a sport.

      1. I agree, I’ve always thought of F1 as a spectacle or a “show” as you put it. All the years of trying to mould it into a sport failed. Points scored, WCCs and WDCs dont mean that much to me because its about performances and spectacle, which don’t always result in the conventional reward of points.

    42. This is a sad blow. They wonder why some people won’t consider it a sport, yet we hear stuff like the NASCAR officials telling teams not to have team orders so as not to wind up like F1.

      1. Alonso was faster than Massa the whole season, and in my opinion Massa is in Ferrari because he is a good second driver, not because he will win the WDC. He is not a champion material.
        Alonso said that he was never faster than any team-mate as he was compared to Massa, and from obvious reasons Ferrari pushed Alonso to win fight for the WDC.
        And if Webber was 2nd, Vettel was 1st, Alonso 3rd on the last lap of Abu Dhabi, Vettel would let Webber pass, and that would have been ok for everyone.
        Team orders exist in every team an anyone knows that,…

    43. So Button will quit the sport now right?

      1. Yeah good point he did said that once but I think he meant that if his team applied that on him.

      2. Believe me when I say that Nobody will miss him. Pretty boy with no talent whatsoever!!!
        Briatore was right: Button won the WDC because of a loop hole concocted by Brown.

        1. He won because he got the most points driving the best car in the field.

    44. Justice is finally made, WELCOME BACK TEAM ORDERS! Now we’ll start seeing some interesting team tactics as it should have always been! Maybe we’ll all stop complaining how boring all races are becoming and start seeing some team mates doing a proper job!

      1. Totally agree, “welcome back”,..
        This is a team sport where the slower driver helps the faster team mate, always was, and always will be,..(Barichello>Schumacher, Coultard>Hakkinen, Massa>Schumacher, Fisichela>Alonso, Massa>Alonso, Button>Hamilton,…)
        And in the end history remembers winners, not far play,..
        This sport is not about being the best and fastest but winning,…and about money and sponsors,..if there was no Marlboro, Vodafone, Red Bull,…there would not be F1, swallow it and watch if you want no one is forcing you,.. ;)

      2. Maybe we’ll all stop complaining how boring all races are becoming and start seeing some team mates doing a proper job!

        like slowing down rest of the field on purpose so that the “team mate” can benefit? sorry but i disagree

    45. Of course there might be less need for team orders (of the Ferrari kind) if the ability to overtake is enhanced with KERS and the adjustable rear wing. It will be fun to see more drivers overtaking their team-mates if they are indeed faster.

    46. A sad day for my personal feelings as an F1 fan. Gimmick overtaking confirmed and now this. The re-introduction into the sport’s rules of allowing unsporting behaviour.

      The arguments in favour of team orders have never had any substance, based as they are on selective romanticism and partisan wishes (it’s no coincidence fans of a certain team appear to be more in favour of team orders than fans in general). They do not add one bit to the excitement of the racing. They do not add done bit to the concept of the fastest guys in the fastest cars duelling it out to be the best – in fact, they detract from it.

      People have and will always continue to hide behind the flimsy cover of “it’s a team sport” to justify their stance. The sport may be organised on a team basis, but that has never given any team the right to interfere with their drivers to manipulate (remember that word, Fernando?) the championship. If they feel they have the right to support one guy more than the other, then they can do that off-track. I have no problem with that. On the track they have no right to say who wins the championship other than by testing their machinery and drivers against other teams’.

      Some will try and tell you that if everyone can do it, it will be balanced out; wrong. Not all F1 races are equal and by sheer circumstance one team may be able to benefit better from using team orders than another. We already have the difference in teams’ performances diluting the quality of the battle between the drivers, why water it down more?

      Some will say it goes on anyway, behind closed doors and it will simply bring it out into the open for scrutiny. Wrong again. Whatever team orders are applied behind closed doors will continue to do so. All this will do is add another kind of team order, so in effect what we are getting is more bad stuff with the teams not one jot more accountable for the stuff they already pull. Others will point to occasions when clear team orders were not punished. Aside from the fact that every post-2002 example is incomparable to the Hockenheim example, involving as they do different circumstances in almost every variant, it seems to me to be the most illogical thing to get rid of a rule the first time it’s actually been implemented successfully.

