Ferrari applaud lifting of team orders ban

2011 F1 season

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Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari, 2010
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari, 2010

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has welcomed the FIA’s decision to lift the ban on team orders.

Speaking at the Bologna Motor Show Domenicali said permitting teams to instruct drivers to forfeit wins, as Felipe Massa did at Hockenheim this year, meant an end to “hypocrisy”:

Finally, we have said goodbye to this pointless hypocrisy. For us, Formula 1 is a team sport and we have always maintained that viewpoint and it should be treated as such.

The regulations already include points that prevent certain situations being managed in an extreme manner. The decision taken yesterday is very important.
Stefano Domenicali

He also did not rule out changes to the team’s structure after seeing Fernando Alonso miss out on the drivers’ championship in the final race of the year at Abu Dhabi:

We will make adjustments, but they will only be revealed at the right moment. From a technical point of view, we must try not to repeat the mistakes which occasionally led us to take a step backwards rather than forwards.

In order to succeed, we are working with alacrity and without let up. Next season will be very long and we cannot allow ourselves not to make the most of our potential at every race: in 2010, especially in the early stages, we missed opportunities to pick up valuable points and we paid heavily for that at the final reckoning.
Stefano Domenicali

He added the team had to ensure they began the 2011 season with a competitive car, saying:

When our Technical Director, Aldo Costa, spoke of extreme design, he wanted to spur all our engineers to push on the theme of innovation which, in Formula 1, means exploring all areas right up to the limits set by the regulations and I also hope that will be the case.

It is a difficult challenge, because we operate in a very competitive environment: we know that in 2011 we will have to start off immediately with a car capable of winning, so that we are not always having to catch up, as was the case this year.
Stefano Domenicali

Read more: Team orders ban scrapped for 2011

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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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124 comments on “Ferrari applaud lifting of team orders ban”

  1. That comes as a surprise – I thought he’d be devastated!

    1. Surprised he didn’t ask for his $100k back or brought up 3rd driver…

      1. or bringing hand grenades back

      2. I bet he’s green ( and yellow ) with envy that there will be FOUR Lotus’ on the grid next year, and he only wanted 3 Ferrari’s…

        1. Regarding Lotus, Lotus Racing celebrated Lotus’ 500th GP last year, next year how’s it going to work with the statistics?

          1. That’s a good point, you can’t have two team Lotus’s, one must be the continuation adn one must be the new one…

            This, could make things interesting.

          2. Team Lotus has the Lotus chassis, Group Lotus (the sponsor) will be sponsoring the Renault Chassis. Lotus is still Lotus.

          3. group lotus have already come out and said that they are not a continuation of team lotus.

  2. Glad the rule is gone. It was stupid and unenforceable. Team orders have been in F1 since the beginning of the world championships.

  3. I hope no one bring that crap to the States in 2012. The american sports press will attempt to distroy F1 here and probably succeed. Team orders is a european concept that won’t sit well in America, and you can take that to the bank.

    1. Im pretty sure there have been drivers in NASCAR loobying for support from fellow drivers of the same manufacturer in the chase, and at Monza on the pre qualifying show on the BBC, Dario Franchitti stated categorically that team orders were being used within the Chip Gannasi team to help him win the title.

      Sure, it was never as extreme as in Austria or Hockenheim this year, but those were extreme examples for F1 also. Dont tell me that its just a european concept, theres no way that if Power was still in the race at Homestead that Dixon wouldve even tried a move on Franchitti for the lead of that race.

      1. The concept is european. Jimmy Johnson’s car is owned by Jeff Gordon yet they fight like cats and dogs for points and wins throughout the season. Nascar fans would attack any driver giving up a position or a race for the sake of the team. They already throw beer cans and anything else at drivers and cars simply because they don’t like them, ask Kyle Bush and Jeff Gordon.
        Motor racing fans and media will distroy F1 in America before they accept manipulated race results.

        1. How can team orders possibly be attributed to europe. Any Motorsport with team involvement will have direct or indirect team influence and orders. In the IndyCar finale I gave as an example there was the example of Kanaan and Patrick racing for points and position – when it ultimately didnt matter, and obvious team orders/tactics employed by both Penske and Gannasi in order to let their driver become the champion.

          Im not saying that F1 will by pulled to pieces if such a shambles were to happen in Austin – it happened in the press here in Europe, we arent blind to it as you seem to think. Im questioning your assertion the team orders are a European thing. They are blatently not.

