Massa defends decision to disobey team orders

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa defended his decision to ignore orders from Williams to let his team mate overtake him in the closing stages of the race.

Massa was leading Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages when Williams repeatedly told him to let his team mate past.

Among the messages given to Massa were “Valtteri’s got better tyres we need to let him go” and “Felipe you’re slower than Valtteri, let him past”. Meanwhile Bottas was being told “You’re faster than Felipe, overtake him.”

However Massa refused to give up the position and finished the race ahead of his team mate.

“I think I did the best I could with my race,” he told reporters afterwards. “I was fighting to the end and my target was to score as many points for the team and me. We’re only in the second race.”

The pair were following Jenson Button and Williams wanted to release Bottas so he could go after the McLaren.

“Valtteri couldn’t pass me so it was going to be difficult to pass Jenson as well,” said Massa. “I don’t think that would’ve changed.”

Bottas disagreed, saying “I think there was a really good chance for me to get Jenson”, but did not comment on Massa’s refusal to let him by.

Williams eventually told both drivers to cool their engines and instructed Bottas to hold position, telling him: “We really need to cool the car, no overtake.”

Asked whether it had been unfair of him to disobey the team’s instruction Massa said: “Is it fair to do the best we can?”

“We have two championships, I respect my job, we need to respect each other.”

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

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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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155 comments on “Massa defends decision to disobey team orders”

  1. Massa’s only going to put himself in trouble with the team, kicking up a fuss this early in the season. Williams’ aim was obviously for maximum constructors points, so it made sense for Bottas to be given a chance to take on Button if Massa was clearly unable to.

    1. And Bottas was unable to even pass Massa

      1. @seahorse Bottas had better pace all the way through the race. In the very end of the race both Williams drivers were told to bring the car home, so he wasn’t even trying to overtake Massa.

        1. @huhhii Bottas was indeed told to pass Massa after Massa was told to let him pass. It is not right to say he wasn’t even trying to overtake Massa. You could clearly see his desperation in that post race interview.

          1. Bottas was trying to overtake Massa around 5 laps before the end of the race, yes, but he gave up in last few laps because the team told him to cool the car and bring it home. Without team telling so, I’m sure Bottas would’ve passed Massa.

      2. knoxploration
        30th March 2014, 17:57

        Exactly. If he couldn’t pass Massa, he had no realistic chance of passing anybody ahead of Massa.

        This was literally the only interesting thing in the entire race, and I believe Massa did the right thing. (Even though the team will doubtless punish him for it.)

        1. and if Bottas used up his tires passing Massa what would the point have been? Bottas had better tires at the time so he would have been better able to take the fight to Button which was why Massa was told to move over. Most likely Massa pushed the team into Bottas’ corner with his behavior which probably won’t help him as the season progresses.

      3. @seahorse I think it’s more difficult to overtake someone following another car as both get DRS … But Bottas could have been a bit more aggressive to prove his point there

      4. @seahorse In F1 eing .5 quciker is not enough for overtaking but if you take massa being .5 quicker than Button and Bottas being .5 quicker than Massa you’ll see why Bottas ccould had passed Button. In the end poor decision from Massa but he’s got sponsoring so if Williams want to keep the sponsoring they know what to do? Kick Massa and put Nasr instead.

      5. Bottas was “unable” to overtake Massa, but let’s remember a couple of things:
        1. Bottas overtook people right and left during the Australian GP, so, there should be no question about his ability to pass, when he is able to.
        2. when you are fighting your teammate, coming from a race where you made a mistake and dropped several places, you will be EXTRA careful. After all, you don’t want to risk taking your team out of the points.

        During lap 7, when they broadcasted the team radio exchange, Massa sounded like a frightened little girl running for mommy, asking for help. Bottas, on the other hand was calm and collected. To me, that shows a lot about the “manliness” and “stature” of both drivers.

        As a country fellowman of Massa, I have followed his whole F1 career. As Rubens B, he is an average driver and would not be where he is now, if he did not bring Petrobras and Banco do Brasil sponsorship money.

        I also hope that the Williams F1 Team raise their game. During the Australian GP, when Bottas hit the wall, the TV director cut it to Claire Williams and she was in front of the monitor, head down, totally dejected, about to cry. It is CRITICAL that a professional F1 team have people who can manage their emotions during the race. Otherwise, things get out of control. Vis a Vis Raikonnen and Lotus in 2013 when a very nasty exchange was heard between the Finn and a Team principal.

    2. Considering Bottas followed a team order earlier in the race, Massa should have returned the favor.

      1. @austus Exactly! My first reaction was to be mad at Williams for even coming on the radio and saying those words to Massa. But when I heard the replay of the team radio of Felipe earlier whining about Bottas trying to pass him, I lost all sympathy. Felipe can’t use team orders when it’s to his advantage and then view himself as the victim when it comes back around later.
        Had Bottas been allowed to pass him earlier, then they wouldn’t have been in that position at the end of the race.

        1. Considering Felipe’s following so many other team orders in the past, almost all of them to his disadvantage, I think he should finally be allowed to say “no!” a few times now. He’s earned it.

