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Alonso wins German Grand Prix as Ferrari tell Massa to move over
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Alonso wins German Grand Prix as Ferrari tell Massa to move over
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Jul 2010   |  2:41 pm GMT  |  866 comments

Team orders returned to the top of the agenda in Formula 1 today as Fernando Alonso took the win in the German Grand Prix thanks to his team mate Felipe Massa letting him through in the closing stages, despite leading the race from the start. It is a tough moment for Massa and a hard call for the team to have to make.

Although the message was coded it was unmistakeably a team order, which are banned in F1. The team will also know that Massa’s motivation will have been torpedoed by this moment.

Alonso: Has priority at Ferrari (Darren Heath)


It was Alonso’s second win of the season – the first came in Bahrain when Alonso passed his team mate at the start, fair and square. Unlike in his McLaren days, Alonso has the clout within the team to subjugate his team mate. We do not know what the drivers’ contracts say, but with Massa recently renewing and nothing like this happening earlier in the season, one wonders whether it was a condition of Massa’s renewal. He has certainly looked a bit dejected in recent times.

The 1-2 finish for Ferrari is the first since the opening race in Bahrain. The car has been on the pace since Montreal, but wasn’t able to get the results in Valencia or Silverstone, where Alonso should have been on the podium but for falling foul of the stewards. The Ferraris lapped everybody up to Kubica in 7th place.

It makes for an interesting championship situation, with the two Red Bull drivers now tied on points and now 21 points behind Hamilton, with Alonso back in the title race.

At the start, Vettel was so concerned about Alonso coming down the inside that he forgot about Felipe Massa down the outside. The Brazilian flew into the lead and Alonso tucked in behind in second place. Vettel was forced to accept third place, while Webber was passed by Hamilton for fourth place. Further back Schumacher made a great start from 11th to 8th and the two Toro Rosso cars hi5t each other Buemi losing his rear wing.

Ferrari were delighted with a 1-2 at this stage, but the wrong car was in the lead in many ways, with Massa well behind Alonso in the drivers’ championship.

The super soft tyres held up pretty well and Vettel was the first of the front runners to pit on lap 14, as the lap times were coming down impressively. Alonso and Webber pitted a lap later, with Webber rejoining in traffic and losing ground.

Massa pitted on lap 16 and rejoined ahead of Alonso, but as we have seen all season he was not as happy on the hard tyre as on the soft and he locked up consistently, but Alonso did not attack for a while.

We had another great fight between Schumacher and Kubica after the Pole’s pit stop, but he held his nerve and fought off the great champion.

Alonso soon closed up and was in a position to attack on lap 23, but Massa resisted. Alonso cam on the radio to say “This is ridiculous,” clearly feeling as he did at Indianapolis in 2007 when he followed Hamilton in the McLarens.

Button pitted late, lap 24 and he got out ahead of Mark Webber. Nico Rosberg also used the tactic of stopping a lap later and he jumped his team mate Michael Schumacher for 8th.

Massa started pulling away from Alonso and Vettel, the gap was out to 3.5 seconds by lap 28. Alonso clawed it back slowly, and by lap 35 it was down to 2 seconds, down to 1 second on lap 40. Meanwhile McLaren told Lewis Hamilton to go on a fuel saving mode in fourth place and Mark Webber was instructed to nurse the car to the finish and not challneg Button for 5th place.

On lap 50 a very reluctant sounding Rob Smedley came on the radio to tell Massa, “Fernando is faster than you,” which is code for “Let Alonso through.” He later came on and said “Sorry” to Massa, showing how hard it had been to deliver that message.

Massa obeyed and the Spaniard duly swept past to take the win. But after the race it was announced that the FIA World Motor Sport Council is to be called in to decide whether Ferrari should face further sanctions for the team orders controversy at the German Grand Prix, after the team was fined $100,000 for flouting the team orders rule. It should be remembered that the rule was brought in because of a Ferrari team order in 2002 which was very unpopular with fans.

German Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 67 Laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 1h28:38.866
2. Massa Ferrari + 4.196
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 5.121
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 26.896
5. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 29.482
6. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 43.606
7. Kubica Renault + 1 lap
8. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
9. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
10. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
11. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
14. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps
17. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
19. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps

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866 Comments
  1. melonfarmer says:

    Absolute disgrace – ruined the final part (half?) of the race.

    1. Robert Lujan says:

      All they got was a fine! That is just terrible….

      1. Peter Jones says:

        A fine is better than nothing, it demonstrated that the stewards knew Ferrari broke the rules and gave them a penalty. It will be interesting now to see how the WMSC handle the situation when they meet.

      2. Theo Paphitis says:

        Peter, as you know 100k is a lot of money. But for Ferrari that’s a barely a scratch on the empire. That wasn’t a fine, that was a “pay off”.

      3. Andy W says:

        What they did was say its acceptable to fix races as long as you have the cash to pay the fine.

        The regs state quite clearly that team orders are banned, and you would have to be deaf and blind not to think that Massa was instructed to let Alonso past…

        If they want to support the relevant reg then they should have disqualified both Ferrari cars from the race. That would have sent a clear message to the teams that this kind of cheating is unacceptable. If not they should change the rules.

      4. Robert Lujan says:

        I love Domenicali’s statement about the fine and not appealing it: “In the interests of the sport we have decided not to go through a procedure of appealing it….” again how blatant can you be? If it were the interest of the sport that were so important, he should have let his drivers fight it out on the track.

      5. Peter Jones says:

        Sure $100k isn’t much compared to how much they’ll earn, but it is still a penalty for a breach of the rules, and Ferrari accepted they did wrong when they said they weren’t going to appeal the decision. Let’s wait to see what the WMSC do when they meet.

        Considering the team still got the 1-2 they were always likely to get (albeit in the wrong order), is this much different to some of their other decisions this year that have been considered lenient like the penalty Hamilton got for overtaking the safety car for example?

      6. Mark says:

        Hardly a disgrace. Alonso was the quicker of the two and if he’d had to fight his way past it could well have ended similarly to the Red Bull fiasco when a slower drive made it difficult for his faster teammate to pass.

        Alonso patiently sat behind Massa in Australia though as here he was the faster. So why wouldn’t he get frustrated when his teammate drives defensive and holds him up. Pushing the two of them back into the reach of Vettel.

        They’re teammates working for the benefit of the team. Massa has not been on Alonso’s pace all year. He should have behaved as Raikkonen did when it was clear Massa should be let through (even though Kimi was truly the quicker driver that year).

        Didn’t hear Kimi whining afterward. And no one felt the need to look into it as Kimi didn’t make it so overt as Massa did during the race.

      7. guy says:

        Although your point is perfectly valid – massa wasn’t that far behind alonso on points given the new points system and therefore this scenario is wholly different. Remember massa also did it for kimi – but again that was at the end of the season.

        The main point is this – f1 is a sport. whatever the history of racing, team orders are now banned. the fans hate team orders. without the fans f1 is meaningless.

      8. Nick H says:

        Mark, if Alonso was faster than Massa then why didnt he overtake Massa?
        The pretence that Massa had a ‘problem’ exiting the corner was an insult to all F1 fans.

      9. Bill Johnson says:

        Right. And the team got how many more points for Alonso being in front instead of Massa?

        Zero. Zed. Naught. Null. Nada.

        So the order benefits the team how? Oh, yeah, maybe Alonso just might get near being a champion.What are the chances?

      10. Nic W says:

        Whilst I can see there was a slight possibility of them colliding if he had tried to get past at least that would have been racing. What was done was so transparent that for the first time this year I didn’t bother watching the end of the race live, thought I’d mow the lawn instead.
        How can you acuse Massa of whining when that is all Alonso ever seems to do, “I was robbed”, “they are biased”, “let me through”, “I knew nothing about Piquet” etc etc etc. He might be a fast driver but he even his teflon coat is looking very brown and tarnished.

      11. Peter Freeman says:

        And that it is against the rules makes no difference at all…

      12. Thebe says:

        Alonso was that much faster than Massa,so should he let him thru?

      13. Nag says:

        @Mark i dont think Massa is whining either! And Kimi already had a favour to payback Massa for letting him win the Brazilian GP so that he could take the championship… and there Massa was untouchable.. as he often is at his home GP!

      14. Baktru says:

        It would have been a whole other story if Massa had just given Alonso an easy way to overtake him somewhere on his own initiative.

        After all, with Alonso being ahead in the championship it somehow does make sense. BUT that is not what happened, Massa was clearly told to let Alonso through against his will, which is expressly forbidden by the rules and as such is cheating. Before this race I was actually rooting for the Ferrari’s to get a good result, but now… Vettel can take the championship as far as I’m concerned now.

      15. johnpierre rivera says:

        nicely said…

      16. Robert Lujan says:

        What I want somebody to ask is why didn’t Domenicali make the call to Massa? Why did Smedley have to do it? Won’t that really harm thier Engineer/Driver relationship? Domenicali could care less about the sport and its players so why didn’t he tell Massa to pull over? Making Smedley do it was a sign of cowardice.

      17. Nicollers says:

        Defensive? Alonso only got near Massa twice and failed to overtake him.

      18. Henry says:

        Hardly a disgrace?!

        Really what planet are you on? Firstly, its against the rules. secondly, F1 is meant to be a sport. Thirdly it did not benefit the team. Did they gain any extra points for the switch? ah. This kind of stupid behavior in F1 makes me sick, cheating, and it is cheating, is rife in the sport and it should not in any way be acceptable. If the WMSC does not strip Alonso of the points, I think I will give up on watching the rest of the season. Absolute disgrace.

      19. Thebe says:

        you dont know that for sure,maybe he would have been able to pass Massa with ease,thats why people race,to compete with each other,there should be overtaking on the track and not through team orders.

        Alonso once complained about F1 no longer being a sport but a business,Singapore 2008 he also claimed he was not involved in the race fixing scandal,if you look at his behaviour this weekend,Id say he knew exactly what was happening that night in Singapore.Alonso is happy at Ferrari because he obviously has the NO 1 status.

        He was faster than Massa ,yes, but not by a great margin,otherwise he would have been able to pass him with ease,and also their lap times were almost identical at some point.

      20. Lee Gilbert says:

        It’s not team orders that are wrong it was the execution of what took place that was a disgrace to the sport.

        Team orders have always been in F1. It is a team sport with the peculiarity of being so but also crowning an individual as champion. This causes contradiction and conflict.

        For me the team orders rule is wrong and needs to be looked at but the one thing I am glad about is that the Stewards acted. For them not to act would have made a mockery of the rules – the rule exists, it was a clear breach, therefore a penalty has to be applied which at this moment is a large fine. The WMSC might have a different view…

        I am sure people will have lots of selective views on the rights and wrongs of some previous examples of team orders – in my view they all need to be left to one side. They add little weight into this case as we know team orders exist and have continued to do so since the rule was created in 2002.

        The key point here is it’s not Team Orders that are wrong – it’s the blatant floundering of a rule and the embarrassing effects on the sport (and on Massa). Lets not forget the rule was brought in because of Ferrari’s actions – I love the smell of burning irony in the morning!

        In a strange way we have to congratulate the best F1 race engineer for letting the whole world know and a top F1 driver for making the move even more obvious. I will never forget the staccato way Rob Smedley said, “Ok… Fernando is faster… than…. you.” The man is a legend, baby!

      21. Dyablo says:

        Granted it looks ugly, but Man, you are blowing this out of proportion. Massa should take the blame for not playing along with the team. In fact, he made it very obvious that he slowed down to make Alonso pass. A true team player (eg: late F1 driver Francois Cevert) would have let his team mate pass with a correct fight knowing that his chances for the championship are next to nil (Hamilton had more than double Massa’s point).
        F1 like any sport is based on teamwork, and true fans should expect teammates not only to swap positions but also to delay opponents as in any competition you have someone playing offense and another playing defense, except that such positions should be decided after a drivers chance to win the championship becomes unlikely as in Massa’s situation.
        (Michael Jordan’s team mates wouldn’t put up the same face as Massa did during the press conference when Miachael takes the final shot do they?)
        Alonso on the other hand, and despite the harsh penalties the stewards have given him (as opposed to Hamilton who only was handed a shy slap on the hand 5 times this season for breaking the rules), for example is still in contention.
        It seems that people are more saddened by the fact that Alonso closed the gap to the two Brits than for Massa.
        So please enough character bashing as you all know everyone in Domenicalli’s position would have made the same call.

        Dyablo

      22. Digger says:

        You are so right !
        Ferrari always said the team is important not the single driver. The drivers have to be team players. Here I cannot understand the way Massa acts : as a team player ? definately not. I like Massa,but this time I am not on his side. Any how people would have appreciate Massa’s great performance, no doubts.
        Alonso anyhow would have tried to pass him, taking the risk of a crash, but I honestly think he finally would have passed him. And that was the dilemma of Ferrari : Massa had a terrible accident, what when a second happen to him ??? Seeing Alonso ready to try all, they finally prefer to take a safer way, that is what I think.
        An do not forget that , at the moment when many people had the opinion Massa should be replaced by another driver in the season 2010, Ferrari shows that they still believe in him and gave him a contract for 2 YEARS.
        That is also why I cannot follow MASSA’s
        action.

    2. Irish con says:

      Wonder did you guys all say the same 2 years ago when the same happened with heikki and lewis. Selective memory I think.

      1. Peter Jones says:

        Yes I did. And with Raikkonen + Massa in the same year, Schumacher + every team mate he’s ever had, even Coulthard + Hakkinen back in 98, and probably even more situations than I can remember at the moment.
        Team orders that result in drivers switching position should be penalised regardless of the team involved.

      2. senna says:

        don’t forget the rule was stablised in 2002 after the austrian gp fiasco.

      3. Luca says:

        its just as bad as the way as almost all teams get drivers to hold station – whether it be a change or an order to hold station, its just as bad!
        The sooner its understood that no matter what the rule book says there will be team orders (obvious or not). God knows how many races in recent years have been dull due to drivers being told to hold station and not to compete with their team mate… that is not racing either.

      4. Declan says:

        Nice concept – but how do you police it? Massa could have made it look less obvious and joe public wouldn’t have known.

      5. Tom Johnson says:

        Yea we did just as we did when Massa let Riakkonen through at Interlagos to steal the WDC from Hamilton – remember?

      6. rafa says:

        mate that never happened: if there was anybody that was outstripped from a WDC from that particular move it was Alonso, not Hamilton, who flunked his chances in the second corner.

      7. Ben dz says:

        Kimi ‘stole’ WDC from Hamilton? I would have thought that beaching his car in the PITLANE and then having the following red-mist moment(s) at Brazil would mean that Hamilton lost it fair and square…

      8. Sean says:

        Irish con,

        2 years ago, Lewis was clearly much faster than Heikki unlike Alonso (even though was marginally faster than Massa, but it wasn’t enough to make his overtaking move stick) who more than half the race was stuck behind Massa and was having difficulties overtaking him.

        Even if there was team orders on Mclaren’s part, it was at least done in a more better manner unlike today when Ferrari blatantly did it as if we fans are complete idiots.

      9. Irish con says:

        So it’s ok if you do it but not as long as not as many people notice is what your effectively saying. Team orders have always been in f1 and they will be in future. As dc sayed today any team who says they don’t have teams orders is lieing. It’s that simple. Even button being told at turkey to save more fuel as not to pass lewis is team orders and when lewis asked is jenson going to pass me if I back off is team orders when the answer is no lewis

      10. 0.500 sec per lap is a lifetime in F1. Alonso was therefore much quicker than Massa.

        Look at it this way, if Ferrari had allowed their drivers to fight freely on track and it had ended in disaster then there would have been hell to pay. Domenicalli would not have taken this decision lightly and would have known that there would be consequences but the consequences of yet another Ferrari bad result would have been much greater. This team have the pressure of an entire nation on their shoulders – they simply had to deliver a result this weekend or 2010 was lost.

        All these calls for Ferrari to be excluded from the result and have points taken away are utter sour grapes. Ferrari fully deserved a 1-2 regardless of the order of that 1-2. Only Vettel could stay with them and even he couldn’t really attack. Everyone need to keep this in perspective.

      11. Mr. Wrong says:

        If you are clever enough to notice that McLaren (and the rest of the teams to be fair) employ and make use of orders to favour the driver with the most advantage it is surprising that you are willing to accept them if they are done in a covert manner. Isn’t that double standards? Or to put it bluntly, idiotic? Either you accept them or you don’t and if it is the latter, I’d suggest that you start taking interest in other sports where those things don’t happen. Though you may be limited to stamp collecting or train spotting. Team orders are common place and that has been the case since the sport started. Banning them is simply a token gesture to keep fans, like yourself, happy that “something is being done” to stop those “horrible” things from happening.
        At the end of the day the team pays the drivers’ salary and if you are employed you will know what that means. Ferrari has always favoured the driver with the most chances of winning the championship, they are not about to change that because of a strongly worded forum message.

      12. mp4-19b says:

        People who bring up Heikki & Lewis incident are totally nuts. It is you guys who have selective memories. HAMILTON WENT ON TO PASS A BMW,A FERRARI & A RENAULT after passing Heikki. So he passed 3 more cars unlike Alonso who was neither quicker than Massa nor did he have any cars to pass.

        I think Ferrari deserve to be thrown outta the constructors championship.

      13. Irish con says:

        So what your saying is it would have been ok if it had of been for 4th and 5th. Don’t be so stupid. I have the report in autosport from the following week of the german gp two years ago where mark Hughes clearly states than mclaren came on radio to remind heikki lewis was faster. So how is this any different. If Ferrari get thrown out of this race or championship or whatever then lewis should lose his championship and alonso should get 07 championship. Remember I think it was 06 at indianapolos fernando moved over to let fisi threw even though he was going for championship that year. I think if it was allowed then why not today and it’s just Ferrai and fernando haters who who will think otherwise.

      14. Alonso built a gap of almost 5 seconds against a guy in the exact same car who was being hunted down by Vettel. As you say, there was nobody else for him to pass other than everyone else up to 7th place who he lapped.

        Alonso was 0.5 seconds per lap faster than Massa all the way from qualifying through to the race. By rights he should have been over 30 seconds ahead of Massa by the end of the race had he not been held up. That would also have allowed Massa to extend his lead over Vettel due to the fact he would no longer have been driving defensively against Alonso and would have given them both a comfortable cushion over the competition. Massa should have yielded when Alonso almost passed him earlier in the race. Would have been better for the entire team.