          1. I can’t comment about anything associated IndyCar since I don’t watch it.
            However, the results of the servey in another blog on this site infers that they are blatantly accepted by a significant portion of a predominant european fan base.
            I believe that would be contrary to how Americans view racing. Our understanding of teams and drivers are quite different than those being presented by pro team orders fans.

        2. So tharris19, do you watch and care for F1 now? If yes, that alone defies your argument about not accepting team orders up to some level.
          If you don’t watch hit, why care? If you don’t care TO are used in Indycar as you don’t watch it, why would it matter to you they are being used in F1?

          I am very upset and disappointed about the FIA going from having a ban on TO (even if it has not been policed consistently, now they were able to prove the first case, they drop the rule?) to allowing it in principle but threathening teams not to make a mess of it or face beheading for bringing the sport into disrepute.
          But as others show in the comments, TO are being used in other branches of Motorsport worldwide to help drivers clinch the title, it is certainly not something exlusive to F1, nor Europe.

          1. I do watch F1 and my thoughts on team orders are the same and quite clear. I think team orders as it relate to a race is contrary to a competitive environment. You can argue all you want for team but fans connect with drivers not strategies. Especially strategies that call for drivers they support being told to move over for a teammate.

        3. I don’t think team orders is a European concept. It’s a concept that is part of Formula 1 though. It has been since it’s inception.

    2. Disagree. Ever heard of drafting partners on super-speedways? Often these are team mates. There’s also an affiliation between all cars of one manufacturer, in the eyes of Joe Nascar. [Even though they’re really all pretty much the same car].

      1. Drafting partners are often drivers from other teams and different cars. Because they are pretty much the same car it does not matter who you draft with as far as equipment go, however it does matter that you understand what people around you are going to do when 40 cars are bumper to bumper at 200+ mph. Sorry son that’s survival not team orders.

    3. I hope no one bring that crap to the States in 2012. The american sports press will attempt to distroy F1 here and probably succeed.

      Whooooah there tharris… I saw Talladega Nights so you can’t tell me that team orders don’t exist in America. :P

      1. LOL, yeah, Ricky Bobby is NASCAR’s Alonso.

        1. Yep… he just needs a folksy name like Fred and learn to say… God bless, Big Macs, Budweiser and the American Way.

          1. Freddy Alonso Jnr.

            Mind you, he already has a fanbase that is incredibly racist.

        2. Shake and Bake with Felipe..

      2. Haha! Alonso at the US GP in 2012 on radio to team: “Shake ‘n’ bake Felipe, shake ‘n’ bake!”

        1. In italian no less!

    4. I can’t wait until they bring it to The States in 2012. American fans of F1 that know what the sport is and what it’s history is look forward to The Circus and all of it’s glory.

      All of the American’s I know do not agree with you. F1 is a team concept. Take it for what it is.

  4. calling it an end to hypocrisy is as close as Ferrari have ever come to admitting they used team orders in Germany. I think thats what the fans disliked almost as much as the incident itself – that they flat out denied they had done anything

    1. considering 75% of F1 fanatic users thought the penalty applied after hockenheim was too lenient, yet 55% think the team orders ban should be repealed. I’d say people were more offended by the breach of the rules than the use of team orders

      1. I have to agree Ads21… I have no problems doing away with team orders but what Ferrari did to Massa at Hockenheim is still a bit unbelievable to me.

        It would have been a race win for Massa… if it had been for just a point or two no one would have really cared about a breach of the rules. I don’t really care for Massa that much, but what Ferrari did was a particularly dirty thing to do.

      2. I am curious, had the rules been like that for this year, weather Ferrari would have been punished after Hockenheim for bringing the sport into disrepute.

        From the public outcry it would be a pretty strong case I think.

        But as PM said yesterday, the FIA letting them off might have been part of getting Ferrari to agree with the 1.6 4cyl. engine rule.
        That would be the best reason to disapprove of having an arbitrary crime (the “disrepute” clause) to punish everything. It can be used very effectively for politics but has nothing to do with fair regulating of a sport.

  5. Of course they support it. I read their comments as the following:

    Ferrari are very happy the FIA has lifted the team orders ban. Now, instead of letting our drivers fight it out amongst themselves for a race win based on their skill, we’re free to manipulate things based on completely arbitrary factors. If Felipe Massa is leading the World Championship in Abu Dhabi, but Santander want Fernando Alonso to be World Champion because it will help them sell 3% more mortagages in Asturias, that’s just Massa’s bad luck.

    Sometimes I think the sport would actually be better off without Ferrari.