          1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
            31st March 2014, 4:23

            are kidding??? tell that to williams!!!! he should have say no in ferrari where he was alonsos doormat! he is new in williams and there noone cares if he was a doormat before: he has to obey his team!

          2. @bgp001ruled totally agree. Felipe is claiming he was such a victim…and now he wants to do the same to Bottas? He was screaming for them to make Bottas not race him early in the race….so it’s ok when HE’S the one doing it?

            No, he’s lost my sympathy and I was really pulling for him before this.

  2. “Multi 7719” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it does it…

    1. Haven’t they changed it to “Default” now?

      Or is “Default” what they call it when the #1 driver is in front and will hold position, and “Multi” when they want to switch places.

  3. He should have moved over and let Bottas have a go.

    However his engineer should have chosen his words better. Practically repeating the same words as in Hockenheim wasn’t really thoughtfull.

    1. Agreed, I think this was the catalyst for his actions. My jaw hit the floor when I heard him say nearly the exact same words.
      If he had said, “Bottas is on a different strategy, let him through”, then maybe the outcome would have been different. But the way it was worded just made the situation worse.

      1. +1

        This is not a simple debate about disobeying team orders. Had the first message been “Bottas has newer tyres, let him through”, I don’t think we would even be having this debate. But the engineer said “Bottas is faster than you”.

        Knowing the history, and trying to make a joke of one of the main reasons Massa decided to leave Ferrari, is naive at best and simply stupid at worst. The reason people feel the need to defend Massa, is because that message was incredibly disrespectful. Your team should be there to support you, not publicly make a mockery of you.

        Telling a competitive driver that their team-mate is faster than him without justification is like saying “you cant drive as fast / you’re not as good as your team-mate”. Any driver worth his salt will see that as a challenge and attempt to prove himself. This is psychology 101. Of course he wasn’t going to let him through after that.

        Massa didn’t cost Williams points today, that engineer did. If I ran that team all blame would be placed publicly on his (the engineer’s) shoulders, so he could know what it’s like to be made a mockery of publicly.

        1. What utter garbage. It was a statement of fact, nothing else.

          1. Its a question of driver management. Its well known that Massa is mentally pretty fragile in the cockpit. It may well have been fact, it was still unwise to say it.

            Unless it was a very shrewd way of getting Massa to get a shift on. Win-Win; he rolls over and Bottas gets a go at Button, or he gets incensed and speeds up for his own crack at the McLaren. In turn showing Bottas he himself needs to up his game.

            Though i doubt it; even if he let Bottas through and he’d subesquently took Button for more points, i’d wager Massa’s broken spirit would’ve cost them as a team more points over the rest of the season.

            The way it is, at least Massa has shown he’s regained some of his early career fight.

          2. @raceprouk

            It was a statement of fact, nothing else.

            Don’t be so ignorant. If your job is to manage someone and effect their actions, then how you say things (context/syntax/semantics) is just as important as what you say. The self righteous belief that because it’s a fact, people will listen does not work in real life. Especially if said statement is a dent to ones ego.

          3. @raceprouk – Good argument. Well done.

          4. @raceprouk True. Perhaps they’ll touch on that in todays tense debrief then, maybe it wasn’t addressed properly in pre-season – another possible shortcoming.

            But i think we all know if Massa was just another penniless generic latin driver he’d be in South American tourers right now. Being the leading Brazilian with pockets full of reals to replace the Venezuelan oil dollar is the reason he’s there; the shaky racecraft and reasoning will therefore be tolerated.

          5. I dont know if those of you fighting over have managed people in their career. I have and I would completely agree with @ryanisjones.

            You simply cannot tell a person that your team mate is better than you on your face. It is demeaning, especially if you have a temper that is on the higher side. The way you word yourself has an effect of how the message would be passed on and accepted. Surely, Massa felt bad.

            I am no Massa or Val77eri fan, I used to follow Williams for some years and only interested now coz of the Martini livery. Nothing else.

          6. @hemzshaw – There’s a difference between respect and babying. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to be harsh.

          7. @elbasque

            Its well known that Massa is mentally pretty fragile in the cockpit

            That is why he is not championship material! You have to be ruthless in racing… You cannot expect everybody to treat you like a rose petal! I for one would scald Massa and tell him to behave like a man. It seems he sporadically grows a pair and then leaves them at home most of the time!
            He is in the wrong business if he expects everybody to baby him like Smedley did.

            Fact is he is not fit for racing! He was soo close to button, he could´ve had him but when the time came to put it on the line, he left his pair in the basket with all the easter eggs. He´s like a cheetah… bursts of speed but no endurance whatsoever! He gave up on trying to pass Button! That is the difference between a driver like him and a driver like ALO! The only real racing today came via ALO/Hulkenberg! And yes… school is out Hulk… I hope you learned your lesson well today!

        2. If I ran that team all blame would be placed publicly on his (the engineer’s) shoulders, so he could know what it’s like to be made a mockery of publicly.

          Yeah, that seems like reasonable workplace practice. Publicly humiliate your staff because they forgot that they were supposed to be wrapping Massa in cotton wool like a little baby bird.