      15. p90 says:

        So he passed 3 more cars unlike Alonso who was neither quicker than Massa nor did he have any cars to pass…..

        you are so clever…. alonso became first…. he has no more cars to pass…

      16. Michael P says:

        I agree… Kovi just did the same thing… just more subtly and let Lewis past… didn’t hear the same uproar I hear now. Not sure why Massa made it so obvious but maybe it is the Brazilian way… Rubens also made it obvious with MS. :P

      17. DK says:

        Silent protest, maybe?

      18. **Paul** says:

        @IrishCon,

        Glad I’m not the only one to remember this incident. The facts are simple, Lewis was their drivers Championship challenger that year, just as Alonso is for Ferrari. I’ll also add that Hamilton won the championship by 1 point that year from Massa. If Lewis had had to battle with Heikki he might not have had the time to get to P1 in that race, we’ll never know for certain, but team orders could have settled the title in 08.

        Ferrari made this move to help them win both Championships. Other teams would have made the same move in that situation, McLaren did in 2008, and I’m sure we’ll see it happen again this season.

        The fuss is all because it was fairly obvious, but if you dont use team orders you get a RBR situation in Turkey. And whilst I talk of Turkey, Hamiltons unhappyness at the end of that race was because he thought his team mate wouldn’t pass him, he thought team orders were in play… they were about half a lap after Button passed him, but the point remains McLaren use team orders, Ferrari use team orders, most of the paddock use team orders.

        I support Ferrari’s decision, but not the way in which is happened, it needs to be a little more subtle otherwise the anti-Ferrari brigade are out in force with their blinkers on.

    3. Bim says:

      It ruined the whole race and i definatly thing Ferrari should be disqualifyed from the race, the problem is that poor Massa is gona get punished again probably. And i cant belive how Alonso can keep his his face straigt and say what hes saying.
      I cant belive how stupidly the ferrarri management has acted.

    4. Michael P says:

      Awesome job by Ferrari controlling ther drivers unlike Red Bull. Red Bull would be leading the championship right now if the drivers didn’t take each other out constantly. Ferrari are smart, Alonso was way faster than Massa all weekend long and is way ahead of Massa in points so its time to throw their weight behind he guy that has the best odds of winning.

      1. Nando says:

        Way faster? Massa pulled out a 4 second gap, Alonso only caught him because Massa caught every bad break in the traffic while Alonso caught them all on the straights.

      2. Frank says:

        Spot on! They pragmatic but awful actors!

      3. Jeff says:

        Take each other out constantly, err, you mean once, don’t you. I think its fair game to do team orders very late in the season when a championship is on the line, which was not the case yesterday. Ferrari have no respect for fans or racing. A fair result would be to reverse the order, they deserve to win the race.

      4. Panya says:

        I totally agree with you. I think many people who posted against Ferrari do not understand how a team is managed.

        Like it or not, all the teams have carried out some forms of “team order” – no exception.

      5. MJ says:

        I would say that Ferrari’s move was anything but smart. They’re going to lose their constructors points for the race and they have alienated one of their drivers who probably felt that he was part of the Ferrari family.

        By his body language you can clearly see he felt betrayed.

    5. Nick H says:

      I agree, absolutte disgrace to deny Massa the win.
      I thought Alonso wanted be regarded as one of the best drivers in F1 history yet he his happy to take victories with the assistance of his team mate moving aside if unable to overtake fairly and squarely on the track.
      If i was Massa id ask Ferrari to tear up his new contract for the next two years and move to a team where drivers are allowed to race each other.

      1. Sean says:

        I am not denying that there aren’t team orders in F1. It is how you do it and the circumstance.

        The rules are there and if you are going to break it, at least do it in a more subtle manner instead of blatantly saying “Alonso’s pace is faster than yours. Can you confirm you have understood that”.

        It’s as if you are an untouchable and that you can do anything you want blatantly and you can get away with it.

        Yeah so what if Alonso was faster than Massa. He still couldn’t pass him more than half the race. And Massa gace him a good fight when Alonso overtook him for a moment. If you can’t pass the guy in front of you then it’s just too bad. Don’t sulk behind the wheel.

        2 races ago Fernando was moaning that race was manipulated. So now his team have manipulated the race, so what has he got to say? Don’t forget the race he won in Singapore in 2008 was spectacularly manipulated. And please…don’t tell me he has got no idea that it was manipulated…

        So Alonso should just stop moaning about races manipulated etc when he’s guilty of being part of a manipulation.

        And he should stop moaning that he can’t overtake his team mate even though he’s faster.

        And we all know how Fernando reacts when his team mate is faster than him or when he starts becoming delusional and thinks his team is not behind him in his bid to win the title….

        A brilliant driver like him shouldn’t stoop so low and behave like that…

      2. Rossdesign says:

        Spot on, Hamilton toweled him up so I hope massa can go on and do it now, tho I doubt he’ll be allowed

      3. Robert Lujan says:

        Spot on, Alonso so just shut-it when it come to conspiracies! He has had a hand in most the last few years…. I still wonder why Domenicali wasn’t man enough to tell Massa himself? Was it to make it less obvious? Felipe took care of that by blatantly slowing down for Fernando. Smedley did sound very sorry about the whole situation on the radio. Lets hope Ferrari don’t do something lame and fire Rob for all this! That would be just in thier character….

      4. Adam Tate says:

        I agree Nick H. That’s hollow victory number 2 for Alonso. Another sad consequence of it is that he now passes Damon Hill for 10th on the all time win list, that is, if this result stands. It should be reversed, handing Massa the win. It’s shocking to see Ferrari treat Massa so badly. A man who has stood by them, won 11 GP’s for them, an honorable team player.

        I would love to see Massa win the Championship, but he’s probably too far back by now. If he can’t, I hope it goes to Webber or one of the McLaren boys.

        If Alonso or Vettel win the championship I may be sick. I don’t care if we ever see Alonso win another race. He has fully disgraced himself in my eyes.

    6. Brian says:

      As long as it is required to have a two driver team, this will be a problem.

    7. ian says:

      Ferrari are cheats. Cheats like Ferrari. Seems to me that F1 positively encourages it. What a shoddy example they set in the world of sport. What a joke, the fans once again ate treated like mugs.

    8. Peter says:

      Where is the fair play rule in F1? It may sound the same to Ferrari, but certainly not to everyone else. We know the practice has been around for years, but it DOES NOT mean it is right.

      It is now time for action. Otherwise the rules are drafted for nothing !

    9. Matt NZ says:

      Agree – Absolute Disgrace.

      2002 was meant to be the end of this. There is a clear rule. Ferrari broke it.

      The logical punishment is to lose all points for both Ferrari cars from the race.

      This will be fantastic solution for a number of reasons

      1) Send a message to these ignorant team managers that this practice is unacceptable

      2) Send a message to other team staff not to get involved in any such practices

      3) Send a message to the lead (i.e. in this case Massa) driver, do not relinquish your position to your team mate

      4) Send a message to the following driver (i.e. Alonso), do not expect your team mate to gift you a position.

      Disgraceful.

    10. Chris says:

      Anybody who watches F1 regularly knows that team orders exist in every team, they always have done. Ferrari handled this very poorly and deserve to be critised. However is it any different to when Hamilton and Button were undoubtled told not to challange each other and hold position after nearly taking each other out towards the end of the race in Turkey? This is such a grey area and to punish Ferrari any further would be unfair when you consider how many other examples have gone un-punished.

    11. Reuben says:

      I’m a Ferrari supporter ever since Alesi & Berger drove for them, & even through the Shummi years…

      although I’m an Alonso supporter, I am dissapointed that its come to this. One would’ve thought that Ferrari learnt their lesson in Austria & that they could’ve handled the situation better…

      Its not great for the sport…but at the same time…there is a lot riding on the championship for all te teams & Ferrari sees wining the championship far more important than sportmanship…

  2. Robbm says:

    Today I watched a fraud, If FA was/is faster than FM then why didn’t he overtake, that’s racing isn’t it?
    Ferrari should be excluded from this race, FA should be deducted his points and have his win taken away. If he can’t overtake then he doesn’t deserve to win.
    Simple.

    rob

    1. Tripod Ape says:

      Completely agree and to watch Alsonso, Massa, Smedley and Domenicali all lie through their teeth (some more gritted than others) just makes you feel like a mug for having wasted two hours to watch a race.

      1. Tim says:

        I don’t condone this at all, however I can understand the thought process from Ferrari management. It does give them the best chance of winning the championship.

        What makes me very angry are the lies. I couldn’t believe Alonso in the press conference. He talked about Massa having a slow run out of the corner, allowing him to take advantage and pass him – as if it was a legitimate move. Does he think the fans are stupid?

        If Alonso had talked about a team victory and flatly thanked Massa for making a decision to move over, it would have been an easier pill to swallow.

    2. Knuckles says:

      As we all know, you can be 1 second or more per lap faster and still not be able to overtake. Yet the same second can secure that you won’t come under a championship rival’s pressure.

      That doesn’t make Ferrari’s decision right per se, but to announce “if he was faster why didn’t he overtake” does not take into account the complexities of F1.

      1. GP says:

        Well said.

      2. Alexis says:

        You forget that Alonso did attempt to overtake and had plenty of time to try again and again. Alonso threw his dummy out of the pram because he failed the first time and whinged to the team.

      3. Biggus says:

        Brut in this case Vettel was way behind and losing ground. Alonso was in no danger. It was a farce.

  3. Neil says:

    A discrace. I thought team orders were banned. Maybe we are all being fooled.

    1. Peter Freeman says:

      At this point in time with a mere $100 000 fine the FIA are more guilty that Ferrari of “bringing the sport into disrepute” unless the World Council takes further action.

      Ferrari should be made to produce all legal documentation concerning both of its drivers contracts to see if there are any clauses that relate to team orders. If any such thing is mentioned in any contact, then surely it would be clear that Ferrari and its drivers have intended to break the rules and intended to bring the sport into disrepute?

      If I were a person who had placed a large bet on Massa winning, I would consider legal action against the FIA and Ferrari if they allow the results to stand as they are. What happened on track today, in light of the existing rules, is nothing short of financial fraud. If the FIA do not act to enforce the existing rules then the FIA are a part of the fraud.

      If I was a lawyer in the EU, I would consider advertising for all people who had bet on a Massa win to contact me and orchestrate and file a mass action suite against one or both parties involves. The monetary value in this must be HUGE! What were to odds on Massa winning?

      1. Adam Jackson says:

        You could get 40/1 on Thursday

      2. Peter Freeman says:

        A point was made by someone: “Why… do you think that Ferrari is obliged to show on what contracts their drivers are. No body in this world has control over it. It is up to them solely.”

        I would think the all the teams and drives do not take to the tack at the beginning of the season without signing a contract with the FIA that they obligate themselves to follow all the rules and agree that should they fail to do so they will be penalised.

        Why would driver contacts, that exist solely for the purpose of drives participating in F1, not be the business of the FIA and the WMSC if they obligate a driver to break the rules of F1, which that driver has to agree to follow, in order to race in F1?

  4. Peter Jones says:

    Hmmm, Alonso doesn’t seem to mind manipulated races any more, does he?
    Great to see Ferrari resume their dishonest, manipulative, cheating, pantomime villain roles again just as I was starting to like them again. Lets hope the stewards are able to do something about the blatant disregard for the rules – under Mosely, we know they wouldn’t have done anything, but who knows what side of the fence Todt is on.

    I do feel a little bit sorry for Massa and Rob Smedley, hopefully the financial reward is worth it for them.

    1. Peter Jones says:

      Actually, seeing the press conference, Massa deserves a tiny bit of respect back. At least he was as honest as he could be about what happened, unlike his team mate who tried to make up some pathetic excuse for how he overtook.

      1. Roberto says:

        Yes, Alonso’s answers were pathetic, a total lie.

      2. Banjo says:

        I really felt sorry for Massa during the press conference. It was just embarrassing for Alonso watching him try and make out he over took Massa.

      3. I think you’ll find that it was Rob Smedley who came up with the thing about Massa making a mistake and going up three gears instead of one. Alonso just said he saw Massa going slowly and took advantage.

        All radio traffic was available to the media this weekend so I’m sure we would have heard if Alonso was given some sort of signal to overtake Massa.

      4. Emma says:

        What kind of signal would Alonso need? Surely Massa slowing down to a crawl tells Alonso quite clearly that they have given Massa orders to let him through.

      5. TC says:

        Go and watch the press conference after China 08 when Raikkonen let Massa thru. I’m pretty sure Massa came up with a ‘pathetic excuse’ about Raikkonen struggling with his pace after the final pit stop that allowed him to catch up and over take Kimi…

        Seriously, to paraphrase Steve Jobs ‘If you don’t like the product, don’t buy it!’

    2. Rus_h says:

      Still it was better than winning a race by getting your team mate to crash. Alonso is one of the best out there, but he has no class and is happy to take hollow victory’s rather than earn them by racing. Shame on him.

      1. johnpierre rivera says:

        i seem to remember another guy from brazil that crashed his team mate out, was that what you mean by “class?” however, everyone seems to think he is the greatest driver that ever was. is any one saying “shame on him”

    3. gn23 says:

      Talk about “manipulation of a race”. Isn’t it ironic that the guy who is the first to cry race manipulation when there isnt any manipulation, is always the beneficiary of a really manipulated race. Singapore and now this. And you get people saying he is the best or most complete driver in F1. Give me a break.

  5. James H says:

    Alonso is a spoilt petulant child, Ferrari have yet again broken the rules and it is a SHAM!

    Yet another poor day for the ‘sport’.

    1. And this is Alonso’s fault because…… ? Oh yes, because he was 0.5 seconds a lap faster than Massa. What a bad boy, he should go slower in future!

      Please…

      1. Luis says:

        Sorry, Craig … but if by that time FA was that faster, he should have just approached and battled hard for this win instead of keeping whinning. On the end of the day, this is all about sport: fans want to see battles and overtakes, and not just naughty team orders.

        This could have been a redemption race for Ferrari – but they made it all of a mess

      2. I never heard Fernando “Whining”.

        At one stage he said, “This is ridiculous” in Italian but to be fair, Massa had just closed the door pretty firmly on him, risking contact, and prior to that Massa had locked his brakes at pretty much every corner on the circuit. My interpretation was that Alonso was saying that it is ridiculous for two teammates to be fighting like this when the one behind is clearly faster. Remember it has often been said that you need to have a car which is 2 seconds a lap faster to overtake cleanly. Alonso only (ONLY ha!) had 0.5 seconds over Massa.

        Alonso WOULD have fought for the lead but Ferrari told Massa the situation and Massa decided to yield. I really struggle to see how this is Alonso’s fault. All he did was drive really really fast all weekend. Isn’t that what racing is about?

      3. Andy says:

        @ craig chamberlain.. No that’s what qualifying is.

      4. Mart Hugh says:

        If Alonsa was just justified in being ahead od Massa on merit, then presumably he would have overtaken him – or I have misunderstood what this sport is supposed to be about.

      5. Biggus says:

        Craig, Massa was in front because he deserved to be. The team swapped the order. Guilty. As the drivers are always saying, there’s no points for qualifying. Massa was ahead in the race, therefore he had the right to the win.
        It would have made a great story, “Massa wins a year to the day after death defying crash,” instead it’s this debacle.

      6. Eric says:

        Craig it doesn’t matter if Alonso was faster. He was behind on the track because Massa had been faster when it mattered and had the place on MERIT.

        Saying Alonso deserved to be let through is like saying a tennis player should win if he gets beaten 6-0 6-0 6-4 with straight aces in the last set; or a marathon runner should win if he’s 5 minutes behind on the last mile, then breaks the world record in the last mile and comes second; or a football team should win if they score “better” goals than the other team.

      7. Sorry but your analogies are tenuous at best.

        Massa got an open door from Vettel because he was too busy trying to run Alonso into the wall. You could use the analogy of a tag team here since you like using analogies. Alonso distracted Vettel and Massa got through. Teamwork!

        Alonso was then able to follow Massa comfortably even when Massa started locking brakes at almost every corner trying to get away from him. Alonso eventually got a chance to overtake but Massa put him in a position where he had to back off or collide. That is when Alonso said that this was ridiculous which as far as I am aware is the only comment Alonso made during the race. He then backed off by 3 seconds to conserve fuel and allow his tyres to recover ready for a late charge (I believe) and then when he was ready he cruised up behind Massa again in a few short laps despite Massa pushing like hell.

        Alonso would NOT have just sat there in 2nd place – he was on a mission to put his season back on track and wanted a win. Whether he would have got past cleanly was largely up to Massa and in my view Massa did the sensible thing and yielded rather than risk an embarrassment for the team by trying to defend against a faster driver on a track where overtaking is far from impossible. Alonso would have got him before the end of the race anyway but there was perhaps a 30% chance of an accident. An accident here would probably have finished off Ferrari’s season.

        All credit to Massa, he did the team a good turn by putting his own ambitions on hold. You could argue that this is what separates the likes of Alonso, Schumacher, Hamilton and Hakkinen from the likes of Massa, Barrichello, Kovalainen and Coulthard. None of the former would ever yield to the latter unless it made absolutely no difference to their own championship position.

    2. CHUBASCO . C says:

      My personal thoughts tells me F 1 is no longer a “sport” for years now, it’s a business……

      Very sad for the fans…….today is another example of how unfair it can be…..

      1. Declan says:

        Have you been watching the Tour de France? do you consider cycling a sport – where there are lead riders in the teams?

  6. Jey says:

    James,

    Michael as usual made a very good start and made up places only to pit early and loose that advantage.This is not the first time this happened this year.Can you please explain this?Nico has been doing longer opening stints thereby enabling him to make some positions when the pit stops happen.But thats not the case with Michael.Whose making this pit calls?Is Michael prefering to stop earlier?With
    Mercedez,Renault,Williams all evenly matched track position is king,isnt it?

    Also with team orders being banned,we have a whole new set of orders coming in
    “We have to preserve fuel” from Mclaren and today Ferrari was more blunt when it
    told Massa “Fernando is faster than you;Can you please confirm you understood that message” and what do we see – Mass lifting off to let Alonso pass.How exactly does Massa feel about this?The poor guy almost lost his life last year driving this car and must certainly be miffed at the treatment Ferrari hand out to him now

    1. Peter Freeman says:

      I have to disagree about your McLaren comparison.