    1. Too true PM.
      I hope hope hope with everything that Ferrari has another season like 08′ where Massa absolutely destroys Alonso. See em’ use team orders then.

      1. Sadly that will not happen, team orders will prevent it.

    2. I just read this and this should be COTD!

      1. I’m not angling for Comment of the Day. I’m just trying to make a point: now that the FIA have given Ferrari a licence to use team orders, they will use it. And they’ll expect us to be happy about it, or at least thumb their noses at us and point to the rule book, which now lets them do it. The FIA obviously intend for teams to be dissuaded from using team orders by the negative reception they will receive, but we all know that Ferrari – and to a lesser extent, McLaren and maybe Red Bull/Mercedes – don’t care about that. The benefits to be had by having a selected driver win the race far outweigh the negative publicity. This is why I say that I think the sport could survive without Ferrari: because they only care about themselves. The teams claim that they want to “improve the show”, but here’s the FIA giving them a licence to do something that will only detract from it. Because when you really think about it, Fernando Alonso was never faster than Felipe Massa in Germany. He claimed to be, but the lap times were pretty consistent, and Alonso never got past him. That seems pretty conclusive to me – Alonso was not faster. He was slower, and he saw the championship slipping away from him. So rather than recognise that maybe Felipe Massa could do with a win on the anniversry of his massive accident (which the likes of Hamilton, Button, Schumacher and most of the other drivers would do without thinking twice), Alonso only cared about himself and whinged about it to the garage. Who decided that rather than let driver skill decide the outcome of the race, it would be better for them to change everything to suit themselves, not realising the damage they were doing to the sport. And then they expected us to accept it as a perfectly resonable thing to do when we all know they’d be all over any other team that tried it.

        And that’s why team orders need to be banned.

        1. Yeah,and Mclaren dont need to hide their orders with ‘Save Fuel’ messages and Redbull with ‘Engine too hot’ ones.

        2. PM that is the best presentation of the argument against team orders I have read yet. Thankyou!

          And though you aren’t angling for it, that should be the COTD.

        3. I totally agree with PM. If they wanted only one of their drivers to win the championship then they might have as well raced only Alonso till the end. As a viewer I dont want to see a good race ruined by TO’s. And no wonder Ferrari are happy with it, they’ve been doing it for years and atleast now they wont get fined for it.

          1. In a way, Alonso and Ferrari are perfect for one another – they only care about themselves.

        4. I agree too!
          And just to add, can we all imagine what will happen if drivers swap their places 5-6 times during the season with No.1 driver benefiting let’s say some 20 points and winning the WDC with 10 points difference?

          1. I disagree with PM. Spondsorship of either driver had nothing to with it. It had all to do with POINTS. Massa had a really slim chance at the title, Alonso a much better one. Massa had been struggling for pace all year, Alonso had been mostly competitive all year. (mistakes and SC held him back).

            Go back and look at the laptimes, Alonso was quicker all race and was being held up…dirty air meant he could not get past.

            The real issue here was how Smedley and Massa did it, I would have fired both of them for the clumsy, idiotic way they chose to go about it.

    3. Wow. Nothing more to say on that.

    4. yes i think that too

    5. Sometimes I think the sport would actually be better off without Ferrari.

      PM, Luca would have a heart attack if he were to read this! How dare you blaspheme the Scuderia!

    6. As opposed to teams being covert in applying team orders? Pish Posh.
      I would much rather know when the orders are issued and see how it plays out than to bury my head in the sand and pretend that team orders don’t exist.

      I find it dificult to understand why people act like Ferrari are the only team issuing team orders. Get over it, please.

  6. I think that this is a good decision. You’ll never be able to stamp out team orders, all the teams use them – just some with more finesse than others. At least this way there won’t be the need to treat the fans like they are stupid and don’t know what is going on. Afterall, TO are regularly used in WRC, its accepted as part of the plan and no one bats an eyelid.

    1. You’ll never be able to stamp out team orders

      Yes you can: any team using team orders or suspected of using team orders will be disqualified on sight and given a one-race ban – and the appeal won’t be heard until after the race they are banned from.

      1. You can’t disqualify someone without evidence of wrong doing (which can only be obtained through due diligence), nor can you have an appeal after the punishment has been meted out. That’s like arresting someone on suspicion of murder, executing them, then allowing an appeal of their ‘conviction’. An extreme example I know, but the principle is similar.

        1. The evidence of Ferrari team orders was more obvious than than the evidence of race-fixing by Renault in Singapore 08.