          Ryan, if you call somebody ignorant just because they think that drivers should behave like adults, you can’t fault them giving you a curt response, as they realise addressing the flaws in your argument is a waste of their time.

          1. @matt90

            I have to disagree here, adult or not a certain level of diplomacy is to be expected… choose your words carefully to yield the best results; it’s the reason job interviews exist or how businesspeople become successful among others. In this case, Massa’s race engineer didn’t think things through and failed to consider his past history with team orders.

          2. He didn’t use enough tact, but that doesn’t elicit the response suggested. Also, I can’t really fault the engineer for thinking more about the race at hand than Massa’s troubled past. And also, do we know if that was the first message sent to Massa, or one after he had been disobeying for a time?

          3. @matt90

            I can’t really fault the engineer for thinking more about the race at hand than Massa’s troubled past

            I think we finally agree on something matt90! Massa is in the wrong business! He behaves like a streetwalker sometimes! He needs to be slapped and kicked to the curb!

        3. Quite right well said . You don’ t pay someone of great experience to come second , have some respect . The team has tacticians who should have some tact .

        4. one of the main reasons Massa decided to leave Ferrari

          @ryanisjones Are you joking…. you think Massa decided to leave Ferrari?

          1. @ryanisjones

            He was dropped from Ferrari! And to be honest… They should have dropped him a looooooooooooooong time ago!

  4. I can understand his decision but then again, didn’t he ask the team to keep Bottas on the leash in the initial stages of the race?

    1. Exactly! The team held Bottas back since he first caught up to Massa, if they had allowed Bottas past at that point Bottas may have leapfrogged Button in the pits….it was too late in the race to unleash Bottas for the last 3 laps after keeping him behind Massa for the majority of the race.

      I don’t blame Massa. Just like he is quoted in the article, it is only the second race, Bottas should’ve overtaken him on merit. Good on Massa for not yielding to team orders, and this is coming from a Bottas biased person.
      This is similar to RB last year, it is too early in the season for team orders and I respect the drivers that don’t just roll over and allow the positions to be decided in a meeting room.

    2. I don’t understand this argument. If you have more pace than the car in front of you, then you should be able to overtake it, why do you need the guy to move over?

      1. You have not watched an F1 race before right?

        1. So you have no real answer to my question then?

          1. “have more pace” = potential to go faster. That does not mean that it is easy to pass somebody who’s intentionally trying to keep you behind. That is what we call racing.

      2. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        30th March 2014, 18:29

        jimmie, you dont understand F1, right?

        1. Someone just told me letting people pass is what they call racing. So yes, it’s strange to me.

          1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
            31st March 2014, 4:28

            ok: that answer, i like!

  5. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    But i’ll just ctrl-v part of what i put in rate-the-race.

    “I think the pit wall screwed up. As soon as they repeated almost word-for-word the phrase he got at hockenheim they lost him. If they’d have elucidated the situation a bit better, perhaps even touching on his earlier request that bottas obeyed, he might have yielded.”

    1. @elbasque Keep in mind only a small proportion of the actual messages get broadcast.

      1. Yeah fair point, but even if that was only one of 10 differently worded requests, i can just see Massa having a Vietnam-style flashback of rage as soon as that particular one was used. Knocking dead any fence-sitting he may have been doing.

        I don’t think Massas quite as bad as some people say, but he seems to need to be babied psychologically through every issue since “the incident”.

        I like how he magically started suffering temp issues about 30 seconds after his insubordination though.

        1. Vietnam-style flashback of rage

          I just have an image of Massa going NOOOOO!! under his helmet and a flashback montage before his eyes….lol

        2. Vietnam-style flashback of rage LOL

          I love the smell of racing fuel in the morning! at a rate of 100kg a hr of course

        3. Hockenam-style flashback of rage

          That was funny @elbasque

    2. I concur completely, whether that was the first message or the fifth message, using the exact same wording as Ferrari did was almost a parody of itself. If I was Massa I’d wonder if they were trying to humiliate me. I obviously don’t know what agreements they have/don’t have behind the scenes, but the phraseology involved certainly seemed less than diplomatic in isolation.

    3. …..eloquently put, and an almost ethereal foresight into how this situation could have been more delicately dealt with.. As insightful dare I say as the very experienced MB….still for my money the best commentator in F1 along with DC. spooky. #:)

      1. Damn, rumbled! Murdoch’s money is good, but i’m trying to make some more on the side once Keith brings me on board.

        Unless you’re taking the micky, in which case i’m handing this account over to Crofty.

      2. Actually just seen Ted grilling CW over it; did the Sky team bring up the same guff i wrote? I scurried off to the BTCC as soon as the race results came on-screen.

    4. Massa is just a B!tch! He should just man up and drive with a pair always, not only when he has his team mate behind him… It seems he just pushes when the guy with the same car is behind or infront of him, he tends to forget the other 20 cars around him..

  6. What was Williams thinking with that team order? Yes, Bottas could have gone after Jenson, but is that worth ruining the atmosphere within the team, especially given that such a team order might stir very strong feelings in their new recruit?