      Clearly the “We have to preserve fuel” communication from McLaren was no kind of ‘team order’ as the drivers proceeded to overtake each other with no regard to saving fuel at all, nearly taking each other out in the process!

      Surely the drivers actions is evidence in itself and was not what MW would want ‘for the teams sake’?

      1. RaulZ says:

        Those were clear Team orders, my friend. But they didn’t want to obey. Button didn’t. When those words were said to Webber, and weren’t to Vettel, Webber did’t obey aswell. Massa obeyed, but later he seemed to have repented.

  7. Matt_2745 says:

    I hope that the stewards will take some action over this although I don’t expect them to. What is the point in having the rule in place if it is not to be enforced?

    1. Trent says:

      The rule is only there for show. Fair enough, Austria ’02 was an embarassment. But this rule can’t be policed, so it should be abandoned.

      The only way to prevent debacles like this is to fully legalise team orders.

      1. Bo Amato says:

        Coultard – Hakkinen in Australia I believe

  8. Milton says:

    Now Alonso has two fixed races in his CV… impressive.

    1. Mart Hugh says:

      A hypocrite with his reputation in tatters.

      I really dont understand where sporting values come in when a competitor can benefit without conscience from a team mate intentionally writing off their car to bring out a safety car, or from badgering the team to let get their team mate to yield (as happened today)

      If he really was faster today he should have overtaken – or perhaps I no longer understand what this sport is all about.

  9. Lee Cripps says:

    Yet again, Ferrari cheated.

    Why do they think they are above the law?

    Massa had every right to hold that win. Why should he let Alonso through, he’s a rival to his title chances just the same as everyone else out there.

    Despicable behaviour from Ferrari!

    1. Richard says:

      Totally agree!

    2. rodrigo says:

      I wouldn’t say *team* ferrari cheated, they had a 1-2 before forcing FM to give the win to FA… still a 1-2 for the team.

      Team ferrari just treated an employee very harshly, unless it is in FM’s contract to yield FA, then FM did was he is payed to do.

      Does anybody know the complexities of F1 contracts? Would there be clauses that state “at team orders, you will yield position to your team mate” or something like that?

      I feel sorry for for FM because it looks like he will never win a GP when he is ahead of FA as long as he races for ferrari, his employer. FM’s only hope of a GP win is with FA coming in 3rd or lower.

      1. James Allen says:

        It is agreed that the drivers will do what the team ask them to do. Even Raikkonen pulled over for Massa once

      2. A.K. says:

        One can perfectly understand the the Ferrari management’s viewpoint in this matter and why they would want Alonso to maximise his points haul from the race. Every other team in a similar circumstance would have done the same, e.g. in the 2008 German GP when Kovalainen moved over for Hamilton, the extra point that earned Hamilton the Championship title that year, one could argue. This is not the issue.

        The issue is that there’s a rule in place to prevent such occurrences of team orders but it still happens as teams have found ways to circumvent the wording of rule. Now the rules need to be rewritten to crack down hard on team orders or simple allow team orders again in no uncertain terms. I’d rather have that than this mockery of the rules that we have now.

      3. Eric says:

        Much later in the season when Raikkonen was out of contention. Massa isn’t yet.

        I’d also be quite confident in betting on Alonso not having a chance of winning the championship so the place shuffling will be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. All it has done is bring the ‘sport’ into disrepute.

  10. Jamie says:

    A clear example of cheating, Ferrari have lost a fan in me today – and doing that to a driver who nearly lost his life for his team is just repulsive. I hope the FIA thrown the book at them and they lost their points for this race.

  11. Tom says:

    I’m no fan of team orders but the situation speaks volumes about the sport I (used to) love. Purely and simply, Alonso stood no chance of passing Massa without the latter having some form of technical problem. The input of drivers’ respective skills is minimal with regard to closing a gap and making an overtaking move and when two drivers share a car, there’s pressure not to attempt the riskier moves.

    I think it’s time we saw a sport with far less reliance upon technical excellence and far more driver input.

    I’m less inclined to watch the race next weekend; a twisty track with few overtaking opportunities. Doesn’t exactly offer much.

  12. Banjo says:

    It’s painful watching Alonso in the press conference trying to make out it wasn’t team orders. Whether team orders should be allowed or not it has spoilt a good race for me. Personally, i feel Massa deserved to win – whether he would have or not is another matter.

    On a brighter note – the championship is really hotting up now. Three teams look like strong contenders. Roll on next weekend.

  13. Erik ( Brazil ) says:

    Alonso should get at least a 20 second penalty.

    1. Bim says:

      Alonso should be disqualifyed!!!!

      1. Ikertzeke says:

        Why? He did nothing wrong.

    2. Shaun says:

      I say 27 second penalty, that would drop him 0.1s behind Lewis and really wind him up :)

      1. Robert Lujan says:

        LOL Perfect punishment!!

    3. Richard says:

      Unless there was a radio message to Alonso on the lines of “get ready to overtake Massa when he pulls over for you”, he is inoccent on this occasion! Unfortunately, the one who was clearly complicit in the cheating was poor old Massa.

      1. Mart Hugh says:

        Sure. Just like there was plausible reliability of his involvement in Singapore last year. Wise up please.

    4. Eric says:

      The best way to penalise Ferrari, besides throwing them out of the drivers and constructors championships (and losing all their share of the money as a result), would be to penalise both drivers. Take points away from Alonso and Massa, and Ferrari. This would send the message: the team shouldn’t suggest on the radio for drivers to move over, the lead driver won’t move over in the future because he’ll lose his points, and the the driver behind won’t take a gifted overtake because he’ll also lose points. The best part of this would be Massa wouldn’t be too fussed because he hardly cares about a second place, Alonso would be enraged, and Ferrari would lose some constructor’s money.

  14. Fausto Cedros says:

    It’s been disgusting.Now there should be some kind of action against those cheaters.

    1. Ikertzeke says:

      Who are those? Ferrari, Massa, Alonso, neither or all of them?

  15. CH1UNDA says:

    Yet another manipulated race where Fernando comes out on top. For all the beating Red Bull have received about favouritism i am curious to see how much Ferrari is going to get for this. Is Massa the next Barichello?

  16. Galapago555 says:

    Fully agree, James. Obviously, it was team orders. I don’t know what the penalty should be, let’s wait for CW imagination. Actually it is strange that a penalty was not given during the race.

    By the way, when Hamilton was told on Team Radio that Jenson was not going to overtake him… I assume this was not Team Orders.

    And my question: what in your opinion should be the treatment to Team Orders? I mean if I were the Team owner I would want my money invested in the best way, and this means a limited fight between both drivers, and of course certain orders when needed.

    1. Peter Jones says:

      Both situations are highly dodgy and against the rules, but I see a big difference between ordering two drivers to hold station avoiding the risk of taking each other off the track, and ordering two drivers to change position just so one of them can earn a couple of extra points.

      If a driver wants to be a position higher he should earn it either by overtaking or through his mechanics employing a better strategy. Not by throwing tantrums, silly clauses in contracts, or blackmail.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        I do not see differences. At the end of the day, you have a race’s results modified by the interest of a Team.

        Maybe we would not be discussing this issue should Ferrari had told Felipe “you have to save fuel or you will not make the finish line”, or something like that.

        Does anybody remember this same track, two years ago, with Kovalainen being “overtaken” by Hamilton?

      2. Ross Dixon says:

        Also Hamilton was asking that as he was told to slow down, so he was asking will Button overtake cause he is faster or will he hold station as he was in the same fuel saving mode. Thats how I saw it.

        Remember it does happen and thats not really an issue if it is not that blatant. Alonso was not faster at least by that much. If he was say 1 second slower and had several cars in front that he could catch then i see the point. However when its for the lead especially then it is obviously more of an issue

      3. Ikertzeke says:

        There is not “fuel saving mode”, please, do not be so naive with MacLaren and so harsh with Ferrari

      4. J. Singh says:

        The team should be reprimanded and not the driver. If anyone is at fault here it is the Scuderia Ferrari and not the driver Alonso.
        Sanctions against the team are expected…I believe they will loose their points though I would not want that to happen to the drivers.

  17. Nathan Smith says:

    Ferrari are an absolute disgrace.

    Teflonso strikes again. Massa was brilliant today, including the press conference.

    I look forward to hearing if the stewards will be looking at this.

    1. Nathan Smith says:

      Hi James,

      They’ve obviously been sent to the WMSC to answer this, what do you think the possible sanctions are?

  18. Dan D. says:

    Well it was a good race at the beginning but we didn’t see the level of overtaking that we saw last time at Silverstone. Kind of a boring track.

    Regarding the team orders, I have to say it was pretty horrible how they did it – there’s no way they could have been any more obvious about it. For me, this shows that the FIA got it wrong in 2002 when they banned team orders and forced all the teams to conceal this stuff. Team orders have been part of every championship ever. Like DC just said on the BBC, every team in this pit lane gives team orders and every team that says that they don’t is lying.

  19. S J W says:

    I’m absolutely seething about the thinly veiled team orders- not good for the sport.

  20. mark OZ says:

    Good race by ferrari, but those trophies look a lot like Slander logos which I thought was against the sporting regulations… forza Filepe :)

  21. HowardHughes says:

    Eddie Jordan (whom I like) is bleating on about the injustice of the fans being deprived of an epic battle; but isn’t this the same EJ who forbade the 2nd place Ralf Schumacher from trying to overtake the leading Damon Hill, despite having the faster car…

    Pot, kettle anyone?

    1. James H says:

      You may not like the idea but team orders weren’t illegal then.

      1. Robert says:

        And Jordan had never won a race before and they did not swap positions. Holding station is different to what we saw today

      2. Chris says:

        The other thing to bear in mind is that (from memory) Damon was around 20s or so ahead of Ralf until his lead was obliterated by a late safety car. Damon felt that he’d done enough to warrent the team calling off his team mate. The threats about running Ralf off the road was perhaps a sign to EJ to take him seriously.

    2. Chris says:

      Which was completely legal under the rules at the time.

      1. HowardHughes says:

        All true. In my defence I wrote this a good 10 minutes before EJ himself clarified all these points (though I knew about the legality of it in those days)

        My post was merely an instant reaction to EJ complaining purely about the concept of team orders in general.

      2. LJ says:

        While I agreed with EJ on team orders today, he then went and said it was fine in the case of Massa Kimi “because it was the last race and that’s different”.

        Imho that is even worse, because without that manipulation/collusion between team and drivers Hamilton/Alonso could have won the championship that year.

        So in my mind it depreciates Kimi’s WDC.

        I hate cheating, but blatant cheating like in todays race is somehow worse. Because it’s in your face and Ferrari are saying, look at what we are doing but you can’t touch us.

        Just for that I hope the World Council come down hard on them. Never liked Ferrari, but now I hate them. At the same time my respect has gone up for Massa, felt sorry for Rob Smedley, but he should have had the balls to ignore the request from his bosses.

      3. James Allen says:

        It’s not cheating, although as the rules are currently worded, they did break the rules.

  22. KidrA says:

    What happened today at Hockenheimring is the exact reason why I dislike Ferrari from Schumacher years and I don’t understand how anyone can like them.

    1. AlexD says:

      As tough as it can sound, if you were Domenicali, you would do the same thing. I do not say I agree, but it is business, not sport.

      1. rodrigo says:

        I would not… for the simple that reason that It is a business *because* it’s supposed to be a sport. I am sure many of us would not watch or attend a GP if we knew the race winners were fixed. I think Santander may think twice at sponsoring a fake champion that cannot win races unless his team mate gets orders to let him pass… would you want a unworthy winner to promote your business?

        -R

      2. JimmiC says:

        “it is business, not sport.”

        That’s the real tragedy. F1 was a sport, once.

      3. RaulZ says:

        It never was a sport, it was and it is a competition. A bit diferent.

      4. Mouse_Nightshirt says:

        “…but it is business, not sport.”

        Which is exactly the problem with F1.

      5. chris scott says:

        Along with cvcs debts

    2. Nick H says:

      KidrA, i feel exactly the same, i used dislike Ferrari during the Schumacher years but in recent years have warmed to them slightly………tonight i dislike them as much as i ever have.

  23. Christopher says:

    There’s a big difference between team orders that are to hold station (e.g. to bring home a result) and team orders that require one driver to give way to another. To win the race, you have to *overtake* the people in front of you! That is what I, as a fan, give my Sunday afternoon to see, and it ruins the race when the winner hasn’t won the race, but rather was just handed it on a plate. There was no celebration at the end of the race, no jubilation or emotion. The ending was so flat, with just the bitter aftertaste of seeing a dejected Felipe in the press conference. It was made worse by Alonso trying to pretend he made a real overtake, and the Ferrari people trying to pretend that there were no team orders. We are not idiots.

    1. AlexD says:

      I am a Ferrari fan. I know it was a team order – I did not like it one bit. There are thousands of Ferrari fans who think the same way, but It was no different from “Save fuel, Mark” and it was a tough call Domenicaly rightly made to give a chance to win WDC in 2010. Massa doesn’t have this chance, he did not show it this year.
      P.S. I love Massa and do not like Alonso.

      1. Peter Jones says:

        It is different, because it gave Alonso a position he hadn’t earned and didn’t deserve.
        Telling someone to save fuel and preserving the current order (while still being wrong) is more justifiable as it prevents drivers from taking needless risks and ending up with a Valencia situation, but at least in those circumstances the drivers had earned the position they were in at the time.

      2. AlexD says:

        How about British GP2008,Hamilton vs Kova? how different?
        Team orders are everywhere where teams are under huge pressure to deliver….

      3. Carlos Marques says:

        “Telling someone to save fuel and preserving the current order…is justifiable as it prevents drivers from taking needless risks.”

        Telling them that the one behind is slightly faster and is about to make a kamikaze move (that may take both cars out of the race) is also about preventing needless risks, in my view.

        Fernando was faster than Massa at many points in the race, and the only reason he did not attack was because the car in front was Massa’s Ferrari- anyone else and he would have made a few bold moves.

        What if I had a huge bet on Fernando Alonso winning the grand prix and he was told to hold station and not try anything crazy, in order “to conserve fuel”? I would feel mad…

        Also, what if they were in 2dn and 3rd positions and Ferrari decided that Fernando had a better chance of challenging the car leading the race? Shouldn’t they be allowed to ask their cars to swap positions?

        I think it’s time the FIA drops the no-team-orders rule; it`s just silly…

      4. Peter Jones says:

        “Telling them that the one behind is slightly faster and is about to make a kamikaze move (that may take both cars out of the race) is also about preventing needless risks, in my view.”

        That may be true, but it’s still up to the driver behind to work out how he can overtake, and how much of a risk he is prepared to take doing it.

        Alonso has shown in the past he’s happy to overtake Massa legitimately on the track, even if at times it looked like it might have taken them both off without Massa backing down. This should have been no different.

      5. RaulZ says:

        Well, suggestions of saving fuel were said only to Webber, not to Vettel, so it looks as if the team wanted Vettel to pass Webber. Probably Webber would never have let him pass, as he did.

        I think those were team orders, and please, stop trying to convince everybody that they are different situations.

  24. F1ART says:

    Disgusted with this cheating, the result should be removed from Ferrari!!!!

    1. J. Singh says:

      I only hope that either of the drivers do not loose their points. I’m expecting Ferrari to loose their team points.

      1. Alonso4ever says:

        I totally agree with you J.Singh. Ferrari did act in a not so good way, but they did it in the best interest of the Team. I do not think Alonso or Massa should be penalized in any way. The most obvious and fair Penalty would be to strip Ferrari of the Constructor’s Points for the German GP because all this Fuss is due to the Team’s wrongdoings.

  25. Robert Lujan says:

    OMG that was terrible from Ferrari! Niki Lauda was so mad he didn’t even try to hide it and his co-presenter Florian König really had trouble getting him to calm down. As a fan myself I cannot help but be disappointed with Ferrari. That was so obvious. I will not call it unnecessary, but Felipe earned it! Ferrari dropped the ball again. If they didn’t do it on purpose to see if they could get away with we might not ever know. Still very sad day in F1….

  26. k2san says:

    I can understand team orders with respect to the end of the season. But at this point of time it’s an insult to the fans. It should be punished with a clear message to Ferrari. How it should be punished is something I have no real thought about since I do believe that Ferrari deserved the win. But something should be done.

  27. Alexandre says:

    What a shame! Alonso always acting as a prima donna. It’s funny how Fernando is always involved in this sort of issues. As he said once, in his old Renault days: Formula 1 is not a sport!! Well it’s not, mainly when you have a bank putting loads of $$$ in your team. Let’s see how FIA is going to react. Massa should retire after such a horrible move.

  28. Andrew Myers says:

    What’s the point in having a rule about team orders when it’s so blatantly disobeyed? They either need to enforce it (which I still hope they will), or scrap it.

    It’s an absolute disgrace. When you look back to the Red Bull drivers at Turkey, and what Ferrari did here, I have much much more respect for Red Bull as a team than I do for Ferrari. Shame Ferrari, shame.

    Didn’t Ferrari want 3 cars at one stage? Wouldn’t it be embarrasing watching 2 drivers pull over to let Fernando through.

    I sincerely hope Fernando gives Massa his trophy from this event, but his demeanour on the podium indicates that he won’t even say thank you to him.

    I am disgusted.

  29. Scott says:

    I am personally so disgusted with ferrari. Anytime there is clear cheating in the sport Alonso is always involved. I certainly hope he penalized for this. I cannot believe anyone would stand behind this sort of manipulation of a result

  30. Biggus says:

    How can we respect such a victory? Alonso should be ashamed.

  31. Rodger says:

    Mark Webber:
    “Qualified 0.7sec behind teammate, let two far slower cars past…
    Not bad for a number 2 driver…”

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Get over it.

    2. Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg says:

      And what about Vettel then? He qualified half a second faster than Massa, but couldn’t catch him.

      Didn’t you listen to the radio transmissions? Webber was right behind the McLarens and then was told to drop back 4 seconds because of engine overheating and an oil problem. From then on, he just had to nurse the car home to collect 6th.

    3. jack_faith says:

      vettel qualified pole again and finished third. And all those other poles and where did he finish? Not bad for a number 1 driver.

  32. Evan says:

    Ferrari = Bullshyte

    One can only wonder what Ferrari were thinkng ordering a move like that after the backlash last week about the Red Bull issues.
    Do they are too big for the sport, maybe a penalty of losing their points will bring them back into line.
    Nobody wants to see rubbish like that.