        2. It’s not an exact science, but the idea is to give a penalty so harsh that the teams won’t risk using team orders. The consequences of doing it have to be so severe that teams will stand to lose a hell of a lot more than they will gain if they do it.

        3. yes you can …set up a regulation that are not biased either badly worded!

        4. Of course you can. The British justice system do it all the time. Look at what happened to Alan Turing. He was condemned and sentenced (which resulted in his death). Then recently he was pardoned and recognized for the genius he was.
          OK, it is of no use to him now but justice has prevailed. F1 should be no different if it is really a sport. But we all know it’s just a joke, an ‘entertainment’. If you punish teams and remove any hope of benefiting from team orders, nobody would dare use them.

    2. At least this way there won’t be the need to treat the fans like they are stupid

      That’s the major problem though, at least 46% of F1 fans need to be treated that way or they get their knickers in twist and start spewing self-righteous ******** all over the internet.

      Their post Reaganist/Thatcherite rampant sense of selfish individualism won’t let them accept reality.

      These people would rather see an end to the oldest team in the sports history, a team who existed at the very inception of the sport, probably decades before they were born (maybe even over twice their life time prior), a team that is supported and loved more widely than any other in the history of the sport, a team that has a legendary place in the annals of the sport, they would seek to end all that just to satisfy their own deluded self-righteousness.

      1. Ferrari might be sixty years old, but that doesn’t mean they have a licence to do whatever the hell they want and get away with it. They were, after all, super-critical of Max Mosley’s initial budget cap rules because they created ne set of rules for one team and another set of rules of a second team. If Ferrari are able to get away with whatever the hell they like, then they’re hypocrites. We should respect them for having been part of motorsport history for six decades, but that does not mean they are deserving of better treatment than anyone else.

        Becaue if they were, then what’s the point of racing at all if Ferrari have a Get Out Of Jail Free card?

        1. Ferrari might be 81 years old.

          Honestly I think there is something to be said for rewarding those teams that have demonstrated a long term commitment to F1 and that goes for Williams & McLaren and probably Sauber too. I don’t think that should mean they can get whatever they want. I think team order are part of the sport and until you introduce single car teams you’re just going to have to accept it.

          1. Ferrari might be 81 years old.

            They might be, but Formula 1 is sixty years old. I’m referring to Ferrari the racing team here, not Ferrari the road car manufacturer.

          2. The racing team has been around longer than the road car manufacturer.

            Just because the name F1 became official doesn’t mean the sport didn’t exist in a different guise. Similar to the Premier League & the 1st division or IRL & IndyCar.

        2. Let me pose a question to you PM.

          Do you believe that Ferrari is the only team that used team orders in 2010?

      2. These people would rather see an end to the oldest team in the sports history

        I think you need to recognise the distinction between opposing team orders and opposing a team that has used team orders – i.e. Ferrari – which is not the same thing.

        1. I’m fine with making that distinction, I would venture that it is others who seem to think that Ferrari is the only team utilising orders that have the greater difficulty, and that somehow team orders have no place in F1 when in fact they have been prevalent throughout it’s existence.

          Sometimes I think the sport would actually be better off without Ferrari.

      3. These people would rather see an end to the oldest team in the sports history, a team who existed at the very inception of the sport, probably decades before they were born (maybe even over twice their life time prior), a team that is supported and loved more widely than any other in the history of the sport, a team that has a legendary place in the annals of the sport, they would seek to end all that just to satisfy their own deluded self-righteousness.

        So, don’t touch my Ferrari? Can you make a video like this?

        I detest team orders. Doesn’t matter who does them as I don’t see it as racing. My problem with treating me like I’m stupid is blatantly using team orders and then lying in my face about it.

        1. lol I’m not a Ferrari fan.

      4. you’re so right and when Ferrari leave, and a British team uses team orders, it will be fine and brushed under the carpet because they are british and they are entitled to use it.

        1. it will be fine and brushed under the carpet because they are british and they are entitled to use it.

          That’s complete rubbish. When have I ever said it’s OK for British teams to use team orders but not Ferrari?

          I’m not interested in the hang-up about nationality people like yourself seem to have. I object to race-fixing of the kind we saw at Hockenheim this year.

          1. Have you ever watched Road Racing(cycling), Tour de France?

            It really puts the whole team orders in F1 argument in perspective and shows up many drivers to be the spoilt, infantilized egotists they are. When you see someone like Jens Voigt riding himself literally to destruction so that he might help his team mate for even just a few hundred meters on a brutal mountain climb and you wonder why would Massa even get upset. Cycling legends like George Hincapie.