      I’ve seen this day coming ever since the politically-motivated dereliction of duty by the WMSC, too scared that a meaningful punishment would send Ferrari and their lawyers to the civil courts to drag out the mess and the sport through the mud just so they could get their way, with the other teams quietly acquiescent from their terror of Ferrari opening the (erroneous but still damaging) “what about when Team X did this?” can of worms. It was Todt’s doing that got the rule introduced and the man has been instrumental in having it repealed, but he will not have had to do that much to convince the teams. Today they have handed real fans a giant slap in the face by saying “we know what’s best for the sport, so shut up, pay your licence fees and cable subscriptions, by the tickets and don’t complain when we fiddle with things”. With this and the adjustable rear gimmick, my respect for FOTA, won last year, has gone.

      I know a large minority, especially amongst die-hards, support team orders and as a fellow die-hard I have some sympathy with the view that our view matters more than the casual fans’. But I recognise that’s arrogance self-justified by the situation, called upon whenever a daft gimmick is brought it to try and make the sport more appealing to casual watchers. In reality, whether you’re a fan who just watches on a Sunday, or follows every session and comes on every live blog here, you matter just as much as each other and taking every kind of fan’s opinion it’s clear the majority believe open team orders either add nothing to the sport or damage it.

      On this issue, FOTA and the FIA could so easily have established a halfway-house, allowing team orders in the situations in which most people think they are justified, namely when one driver is mathematically out of contention. Instead they chose to throw the baby out with the bathwater and set the sport back 8 years. There’s a rather odious sports columnist who writes for the Daily Moron Mirror called Dave Kidd, who takes every opportunity he can to paint F1 as a business con and not a sport (and then conveniently forgets it exists when one of his snide predictions – like the championship being won by team orders – don’t come to pass). I still think he’s an odious piece of phlegm, but today I can’t argue with him. F1 has shown it cares more about itself than the people who spend the money to sustain it at its current level of popularity and wealth. Sadly we won’t see any real backlash, which is exactly why they rescinded the ban. They only brought it in because people were already leaving the sport in drones during one of its most boring periods (this from a Schumacher – and at the time, Ferrari – fan). I won’t change my viewing habits because 99.99% of the time today’s decisions won’t make any difference on the quality or integrity of what I’m watching (because let’s face it, overtaking only through gimmicks is no worse than what we have now, the inability to overtake without gimmicks, though I do feel bad that the value of being a good overtaker will be diminished because of the new rules) and I will be praying that this race there will be no farcical team orders and all will be well. But I will never be happy that that 0.01% chance exists and will never try to defend the sport if someone calls it fake.

      1. F1 has shown it cares more about itself than the people who spend the money to sustain it at its current level of popularity and wealth

        Dude, the people who spend the money in F1 are the TEAMS, not the FANS. It was unfair that even after spending millions, the teams got no say in who got a better chance of the Drivers’ Championship. The stakeholder’s right was being compromised. Now, that has been corrected.

        And F1 will always remain a Business, and not a Sport. No one who spends over 300 million dollars per year on a sport and expect no returns out of it.

        If you wanna make F1 into a sport, introduce a budget cap.

        1. talking about another way to stop team orders, it could be considered to stop Radio communications between pilot and boxes, despìte of the fact that this is somehow exciting for the TV followers… I just don’t get why F1rulers can’t see how exciting the season was, and how disappointing it would have been if the Ferraris or Alonso had won the championship by 7 points or less(I’m not an anti Ferrari but I’m definitely against team orders and they played a too-obvious one in Germany),

        2. and who pays team bills if not the fans and the sponsor? can the team play the circus by themselves?

          1. Yeah, that is something I’ve been curious about: if the fans are so inconsequential a part of the equation (as I’ve seen more than one person argue lately), what exactly are sponsors hoping for when they spend all that money on an F1 team? What returns are they expecting? I mean, maybe the teams don’t care what the fans think, but surely they care about sponsorship — and don’t sponsors, at least, sort of care what the fans think?

      2. Gimmick overtaking confirmed and now this.

        It’s not “gimmick overtaking”. The adjustable rear wing can only be used under certain conditions (when a driver is within one second of the car in front) and does not guarantee a pass. It is designed to aid drivers, not replace them. The adjustable flap has the same effect as the F-duct, stalling the rear wing. It only yields about 5-15km/h more. And whatever gain the drivers do get, it can be offst by KERS. If anything, KERS will make passing easier than this.