    1. Robert Lujan says:

      Christian Danner said in the race commentary that in “FerrariLand” there are rules for the other teams and none for Ferrari. It seems so with this result. Ferrari just got a fine. 100,000$ what is that? How much do they get per win or per point? That is what should have been taken away. Not 100,000$ that just goes to the FIA anyways. Like most people are saying I too am wondering why it is mostly Fernando with his hand in all these controversies! Is he really wanting to make Michael Schumacher look like an angel of the sport? Ferrari as a team should be thrown out. Felipe should have answered “Yes i do confirm that Fernando is faster, tell him to try and get past then!” And let them fight it out on the track.

  33. Slaven says:

    Definitely agree on the ‘how hard it had been to deliver that message’ agenda. Massa obviously made the situation difficult for Ferrari

  34. Swanny says:

    I am really disappointed with Ferrari today. Team management should concern themselves with the Constructors championship, and leave the Drivers championship to the drivers. It appears that Ferrari haven’t changed since the old Schumacher days; what a shame.

  35. amit says:

    I think there’s going to be a lot of hue and cry about the way Alonso won the German Grand Prix, but IMHO the faster and better driver won the race.

    It’s worth pointing out the Alonso had two very good runs on Massa and showed great restraint in backing out which i am sure wouldn’t have been the case if he were racing any other car. Would love to hear your views on it.

    1. Lilla My says:

      I actually agree. I don’t see Alonso backing off the way he did when the Ferraris were lapping other cars, if it had been any other driver in front of him. I think he might not be a perfect team player, but I guess he’s actually much better in it than many people suggest.

      It was a disgrace for the team, but I just hate seeing people blaming Alonso for the whole situation. I know many people hate him (and I know Felipe deserved the win), but give the man a break. Not everything is his fault… He was mad to be stuck behind Massa again, but it’s the team that gives the team orders not Fernando Alonso.
      I honestly don’t get where all this hatred for Alonso comes from. He’s not saint for sure, but neither is Hamilton (who so many Alonso haters praise so much).

      1. rafa says:

        actually, it´s curious the double standard a lot of people apply: a couple of weeks ago, when Hamilton made a clearly illegal move, that could be fully labeled as cheating, i.e: gaining an advantage by knowingly breaking the rules, a lot here were happy to condone him, (he can´t have seen the car), or pointing out that a penalty did apply, however late, and that it was of no consequence whether it actually fit the offense or not. Well? What´s the problem then? A rule was broken and was punished according to the book: a fine. Don´t like it? Tough. And as to why should Alonso should get punished, it´s a team order, not the driver´s order, so there´s no point in it. Two weeks ago I had to bite my tongue and admit that even if i did not like the outcome of the situation, I had to accept that process had been legal tender, and that Hamilton could walk away unscathed. I suggest people here take this one with a stiff upper lip, then.

        As a footnote, I will add that someone at Ferrari has really got to sit down with Alonso and explain exactly how important reputation management is both for him and the team. Alonso really seems to struggle with being PC, and at some point I´ve really admired him for speaking out his mind, but it does not do to shout at the radio “this is ridiculous, guys” because Massa won´t let him pass, especially just after making a stupid mistake after having passed Massa and losing the position by giving up the line. I will not discuss this sense of entitlement, i think a lot of great champions have it, but he should definitely learn to conceal it. He should learn some more of hamilton, a driver I really like despite not supporting him, who most likely in the same situation would have just got off the car and when asked about team orders would calmly deny that he´d been driving an F1 car that weekend.

      2. Lilla My says:

        When it comes to LH – I don’t like him as a person (just my impression), but I do like him as a driver. When it comes to the whole SC thing – I was mad that the penalty didn’t change anything, but I swallowed it – he broke the rule and got the penalty. He was lucky it didn’t hurt him though and there was no point in blaming him or McLaren for that (i.e. for being lucky).

        When it comes to Alonso, I agree with you – he is sometimes too big-headed, complaining and asking for a better treatment and someone should sometimes hit him on his head really hard so that he would understand that he’s not the king in F1 (though I still like him), but still – Ferrari doesn’t have to listen to him. It’s Stefano who’s the boss and not Fernando. Every driver would take the adventage if the one in front slowed down the way Massa did. And I don’t think FA really wanted to win the race this way – he looked quite miserable and ashamed on the podium. I actually feel sorry for both of the drivers (for various reasons) and I’m really mad at Ferrari management, who I tend to blame for the whole situation.

      3. Panya says:

        Couldn’t agree with you more – none of us is perfect. But many here seems to constantly bash Alonso !!!

      4. Lilla My says:

        Thank you. It’s good to know that there are more people willing to defend FA on an English site. I honestly think FA is a brilliant driver (and a nice person outside of the track as well) and he wouldn’t be half as good if he was a nice guy (on the track). You simply have to be a bit selfish to be great.

    2. J. Singh says:

      Agree with you Amit that the faster and better driver today won. Although I think Alonso could have made more of a fight out it it rather than just two attempts…half-hearted they were not.
      Every team in the pitlane has “team order” but they should not be invoked so early in the season.

  36. Nando says:

    With the new rules both cars should be thrown out of the race. Can argue whether the rules are workable or not, but they’ve clearly broke them and should suffer the consequences.

    Ferrari have now given themselves zero chance of winning the constructors championship (crushed Felipe Massa) to give Alonso a slightly increased chance of winning the drivers championship.

    1. Anil says:

      I don’t get comments like these at all as every team uses team orders :/

      People are just making this out to be bigger than it is because it’s Ferrari.

      1. JR says:

        No they don’t. That’s the point. It’s clear that Ferrari don’t understand the meaning of sportsmanship: they didn’t when MSC was driving for them; don’t now ALO is their man.

        Massa is now no longer a racer — he’s being just deployed as a mobile chicane for all Alonso’s rivals. Is this sport?

    2. C says:

      So please. explain to us how they weakened their chances of getting the constructors championship when they got the same number of constructor points as if Massa had gone first, and Alonso second.

      Do you have your own personal Constructors Championship trophy which follows different rules?

      1. "for sure" says:

        Not when the WMSC disqualify them. The 100k fine was the maximum the stewards could impose, its not over yet.

  37. JimmiC says:

    This result is such a slap in the face of every punter who watched this race, or in particular all those Germans sitting in the grandstands. I did like Massa embracing the Barrichello law of subtlety when it came to the ‘pass’.

    I thought Christian Horner’s pious statement that Red Bull would never do something like that a little bit hard to swallow as well…

    Whatever the arguments about Alonso being in a better Championship position than Massa – we’ve still got eight races to go. It’s far too early. Team orders should only apply when one driver has no mathematical chance.

    1. Andy says:

      Actually, assuming the claim that Red Bull favors Vettel is correct, one knows that this wouldn’t happen with Red Bull. If it did, the crash in Turkey would not have taken place as Webber had just been told “Vettel is faster, can you confirm you understand this?” ;)

    2. senna says:

      i agree on the poor fans on the grandstands. Why do they still go and pay to watch f1 live it’s beyond my understanding. I only watch f1 on tv, and live i watch moto gp, where you still can find, what got you hooked up to f1 when you were a kid.

  38. The stewards should, for me, have black flagged both cars. The radio messages were clear and ordering them to swap the places back wouldn’t have achieved very much.

    This is a clear breach of rule 39.1 and the FiA must act.

    This is very different to favouring one driver on strategy: Massa had the best start, was trading fastest laps with Alonso until the switch and was then on more or less the same pace after the switch.

  39. AlexD says:

    Yes, a very bad moment for F1. I think we all need to take time, calm down and think about it differently. What would I do if I were the team boss? What options to I have:

    1. Alonso is faster all year. Alonso was faster all weekend and he was the only one that could pick a fight against Vettel. He was 0.5 sec faster then Massa in qualifying and he was faster in the race. What to do? The team asked Massa to let him go and they reduced the gap to Vettel and Hamilton.

    2. Alonso was faster all yes and also this week and this race. Massa did great job at the start and was defending against Alonso. Alonso was clearly faster and would anyway try to overtake, but they could end up like Red Bulls in Turkey or could simply destroy their tyres and let Vettel and Hamilton through. But…if Massa would have stood up, it would have looked fair in public eyes and they F1 fans would have respected Ferrari more.

    Who knows what is going to happen. Alonso is known to destroy the team that he is racing for…let’s see what happens with Ferrari. maybe they are going to win, but we need to see at what cost.

  40. splidge says:

    The FIA have to act with something this blatant. The action can be against Ferrari or repealing the regulation about team orders – but they have to do something. It’s pointless having a rule that no-one obeys.

  41. Formula Zero says:

    We all know what we are all going to talk about for a long time, Massa letting Alonso through!!! Anybody would have the same based on the championship position. Alonso deserved the win being the fastest driver in the entire weekend. However, Massa is the best driver of the race by being the most gracious driver of the lot. Ferrari owes him a lot more than what they gave him. I felt for him more at the press conference. This was the anniversary of his life threatening accident after all. The best way to response to this result will be to be faster than Alonso in the qualifying as well as in the race.

    In Australia commentators were talking about Ferrari getting penalised. In my view, (so is the BBC commentators’) it is impossible to penalise Ferrari for letting Alonso through because it was not a direct team order on the radio, neither did the drivers admit to any team order in the post race press conference. The incident was no different to what Massa had to do in 2007 to let Kimi through, no different to what Red Bull had done by giving Vettel the front wing. So, any penalty will be absurd. What I don’t like is that both driver had lied to the entire world by saying ‘I don’t know what happened’ or ‘he just passed me’. Now that means I will have to tell young children that it is okay to lie to escape penalty. As a born Ferrari fan I think it’s a crying shame.

    Anyway, my driver of the day is ‘Filipe Massa’ (for an outstanding comeback and leading most of the race) and the biggest looser is ‘Sebastian Vettel’ (for concentrating on Alonso and Webber too much & leaving the entire track wide open for Massa to take the lead). At the end, it could’ve been the best race of the season, but Alonso/Massa incident made it a ‘not so bad race’. In the end I have to agree with Martin Brundle, ‘Ferrari winning the German Grand Prix is a great result for F1 overall’.

    1. Rebecca says:

      How exactly do you come to the conclusion that Alonso was fastest driver all weekend? Ok, he was quick in practice, Q1 and Q2 which don’t matter, but he didn’t put the car on pole position, and he couldn’t take the lead of the race on merit. Not deserving of the win.

      Is this how it’s going to be from now on. Whenever Alonso comes up behind Massa, Massa will have to move over? How can Alonso fans really accept that he is deserving of a championship in those circumstances?

  42. J. Potocki says:

    As much as I dislike team orders and would prefer to watch the team
    mates battle it out, I believe that Ferrari took the right decision. Alonso was noticeably
    faster than Massa and why risk either a collision or using up tires/fuel with Vettel being not that far behind them.

  43. Koala Karl says:

    Of course there were no team orders.
    Alonso was clearly faster through that corner
    on that lap…..
    And mass was clearly slower through that corner
    on that lap………

    1. Andy says:

      It happened on the straight you peanut

      1. Koala Karl says:

        Hey Andy I know
        that was my sarcasm all the way through.

        I think the whole thing stinks..
        They were both capable of winning and the tragedy is that we rememeber the race for the wrong reasons now

        Its ok to call me peanut as i dont think the sarcasm was obvious enough!!

        Lets have F1 back – no politics no games just good racing…

      2. Andy says:

        haha. Yeah fair one!! I must have been so furious about the whole thing that i didnt twig your sarcasm!! You’re welcome to insult me back!! Call me any kind of nut you like!!:)

  44. Ian says:

    I expect to see racing, not synchronised swimming.

    1. Nathan says:

      Exactly. The fact that Alonso was faster means nothing. This is motor sport. If you want to win you race for it. Better to crash trying to win rather than manipulating the result; at least you can hold your head high knowing you were racing.

  45. rogerramjet says:

    Embarrassing for F1. Nothing more to say really.

  46. Calum says:

    The Ferrari order made perfect sense and I’d expact the same from all the other championship contending teams.

    I’d agree with DC – the ‘no orders’ rule should be sprapped.

    1. Stewart says:

      I agree as well F1 is a team sport and as such team orders should be allowed, however the rule is there for a reason and there should be a fine or removal of championship points for ferrari for breaking it, as simple as that.

      I much prefer seeing two team mates that are given equal machinery and are allowed to race each other like Hamilton and Button.

      It does not matter if the team orders were the right thing to do or not as it was a disappointing end to the grand prix, and we missed seeing a fight for first to the chequered flag.

    2. Andrew Myers says:

      Ahh the old “F1 is a team sport” argument.

      If this is the case, why not scrap the driver’s championship all together and just have a constructors championship?

      I say either do that, or (preferrably!) LET THEM RACE.

      1. Calum says:

        Hey I like the wheel to wheel inter team racing as much as the next guy but there are a couple of points here:

        1. Teams spend hundreds of millions in getting a result, it’s only fair that they be allowed to maximise their chances

        2. The most distasteful element (for me) in Sundays race was the apparent denials coming from Ferrari, this really treated the audience like idiots.

        I have a suggestion.

        Why not have every team issue a declared driver policy after qualifying, eg. 1. Free to race, 2. Racing under orders depending on track position.

        There’s obviously the PR element from being able to say your drivers are free to race and should a team break their declared policy then an instant points deduction would apply prividing disincentive to do so.

        My main thought is that there will always be team orders, banning them makes no difference as you could just manipulate things in the pits or via some other less blatant way. At least if teams declared their intentions up front then the audience wouldn’t feel so conned as the situation would be mire transparent.

        It should also be noted that the drivers championship is actually in a more excitingbpositiin because of the order.

  47. Nik James says:

    James, in the fans forum, I submitted a question saying why have a ban on team orders but then do it anyway subversively. How I wish the forum with the Ferrari PR guy was tomorrow.
    2 key points though:
    1) either have the rule or don’t. Please stop treating the fans like idiots but at the same time asking us for £350 plus for tickets!
    2) I believe there is enough evidence for the FIA to investigate and act on this. The big question is will they. A key test of Todt’s FIA leadership which so far has been impeccable.

  48. InternetF1Fan says:

    Disgusting by Ferrari. And the funny thing was a couple of weeks back they were the ones complaining about races being manipulated.

    Rob clearly was forced to tell Massa to move over. Hopefully he will leave Ferrari for a better team.

    Ferrari have always been are still are a bunch of cheating liars.

  49. Feb says:

    Deja vu.. Ferrari is the team that caused a regulation about team orders 8 years ago, and here today, they do the same thing..

    It’s a conflict of interest: Ferrari or Driver? Digging more, i believe it’s the assumption by team management that Fernando will bring more points in the end, but it’s unfair, so it may cost them a reputation, it’s against regulations, so -i hope- both cars may be disqualified from this race or just swapped, and for the audience, it just ruined the race. They should definitely not have interfered.

    Besides, as well as I can understand Massa’s frustration, I can never understand Domenicali’s move after the podium ceremony. Why such a forced attempt? Why pretend?
    Though, Massa is the most patient driver I’ve seen. I can’t even imagine a Fernando Alonso in the shoes of Massa..

  50. Pierre says:

    James,
    Are FIA or stewarts yet investigating? If yes, what does Ferrari risk and could both cars be excluded from the race?
    Rules are rules, whatever anybody thinks about them, they are what they are, the same for everybody and so should be respected.
    After 2002, I never thought Ferrari would do it again… and such a visible way! At least in Brazil 2007 (last race of the championship) they did it a proper way…

  51. JohnBt says:

    Very disappointed with Ferrari obvious team orders. Would have been better if Alonso did it himself. Sense Ferrari were afraid if both were taken out. Lesson from Red Bull?

    It’s not over. FIA will intervene.

    Await news.

  52. MassaFan says:

    This is an absolute joke.

    I consider myself a Ferrari fan but today’s behaviour was disgusting, they treated Massa like a piece of dog dirt on the pavement.

    Even Kimi never got such treatment because they were always allowed to fight until mathematically impossible not to win it, hence Kimi not supporting Massa’s title challenge a few years back in the same way.

    They might have won it otherwise but you cannot deny someone a chance if they still have it, no matter how remote.

    I was really hoping that Massa would just ignore the team but, sad to say, it didn’t happen.

    Will they try this again and humiliate him even more in future races? Only time will tell.

    btw if you agree with me, please check out my Facebook page on this:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Felipe-Massa-is-the-true-winner-of-the-German-GP-2010/141490462536449

    1. J. Singh says:

      I believe Massa will come out stronger. In 2007 he was slower than Kimi but I think leeting Kimi through in the final race made him more resolute and in 2008 he routed Kimi.
      I expect Massa to be the stronger driver after the summer break this year.

  53. James Punt says:

    James, What are the sanctions for breaking the no team orders rule?

    1. Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg says:

      I think I can answer that. For Ferrari it’s a $100,000 slap on the wrist. That about amounts to a weekend’s catering bill for them!

  54. Heartworm says:

    Shocking, Alonso is a fantastic driver, but the team shouldn’t give him the win in such a way.

    The rules are in place now, obey them.

  55. Pete Schnabel says:

    This is gonna really light things up everywhere (just check out the tweets section!!!), but when it’s all said and done, Ferrari did the correct thing.
    It may make all the difference down the road.
    Glad it didn’t turn out to be a scenario like in Turkey where one teammate lost all points and the leader ended up losing a ton of points when he dropped form first to third!
    Not easy, but necessary.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      All they had to do to avoid a Turkey situation was to have Alonso hold station. The team would still get a 1-2. There was no reason for the team to issue this kind of order. Unfortunately cheating is in the Ferrari DNA, they’ve always operated this way.

      1. Pete Schnabel says:

        Sure there was a reason. What reason you might ask? Simple: Alonso’s still in the hunt! He gained valuable points today.

      2. Carlos Marques says:

        “All they had to do to avoid a Turkey situation was to have Alonso hold station.“

        Funny enough, that would have been a team order too…

        The only thing Ferrair was allowed to do (according to the law) was to do nothing and watch the 2 cars race each other on the TV like all of us- does that make any sense at all…

  56. Toby says:

    Would Stefan Domenicali have been responsible for this call or someone above him, that is, that Alonso is the preferred driver from this point forward, before the race weekend even started? I got the impression that “team orders” would not be a part of his management style as it was during the Todt years. As noted in the article, such a thing hasn’t happened previously with the Alonso/Massa pairing.