            It’s the same in F1, only one can win and a great domestique is as great as a great team leader.

          2. Have you ever watched Road Racing(cycling), Tour de France?
            It really puts the whole team orders in F1 argument in perspective

            Puts it in the perspective of cycling? That’s a skewed perspective. Cycling is cycling. F1 is F1. I’m sick of the argument that because it’s accepted in cycling it should be okay in F1. In both sports it reeks of poor sportsmanship. It’s the main reason the Tour bores me to death.

          3. It’s hardly the same as cycling in that respect, for a few reasons.

            1) Domestiques are hired as such. They aren’t promised an equal status, they get lower wages and know why they are there: to help their leader.

            2) The really big riders know how to manage their teammates. They let them have a stage-win in the Tour or let them win a smaller race. This equivalent is non-existent in F1, but having Massa win one year after his horrible crash comes really damn close to such gesture.

            3) If they aren’t granted a win, the winner of for instance the Tour de France, gives up his prizemoney to his teammates, who helped him get to where he is. It’s not just an altruistic gesture (the revenue the top riders get from sponsordeals after such a win, is far more substantial than any prizemoney in cycling), but it gives the teammates a sense of accomplishment.

            Finally, your argument is null (see 2). Voigt, Hincapie, Vinokourov, Heras, Klöden, Renshaw, etc. know that their leader will try to reward them one day. Voigt is granted a free pass to win the Tour of Germany. Hincapie was the US Postal leader in the Classics. Vinokourov slaves for Contador because he is the leader in the Ardennes Classics. Heras knew he could be the leader in the Vuelta if he supported Armstrong in the Tour. Renshaw gets his chance at sprints in races outside the Tour for helping Cavendish. One that stands out in this is Greipel. Cavendish went all alpha male on him, so he decided to leave for another team and get his own shot at sprinting.

            The riders that do not have the talent or the endurance to win other races outside of the big cycling events, know this themselves. Make no mistake, they get just as much respect from the fans as the guy who wins 20 races a year.

          4. xtophe those are fair points to raise, in response:

            1) Status between F1 team mates is often not equal and it is (apparently) common to have such clauses etc written into contracts, i.e. often F1 drivers are hired as domestiques or they know that the team reserves the right to treat them as such if they deem it necessary.

            2) This has also happened (and could still happen) in F1, team mates winning after the title is secure etc. Plus the fact that you are driving for a top team in a top car makes it that much more likely that you will win a race even if you are number two.

            3) Of course the tour winner gives up his prize money and the winner of the drivers championship could also. The same applies, the sponsorship and salary he will command after will easily outweigh the prize money.

            4) Your final point is the most relevant for me. Yeah it does make a significant difference but then a number 2 in F1 wouldn’t be killing himself like a domestic would, they’d just have to console themselves with the millions of dollars they earn (unless they’re down the back of the grid in which case it would only be hundreds of thousands – the poor babies my heart bleeds).

      5. Watch your knickers K. Are you implying that since people disagree with team orders they want Ferrari get out of F1? That’s a big jump don’t you think.
        Let’s be clear about something, Ferrari is not as big as F1, it is a team that partcipate. It’s history has no signficants to other teams and their desire to compete and win.

  7. José Baudaier
    12th December 2010, 1:14

    That’s a non-news for me. Ferrari applauding the lifting of team orders ban, what a surprise.

  8. Okay Massa, for the sake of your career, lets terminate your contract and move out from ferrari.

  9. Goodbye F1 this is a major blow for fans of drivers, not teams. As I support a driver , no matter which team they are with. I want him to win whether he is a number 1 or 2. I hope red bull and mclaren don’t change their stance on TO in 2011.

  10. What a surprise, Domenicali is still a jerk. Ferrari ruined the German GP. They can all go jump in a lake.

    1. But Fernando gets to jump first…

      1. Haha Slim and Mike, I couldn’t agree more!

    2. Can we now just say that they lied on Germany? Most important aspect of team orders is that the team can give their order anytime (all time) anywhere and any REASON whatever team thinks it should be. Then how can a racing still be a racing?

  11. Domenicali said permitting teams to instruct drivers to forfeit wins, as Felipe Massa did at Hockenheim this year, meant an end to “hypocrisy”

    Keith, what has been banned are team orders. Switching drivers between 1st and 2nd places (Germany 2010) is just as bad as switching drivers between 4th and 5th places (Germany 2008).