    They should just let their drivers race and only resort to team order unless it’s absolutely crucial.

    1. That’s what I thought. Also, I don’t think Bottas would’ve been able to overtake Jenson

    2. come to think of it. its 2 points which wont change the constructors outcome especialy with double points at abu dhabi.

      it does show that f1 still hasnt sorted out the problem the car behind cant overtake in dirty air.

      and also ive seen the laptimes from both on mclarens timing website and massa and bottas average laptime for the race was 1.46.1 . bottas was quicker at the end because masa was losing time in buttons air but bottas couldnt even overtake with newer tyres for that same reason.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      30th March 2014, 14:29

      As a team, they’d have only gained 2 points anyway. With only a few laps left, do you want someone like Bottas attacking Button? Surely it’d be better at that stage to just bank the points.

    4. I totally support Massa on his decision!

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        31st March 2014, 4:32

        good! on monday go to your job and disobey your boss! see how he reacts!

    5. This is by far the best comment I’ve read about this incident. Very well reasoned!

  7. I’d respect Massa for his decision, if he hadn’t moaned about Bottas earlier in the race and if he didn’t have the benefit of a team order earlier in the race.

    But I also agree with many commentators that whoever was on the team radio did bad job today. Reminding Massa about Hockenheim 2010 was a big mistake.

    1. @hotbottoms I think that’s why he did it, Bottas had a look at him earlier when he was ordered to stay behind, so Massa paid back the favour later on.

      1. Bottas wasn’t ordered to stay behind Massa at the start of the race, he was told to give him room after they touched!

  8. I think the only one to blame is the team. At the start of the race Massa complained when Bottas was gettin too close, as a result the team made Bottas to back off. Then they pitted Bottas too late when tyres were in bad shape already so he lost a lot of time against Massa who the team had pitted couple laps earlier. Then when Bottas caught him again fair and square, team tells Massa to let Bottas by. Where is the logic? I Think Williams are shooting their own foot here. Really bad race engineering so far from them.

    1. Ivan Rheenen
      1st April 2014, 0:11

      He didn’t complain about Bottas getting too close, it was about Bottas jabbing the rear of his car. The penalty for qualifying behind another driver is having to pass him during the race. Bottas simply couldn’t without a free pass.

  9. If Bottas couldn’t get past Massa fair and square I’m not sure why Williams thought he had such a good chance of attacking Button.

    1. Massa could not get over Button, might aswell give Bottas a try, total points for the team will stay the same if it fails and increase by 2 if it works.

      1. @ardenflo Its only a case of “might aswell” if Bottas then gives the position back if he cant beat Button. That however would not have happened.

        1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
          31st March 2014, 4:34

          why the hell should bottas have given the position back????

    2. I suppose they thought that as he looked racier and faster at that particular part of the race, with (marginally) fresher tyres, that they’d let Bottas have a crack.

      From a team perspective, theres no difference in swapping their drivers around, but if anyone was going to move forward it was Bottas, and there’s no point having him put effort (and tyre/temp wear) into overtaking someone when theres no additional points on offer from a constructors viewpoint. Better to let all that effort into gaining the team an actual increased points haul.

      They just forgot who they were trying to manage.

  10. So I guess there’s going to be a massive uproar and people are now going to boo Williams for their disgusting and sinful act of telling their slower driver to let the faster one through.

    Oh wait, they’re not Red Bull or Ferrari, never mind.

    1. I boo Williams not for the order, but the way in which they executed the order.

      Even forgetting how similar the wording was to Hockenheim, I thought it was worded tastelessly… A bit like how Lotus shouted at Kimi late last year.

      If team orders like this are to be given… At least word and voice them more politely.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        30th March 2014, 19:46

        both massa and the team are professionals, arent they? if the engineer must think about what he says and how it says it, man williams should go back to being one of the worst teams! and massa should go to another sport like sync swimming or ballet or something…

        1. rafael martins
          1st April 2014, 13:52

          Professionals, so they must think every move and wording on a race pit wall. And @GB: dont forget that 2008 Hamilton’s championship with a delivery overtake by Glock…assuming that you are a moaning englishman.

    2. Fact of the matter is Massa dosent own the team Frank Williams Does and if my boss tells me to move over even if I’m in first place then I’m going to move over. When Massa buys and owns his own team then he won’t have to worry about team orders.

  11. Now Felipe has yet another problem: he cannot blame Fernando’s supposed arrogance…it was so easy to blame Fernando. Now what?

    1. This is exactly what I was going to say…haha

      Maybe we can start blaming Valteri for Massa’s mediocrity from here on in?

  12. best move in the race, not to move over. He was right, Bottas would have never passed Jenson, because he couldnt pass the guy who was supposedly slower. They were fighting only for the drivers championship, Massa was completely with in his right to hold his position. It’s obvious that Williams are too short tempered these days about their position in the constructors, given they might have been pushing expectations a little high. I think Williams need to come back to earth and admit they are just fighting for points at the moment, and teams like McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes have much better chances. 9th and 10th position is about where Williams is, now that Lotus is struggling and Force India are trying to get a grip, and Sauber is no where to be found.