  57. Patrick McLaughlin says:

    Leaves a very bad taste.

    Yes, Alonso has been the better driver all season and has the more likely chance of winning the championship but I still think onus is on Fernando to catch and pass Massa.

    Who is to say Alonso would not have caught & passed but we were robbed of a battle. Alonso’s reputation will take another battering after this. He is a world class driver but he does give his critics ample ammunition.

    Ferrari took a pragmatic decision but were not very subtle in delivering it. It was blatant team orders and they contravene the rules. I would not be surprised to see Ferrari disqualified from this race.

  58. Steve Clark says:

    Shameful display. The FIA has to act. If they don’t then every team can now ‘fix’ the championship. “Mark/Jenson/. . . Sebastian/Lewis is faster than you.” What’s the point on watching if the drivers cannot race? I would happily have watched a fight to the end between Massa and Alonso with Sebastian waiting to drive through the debris. Felipe was off the throttle at a point when he should have had it buried to the floor.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      “If I back off, is Jenson going to overtake me?
      No, Lewis, he is not…”

      What the hell is this? If not team orders, please explain it to me…

      1. Steve Clark says:

        You’re right. Wasn’t it great when Jenson didn’t obey them?

      2. Nick H says:

        Jenson showed that he knew the no team orders rule existed and promptly overtook Lewis.

      3. James M says:

        The difference there was Jenson DID overtake Lewis! It was confirmed that it was a complete misunderstnading and no orders were given.

      4. Satish says:

        Fair point, and one that a lot of folks seem blind to! Most folks are acting as if this is the first time thinly veiled team orders have been used in recent times.

      5. Sean says:

        Galapago555,

        If you are leading the race with a few laps and you are told to slow down, would you want to know what’s the situation and ask your race engineer the same question as well? Definitely you would be concerned about your impending race win wouldn’t you?? And hence you would want to know if your team mate is in the same predicament or if he has the opportunity to challenge you.

        And let’s say the team says that Jenson has got enough fuel, then Hamilton would have to decide if he has to push to the maximum or do just enough to keep him behind, or just let Jenson overtake him.

        His question is just about knowing what’s happening and decide on which course of action to take.

        This is nothing compared to Ferrari’s:

        “Alonso is quicker than you. Can you confirm if you understood that.”

      6. rafa says:

        How is it not comparable? Aaaah you mean that McLaren staged the team orders better. Fair point, mate!

      7. francisco says:

        you are so right!

  59. m00bie says:

    Ferrari and Alonso cheeted! James can you tell me why has the FIA not penalised them?

    There is a rule about team orders, they are banned, I dont understand what has happened?

    I will not be buying fuel from shell again because that is the only way I know that I can protest against Ferrari!

    1. david z says:

      Quite agree and I’m not going to buy any more Ferraris!

      1. Pat says:

        ha.. me either david!

      2. Carlos Marques says:

        LOL

        Same reason why I stopped buying Red Bull. Oh wait, I never bought any Red Bull because it`s too expensive.

  60. Amritraj says:

    I have been following Formula 1 since 2006 and since then undoubtedly I was won over by Alonso’s driving and his character outside the car. 2007, 2008 and 2009 I did support him as my favorite driver, for his agrresiving driving style and never give-up attitude. I personally felt that what he was ble to achieve in the adverse conditions of 2007 was very commendable.

    I was pleased to hear that he would be going to Ferrari for 2010, hoping that Ferrari produced a competitive machine.

    This season has been a bit of rollercoaster ride with many drivers winning and mixed fortunes for Alonso and Ferrari.

    But I think today I have been left very disappointed with Ferrari and expecially Fernando. I think he should have fought Massa for the lead, and the team should have allowed it. If Alonso is the driver I thought he was, and the overtaker that he has been in the past, he should have taken Massa on the track fair and square, and not on the radio.

    I was disappointed when something similiar happened in 2008 when Heikki was told to let Hamilton through. Though they weren’t fighting for the win, it was a clearly coded team order as well from McLaren, who didnt want Lewis to lose any time behind his team-mate.

    I don’t think from now on I would be watching the grand prixs and hoping Fernando wins. But to think about it again, there are very few drivers in competitive cars who I think are clean and honourable.

    F1 is too strong a concoction of money, technology and sporting contest to decipher what takes precedence.

  61. David S says:

    Consult the rule book…simple.
    All telemetry, radio data and comments point to the obvious…team orders.

    If a penalty doesn’t result then the rule book is worthless.

    Ferrari deserve all that should come with this…its nuts and STUPID.

  62. Superfast says:

    Unfortunately that’s the way it is in modern F1 when things get this close in the championship. And I don’t believe those who say McLaren, Red Bull or Ross Brawn would never do it.

  63. Scott says:

    DISGUSTING…. Ferrari should be stripped of the race win AND second place…. That was CLEARLY a team order….

    If the FIA do nothing about this now, then the floodgates will be open to “coded” team orders in the future…..

  64. Jotorrent says:

    it’s disgusting for felipe. I feel sorry for him eventhough I understand FERRARI logic. He has less points than KUBICA and ROSBERG and half the points of HAMILTON. Plus he’s struggling to match ALONSO either in quali or race trim.
    Even ALONSO chances are slim, he lost an engine or 2 at the start of the season and he has 4 drivers to overtake in the standings, he might get some help from RedBull but he and FERRARI must work hard.
    But I still feel sorry for Felipe, it would have been his 1st win since the accident. Then what about team orders banning, could FERRARI be penelised ? And the fact that Santander is a major sponsor does it have an effect ?

  65. Matthew says:

    Feel sorry for Massa. Not to say he would have won without the team orders, but he must be very delated right now.

    I am sure Christian Horner must be livid right now. He has two drivers taking points off each other while it is clear that Ferrari have a number one driver (and aren’t afraid to order Alonso to the front). Puts even more pressure on Horner to favor Seb.

    1. Matthew says:

      ‘deflated’

  66. jon naughton says:

    ferrari cheat once again and get away with it it seems both cars should be disqualified the podium should be vettel hamilton button end of.

  67. Mike P says:

    From USA 10.25 EDT Well now I guess I won’t be watching a RACE! at noon on Fox today……..

  68. Warren says:

    Please tell me they will be investigated for this blatant disgrace? I feel so sorry for massa he had a great start and controlled the race from the start, it was only a matter of how FErrari were going to make him move over. This would not happen at Red Bull or Mclaren. Both these teams should be applauded for there even racing policy something Ferrari will never learn

    1. mtb says:

      Red Bull tried to do something like this at Istanbul Park, but Webber’s engineer did not pass the message on. Horner displayed Dennis-esque levels of hypocrisy after the race.

    2. Ashley says:

      Are you serious? McLaren did it in turkey this year with a coded ‘save fuel’ message. McLaren also told Heikki to move over for Lewis in the 2008 German GP with a radio message, “Lewis is faster, Heikki!”. Sound familiar? Next thing Heikki allows Lewis through at the hairpin.

      As for Red Bull, well they have been doing it all season and how Christian Horner can stand there and say it would never happen at Red Bull. Well i remember them telling Webber to turn his engine down and Vettel to turn his up on the crucial lap in turkey, is that not a way of getting Vettel past his teammate?

      However the problem isn’t that they give coded messages, the problem is that team orders are banned. Why ban something that is perfectly acceptable in every team sport i can think of. You play as a team, therefore if one driver is much faster and is in a much better championship position the logical thing is for that driver to be allowed to win. In my opinion the disgrace is a rule that prevents teams from using common sense.

      I have absolutely no issue with team orders in Formula 1, and anyone who uses them. I am a Ferrari fan but thats not the reason, when McLaren did it in Turkey i understood the logic and agreed with it. Obviously i feel sorry for Felipe but he had 45 laps to prove he was fast enough and clearly he wasn’t. I was hoping Ferrari would switch the drivers because it was the correct team decision. Earlier in the season Massa wasn’t told to move(Australia) and Alonso’s race was over because of it. So clearly Alonso wasn’t the preffered driver back then but now he is and no one can deny he deserves that status, hes beaten Felipe comprehensively all season.

      Also i’m disappointed with the fine for Ferrari as i don’t see why they should be punished for using common sense, although perhaps they should have made it more subtle to avoid the kneejerk reaction from the FIA. I hope the WMSC scrap the ‘no team orders’ rule as it would prevent teams from having to lie to the fans.

      1. Oliver says:

        I’m sorry Ashley, you seem to have a strange understanding of Formula 1.

        Felipe didn’t have ’45 laps to prove he was fast enough.’ This was not an exam, it was a grand prix and he was leading it.

        The correct statement is ‘Alonso had 45 laps to pass Felipe, and he did not.’ How was Massa ‘clearly’ not fast enough?

        If this was the last grand prix of the year, and Massa had no mathematical chance of winning the title, of course it would be ‘fair’ to give Alonso the place. It is a team sport and he would be helping the team and the team mate out. It probably wouldn’t even need direct team orders to achieve this.

        Even if we accept the fact that Alonso was quicker, he had over 20 laps to prove his speed and pass. Do you doubt he would have passed Massa?

        By the way I’m not a McLaren fan and I do agree with you re: the hypocrisy of judging Ferrari for this incident and ignoring other teams’ orders in the past.

      2. Ashley says:

        What i’m saying about the 45 laps bit is that is how the decision was made. In my opinion Ferrari were monitoring the relative pace between the two and from the data they had they determined that Alonso was faster and therefore the ‘order’ was given.

        I actually think that Alonso would have attacked late on in the race and who knows whether he would have passed. One possibility that Ferrari wanted to avoid was two fired up drivers taking each other out or battling so hard they allow Vettel to close right in and maybe even get the pair of them.

        With regards to him being clearly not fast enough well thats obvious isn’t it. They wouldn’t have told him to move if he was as fast as Alonso.

        As i said there’d be no issue if the rule wasn’t there. You’d have some angry fans but thats it. With or without the rule though team orders will happen and every fan here knows deep down that their team has done this before but been more subtle about it.

        Btw my understanding of Formula 1 is perfectly fine, i’ve been watching it for many years and therefore i understand team orders are a part of it and always will be. If Alonso was racing anyone but his teammate then yes he would have to overtake them but the situation changes with teammates as the team are always going to ‘manipulate’ the right result for them, which in this case was Alonso 1st, Massa 2nd.

      3. Syed Hasan says:

        I’m sorry Oliver, it’s you who seem to have strange understanding of F1. What Ashley has written is EXACTLY what I think and i agree 100%. But you need to realise that overtaking is not that easy in F1. When Button couldn’t overtake Schu in Barcelona in an F-Duct powered car, and Schu couldn’t get ahead of Jamie’s STR in Melbourne and when Lion heart fighter Kubica couldn’t get ahead of Rubens in Valencia, how in the world you think you can say ‘If Alonso was faster, why didn’t he overtake Massa on track’. How can you expect two Ferrari’s to overtake so easily when a 1s faster Mclaren couldn’t get ahead of Mercedes at Barcelona. Moreover this was a track where overtaking was rather rare today. I can guarantee that if overtaking was as easy as it is in MotoGP, then FA would have dismantled FM already and the useless team orders furore would have been put to bed. Pls study the whole weekend and whole season. Alonso was nearly half a second quicker than Massa whole weekend and clearly demonstrated in quali as well where he beat him all ends. And Massa only got ahead by the way because Vettel squeezed Alonso too much which in my opinion was slightly unfair. I do expect your reply .. thnx..

      4. Oliver says:

        Hi Syed, I’m happy to respond to your post.

        Firstly and most importantly my ‘understanding’ is not a delusional one where team orders are not present. Ashley I wasn’t suggesting your knowledge of or interest in Formula 1 is not considerable, merely that your comment re: Massa having to prove his speed to be ‘deserving’ of winning was wrong. Webber didn’t have to lead the British GP for X laps to ‘deserve’ victory, so why should Massa be expected to ‘prove’ himself if he’s leading a race?

        Under the current regulations they are ILLEGAL and you can’t say ‘oh well it’s always going to happen’ any more than you could say ‘Well of course the Red Bull has some ‘interesting’ parts, cars always contain some questionable parts’ Rules is rules.

        I’ve never said overtaking was easy in Formula One, nor should it be. It’s a skill that the sport is supposed to test and reward. Let’s first accept the difference between team orders that ‘hold’ a position (telling one driver not to attack his team mate) and an order that directly changes the result of a race without a genuine overtaking manouvre. One is clearly worse for the fans. I’m not saying a ‘hold’ order ”conserve fuel” is any better ethically, but the actual track position is not changed (merely prevented from possibly changing). If Alonso was in front with Massa challenging, I think you’d find that an order for Massa to ‘conserve fuel’ would not result in quite the same reaction, even if admittedly still a ‘team order’.

        Judging from your comments re: Toro Rosso and Mercedes, you appear to believe that so-called ‘top teams’ have a right to get to the front and if they can’t overtake an allegedly slower car on the track, this is somehow an outrage. I take the view that no matter how quick your car, if you can’t make a pass, you don’t ‘deserve’ the position. Senna/Mansell Monaco 1992?

        You seem to take the view that because Alonso has been quicker than Massa in previous races that it gives him the right to expect Massa to yield a position without challenging. To many people this makes sense, Alonso is a real title contender and Massa should be expected to help him out.. but does this diminish the sport and make a mockery of ‘racing’ unquestionably, yes.

        If this proves to be the case from now on, surely you have to accept the damage to Formula One’s image from such tactics. For the fans, this would require Ferrari to outright put FA as number 1. You can’t expect Ferrari to go around saying ‘no favouritism’ ‘no team orders’ and then say ‘Well FA has a chance to win we have to give him all the help he needs’ as the two are contradictory. I’ve previously supported and liked Alonso in past seasons but this incident suggests two things;

        1. That Alonso/Ferrari management take an arrogant view of the sport, the rules and the fans. To him, ‘how can I be expected to work hard and challenge Felipe, it’s hard to overtake! He must give me the place, it’s mine rightfully as I’m ‘quicker”

        2. Judging by his podium ‘celebration’ he clearly knew what he did was ‘wrong’ (ethically as well as legally). Felipe’s body language said it all. FA then concocted some story about Massa ‘going slowly’ out of Turn 6 having a problem with gears etc.. This assumes a low level of intelligence on the part of the fans, media and wider world. This is what brings the sport into disrepute.

        I’d also take issue with your view that Massa ‘only’ took the lead because Vettel moved to cover Alonso. By this logic, Alonso ‘only’ won in Bahrain because of Vettel’s problem, or that Hamilton ‘only’ won in Turkey because of *that* incident. Perhaps, but you have to be in it and up there in a reliable car to win it, no?

        The presence of team orders in a team sport and a law banning them is clearly silly. Something has to give. This rule has become unworkable and needs urgent revision. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the nature of this revision, i.e. a straight removal of the ban or a revision/modification to it. Perhaps changing position outright will be considered illegal but a ‘hold’ order not so?

        So to summarise my position:
        - The sport cannot simultaneously have a team-centric view which says ‘we need and use team orders to get the best result for our team’ alongside the fan’s/sponsor’s view that says ‘we expect close racing and overtaking, it is our interest in and attendance at grand prix that the sponsors see as the benefit of handing over large sums of money to the teams to go racing.’ The sponsors don’t do this in the understanding that, ‘occasionally a bit of a fiddle and robbing the fans of a good race is necessary.’
        - The current ban has patently not stopped the use of team orders, and is now not likely to in future. The rule needs to be changed ASAP.
        - Teams cannot say ‘this always happens’ and expect fans to put up and shut up. Without fans and sponsors F1 would still be in the last century.
        - The incident at Hockenheim, not being necessarily worse than previous incidents, does harm to the value of ‘motor racing’ and the reputation of F1.
        - Fans shouldn’t say they have ‘no problem’ with teams breaching the rules. It gives the impression that ‘rules are there to be broken’ and fosters a cynical, negative atmosphere around the sport. A better and more reasonable argument is that 39.1 is a bad law and doesn’t stop the actions it is supposed to, and should be amended.

  69. D. says:

    It was most definitely a team order, and I absolutely have no problem with it. Alonso was the fastest of them all throughout the weekend. He was within 1 sec of Massa for most of the early stages, then slowed down for a few laps (smart move to not stress the tires under an almost full tank) and then a bot later, within 7-8 laps, he closed the gap to Massa from 3.4 sec to 0.6 sec. Had the team order not been given, he would almost surely have had tried to overtake Massa and would have probably done it. At that point in the race he was at least 6-7 tenths quicker.

    What I don’t understand is why did the pass not take place at the pitstop. Alonso was about 1 sec behind Massa just before the pitstop. He could have easily jumped Massa there.

    Regardless, after what happened between Webber and Vettel in Turkey, Ferrari are completely justified in not wanting to risk a similar disaster, especially since Alonso and Massa have not been on the best of terms. With all of Massa’s poor results this year, I think it is very likely that his contract extension indeed includes a “driver #2 status” clause.

    We now have a very interesting championship, with 5 drivers in the hunt. If Ferrari can win again in Hungary, the summer break will be really, really interesting in terms of the development race.

  70. Brunetto Numero uno says:

    Such contexts, and actions will produce a lot of hypocrites. I think it goes without saying that you let pass the one with the most points. Irvine mastered this very professionally. Is this fair? Is this right? This is not just a sport, this is big bussiness. If you do it the way RB are doing it, you do not become world champion. They will miss the World championship again!

  71. Prakhar M. says:

    The FIA better take action or F1 will lose all of its credibility as a legitimate sport.

    1. AlexD says:

      It is not sport, it is business….it is about money and any means are good. How people do not get it? Do you think that other teams, drivers are fair? Not one bit. Ferrari did break the rule…but this is how it is. I do not like it, but I saw similar cases this year, starting with Red Bull – several times!

  72. Kedar says:

    This single incident ruined what was a great intriguing race which Ferrari would have won 1-2 by Merit. The German commentators on RTL also suggested “Vettel is faster than you” which was a lighter way of summing things up!

    1. Amritraj says:

      I think Vettel stuffed it at the start. And 1 thing I don’t like about Vettel is his inclination to drive into other drivers in trying to intmidate them, not fearing contact.

      He did it in China with Hamilton in the pits. Did it in Turkey with Webber (we all know how that ended up). Did it with Alonso in Cananda at the start. Did it again with Alonso here.