    ‘Forfeiting wins’ is just a small part of team orders. Something that has happened only thrice since 1998. I think the language used is meant to sensationalize the news to more than what it is and to incite the reader to voice an opinion against Ferrari.

    1. The irony is that Domenicalli thinks it’s hypocritical to ban teams from asking drivers to forefiet wins. What about the actual driver? Felipe Massa did nothing to deserve being treated the way he did other than Alonso whinging about it. And if Rubens Barrichello in 2002 is anything to go by, they probably held his contract over a document shredder. How is that even remotely okay?

      1. How is that even remotely okay?

        It’s not. Maybe the FIA should consider banning themselves for bringing the sport into disrepute by overturning the ban on team orders.

    2. Woah, woah, woah. So switching drivers between 4th and 5th is just as bad as robbing a win from a deserving driver and handing it to another? You have got to be kidding me. Yes they are both wrong and shouldn’t be done, but if Ferrari had switched Massa and Alonso in 4th and 5th, this debate never would have happened. It has to do with the severity and ridiculousness of what they did.

      1. I agree somewhat with that sentiment Adam. Especially if Massa hadn’t been pushing and they said push or get out of the way.

        Amusingly enough, had they actually done it in that situation, people that didn’t like Lewis passing Heikki and then gaining multiple positions wouldn’t have any ground to stand on.

    3. Can we just say for the record, there is no evidence of McLaren instructing Kov to move over – he might have just done it by working out himself it was the right thing to do.

      The Ferrari thing is completely different because an instruction was clearly made by the team for Massa to move over.

      I’m not being biased about this, I’m just stating the facts that people seem to twist slightly to make their points.

  12. Well at least we’ll never have to hear the words “[Driver X] is faster than you” ever again.

    That’s not a dig at Ferrari, every team has used that line at some stage…and we all knew what it meant.

    1. No, instead we’ll hear Smedley come on and say something like “Felipe pull over, the team doesn’t like you. Good lad.”

  13. i’m glad ferrari are strong enough to weather the adversity suffered in their support of formula one.

    imagine, a team sport where the players are forbidden from giving or following instructions! what a farcical travesty of a charade!

    1. Imagine, if you will, the World Cup final. England vs. Germany, if you will. And David Beckaham’s got the ball, going at the German goal. But just before he gets there, the England coach – whoever he is – says “Hang on a second David: Wayne Rooney can score goals better that you can. So don’t try and score; pass the ball to Wayne so that he can”. Never mind the fact that Rooney is down the other end of the pitch and being swamped by the Germans; Beckham is forced to pass to Rooney so that Rooney can score the World Cup-winning goal even though Beckham is already in the perfect position to do so, and yielding to Rooney would jeopardise England’s chances of scoring at all.

      Because that’s what Ferrari did. Formula 1 might be a team sport, but it’s the drivers who lead the way. In Massa’s position, I wouldn’t have yielded to the team’s demands, even if it cost me my contract. But then, in Massa’s position, I wouldn’t have driven for Ferrari in the first place.

      1. Excellent analogy PM, and a good example of why team orders aren’t automatically something we should accept just because it’s a “team sport.”

      2. Difference being, Both lads play for England and England gets the goal no matter who scores it. Thus, THE TEAM WINS. World Cup (soccer, football) is a TEAM SPORT, much like Formula 1. I think your analogy is flawed.

        1. If it’s just a team sport then why did Ferrari care? Points to the team would have been the same with Massa winning. Yours is the flawed logic.

      3. Analogy is flawed PM, because football is only a team sport to the manager, whereas in F1, the WDC actually carries more prestige.

    2. i’m glad ferrari are strong enough to weather the adversity suffered in their support of formula one.

      It’s more of the simple fact that they don’t care about anyone but themselves. Ferrari as usual proving that for all their “greatness” they are in fact small-minded, as the past few years have shown (cosing up to the FIA and FOM for extra benefits during the original breakaway saga, only supporting the FOTA rebellion last year because the new rules hurt their interests, the constant whining about the new teams, the refusal to admit they had broken a rule this year – no matter how stupid some consider the rule to be).

      Domenicali is a joke. He talks about hypocrisy when he manipulated a race a month after his star driver whined about another allegedly trying to do so, himself making supplementary comments in support if the sentiment.

      No wonder Group Lotus are behaving in such a childish manner. They took one look at Ferrari and must have assume petulance was the road to success in F1. Oh well. Like Ferrari, they’ll only ever be a small team if that’s how they want to play.