      3. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

        1. Yeah well, it’s a lot better than being a snippy comment told by an a****le

          1. “an a****le” yes, “better” maybe but definitely not “a lot”.

            1. Touché – I’ll say sorry ’bout the name-calling, but undeservedly calling people idiots because they feel impassioned about something is just not right, so…

            2. You’re right. Although the qualifier “undeservedly” is an interesting one. I’m sorry, I’ll think twice next time I quote Shakespear in anger. Look on the bright side I didn’t correct any grammar or spelling ;)

      4. Icthyes, I totally agree with all that you have said. I think it will prove to be a bad omen for F1.

    47. Finally some common sense, this rule was ridiculous. Everyone has been using team orders for years.

    48. As long as they don’t direct them to hurt themselves or someone else, teams should be able to instruct their drivers as they like. They are are paid minions like everyone else they employ.

    49. Disrepute?

      So basically whatever the craven hacks in the press decide is “unfair”, teams will get penalised for.

      Sounds like a good, sound way of running a sport.

      1. It’s not the press who decides what’s unfair, it’s the FIA. And the FIA is not the kind of organization that bows to pressure. Otherwise, we’d have seen Ferrari get disqualified for Germany…

        1. “And the FIA is not the kind of organization that bows to pressure”

          So… remind me, how did this rule come about in the first place then?

          1. Max wanted it after Austria 2002. He said as much.

            To a certain extent, there was media pressure involved. But how many times did they enforce the rule? In eight years, they enforced it once. Just once. And even then, there was no proper punishment after media calls for it.

            So… remind me, how did this rule get thrown out again?

            1. So… remind me, how did this rule get thrown out again?

              Because they realised that it’s unenforcable.

    50. 55-45 right now in the vote.

      Count me in the 55. Many before me have already stated my opinion on this much better than I ever would at 7 in the morning, but I will say this:

      Team orders have been there for ages, and it hasn’t destroyed the sport – it’s still here, isn’t it? It’s not like EVERY team will use it – and that’s the fun of it – let’s see who uses it and who doesn’t. All we ask of the teams is that they don’t insult our intelligence.

    51. I prefer sport witjout team orders, because I think that every driver should prove that is faster than your team mate, but since I see F1, or sports in general, I see team orders, and is not necessary to see a clear message like this year on Germany GP, to see that team decide strangely for one driver. You see this situation on many championships finals, in others sports (in Football for example, Ronaldo beat all the penalties), you see it at Le Mans and in many other situations, so, I think that you can’t control this kind of things, so is better to see this situation clearly, that ban and close your eyes…

    52. I am not a fan of this. The FIA clearly want the teams to be up-front about using team orders rather than lying to everyone about them. They want the teams to weigh the benefit gained from using team orders against the inevitable negative reception they’ll receive. The problem is that a race win and keeping a championship alive will always outweigh bad press. Teams like Ferrari won’t care less about it.

      But above all, giving teams a licence to use team orders contradicts the ethos of “improving the show”. Manipulating a race to suit your ends doesn’t improve anything. It only takes away.

      1. It seems only Ferrari is in that… extreme option, though. Brawn has become sensible about it now, and McLaren won’t go anywhere near it.

        Will be interesting to see if RBR stick true to their word next year.

    53. Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap ughhhhhhhh.
      And that pretty much sums up all of my feelings about that.

    54. Oh man. What’s the point in making team orders legal? In my opinion this is a lazy and easy cop-out where other rules could have been worked on to help remove this poisonous element of the sport.

      1. Ferrari were known to be in opposition to new engine regulations until Jean Todt told them that the regulations would be coming into effect in 2013 with or without their agreement (though agreement would make things easier). You never know – maybe Ferrari only agreed to them if the FIA repealed the ban on team orders.

        1. Interesting thought.

          But I reckon Ferrari had more to lose than to gain by agreeing. I think Todt drove this decision without needing to negotiate with Ferrari – Todt was never keen on banning them, anyway.

      2. So they dont have to tell a lie, dont have to send coded message, dont have to pay more for 2nd. driver …a legitimate subordinate!