      Someone needs to tell that kid that he is going overboard with his chopping moves.

  73. Peter says:

    I don`t want team orders with Ferrari, but I also want Button to attack Hamilton and not just walking along hand in hand. They are fighting for the WC a few points separating them. I would like to see British press questining McLaren as well sometimes not just other teams.

  74. Rodrigo says:

    Teams discuss improving the show, they create a overtaking working group, they tweak the rules… but nothing harms the sport and the show most than this kind of situation. A GP winner embarassed to celebrate on the podium, the mechanics barely singing along the italian anthem. It is sad to see, it makes me dont want to watch races anymore. Ferrari wants more money from FOM, but I think the sport would be better without them. They lie about the marlboro sponsorship, they about team orders.

  75. Nick Hipkin says:

    James, Massa wasnt really struggling on the hard compound like some suggest, he was setting fastest laps and still had pace at the end. Im just very suprised that the stewards arent even investigating, even a blind person could see that was team orders which unlike 2002 is against the rules. Ferrari obviously got nervous earlier in the race when they were battling and bottled it

    1. James Allen says:

      Initially he struggled

      1. Lex says:

        He picked up the Pace, he was just as quick as Alonso. Look at the FIA lap times, sector times, speed trap.

        Red shows Massa is faster,
        Black indicates the ‘overtake’

        http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_TYJrB8ZJQ8A/TEyQoSAxZeI/AAAAAAAANW8/to6Csdngj_c/s1600/hockenheim.jpg

  76. Carl Hall says:

    Such a shame another race has to end this way- The FIA has to act, at least investigate this blatent infringement. Such a bad taste in the mouth!

  77. Steve says:

    Appalling. Ferrari should be disqualified from the race so it never happens again. A hollow victory for Alonso. I don’t now how he can look at himself in the mirror. Much worse than anything Red Bull have done.

  78. Jotorrent says:

    In order to be a 1/10th quicker in a race a RedBull has to be 5/10th quicker in qualies ! Sunday will always feel bitter for them.

    McLaren went for straight speed over lap speed, they forgot that in order to overtake you’ve got to lap quicker than the guy ahead safe for the 1st couple laps

  79. Matt_2745 says:

    What’s worse than the switch now is the way that Ferrari are treating the public with disdain. Do they really think that the public are stupid/blind? Embarrassing stuff.

  80. casey says:

    Sad. Agree with EJ.

  81. Arioch says:

    The Alonso-Massa manoeuvre has reminded me the 2008 German GP in this circuit. Kovalainen did the same with Hamilton. I don’t remember any controversy (like some sites are saying) after that.

    1. AlexD says:

      exactly the same thing, identical.

      1. F1 says:

        Save fuel = is faster than you = team order

  82. Lionel says:

    I do fera for Massa now.. I hope the team does not ask him to start crashing into walls so his team mate should pick up wins.. James do you think the rules should be transalated into Italian so this lot should understand them?… starting with “Filming Days”?

  83. Merry says:

    Most pathetic team ever.

    Ban them for the rest of the season.

    I will now throw away my Ferrari merchandise, no joke.

    1. Merry says:

      To add: this is the team that accused FIA of ‘manipulating the race’. Well, they showed FIA how to properly manipulate a race.

      I mean, I am just speechless, I could not believe it when I saw it.

      I watched live how Rubens let Schumi pass at A1 ring and this is exactly the same feeling.

      If the FIA does not disqualify both Ferraris, I am done with F1.

    2. AlexD says:

      2008 Kova/Hamilton….remember anything?

  84. shanker says:

    i think redbull domination end

  85. Luke Potter says:

    I’m sure I won’t be the only one to post that this is completely ridiculous – Ferrari have blatantly broken the regulations that forbid team orders and should now pay for it.

    At the very least, I suggest swapping Alonso and Massa in the results and taking all Ferrari’s constructors championship points from this race away. The FIA have a great opportunity here to deal with this issue once and for all and to show everyone (not that anyone but Ferrari needs to be shown) that manipulation of the results is not allowed.

  86. SparkyJ23 says:

    What is going to be lost in the storm over the Ferrari R
    rule breaking is yet AGAIN Vettel loses positions by trying t drive a rival across the track.

    1. Merry says:

      You mean Webber losing 2 places to slower cars and not being able to follow them?

      ‘not bad for a 2nd driver eh mate?’

      1. Nathan says:

        Err, he lost a spot to Button because the team foolishly brought him in too early for his stop, then he was following very closely (under 1 second) until he was told not to due to an engine issue. He did lose a place to Hamilton though. I’m a fan of Webbo but his first lap is always poor.

  87. Volkan ARDA says:

    Though it was not fun to watch, it was the correct decision as Alonso is in the championship frame now. If he wins again in Budapest, things will be really interesting. Massa is lost in the points anyway….
    If it wasn’t for the stupid blockage of Vettel, it might have been Alonso 1st-Vettel 2nd after the first corner. It was Vettel’s race to lose and he did lose it anyway…..
    This is probably going to be the most wide open championship we’ve ever seen!!! I just can’t wait for the upcoming grands prix…. :)

  88. Thalasa says:

    There are a couple of things I don’t understand:

    1.- Why teams cannot give orders. Aren’t they a TEAM?

    2.- Given the fact that orders are forbiden, why teams don’t code orders in a different way? For example they could arrange code messages before hand like: – “Keep pushing, Ferrari is doing a great job.” Meaning: allow your team mate through.
    Or simply openly talking before the race about the different possibilities and giving instructions about how to proceed.

    Is that so difficult?

    I’m happy Alonso is back (and Felipe as well), but I didn’t enjoy this victory the same.

  89. Sam B says:

    I feel for Massa. If Alonso was that much faster (which he was), surely he could’ve found a way past eventually.

    James, will the FIA be looking into this? Also, please give any updates on Red Bull’s flexing wings.

  90. iain mcgregor says:

    Book ‘em Danno, murder one. Blatant team orders, sorry Rob you’re a brilliant race engineer but a rubbish actor

  91. "for sure" says:

    So the spoilt Spaniard gets the race gift wrapped. I hope the FIA disqualify Alonso, and fine Ferrari heavily. They have cheated every fan who pays to watch this so called sport. If bookmakers have any sense they will withhold payment on Alonso’s ‘win’. No one can be in any doubt that Ferrari have broken the rules, and of all the Ferrari people I listened to, only Rob Smedley made a half plausible attempt to pretend nothing had happened. Every other spokesman was pathetic. Fragile Fred just can’t stay away from controversy. Alonso’s claims that he was entitled to the win because he had been the quickest all weekend was the most incredulous moment of all and clearly shows his displaced sense of entitlement.

  92. Harvey Yates says:

    If Ferrari had used fuel that was banned or had used tyres which were fractionally oversized when weight was put on them then would there be this dispute?

    Whether rules are poor is not the point. They are the rules. They were brought in after a remarkable response from the fans, one that remains unique, following a previous incident of race-fixing.

    This is a test of the FIA, the biggest since Todt took over.

    From what Ted Kravitz said on the BBC Forum we can see what the press reports will be like tomorrow. Dreadful press coverage does no one in the sport any favours.

    1. James Allen says:

      Ironic for Todt, really

      1. Bill Johnson says:

        I wasn’ thinking Jean made the rule, I was thinking he was the reason for it, therefore, he may not want to enforce it terribly much.

  93. Spencer says:

    Disgusting!!!! Not only Massa, but us race fans were “Robbed” This could have been an epic finish to a race with Vettel catching. In jump Ferrari and spoil it. Outragous!!

  94. graham says:

    Should team orders be banned? Can they be effectively policed? Does a ban only reward those shrewd enough to mask it? How does this effect gambling? Does F1 shoot itself in the foot with the gambling public? Does F1 shoot itself in the foot with the non-gambling public? And finally if there is a ban, what SHOULD the penalty be? (not what is the present penalty)

  95. murray says:

    If someone likes to bet on the races, and they put money on Felipe, someone just robbed them of an honest wager. Shabby, shabby, shabby.

  96. Ron says:

    Why is Charlie Whiting no jumping all over this?

    This was clear a violation of the team order rule, that anyone had ever witnessed.

    Do the FIA ever do anything right?

    Massa was robbed in plain daylight.

    Absolutely disgusting and empty win for the cheating Alonso…

  97. Formula Zero says:

    I just read Horner’s comments about Ferrari’s actions. He pointed out that Stewards should take a look at that. We all know what happened in the German Grand Prix. But I think Horner has to look his own team before pointing out others. In Red Bull team Mark Webber is clearly given the number 2 tag behind Sebastian Vettel. I wonder who gives Horner the right to comment on number one or number 2 driver!!!

    1. Phil says:

      Prefering on driver over another is not illegal. Manipulating a race result is.

  98. er,go says:

    good race for ferrari, from the start. team orders? what a surprise! vettel showed his immaturity too, again. great racing all the way down the field all the way through the race. great stuff.

  99. Sebee says:

    I’ve been around for a while and know it all makes sense. But this fixed result crap rubs me the wrong way everytime I see it.

  100. Ted the Mechanic says:

    Realistically Massa had no chance of winning the Drivers Title. And now we know, no chance politically…

    1. Ted the Mechanic says:

      Thanks to no chance Domenicali.

  101. Jon B says:

    This is just horrid. Fernando is just proving again and again that he is such a bad driver that he can’t mount a championship challenge without a slow teammate. Fisi was never competition, then he tried to blackmail Ron into giving him #1 treatment over Lewis. The year after he/they whoever had Piquet jr crash to give Alonso a win.

    Alonso should be banned from competing in F1 just for his involvement in crashgate alone.

    1. G says:

      I know this is extremely delayed, but I’m going to comment anyway.

      Fernando wasn’t blackmailing Ron to get number one treatment (and he has said frequently he just wanted equal treatment, however the two sides of the story are both very different, who knows who’s telling the truth?) he was blackmailing him to get OUT of the Mclaren team on HIS terms. By that stage, he’d already decided to leave. No really, look it up. Not justifying him trying to blackmail Ron, I’m just saying.

      And crashgate? He was hardly the one who orchestrated it. Yes, he took a questionable win, but dont think that any other driver in his position wouldn’t have. He’s no saint, but he’s hardly the worst there.

      Alonso is such a bad driver that he “can’t mount a championship challenge without a slow teammate”? Mounting a championship challenge at all (and winning twice, i might add) definitely implies that he is more than a competent driver.

  102. Guio Oblepias says:

    I’m a devoted Ferrari fan and I was desperate for Alonso to win the race. I was frustrated that Massa got ahead of him early on, but I was confident that Alonso was faster and that he could work his way past later in the race. putting team orders into the equation made for a hollow win. this will be another black mark on Ferrari’s reputation… it’ll be hard to get past this, let alone forget about it. just look at the way people refer to Austria ’02 every time something about team orders comes up. personally, I don’t know if I can put up with them much longer if they continue to act this way…

  103. Fausto Cunha says:

    Worst race of the year if it´s gone be like this i hope Ferrari does´t win again.
    Massa almost stopped to let Alonso pass, what a joke!!
    Why are teams rules banned and then things like this happend, everybody saw it.
    There are people watching the race hoping for a fight for the lead and then a radio message decides everything.
    I know it was in the teams best interest that Alonso win but what about the show, the spectators, the sport.
    I could use the three week break to forget this but there´s probably more to come next week.
    I preferer to watch to Red Bulls fighting for the lead and ending both out of the race.
    This year as been good but today i didn´t like it.
    I like Stefano Domenicalli his very happy and friendly but today he let me down, maybe it was Santander president that took that decision.
    A lot of drama on Hungary the last years, let´s hope for the best, let´s hope for a great race with clean and enjoyable fights.

  104. Linda Granger says:

    Ferrari cheated. The FIA should investigate and fine the team as a clear breach of the rules was made. It ruined the race for the fans. Massa bet him fair and square on the track on the day. It doesn’t matter that Alonso was faster in qualifying. If the FIA don’t react to this then they are biased to Ferrari and brings into question the whole sport and what other things are fixed and what other cheating goes on. The whole of F1 is in question now.

  105. Kev says:

    A much needed win for Ferrari and a 1-2 makes it even better. Team orders, well it was blatant but unavoidable. Had Massa not defended so aggressively when Alonso made his move it would have ended well for all.

    But he chose to defend his position and Ferrari had no choice but to order Massa to give the position to Alonso. I for one fully back this move. It is highly obvious that this season is going to be very close and every point scored is going to make a difference. The cars are all equally matched and there aren’t much overtaking opportunities between the top cars.

    So it was a good move from Ferrari to ask Massa let Alonso take his position and with it an additional 7 points.

    Sorry Massa but you are number 2 in Ferrari this season. Hoping for you to come strong in the next season.

    And for those who are saying you were robbed of a fight for the lead, well you had your scene when Alonso tried passing Massa on lap21.

    Hopefully this will spur Massa to improve his performance and get some good results in the coming races which should be good for Ferrari.

    1. Luffer says:

      Yeah we did have it on lap 21 and Massa won it, so what right does Alonso have to the victory?

      Regarding team orders, the rules are explicit on this matter. If you can’t play by the rules you don’t deserve to be part of the sport!

      In what way does having a hard earned victory taken away from you by a spoilt, petulant Alonso spur you on to improve your performance? It would utterly demoralise me and I would be unwilling to help the team out in future when they show no consideration to me!

      1. Kev says:

        Mate, the victory for Massa was not written on the wall. Alonso had more pace than Massa and would have certainly tried another move again. We might have seen a repeat of Turkey here.

        Why go that further? Alonso had the inside line and Massa was outside on the track during lap21. Alonso simply could have pushed Massa off the track and gained the position. Similar to what Vettel tried to do to Alonso during the start of the race.

        IMO you can defend aggressively against other racers from a different team but you ought to be careful with your own team-mate.

        Also this is the first time Massa was asked to let Alonso pass, whereas in Malaysia and other races Alonso stayed behind Massa even though he had superior pace and also defended him from the attack of other racers.

      2. BA says:

        “whereas in Malaysia and other races Alonso stayed behind Massa even though he had superior pace and also defended him from the attack of other racers”

        And Alonso defended Massa from other drivers on clipping his rear tyre too… oh wait :)

      3. Langue D'Oc says:

        If Ferrari wanted to make the pass they could and should have done it at the pit stops. That they didn’t shows (again) the lack of calibre in the team’s upper management.

    2. tharris19 says:

      I beg to differ on the equal car (Ferrari). Fred’s car was at least .2 quicker than Mass’s, If they were equal then Massa would have maintain a 2 to 3 second lead following the the first stint. Besides, Fred wouldn’t stand for a team mate with an equal car. Ask Mclaren and Renault.

  106. Charlie B says:

    I’ll just start this off by saying that Ferrari did breach the regulations, but they can’t get a penalty.

    Every decision made in a race affects the outcome, so the rule doesn’t work.

    Also decisions like the one McLaren made in Turkey telling the drivers not to fight are just as bad as what happened today. People just see it differently, which is wrong.

    I agree that team orders shouldn’t be allowed and Ferrari did break a rule, but the rule doesn’t work and team orders will always be around in one form or another. So as much as we don’t like it, it can’t be stopped unless every team has one driver, which will never happen.

  107. Nastre says:

    There have been other instances of team-orders in the last few years. This isn’t the last of them.

    One has to remember that this is a team sport. If the two drivers don’t work together in the interests of the team, then the idea of a team is void.

    I feel for Massa and I think one can see Alonso does too by his lack of jubilation at winning.

  108. Tim says:

    Everyone will forget what MartinW said about JB and Hamy….there was not one driver picked because they were still too close in points…Ferrari made the correct choice FA is substantially ahead in points.

  109. dilligaf says:

    It’s funny how history repeats itself, and with the same team. My heart goes out to Massa, considering it was 12 months ago he suffered that dreadful accident. What Ferrari did was absolutely disgusting, and they should be rep-remanded. Their disgraceful actions have given the sport a black eye yet again.

  110. Gil Dogon says:

    I do not know why it is Ferrari that always seems to play this “controversial” game, but I was quite disgusted with the blatant manipulation of the race results. Massa should have rightly won this GP, but now he is reduced to a clear number 2. It does not do much to bolster Alonso’s image in my eyes too. I do not know what the rule about team order says, but this kind of ‘coding’ does not mean anything, it is blatantly against the rule. What does the FIA/stewards have to say about this ?

  111. ajag says:

    There is a single long term solution to this never ending story. While there is a drivers championship awarded which is valued higher then that of the team by the public, there will be team orders in this way. Therefore get rid of the drivers crown and make F1 a real team sport…

  112. Dimitris says:

    unjust… but that’s the sport, that’s life, that’s reality.

  113. Jamie says:

    That was a shameful act from Ferrari!and for Fernando to accept that gift speaks volumes of the man’s character!

  114. Anthony says:

    Alonso is a spoilt little brat that just cries till he gets his own way. Whats the point in winning if you cheated to get there.

    Ferrari should be ashamed.

    1. francisco says:

      like Hamilton germany 2008?

  115. Jason Jackson says:

    Gutted that the sport I love is now even harder to sell to my mates…..infact i won’t even bother anymore. I use the word sport……that wasn’t sport. Who’d pay hard earned money to watch that manipulation? I recall a certain spaniard saying the ‘Fans’ were robbed of a race in Valencia…….not half as much as those in Germany today my friend

    1. James Allen says:

      Your first point is a good one

    2. hesus says:

      Totally agree, people keep asking me why do you like this whole F1? And after day like this I have not much to say. I know that there is only one WDC and team orders are part of this “show” but deep inside I feel it is wrong. In my moto-crippled country there is a KIA CEED CUP – not a big deal but I watch it with much greater interest than F1. Guys in there are like harts chasing rabbit – pure racing. No big names, TV deals, fancy feathers stick up the a…. Formula 1 is first only as far as money is concerned. From the sporting point of view is much worse. If people responsible for this sport won’t take actions (and they won’t – new Concorde 2013 will be only about the money) in 5 years F1 will be marginal series with only group of enthusiasts watching.

  116. Eric says:

    Absolutely shocking from Ferrari. I am disgusted by this result. A great win by Felipe Massa was on the cards only to have been denied by team orders. Ferrari should receive no points from this race nor should the drivers. This would surely put a stop to team orders in the future.