    1. If Williams had any wet weather pace at all they would be miles ahead of the McLaren for sure. Possibly fighting Alonso and Hulkenberg. Massa started 13th and Bottas 18th yet together with Button from 10th finished within one second.

  13. Well done, Felipe. I think it was important for him not to pull over and let Bottas past.

    I wonder if Rob Smedley was at home, yelling at his TV? “Don’t let him past, Felipe baby!”

    1. isnt rob smedley is williams head engineering ? then he should’ve been in the pitside back then..

    2. Is Smedley on gardening leave?

  14. I can understand a racer wanting to keep position, but I think this may have damaged Massa’s standing in the team considerably.
    I also don’t think the team order was a smart move from the pit wall. Any time a team get’s involved in team orders, one driver is going to get the short end of the stick. Then that needs to be balanced out, which results in the other guy getting the short end of the stick. Instances where you receive favourable treatment aren’t as memorable as instances where you get shafted, so the situation becomes one of having both drivers being bitter.

    The best thing to do is let them operate under the assumption that they are allowed to race. We’ve seen this strategy work at Mercedes and McLaren, and famously not at Red Bull.

    1. Actually the team probably were correcting for the team order they gave Bottas early in the race to not to try and pass Massa.

      The only one who can complain here of dumb team orders is Bottas. Of course Bottas couldn’t overtake Massa, because Massa also had DRS and with equal cars it’s pretty much impossible to pass in F1. Bottas was clearly fastter though.

  15. While I agree that Massa shouldn’t have listened to team orders he has a bit of double standards as at the start of the race he complained when Bottas tried to pass him. I’m sorry Bottas backed off then because Massa failed to takeover both Magnussen and Button and I’m sorry we didn’t get to see Bottas fighting with Button for position at the end of the race…

    1. That reminds me of someone……….. 1 year ago.

  16. Massa has followed enough team orders!

  17. In other words Massa wants it both ways. He’s happy to hear and even invoke team orders when they are to his benefit only (see him crying about how close Bottas was getting at the start of the race). Poor show, poor sport.

    1. its not poor show or poor sport, its world champion mentality, to maximise your opportunity, by doing what he did, he finished ahead of Bottas! well done to him, Ayrton Senna would be proud.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        30th March 2014, 14:26

        Senna, Schumacher, Vettel… all drivers who would have done exactly the same.

      2. And all of those drivers have shown poor sportsmanship. Just because the greats have done it doesn’t make it sportsmanlike. Schumacher and Senna committed disgraceful acts, and they remain disgraceful in spite of how many races or championships they won. I understand drivers wanting to get on the radio and stop their team mate from attacking them. But that doesn’t mean accepting that they openly defy team orders when they come back at them.

        kpcart, please tell me how that isn’t poor sportsmanship?

        1. The first paragraph was mainly a response to pete.

        2. A person like matt90 will find any reason to hate. Massa has done good sportsman moments in his career and bad now- maybe? The interpretation is often down to which driver you support, but most important is the result in the money ruled sport.

          1. I won’t find any reason, but I did find this valid reason. Pretending I find any excuse to hate Massa is a cop-out and shows you don’t have a valid argument- which you acknowledge by saying this may be a bad sportsman moment. Which means we’re actually saying the same thing anyway!

        3. petebaldwin (@)
          30th March 2014, 17:56

          @matt90 – Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s good sportsmanship. What I am saying is that all of the best drivers we’ve had would have done the same. All of them.

          1. Sadly a lot of the recent ones would have. But there are plenty of greats going back to the ’70s and before who seemed to display far more integrity. So not all.

    2. Trenthamfolk (@)
      30th March 2014, 13:36

      @matt90 +1

  18. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    30th March 2014, 12:43

    I was glad to see him reject team orders for a few reasons:

    1) His past. The dude has been told to “move over” for just about his entire career.
    2) I know they thought that Bottas could have potentially caught Button, but I feel it’s too early in the season to be telling drivers to get out of the way, it wasn’t a case of “Valtteri is in contention of the WDC and Massa isn’t, so Felipe should move over”. It’s just too early in the season.
    3)I get that they wanted to try and maximise the teams’ points haul, but I highly doubt Valtteri could have caught Button even if Felipe had given him the position. Massa’s tyres were only 2 laps older than Bottas’s, and Button was faster than them regardless.

    1. 1) His past. The dude has been told to “move over” for just about his entire career.
      2) I know they thought that Bottas could have potentially caught Button, but I feel it’s too early in the season to be telling drivers to get out of the way, it wasn’t a case of “Valtteri is in contention of the WDC and Massa isn’t, so Felipe should move over”. It’s just too early in the season.
      3)I get that they wanted to try and maximise the teams’ points haul, but I highly doubt Valtteri could have caught Button even if Felipe had given him the position. Massa’s tyres were only 2 laps older than Bottas’s, and Button was faster than them regardless.