    55. Such a shame… it looks like the FIA just wants a red-livery driver as champion, and I’m DEFINITELY not talking bout Virgin Racing

    56. Come back mosley….
      Yes, he´s bad for F1, but todt show to us that he´s the worst thing ever can happened to F1!!! Team orders is for loosers like alonso or $chumacher (I so sad for my dear Ferrari)….. How i miss to see race great drivers like Senna, Prost, Villeneuve (Father & Son), Mansell, Patrese…. F1 is making suicide

    57. Motor racing will always be a sport where the driver with the most skill and talent doesn’t necessarily win, either through having a better or worse car or a better or worse contract.
      Time for the managers to earn their percentage?

    58. let’s have team orders instead of saving fuel, i’m sure fans want team mates to fight for positions & we will see few teams really let their drivers fight out till one is out of contention… and there will be teams which will set their no. 1 from the start… hopefully people support the former and condemn the latter whenever team orders are in play. hope their brand image takes beating for being unsporting in a sport

    59. I don’t think this is good for F1. Great for Ferrari and their fans though.

    60. It seems this rule was brought in to appease a lot of people in the wake of Austria 2002..obvious I know, but the ambiguous nature of the rule is a result of a knee jerk reaction. I don’t have a problem with team orders but I do have a problem with breaking the rules. You cant enforce an unenforceable rule. It makes sense to get rid and leave a nice ‘bringing the sport into disrepute’ disclaimer…I would think that’s a more sensible way to operate. Ferrari should have been punished under that ruling.

    61. FIA takes the easy route out. As usual.

    62. well they should make a rule that states the following:

      if there is proof that a team ordered their drivers to switch and did so in a very public fashion by damaging the value of the race, then the team should get its point docked, and the drivers’ points switched. simple as that… the monetary fine is meaningless. if you switch the points that would make the drivers know that if they are stupid enough to make it obvious and insult the fans, they will not gain the advantage….

      on another note, i’m fine with team orders, but making them obvious is a no no. i’m not stupid to think that Massa missed a gear in germany. it was obvious even without the coded messages and commiserations. Massa took a page from his Buddy Barrichelo’s books and made sure everyone knew he has Alonso and could have had him to the checkered flag had had not been given the order.

      had they kept hush hush, he’d look incompetent and would loose a lot of credibility as a driver, this way he only got sympathy thanks again to the evil Ferrari portrayed by Barrichello.

      2011 should be exciting…

    63. How sad ruling isthis is!!
      And this would be Webbers response to being told to move over;:
      Horner;:Vettel’s faster than you,you need to let him through!
      Webber;:F**CK OFF!!

    64. Spectacular misunderstanding of grand prix racing. Its always been a business. Spectators are paying guests tho the amount most fans pay is dubious to say the least. The sports fine, in fact never in better health and if we lose a few then we ll cope.

    65. I am having a tough time staying a fan of F1. It is simply not racing when a car ahead is told to let a car behind go by. Racing is the fastest car/driver winning.

      How does it affect the betting end of things? Wouldn’t you be wanting to sue if the driver you placed your money was leading until told to let a car past?

    66. The day f1 gives a dam what happens to bookies is definitely the day I stop watching. For all but 7years of f1 s history we had team orders and it seemed to manage fine. Now a fewragtop papers and historically ignorant fans threw there toys out so the rules changed. If you don’t like it go watch something else. Personally I’d be quite happy if it went back to being a bit more niche. Quit qhingeing or quit watching.

    67. Younger Hamilton
      13th December 2010, 17:59

      Its good the FIA Scrapped it what i’ve learnt this year that it’s been confirmed that F1 is a Team Sport and i’ve been studying it as well so yeah its good and Drivers may be selfish on track but they dont forget that they have a team working with them as well.Thats why there’s a Constructors Title

    68. In every era, in every team, team orders have been used. Even something like hiring the best driver available as a #1 driver and then hiring someone a little slower as a #2 has been strategy and in a sense a team order, giving one driver better equipment, etc. If you think only Ferrari has used team orders in the last 40 years of the sport, and if you think most don’t use them, and if you think teams have always been fair to both their drivers, sometimes even in testing, you are sadly mistaken.

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