    I mean seriously, “Fernando is faster Felipe. Acknowledge this message.” One lap later and Massa lets him through. How obvious does it have to be?! Clearly the use of banned team orders by Ferrari. Being faster is one thing – it could come from taking more out of the tyres – but getting past is another thing entirely. In no way did Alonso deserve the win.

    Realistically, Alonso isn’t going to win this championship so all Ferrari have done is bring the sport into disrepute.

  117. Tanya says:

    Alonso must be disqualified

  118. vivek shetty says:

    Absolutely shameful!!!

    And Fernando talks of races being manipulated and of “Saying sorry to the crowds as they were cheated”.

    What will he say today?

    And of course Ferrari let the world know that not much has change since Austria 2002.

  119. arush says:

    kimi raikkonen won the 2007 title in the same way and a year later he let massa through in shanghai to facilitate him in the championship,kovalainen let through hamilton many times during his mclaren days…..why the issue of team orders only come up when such thing happens…James,why doesn’t the FIA have concrete rules against team orders?

    1. Tommy K. says:

      the circumstances are different in every case. however, i think that team orders must be re-established. If they don’t, then they should ban the 2 car teams! It’s a team sport, and in team sports the manager decides who plays and who’s not…Definitely, the rules must be changed!

    2. Andy says:

      When the other driver is completely out from the fight for the WDC (like in both cases with Kimi and Massa), it is understandable that there is a preference from the team on in which order the drivers should greet the flag. Moreover, at least in 2007, the situation was handled much better, by calling Felipe to pit a couple of laps early so that Kimi was able to pass him by making a couple of very fast laps. At no point did Massa have to lift his foot from the gas.

      Here, Massa is just a mere win away from Alonso’s total points with almost half a season left. This is not the time to start deciding races by team orders. If you are worried that the intra-team fight will danger the 1-2 finish, then you tell the one who is driving 2nd that he should restrain himself from making too risky moves on his team mate. Even though technically a “team order”, it is, in my opinion, completely ok.

      1. rafa says:

        please!Claiming that Massa has any opportunities in this championship is ludicrous! there are team orders all around but you just bother to hear the ones that interest you. maybe Ferrari should adhere to the list of rules that nobody else bothers to comply with: team orders, SC, not racing in the pit lane, not changing course seven times when defending position, probably then you lot would finally be happy. What really is hilarious is seeing you masters of logic defend your driver of choice against all evidence and later trash the competition for similar if not identical offenses.

  120. F1Fan says:

    Rather blatant example of team orders. Massa’s comments in the post race interview say it all…

  121. Alen says:

    It was so embarrassing to hear Alonso lying in front of the cameras. I have no idea what his feelings were like, but I felt bad for the man who lied badly. I was like – oh, mu God! I can’t believe the way he explained what had happened. This things shouldn’t be allowed to happen!!!

    What should I say to my son? Look son, this is your role model… he lied and got away with it…

    1. Olivier says:

      … indeed, remember Liegate last year? Lewis, McLaren and forgot-his-name got severely punished for withholding information after the race and lying in front of the cameras.

      I hope Ferrari and Alonso will get a similar fate.

      The biggest looser is the FIA though. The best they could do is punish team Alonso by stripping today’s points in the constructer’s championship.

      Shame, it COULD HAVE BEEN a great day for Massa and Ferrari, one year after his freak accident!

  122. Scuderia@China says:

    It’s an obvious team order, which is totally unnecessary at this stage of the Championship. If Ferrari still wants a motivated Massa for the rest of the season, they shouldn’t have done it. The sport is getting increasingly political. I really miss Kimi and uncomplicated, pure blood, speed demon like him!

    1. Trixie says:

      And I feel this is all the more reason why Kimi won’t be returning to F1.
      But to be honest, what goes around, comes around. Remember back to China 2008 when superfast Kimi had to virtually come to a standstill in order to let Massa pass. Back then, I vividly recall the commentators saying surely Ferrari should ask Kimi to let Massa pass sooner than later. If that wasn’t blatant call for team orders even by race commentators, then I think F1 audiences are eluding themselves about the nature of the “sport”.
      I am not saying I agree with such behaviour, but what I don’t understand is why teams don’t try to maximise both their drivers’ points until which time it is mathematically impossible for one of the drivers to achieve the WDC. I mean, heavens forbid, but what if something happens to Alonso like Massa was unlucky in Hungary last year? After all motor racing is a dangerous sport, then Ferrari might rue this call.
      I feel it is likely that Alonso being the me-ME-Me kind of guy, who’s been most vocal about still being championship contender, perhaps has a clause in his contract to be No.1 if he is to fulfill Ferrari’s expectation of him to achieve the glory days of the Schumi era.

  123. Mikeray says:

    Even as a McLaren supporter (Turkey – ‘Button will not overtake you’), I’d say – well, nothing new for the sport – expect that team orders are very wrong.

    Expecting a stern warning or a maximum of loss of constructor points for Ferrari.

    Now this is how you ‘manipulate’ a race, Alonso-style.

  124. Matt says:

    Think that the root cause of the team order problem is that the drivers championship is worth more to the team than the constructors. Where you have teams, like Williams, who have historically valued the constructors more then you don’t get the problem. Not sure how a better balance could be found though.

  125. PaulL says:

    I know there’s going to be a torrent of anger against Ferrari and I do have compassion for Massa, but I do think these considerations are relevant.

    1. Alonso had been clearly faster than Massa all weekend, 1/2 second faster in qualifying and evidently faster in the race. Alonso even seemed to drop back 3 seconds and close in on Massa at will.
    2. Alonso had to brave it on the narrow inside line in the run up to turn 1 to beat Vettel, whereas Massa perhaps fortunately received a clear road.
    3. Alonso already had a likely disadvantage of starting on the dirty side compared to both Vettel and Massa.

    I actually feel that the team orders was a necessary disservice to Alonso because, in my view, it was he that deserved the win based on his driving performance – not because someone handed it to him.

    1. Nick Hipkin says:

      The difference is that you dont get given a race based on how you perform in practice, you have to earn it over the actual grand prix race.

  126. Kenny says:

    So much for manipulation at Red Bull. Webber would never had let Vettel through. Empty win did Alonso.

  127. Shingi Mtezo says:

    Shame on Ferrari, look who’s manipulating races now!!!!

  128. Ron Neale says:

    The team orders cheating that occurred in today’s German Grand Prix, made watching the “”RACE?”” a total waste of two hours of viewers time.
    I will be writing to the Director General of the BBC to suggest that unless some serious action is taken against the cheaters in future they (the BBC) just broadcast a summary of F1 race on one of their less watched channels. It is my license money that is being wasted on this pretend racing farce.
    If Alonso had the faster car then he should have overtaken the other team car and given the car driven by Massa a chance to show his skill in defending the position in the slower car.
    German Grand Prix a total waste of two hours. Observation in passing a Spanish driver wins a race heavily sponsored by a Spanish Bank, no that cannot be relevant!

    1. Stu says:

      Personally I think you’re reading a touch too much into this with your last paragraph.

      It still isn’t right though, no-one likes a cheat.

  129. It looks like Ferrari is back to the old Schumi/Barrichelo days. Long live Red Bull.

  130. Clay says:

    Hi James, I was wondering why you do the post quali and race interviews at some races but not at all of them. Who’s the guy who conducts them when you don’t

    1. James Allen says:

      David Croft. I do most of the races, but not all

      1. ChrisS says:

        It’s a shame you missed that one! Lucky Crofty.

        On the other hand, it must be difficult to pitch it right in situations like that, where the fans and media are expecting you to give voice to the outrage and yet you need to maintain a working relationship with the drivers?

      2. James Allen says:

        It’s interesting that rather than steam in on the team orders angle, Crofty gave Alonso a blank canvas to tell the story and he was caught out by it

      3. David Smith says:

        I bet you wished that you could have done that one today.

  131. DK says:

    James, since we all know this is blatant team orders, can FIA take any action to penalize Ferrari?

    What the Ferrari’s drivers said in the post race press conference was so funny. Alonso said he don’t know why Massa slowed down, and Massa just lost of words when he was asked of the incident….pitiful!!

  132. Dawn says:

    Never left a comment before, but have decided to today. James, with the work you’ve been doing with FOTA about what the fans want, the teams must realise this isn’t it. I would suggest that most fans would feel cheated of a great, tight battle for 1st place from two very closely matched cars and talented drivers – as Felipe gave us a glimpse of earlier in the race when he defended against Fernando so well.

    It’s very sad for Felipe that, one year on from his accident in Hungary, his team didn’t allow him to show his talent and fight for his position on track – with as must courage as he fought for his life one year ago, and as he fought to gain fitness to enable his return to F1.

  133. cjf says:

    I was disappointed to see the team orders today as I was anticipating a good fight between Felipe and Fernando when they reached the next group of backmarkers. However, as Schumacher alluded to we see these orders occuring in more subtle ways weekly, for example who is to say Mclaren could not have got Jenson out ahead of Lewis instead of just behind him in the pit stops.

    As a poster in another forum pointed out, Lewis won this very race two years ago as a result of Heikki letting him through (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epI6u6uA8hM) and we didn’t see this sort of furore then.

    The team order was a disapointment but the partisan bias instead of honest even handed evaluation is just as frustrating.

    1. Kev says:

      Brilliant. I was searching for this video and you got it here. Thanks mate.

      I think the furore is because Massa didn’t have the race-craft to do it in style like Kovi. Just see the video again, you will never take a position as easy as that and the execution was perfect.

      Massa you need to learn a lot.

      1. Robert says:

        Kovalainen knew Hamilton was coming through whether he let him or not and he wasn’t even leading the race. Completely different. Hamilton overtook a number of cars to win, not just Heikki.

      2. rafa says:

        ridiculous point: where there team orders? yes? nuff said.

      3. Rebecca says:

        Erm, I think Massa made it obvious on purpose to make the point that he was letting Alonso through and Alonso didn’t earn it.

    2. DC says:

      I agree that Heikki letting Lewis through in 2008 helped him win the race, but he did have to hunt down Massa and Piquet and pass them to get the win…so he had to work for it…

      However, as a McLaren fan I wish there were no team orders that day. Lewis had the speed to take Heikki fair and square and that’s what I wanted to see. McLaren made a mistake not pitting under the safety car in that race, so they were on the back foot with Lewis…but that is no excuse.

      Today was worse I believe for Massa because he was leading on Merit and Alonso wasn’t that much faster…

      either way I don’t want to see team orders. It may have been going on from the start of the sport but it doesn’t make it right.

      1. Kev says:

        The point is Kovi left Hamilton pass through without a fuss and at that did it perfectly.

        Coming to your logic that Lewis had to pass more cars for the win even after Kovi let him through; suppose say at the end of the season, Alonso needs one point to win the WDC and he is 11th. But he has come from behind passing 9 cars and has Massa in 10th place.

        So as per your logic if Massa let Alonso through without a fight, it is not a big crime because they weren’t fighting for the lead. It is just for the 10th position and a solitary point, is it?

        The point here is that Alonso did fight for the lead and almost took it. But Massa decided to fight for it when it would have been sensible to leave the place to your team-mate who has now the better chance of winning the WDC after the HALF-WAY point of the season.

        It is time to decide who is Number 1 and who is Number 2 in Ferrari. And it is fairly easy, Alonso is the lead-driver!

      2. DC says:

        Race wins are more important no matter what stage of the championship you’re in. nobody remembers how many 10th places somebody gets do they?

        giving up a win is a much bigger deal. but regardless of that point… i don’t like it at any stage and as Lewis hunted and passed two other drivers in the example given, my point was i believe he was fast enough to take Heikki without the assist. I wasn’t any happier about that pass than i was today.

        I don’t think Alonso was fast enough or maybe not good enough today to do the same with Massa.

        So it is always a crime to me…but giving up a win is even worse.

        No more team mate assisted passing please. every driver should fight for every place. it should be considered the norm. that’s where the entertainment is for goodness sake!

  134. Virgopunk says:

    Ferrari have certainly got some front. How on earth they can say that this was not a case of team orders is beyond my belief. Although, it is totally the Ferrari way. I feel truly sorry for Massa. I think we may hear more on this from the FIA in the next couple of hours! Could Vettel be promoted to P1!?

  135. Ivan says:

    As a Ferrari fan, I’m disappointed to see this sort of thing rear its ugly head. It does make sense for Alonso to win but the way it’s done leaves a rather sour note for F1 in general. Massa deserved to win fair and square, though the assist came from Vettel at the start.

  136. Paprika says:

    Was letting Massa defend his position what they should have done? In my oppinion, most likely scenario would have led to low or no points for Ferrari… Dunno, but it was surely done with no style at all…

  137. Spenny says:

    Very foolish, because the FIA cannot be seen to let this one go. Risking a 1 2 for a handful of extra points for Alonso – so busy looking at the championship detail they forget about the risk of being excluded.

  138. Ed says:

    Disgraceful from Ferrari. I am ashamed to be a fan of the team today.

    Sure Fernando was slightly faster, and is ahead in the standings (but only by 12 points in the old system, which is nothing with so long to go), but I physically can not understand how Ferrari made this decision on sporting and ethical grounds, not to mention the obvious media reaction.

    I am devastated for Felipe. One year on from his crash, what a story it would have been. He needed a confidence boost like this to lift his driving, and this should have been it.

  139. Hans says:

    Well… the way Ferrari look at it is probably that Smedley (I don’t think it was him?) did not give a team order. He told Massa that Alonso was faster and he asked if Massa understood that message. We all know what that means but had he told Massa to move over because Alonso had to pass it would have been a clear team order.

    If in the way Ferrari did today, a team order is not allowed, next time in the same situation, they’ll tell Massa a dangerous purple easter bunny has been spotted near the track and he is to slow down a bit.
    Of course Massa could have run a curve wide to camouflage it all a bit but in the end the result is the same.

    So I think it’s time to rethink the rules and accept that at a certain situation team orders can influence the outcome of a race as long as it is within one team and not teams helping each other.

    I think

  140. Tornada says:

    Alonso and Ferrari management are RIDICULOUS! And Felipe should take a lesson how to behave from Mark Webber…

  141. Michael says:

    Massa.. nothing left to say, dont waste another day, just you and him tonight, everything won’t be okay. If it’s alright with you then its alright with him, Felipe take this time and forget that memory. Do not remember! Do not remember do not remember! what alonso did! Dont bring it back!

  142. Martin says:

    I´m so disgusted I don´t know what to say about this man and the team he´s driving for.

    If the FIA doesn´t come down severely on this then the sport will undoubtely be regarded as a coreographed farce and not the pinnacle of motor sport.

    Schumacher was revolting in his ways when he was driving for Ferrari and Alonso is very close to that at the moment. Yes, he was faster than Massa, but why didn´t he just drive past him then?

    Again, a digusting and sickening day for F1.

  143. chetz says:

    Massa must be missing Kimi today.

    he never asked Felipe to be “magnanimous” with eight races to go :P

    1. James Allen says:

      No, but he did move over for Felipe

      1. Greg says:

        Massa moved over for him in Brazil 2007.
        Both these race are nothing like this, they were at the end of the season with only 1 driver with a strong chance to win.

        Alonso doesnt have that, he makes far too many mistakes.

        Massa, just remember, what goes around comes around.

      2. Andy says:

        I agree completely. Besides, in 2007 the “execution” was much better, by having Massa pit a couple of laps earlier so that Kimi was able to pull a couple of very fast laps to pass him. What really annoys me now is that Felipe’s claim for WDC this season before this race was not that much worse than Fernandos, a mere wins worth of points. If I didn’t feel so bad for Felipe, I’d wish he became 2nd in WDC in the end, say behind Vettel, losing by 6 points. However, that would be too cruel for Felipe.

      3. Syed Hasan says:

        So you mean to say that team orders are allowed at the end of the season, you have no issue. Or if they are not so blatant, they should be allowed. Oh! First decide whether they should be allowed or banned

      4. Jason C says:

        I never understand the ‘end of the season’ agrument. With effectively only one driver with the chance to win this year (especially with the troubles Massa has been having with his tyres), points in the middle of the season count just as much as points in the last race. Those 7 extra points could make the difference Between Ferrari winning and someone else.

        To penalise Ferrari is pretty hypocritical: there have been loads of ‘driver decisions’ to move over since 2002 and no-one has been penalised.

        For the record, I really dislike team orders like this – they leave a bad taste in the mouth after the race, and you could see how guilty Alsonso felt by his body language.

  144. FLINTSTER says:

    I don’t think I can support Ferrari anymore!

  145. k miles says:

    THIS WAS A SCANDAL, A FARCE, A CON AND THE FANS WERE CHEATED!!! james allen i dont know how you can “rate” alonso as the best! He was only a wins worth of points ahead of massa and so many points still to be won! Alonso is known for cheating with singapore and the mass damper! he and Ferrari should be disqualified and BANNED!!!

  146. Andy says:

    This was a disgrace, after the team orders I stopped watching and decided to clean the house. I wish Ferrari’s engines blow in all the remaining races (at least Alonso’s, would be fitting if Massa won all the remaining races and claim the WDC).

    James, how did Alonso “fall foul of the stewards” in the two previous GPs? In Valencia stewards did nothing to Alonso, while Lewis got very lucky. In Silverstone Alonso and Ferrari have only themselves to blame, the stewards did what they were supposed to when rules are broken.

  147. Mark says:

    I didn’t realise the A1 Ring was back on the calander! Would be interesting if it’s disputed with Jean Todt at the reigns. Massa was almost killed 12 months ago to the day, would’ve been nice to see him win after nailing them both ninto turn 1.

  148. Richard says:

    So if it is so clear to everyone that “Team Orders” were applied by Ferrari, why have they not been penalised? It makes a mockery of what is meant to be a competitive event.

  149. Andy C says:

    As much as I keep hearing how team orders is and always has been part of f1, it doesn’t mean I don’t dislike it intensely.

    Felippe was clearly completely cheesed off (rather than swearing on your blog James ;-) in the drivers press conference.

    I don’t debate fernando has the better chance at the wdc, but to do it so blatantly it makes a mockery of the millions of fans who tune in.

    Whether it is mclaren, Ferrari or redbull it absolutely stinks.

  150. Dan E, Kent says:

    It was fascinating to see Domenicali trying to patch things together after the trophy presentation.

    James, do you think that this race, like many others, has actually played into McLaren’s hands? For a team with a slower package, their damage limitation this season has been remarkable.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well they won’t want too many more like this, 23 secs behind Ferrari at the end

  151. Yasin says:

    I feel cheated by that ‘pass’. It was a good race up until then.