    3. Adversity for supporting F1, that’s absurd. being full of onself would be more like it.

  14. I don’t understand why everyone is getting so worked up about this. Then again I see Formula 1 as a contest between teams, not drivers. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate drivers, but they are after all only paid employees and their employers should be able to direct them for the good of the team.

    1. Well, you’re in a minority then.

    2. Then again I see Formula 1 as a contest between teams, not drivers.

      I think the root of this problem lies in the perception of what F1 is.

      You may consider it principally a contest between teams. But the fact of the matter is if you ask most people who won the championship this year they won’t say “Red Bull”, they’ll say “Sebastian Vettel”.

      I’m not making the case that either side of tghat argument is ‘right’, but this is where the problem stems from and the FIA’s recent decision has done nothing to resolve it.

      1. Yes, I know I’m very much in the minority. But I would have thought anyone with an serious interest in Formula 1 (or any motorsport for that matter) would appreciate that the paymasters (ie. the teams) will do what they need to to ensure the best return on their investment. And if you appreciate the reason, surely you accept them as part and parcel? I can see however it’s a problem of perception to ‘floating’ followers of Formula 1 who tend to identify with ‘here today gone tomorrow’ drivers.

        1. I can see however it’s a problem of perception to ‘floating’ followers of Formula 1 who tend to identify with ‘here today gone tomorrow’ drivers.

          So you’re somehow a truer and more pure fan of F1 than me because I’m a fan of drivers before teams? Give me a break. So you must have skipped watching Abu Dhabi this year since the constructor’s championship was already tied up at that point, and to you that’s the only meaningful championship. The constructor’s championship that wasn’t even part of the sport in the beginning. F1 has always been about drivers and always will, no matter the influx of corporate sponsorship and team names.

          1. No Peter, I wasn’t implying that at all; I can see now I wrote it badly. By ‘floating viewers’ I meant people like my mother-in-law who is only interested when she sees it on the news. And no I didn’t skip the Abu Dhabi GP because the WCC had been decided because I watch F1 religiously, to see and hear the cars. That’s my personal point I was trying to make; for me it’s about the cars, and so about the teams. The drivers don’t interest me (I don’t watch the post-race interviews for example) but the engineers and team managers I find fascinating. Puts me very much in the minority I know!

          2. But clerk, someone has to bring that car home. While I love all the engineering involved, it means nothing if the guy driving it can’t deliver.

            With refueling, I explained F1 to people as being around 50% car, 25% pit strategy, 25% driver. Now I think it’s around 60% car, 30% driver, 10% tire strategy.

            With the testing ban, I think experienced drivers are even more important than you might think. You could argue about the numbers but I prefer to keep it simple for people not so familiar with the sport.

      2. If we look at the poll conducted on the related article, a slight majority of – 54% – of the readers are OK with team orders, which must mean that 54% of the followers of F1 are infact, fans of teams not drivers.

        We may continue this debate for a long time, but it ultimately boils down to a simple argument over who is bigger – team or driver.

        To which, there is a clear answer – Team. A Team puts in all the money, hires all the employees – including the drivers – and pays their salaries. Success in F1 is dependent 90% on the car and 10% on the driver – a fact agreed upon by almost all pundits. Give a fast car to a decent driver – he will win – Vettel, give a slow car to an excellent driver – he won’t win – Kubica.

        A driver can never be bigger than his team while he still draws a salary from the team. Fernando Alonso became no.1 driver last year because his team anointed him so. Next year, if Felipe picks up his pace, then Ferrari will make Alonso no.2 without battling an eyelid. The best example of this can be found in the 2008 season with Ferrari itself. They made the highest-paid driver of the sport into a no.2 driver.
        As long as teams pump in all the money, they are bound to tell who derives maximum benefit from the money.

        1. a slight majority of – 54% – of the readers are OK with team orders, which must mean that 54% of the followers of F1 are infact, fans of teams not drivers.

          I think that’s a bit of a leap. If you read the comments to the article you’ll see some of the people who’ve voted against a ban say it’s because they believe it can’t be enforced, not necessarily because they oppose a ban.

        2. If we look at the poll conducted on the related article, a slight majority of – 54% – of the readers are OK with team orders, which must mean that 54% of the followers of F1 are infact, fans of teams not drivers.

          That’s not logical

          1. ah, sorry… Keith woz ‘ere

  15. Well aren’t we all shocked by this statement?…

  16. To paraphrase Mandy Rice Davies: well he would say that, wouldn’t he? Just like he’d aplaud the reinstatement of tobacco advertising, or allowing teams to run 3 cars

  17. You should make a pole on what people perceive as most important:

    A) Constructors Championship.
    B) Drivers Championship.