      1.- That´s because he is number 2 driver material, not number 1.
      2.- I guess we wil never know because he didn´t get past! Oh and is it to early in the season to bark at your team to stop Bottas from ramming his nose up Massa´s gearbox??
      3.- Button put Massa to sleep quick when Massa got close enough, but I have a feeling that Valteri might´ve been able to get the job done. He is a loose canon as we saw in Melbourne. Massa… well he just doesn´t grow a pair often enough.

  19. No doubt people will link this incident to the Multi 21 a year ago, given the differences in how people are interpreting it (i.e. Vettel the villian for ignoring, Massa the hero for ignoring). Despite the obvious difference in that one was being asked not to overtake, and one was being asked to let himself be overtaken.

    The answer that should be applied to this one and which was not applied (to my knowledge) to the Multi incident. It depends purely on what the team arrangement was before the race, and what the drivers agreed to. If both drivers have promised to obey direction, then they really ought to, as the other driver may have made tactical race decisions based on this agreement. If the team hasn’t cleared orders unambiguosly with the drivers, or the driver hasn’t agreed to take orders, then the driver has every right to ignore the order. It’s not clear what arrangements were in place either year, and given these are internal decisions we will never know. For most people, they will end up naturally siding with the driver they prefer.

    In general, for the sake of racing it’s much better that drivers do ignore team orders, and make sure the team and other driver knows that before the race.

  20. Andrew Murdoch: “Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you, let him go!”

    Felipe Massa: “ENOUGH!”

  21. I bet massa made sure his contract has no clauses to obey team orders so early in the season. good on him, I wished rosberg did the same last year at malaysia

  22. Honestly, I think its good that Massa did not heed this order and instead just tried to go as fast as he could. In his place, I am not that sure Bottas himself would have reacted any differently, just remember the time he was told to let Maldonado go by in his 2nd race for the team last year, he also ignored it.

    By the way, hearing Bottas on the radio reacting when the team told him earlier that he should leave Massa a bit of room, and they would both go past soon was one of the nice moments (The one where he told them to “tell massa to get on with it”)

  23. Seems like elder statesman syndrome from Massa. Always have had very little time for him whining, now this… fool

  24. I think there was a real chance for Bottas to overtake Button. Considering Massa did profit from team orders at the start of the race, the balance doesn’t seem right at the end of the race.

    It looks like Massa considers himself #1 driver in the team and was in need to prove so by not following the team orders. But this you do by being faster than your team mate and I’d bet that Bottas will be in front by the end of the seasson.

    Poor job from the pits on how Massa was instructed, though. If there are certain words that Massa wouldn’t like to hear is “x is faster than you”.

    Jenson thanks Felipe…

  25. last year vettel was vilified for disobeying team orders, now massa is been praised for doing the same.

    just shows how much anti-vettel hate there is amongst f1 fans just because he happens to have been very successful the past few years & of course you can’t let anyone have too much success because thats seen as bad thesedays. utter nonsence!

    1. Team orders should be banned and drivers should be let to race for themseleves, that is why there is a drivers championship and why it is more important then the constructors championship

    2. Massa should listen and obey.

  26. Did you see Claire Williams trying to explain that Massa hearing an order from the team and ignoring it doesn’t translate into “ignoring team orders”?

    Also i’ve noticed a ~500% increase in camera shots into the Williams garage since Claire took over more duties mid-last year. It reminds me of the Sochi Olympics and the shots of young female supporters between EVERY gap in action.

    1. I have not seen 500%increase infact i did not notice her once this race. I will watch the replay of the race, i am 500% sure you are wrong. I saw more of saubers team principal.

  27. If it were much earlier in the race or the gap between them and Button was consistantly getting bigger, then you can give such an order.
    If Bottas couldnt pass Massa on his own, why would you think he can pass Button any easier?
    Very bad move Williams and it may come back to haunt you.
    You have already achieved the maximum points for the day, then for the slim possibility of adding two more points, maximum, you decide to destroy the teams cohesiveness, 2 races into the most promising year in a long time?
    The Pit wall team were very stupid, in my opinion, and should be cautioned for their utterances. I suggest, if the need were ever to arise again, it should be one person with enough common sense to issue such orders to the drivers.
    In my opinion Massa did the right thing and should be given an apology quickly and you may have a more healthy competition tomorrow between the drivers.
    This is a big management issue in my opinion

    1. That has to have been one of the worst examples of ‘man management’ I have ever heard. Well done Williams; any team harmony and moral was broken done in that one moment.
      Maybe, and that’s a maybe, Bottas could have challenged Button and won one more Constructors Championship point but what they have definitely achieved is a lot of bad feelings and a breakdown in whatever positive ambience they have been striving so hard to promote since the end of last season.
      True, we only heard the radio conversation that was deemed by FOM to be worthy enough, but I think we heard enough.

      1. Maybe, and that’s a maybe, Bottas could have challenged Button and won one more Constructors Championship point but what they have definitely achieved is a lot of bad feelings and a breakdown in whatever positive ambience they have been striving so hard to promote since the end of last season.