    I think many people would say ‘B,’ since they see the individual driver success as more important.
    Team orders can be used and still won the constructors though because the team still get the same points (if it is a simple switch of position as at Germany 2010) it just gives driver #1 a better chance at the (more important) driver’s title.

    1. Correct, and that make allegations to hide the team orders behind “sport team” is misplaced. Team orders is about drivers.

    2. So true. And with this change, the B) isn’t justified enough, cos you wouldn’t be rewarding the “drivers” abilities at all.
      You’ll be rewarding the driver who got more points from their team :/

  18. Well, Domenicali is wrong. He’s guilty of just reading the headline changes and not looking at what the change actually means.

    As I said on the other thread, Article 39.1 is gone but the teams have been reminded that the rule in the International Sporting Code about bringing the sport into disrepute still stands. That to me says that any team caught using team orders that the FIA considers unreasonable are still liable for punishment – but without any obligation to investigate your run-of-the-mill “save fuel” instructions. Essentially, it’s the same as what we have had up until now in practice, but without the legal difficulties of the FIA having to explain why some team orders are okay and others aren’t (which is, ultimately, why Ferrari got let off).

    This rule change will bring about more hypocrisy, not less.

    1. I agree. But, then again, Domenicali seems to have a different meaning for hypocrisy,something akin to “someone did/decided/said something that disadvantages us, or at least doesn’t help us”.

  19. I wonder how much Ferrari still are paying Todt? :o

    To FIA – Stop fiddling TO’s and just scratch the WDC completely if you really wanna make Ferrari a favor. On the other hand – if you wanna make F1 more interesting for the fans – skip the WCC.

    WCC and WDC don’t mix.

    1. Ferrari aren’t paying Todt. I’m led to believe they don’t actually like each other very much. They had a falling-out of some kind that never got repaired and Todt went off to work for the FIA. Besides, most of the people who were at Ferrari during the Todt years – Brawn, Schumacher – have moved on. The attitude might be the same, but the people are not.

  20. What a great idea. Now that team orders are OK, at what point of the race does the team tell it’s mug driver to stop on the track so that the team’s nominated championship contender can better organise his pit stop.

    I believe Piquet Jnr is available if any team is looking for a driver with experience as a team player …

    1. Piquet’s not a team player though, otherwise he’d already have the second seat at Ferrari.

  21. I’d like to see two things…

    1. a radio ban – so drivers will be forced to manage their strategy themselves best they can.

    2. a Brazil team, with Brazil sponsors (maybe Petrobras or the like) with Massa and why not Nelsinho or Rubens as drivers. That would give Massa the chance to give Ferrari the finger and show what he’s worth in another team. The Brazilian people would finally have a team for their hearts, as they really deserve, as big F1-nation they are.

    1. My thoughts

      1 – I think drivers need to send and receive some feedback, especially with performance issues like fuel, temperatures, commenting on potential problems. Especially considering the limits on some of the hardware or safety concerns. I would like to see it set to a minimum though.

      2 – Unfortunately, there isn’t a 13th spot available and it doesn’t seem like any one is for sale. You could suggest they might try to buy interest in Renault-Group Lotus via takeover. Or HRT might be selling but reports are foggy. Williams might be the best shot as Sauber got money now but it would be a shame to lose the name.

      Not a terrible idea by any stretch though. It would be nice to spread some teams out.

  22. I’m interested to know whether driver no.2 of Ferrari would still have a role other than supporting driver no. 1. Anybody?

    1. He could do the dishes for the catering department too maybe.

      1. He could supply the ice cream?

  23. With lifting of team orders ban, the driver’s contract may be amended to state that the number two driver has to yield to the number one driver at all costs. Also, the number one driver will get all the goodies, ie, updated specifications, new parts etc and the number two has to shut up and not complain if he is always a few tenths of a second behind his teammate. Alonso will love this change very much. Massa, don’t cry.

  24. “Team” to me implies it isn’t about just one person. And yet they were all about Alonso over Massa. If they were truly about it being a team sport, they’d have accepted the full points at Germany regardless of who led. A 1-2 is a 1-2 no matter who is in which position. So who’s the hypocrite?

    1. Ferrari of course. But F1 is “theirs” so everyone who disagree with them are the hypocrites.

  25. and secretly, all the other teams applaud the lifting of the ban.

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