        That’s it in a nutshell @arki19. Regardless of all the ifs, buts and maybes, Williams botched their driver management right at the start of the season. Sweep all the hypothetical gains to one side – and they were based upon dubious assumptions – they key issue is team cohesion/spirit. Telling one of your drivers to get out of the way on the basis of a highly questionable gain, isn’t very wise imho. Massa was badgered repeatedly which makes it look even worse.

        If Bottas was going to sweep Button out of the way, he’d have been able to pass Massa without team orders. The fact that Massa could hold Bottas up suggests Button would not have been easy to pass either. Being slightly faster than another driver is one thing. Passing him without a helping hand is something else.

        None of my comments have anything to do with favouring one driver over another. I’m just looking at the matter from the likely impact on team spirit/cohesion.

  28. I see what you did there, Pat.

    1. This is a big management issue in my opinion

      Management blunder. The gains that might have accrued by allowing Bottas to attack Button were highly uncertain. Massa was going fast enough to hold Bottas at bay, so it is highly questionable whether Bottas could have achieved what Massa could not. And allowing Bottas to attack could well have resulted in an incident with Button, because the fight would probably have been very hard fought (Massa is an experienced driver and he was in an identical car). Some people might say the team call was about racing, but F1 is also about maximising constructor’s points.

      Team orders are fine if there is a clear benefit from them being applied. In this case the benefit was highly speculative. Conversely, the impact on team-driver relations was fairly obvious. High cost (damage to driver relations/team spirit) versus highly questionable gains (assuming Bottas could have passed Button). So I agree; it was not good management. Even the way the message was put to Massa, and the way it was put repeatedly, displayed a lack of awareness as to the long-term impact on team relations. Yes, the spat may come back to haunt Williams.

      1. Sigh…my reply was to Abba above.

  29. Michael Brown
    30th March 2014, 14:10

    My thoughts:

    Disobeying the team order was not the right thing to do. Bottas had better tires and therefore a better chance to attack Button. What does Massa do? Hold Bottas up so he ruins his tires.

    Although, if the “Bottas is faster than you” message was really sent to Massa first, then his engineer should take some blame for poorly choosing his words. Without justifying why Bottas was faster than Massa, Massa got arrogant and disobeyed the team order.

  30. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    30th March 2014, 14:13

    Massa contradicts himself. “Doing the best we can” was surely to let Bottas overtake.

    However, he was ahead of him for most of if not all of the race, so he deserved to finish ahead. And quite frankly, Bottas was hardly all over him.

  31. petebaldwin (@)
    30th March 2014, 14:24

    Well done Massa. Delighted to see him refuse to move over. Bottas couldn’t pass Massa so why would he have been able to pass Button?

    It’s sad how many people are saying he should have let Bottas past on here though. I didn’t realise F1 Fanatics liked team orders. Or is it just because everyone prefers Bottas? :)

  32. I’m shocked as I read that someone defends williams and bottas.
    I’m more of a bottas supporter. I rate massa as a slave-driver(let alone 2007-2009) but come on…
    massa did good. period. I respect williams as a team, but I don’t like manipulation and fake results.
    if bottas was much faster he should have passed massa without needing a team order. and if he couldn’t challenge massa, how could he challenge button?
    this episode reminds me of raikkonen-grosjean last year.
    get real and admit team orders are ridiculous and discredit f1 as a sport.
    team orders are one of the biggest disgrace in this “sport”. One should win or pass using his own talent, but talent is not the main feature anymore in this “sport”.

    why did fia give penalties to ricciardo while they have never done anything to prevent ridiculous team orders?
    of course you are a team, but your driver is someone who struggles for points, not a robot who can be manipulated as you please.
    williams, ferrari, rbr, mercedes…shame on you for discrediting f1… and fia thanks for crucifyng ricciardo and doing nothing for such aberrant episodes.

  33. petebaldwin (@)
    30th March 2014, 14:52

    Just listening to Tim Kravitz’s interview with Claire Williams… haha I love it.

    Kravitz: “How could you do that to Felipe – to impose team orders”
    Williams: “Well, that’s racing”
    Kravitz: “It’s not racing if it’s team orders”

    Good lad!

    1. Love the bluntness of his question(s).

      Did anyone else notice the way Claire Williams quoted Massa when Kravitz asked if Felipe had replied to that message? A mocking tone of voice which saying what he said in reply.

    2. F1 is a team sport

  34. While I somewhat respect Massa for not moving over, I think it is laughable to claim that it was in the team’s best interest not to let Bottas have a go at Button.

    1. @kaiie why? we could have seen a battle bottas v button. We the spectators didnt get to see this because massa was selfish and forgot he is part of a team. Maybe the team should send him out without wheels and tyres for the next race? it would remind him of a few things

  35. Looking at the lap times, Bottas would’ve overtake Button on the last lap if Massa would’ve let him pass.

    1. @crandreico

      Implying that Button is a pushover to pass.

      Button knows how to fight… Hence why Massa couldn’t overtake him earlier in the race, when Massa had multiple opportunities to.

      Bottas could have gotten close, but to say for dead certain that he would have passed is a naïve assumption.

      1. Button knows how to fight…

        Yeah rrrrrrright!!!!!!!! Just like that time that alonso took him on the outside of a corner in Brasil one or two years ago??? Even Brundle said “come on Jenson!!” as in: really, Jenson??

  36. Massa did right.
    He had been told for the half of his career to yield positions to Schumi and Fernando. So, him being told that Valteri is faster than him and allow him to pass would be the last thing Massa would want to hear.
    At least now Felipe should be allowed to race.

  37. Massa made the right call. He was told not to hold Bottas up, not to stop in the middle of the track to let him through. Bottas only came within reaasonable distance from Massa on the last lap, when it was too late for either of them to catch Button, therefore Massa had no reason to gift Bottas two extra points.

    1. +1.

      Had exactly that feeling while watching the race, and was about to post the same comment.

    2. @fixy @cole and we the spectators missed out on a battle bottas vs button…well done

      1. I have no time to take you seriously, but I won’t deny I’m happy to prove you wrong. Bottas couldn’t even catch a “slow” Massa, how on earth could he have fought Button who was a further second ahead? And being there only a couple of laps, Bottas would’ve stayed behind and Massa would now be four points further behind him (Bottas +2, Massa -2).

  38. Did anyone notice that Williams were the only team spending too less fuel at any point of race? I reckon their fuel usage is suboptimal which could probably explain the reason why they lack a lot of pace relative to other teams.

    1. I agree, something for them to work on in next few races

  39. Well, now we cant deny that Felipe its a renewed person! Felipe did the right thing, and i hope he makes it everytime it happen! Great job from both drivers, btw! Cant wait next circuit!

  40. I see Bottas as the stronger of the two. He had really good pace throughout the race. He shouldn’t have disobeyed and I do think this is going to bite him sometime later in the season.

  41. What kind of racing spirit is that? If the team mate has better pace, letting him pass? No, if you have far supperior pace, overtake..Congrats to Massa for his move. Team orders destroy the spirit. Let your drivers fight each other, and if they crash, punish them. Or tell them not to risk anything..Don’t ask from anyone to pull over.

  42. GB (@bgp001ruled)
    30th March 2014, 18:21

    massa was alonso’s carpet and now should understand that being bottas better than him the brazilian must be bottas carpet!
    im against team orders, but in this case williams should punish him hard, punish him good! massa destroyed the chance of getting buttons place, which bottas could have fought for! massa is a liar and a person with too many inferiority complexes! in ferreri he never complaint, now he disobeys orders from the get go. williams shouldnt have hired him!

  43. I always had sympathy for Massa when he was at Ferrari, when he kept playing #2 driver to Alonso. Not moving over for Bottas, however, was selfish and childish. The difference here is that no one is asking him to be a permanent #2 driver for the team. Remember earlier in the race, where the team told Valtteri to back off? Had this been Ferrari 2.0, they wouldn’t have told Bottas to back off there. The point is that Button was less than 2 seconds ahead of them, Bottas had the fresher tires, and the team obviously felt that he had a shot at passing Button, whereas Massa did not. Someone really needs to have a long talk with Felipe about this, or it’s going to be a long season for them….

  44. I am going to have to blame Button on this. Had he driven quicker we would have not had the DRS train or any team orders. If Massa had not been able use DRS when behind Button am sure Bottas would have passed him easily on those straights using his DRS when Massa had not been allowed to use his. So this Artificial Passing Device = team order to stay behind your teammate when he gets to use his own APD during the Trulli Train. Being a bit sarcastic but without APD Massa had been nowhere near Button, and maybe we would have had Felipe and Bottas fighting for the following places.

  45. Good! I’m very glad Massa did not take team orders.

  46. maarten.f1 (@)
    30th March 2014, 23:58

    In a way I can’t fault him for doing this, and in a way I do, especially since he benefitted from team orders earlier in the race. Perhaps he’ll get away with it for now, but he can’t keep doing it or else he’ll be out of a job by the end of the season. I’m sure the engineer could’ve worded it differently, but would it really have made a difference?

  47. Gloves off for Williams and know we’re going to see if Massa will handle the heat.
    I can understand Massa’s situation if he didn’t asked anything to the team, i recon at the nexts venues Bottas will just passed him no matter what….

  48. Go Rubens GO! WILLIAMS used poor judgement and just opened an old wound in Rubens with this move over request. I totally understand all of the implications with points for the team but with a few laps left there was no chance that Buttons was going to be caught, much less passed by Bottas. Why didn’t Bottas pass Massa earlier when Rubens complained, this should be the question??? Thanks RnR

    1. you do know Rubens Barrichello isn’t in F1 anymore right…its been like 3 years

  49. Massa is a disgrace that’s all that can be said. There’s people that like him and when it comes to this it’s hard to say nice bad things about it, sky did a poor job again portraying the real Felipe, the real Felipe goes to brazilian tv play victim and then goes to world media with unrealistic prospects reality is that Massa is not F1 grade.

  50. Engineer: ”Ok Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you. Do not hold him up! Valtteri is faster than you, do not hold him up!”
    All the Williams crew turn their eyes upon him…
    Engineer(turns off the mic): I´m sorry, I forgot he…

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