  152. Alberto Dietz says:

    Felipe was the victim of blatant coercion from within the team. Cui bono? The same one who should have had his superlicense taken away for life in Spygate in which case there would have been no Crashgate.

  153. Andy C says:

    Maybe now we know what flav was doing at ferrari last week ! :-)

    if Di montezemelo sent dominicale onto the start finish straight to deploy a stinger to burst felippes tyres it would have been less blatant wouldn’t it.

  154. Sergio says:

    C’mon englsh machinery. Ferrari did really bad. Instead to put “program 3 fuelsaving” they said “Fernando is faster than you”, and Massa has no the cold temper as Button or even the poor Kovy last year.

    Today we saw Massa is the Alonso’s worst enemy alongside the english press & FIA (Todt – Whiting). Really powerful enemies.

  155. POPPY says:

    Eddie Jordon is right.
    Massa was robbed.
    With so many races yet to be run this season,
    who is to say Massa had any less chance than Alonso in the 2010 championship.
    How can Ferrari expect to get away with this blatant flouting of the rules.
    Of course Schumacher finds no problem with the decision,
    he was always, every bit the same kind of irresponsible driver that Alonso is.
    What’s the point in the trophy if not urned honourably?
    What’s happened to this gentleman’s sport?
    Money rules over manners ?
    A very poor day for formula one.
    Massa, together with all the genuine fans of these fixtures has been betrayed.
    It’s clear,
    Massa won,
    Allonso came second.
    Shame on Ferrari.
    Shame on the regulatory bodies if they permit this disgraceful decision to stand
    Thank God for the Jenson Button’s of Formula one.
    yours.
    A very hurt fan.

    1. POPPY says:

      see my comment above
      POPPY.

  156. Rishen says:

    WOW… Blatant

  157. Deepan says:

    Although I think that Ferrari did make a mess of handling the scenario, what they did was perfectly logical from a championship perspective. Red bull made the decision to remove the front wing from Webber and give it to Vettel because he was ahead in the championship and was looking faster for the weekend(these were Horner’s explanation), If that is not team orders and is legal, why is this illegal?

  158. GomerPile says:

    Really not happy about this.

    Ferrari have clearly favoured Alonso explicitly – there was no difference in the constructor points they would have won by not doing this, and they weren’t letting a ‘faster’ driver challenge someone further up the road.

    It would have been an excellent good news story for Felipe – who deserved this win – to get it one year on from his near fatal crash.
    Positive publicity spirals into negativity again …

    On a side-note – in Schumacher’s post race interview, he says F1 is all about winning the championship. It’s not – it’s entertainment. I strongly feel actions like those performed by Ferrari today damage the sport, and the FIA really need to sort it out.

    I think they need to disqualify Ferrari from the results. It’s a real shame, as they deserved a 1-2 with the improvements they had made, but I think only cutting the constructor points sends the wrong message (specifically to prima-donna drivers).

  159. Tom says:

    It’s a disgrace if you ask me.

    There are still over 200 points up for grabs in this championship. It doesn’t matter if Alonso was faster than Massa (which he wasn’t for much of the race anyway), if he can’t get past without the help of team orders then he’s no champion. F1 is about racing. I’m so bored of hearing Fernando whining to the team over the radio almost every race. I used to be a fan but he’s become ridiculously petulant if things aren’t going his way.

    Well done to Felipe for a great drive and showing class after being robbed and not bad-mouthing the team.

  160. Ol'Grandpa says:

    Brazil: The only country in the world where if you ask drivers politely they will let you pass.

    1. Joao says:

      Sadly true!

      I’m from Brazil and always saw Massa as a much more agressive driver than Barrichello. Until now.

  161. Khan says:

    There is more to it than meets the eyes. May be ferrari want a stand off against FIA. There is some political agenda, may be.

  162. Baktru says:

    This was a disgrace. Ferrari as a team may be the ‘legend’ of F1 but the way they do their business is appalling. I was expecting a ‘Cars x and y’ under investigation any moment and it didn’t even happen… Damn.

  163. MichaelC says:

    Rules are rules. Ferrari should be punished as this was a clear breach of the regulations. But to exclude the team punishes Massa which seems unfair. Nevertheless it was a team problem so the whole team should be punished. If that means the loss of a 1-2 finish then maybe the point of team orders destroying the spectacle of a good fight on track will have been made ?

  164. Luffer says:

    Alonso won nothing in my opinion. What happened today was a disgrace to F1. They bought the whole sport into disrepute.

    Ferrari should be utterly ashamed of the way they acted today. Not to mention with the way they handled the media after the race with their smug attitude and blatant lies.

    The FIA need to handle this properly and impose serious penalties. Not only did it deprive Massa of a win and fans the chance to watch a good race. But what about the people who had placed a bet on Massa to win? This is pure race fixing in its most despicable form, and if that isn’t worthy of a ban I don’t know what is!

    The rules could not be any clearer on the issue and they choice to ignore the rules. Not for the first time either!

    We have already seen this season that both Red Bull and McLaren let there drivers fight fairly for wins and positions. Not Ferrari though!

    Many people say F1 needs Ferrari. I couldn’t disagree more, F1 doesn’t need cheats!

  165. Caz says:

    Ferrari cheated Massa out of first place and under no circumstances should this result be allowed to stand. Ferrari and Alonso should be penalised. They do not deserve this win.

  166. CH1UNDA says:

    I think the two big stories from Germany is the Ferrari team orders and McLaren’s lack of pace. The British outfit was painfully off the pace – one wonders whether they would have faired better if they had stuck with their non blown diffuser configuration – hopefully McLaren doesn’t go through a mid season struggle similar to Brawn last year when the Championship winning team made a development that took it backwards into the clutches of Red Bull instead of putting it farther ahead.

    Of course that is just the first time the team is running the new upgrade. But unlike in previous races, McLaren was noticeably lacking the pace and not taking the fight up to the teams ahead. The upgrade seams to have robbed the British team its phenomenal pace in the race.

    As for Ferrari’s blatant team orders, you get the feeling that Alonso’s allegations a few weeks ago that FIA was manipulating races will not put the stewards in a most favourable mood for their case. However Ferrari played the situation very meticulously in the race. First Alonso fell 3.5 seconds behind and then started reeling in Massa to prove their statement that he was faster than the Brazilian. Then he set about setting the fastest laps just to prove the point as was accurately picked out by Martin Brundle. However one wonders – if everybody else in the world knows Ferrari broke the rule, how can FIA have a problem enforcing it?

  167. A.K. says:

    So what’s the point of having the rule against team orders when team orders still happen?

  168. Nick says:

    Disgusted with this result. They should be disqualified as it was so blatant and unnecessary!

  169. David says:

    Well, I turned off after the team order was given – what was the point in watching any more?

    I hope Ferrari get penalised for this, the rules are clear, as was this breach. If Alonso was fastre then he should have used his talent to get past on the track, instead of having the team order Massa out of the way.

    Very disappointed.

  170. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Good on Rob Smedley for so blatantly letting the world know that this was a sham team order.

    “Fernando is faster than YOU”
    “Did you understand that MESSAGE?”
    “Good Lad, SORRY”

    Come on Lewis, go ahead and give Alonso a good thrashing like you did throughout 2007. Show up this charlatan for who is really is.

    Alonso is not the real deal.

    1. AlexD says:

      Mike from Medellin, let’s talk honestly….about Lewis. But really, let’s be honest…ok? British GP 2008 – Hamilton passes Kovalainen…sorry, better say Kovalainen parks the car to let Hamilton go and then drives again. Remember? How different it is?

      1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        AlexD – you are right, but I was talking about Lewis Hamilton as a true competitor to Alonso.

        Alonso fears Hamilton. He owes his lack of success over the last 3 years down the arrival of Lewis Hamilton.

        Put the new mature Lewis Hamilton in the same car as Alonso again….and he’ll make mincemeat of Fernando.

      2. AlexD says:

        Let him deal with Button first:-)

    2. PAD says:

      I would agree that in part it was the tone that Rob Smedley said the words and the words he used that indicated it was a team order that he did not want to pass on. If he had said in his normal tone of voice “Alonso is faster than you and Vettel will catch the pair of you. At some point Fernando will most likely have another go at trying to pass you, probably best if you don’t try and fight him. Sorry Mate” then everyone would have understood the situation and no one would have been upset with Massa letting FA past.

      I’m not blaming Rob Smedley in any way. I think what Ferrari did was acceptable just badly managed.

  171. joesat78 says:

    The same story unfolds now in Ferrari (earlier in McLaren 2007). The only difference here is Ferrari is having a 1 & 2 driver whereas in McLaren, either they were basically allowed to fight on track or Hamilton never followed team orders.
    Ferrari should be disqualified for this race. Alonso, or Mr.X never thinks twice to lie… what a slime. At least, he should have said “Pass”.

  172. tony presser says:

    Why making rules? If the FIA does not take any action Formula 1 is a joke.At Ferrari they seem to think that the fans are believing their lies!

  173. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Ferrari only have themselves to blame for this.

    The latins took over and have led the team downwards. They now find themselves of having to put themselves in the hands of one of the sport’s most unscrupulous characters.

    And some of you still have doubt’s over Alonso’s involvement in Singapore 2008?

    1. Andy C says:

      I usually agree with you mike, but let’s not forget Ross and jean had team orders with Ferrari. Today just stinks though doesn’t it.

      I was glad to hear rob smedley and felippe be absolutely clear with their tone. They were gutted.

  174. sammy says:

    I really don’t understand what the big problem is. Ok, Felipe let Alonso pass but I’ve never heard any teamorder…
    Alonso was faster and that’s what’s communicated to Massa (ofcourse, we know that it was a teamorder but it has never been said literally to let Alonso pass. And even if Massa backed of on purpuse (what he did) Ferrari never told massa to let Alonso through…
    If they take away the win or disqualify Ferrari it would be a disaster.

    1. boysie says:

      Exactly. In the end, it was Massa’s choice to lift off – no one forced him.

      Those people complaining about this behaviour should remember this has happened and will continue to do so in every race by every team to some extent. It is just rare it was so obvious and in the open.

      1. Langue D'Oc says:

        We don’t know what Massa’s contract says, mind.

      2. James H says:

        Ummmmmm – Smedley could not have spelt it out any clearer, Massa made it completely obvious that he was forcibly slowing down, Smedley then said ‘sorry’, he also then said to keep the gap at 3 seconds. If Massa was so much slower, why couldn’t Alonso pass him easily in the first place and how could Massa maintain a 3 seconds gap?

        Then we have the body language when they got out of the car – then we have the press conference – then we have the experienced and seasoned motorsport press asking Alonso ‘if that race ranked up there with Singapore 2008?’.

        Alonso is a spoilt little boy that has a tantrum if things don’t go his way.

  175. Banning of team orders is wrong because there will always be team orders whether they are banned or not. It is a team sport and the team should always do what’s best for the team. Drivers can either accept this or leave! If Massa had performed better before now then perhaps this situation would not have arisen.

    Alonso has been consistently faster than Massa virtually all season and was 0.5 seconds faster in Qualy yesterday. He was clearly more comfortable today when following Massa and could stay with him using much less effort than Massa. I believe Alonso backed off to the 3.5 second gap to preserve his tyres and fuel for a late charge and Ferrari would have known this and chose the safer option.

    Crucially, this was not a team order it was simply the team giving Massa the information with which to make his own decision. He made that decision and needs to live with it. It’s not as if Massa was 20 seconds ahead of Alonso or anything, Alonso was within 1 second and could have started to pressure him. After he got past he opened up a 4.5 second gap within 10 laps or so which shows his superiority. Meanwhile Massa was lucky to keep Vettel at bay.

    There was not enough room between Massa and Vettel for Alonso, that is for sure!

    1. cjf says:

      This was also how I interpreted the race, Massa certainly wasn’t capable of opening that size gap so quickly and we have seen Alonso employ a similar strategy a couple of times already. I believe as a result he had more fuel than Felipe toward the end and could’ve pushed him hard and as likely as not would’ve beaten him. Bit of a pity we didn’t get to see.

    2. Zobra Wambleska says:

      I don’t suppose it occurred to you that after the pass Massa was just a little dispirited and dropped off his pace a bit?

      1. He is a highly paid, professional racing driver so I would hope not. Surely falling into the clutches of Vettel and losing 2nd place would not help him to feel better! If I was him I would have been highly motivated to stick to Alonso’s gearbox to show that I had the pace. Of course, he couldn’t do that could he!

      2. Andy says:

        I remember a certain Ferrari driver who completely lost focus and speed (to the extent that even a Sauber was able to pass him) when he was too upset about a late penalty for another racer. I think he is even more highly paid that Massa. How professional of him, don’t you agree!

  176. Lilia says:

    The biggest history in F1 but the smaller sport ethics than anyone. The word “racing” doesn’t seem to be a big part of there philosophy.

  177. Spyros says:

    Well… if Red Bull’s PR army were hoping for something to happen, to take the focus away from them, they probably don’t believe their luck!

  178. Colster says:

    Ferrari should be stripped of constructors points for that ‘race’.

    1. Why? They deserved a 1-2 regardless of the order. Surely you can’t deny that!

      Massa made his decision based on the information given to him and his understanding of the championship positions. End of.

      1. Rebecca says:

        Wow! You’re rose-tinted specatacles must be soooo dark that you can’t see through them! Are you really so naive to think that it was Massa’s decision to let Alonso through? Are all Alonso fans as stupid as they think Alonso is?

  179. John 85 says:

    Its a sad day for formula one, but not as sad as many areas of the media are making it out to be (Eddie jordan?!)

    Yes team orders are banned but if i recall in recent years, a lot of top teams used to say we let our drivers race until the last round of pit stops and then they hold position. Surely thats a team order to the driver behind not to overtake?! I fail to see how that is technically different to the events of today. Sure, today was more high profile and visible, but it no different to telling someone NOT to overtake. Also, what about the ’2nd’ driver holding people up so the championship leader can build a good lead?! I know they’re are different situations, but they are all derived from the same page!

    I watched the coverage today and as a ferrari fan i was bitterly disappointed with what happened. A 1-2 is a 1-2. yes 7 points gained for alonso, but he had the opportunity to get passed, but he fluffed his lines!

    James, do you think its time team orders were reintroduced or do you think that as long as there is no words which state ‘move over’ then we are ok as we are?!

    1. James Allen says:

      I think it’s wrong to have no team orders, but the thing should be the subject of a review. Perhaps a topic for the next Fan Forum?

      1. Tommy K. says:

        James, I think that team orders should be reintroduced! It’s a team sport! If not, then every team must have ONE car and not 2 on the grid!

      2. I agree James, lets get rid of the “coded messages” and subterfuge and just get back to simple racing. Everyone knows that team orders take place and it is hypocritical for people to criticise Ferrari alone, especially the likes of Christian Horner after ‘Wing-gate’.

    2. John 85 says:

      Also forgot to add the example from this season.
      LH – ‘Will jenson pass me?’
      engineer – ‘No’

      How did the team know this? surely thats a team order?

      I think it could well be a subject for the next FF, however if the FIA sticks with what it has done so far this season, they’ll change the rule to make it clearer. wouldnt be the first time thats happened this year!

      1. Radoye says:

        …and despite that, Jenson did pass him.

        Some team order LOL!

      2. John 85 says:

        yes but jenson should have been instructed not to, or lewis should not have been told that. obviously what was said and what happened was opposite, but my point is that surely that meant tht lewis could relaxing knowing that JB wouldnt pass him. and i agree with tommy k above, team sport, team orders, if not why have more than one car per ‘team’

      3. Phil says:

        Indeed he did. Lewis was told to slow down and wanted to know if his team made, just behind him, had been told the same thing. Jenson hadn’t and gave Lewis a fright. Not so much team orders as communication problems.

      4. Galbraith says:

        … And then Lewis Hamilton overtook again Jenson Button and won the race…

  180. Galapago555 says:

    Same circuit, a couple of years ago, different drivers (Lewis and Heikkii)… does any body remember?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epI6u6uA8hM

      1. AlexD says:

        Yes, good point, but somehow only Ferrari is to blame:-)

      2. John 85 says:

        hmmmm funny that! altho massa could have ‘run wide’ rather than jus not accelerating away, would have looked a bit better!

  181. pmj says:

    What a shocking result. I think that Ferrari should be punished and Massa should be given the 25 points.

  182. arush says:

    kimi raikkonen won the 2007 title in the same way and a year later he let massa through in shanghai to facilitate him in the championship,kovalainen let through hamilton many times during his mclaren days…..why the issue of team orders only come up when such thing happens…James,why doesn’t the FIA have concrete rules against team orders?

    1. I believe it is because it is impossible to police team orders. That’s why, in my opinion, they should be allowed. Make the radio transmissions completely available to the media, as has been done from this weekend I believe, and then at least the viewing public can hear the discussions and orders.

  183. Howard F says:

    At this stage of the season this did not need to happen. This was a quite blatent team order and showed a complete disregard of the regulations by Ferrari. If they are not punished by the stewards or the FIA is the door not left wide open for any other team to break whatever rule they see fit? What is your opinion James? Also the watching public and race fans who pay alot of money to watch a race were most certainly denied this.Ferrari should be stripped of their championship points for trying to treat the public like idiots and manipulating the race for their own ends.

  184. Irish con says:

    Just watched the BBC and wanted to know why none of the Brits mentioned the same thing 2 years ago at this very same track between heikki and lewis. Exactly the same thing and he did the same at the French gp. Seriously it’s pathetic and why was there know out cry over Ferrari and Chinese gp in 08 when kimi let massa past. Really is so frustrating how the British public can be influenced by tv guys. It’s happens get over it.

    1. AlexD says:

      Good point, I keep wondering too. I would really want to look into people’s eyes and play the video from Silverstone 2008…

      1. Merry says:

        So something happened 2 years ago, therefor Ferrari is allowed to break the rules today?

        Find better excuses to defend this rigging, because it is very weak.

  185. Richard Mee says:

    No doubt will be a lot of comments on this… It leaves a bad taste, it takes away from the race for the fans. Factoid.
    It’s yet another instance of Ferrari openly breaking a rule they fully know about, and if there is any punishment we’ll see Ferrari yet again claiming they are being victimised and that the world is against them – stop breaking the bloody rules then!
    I for one hope the FIA acts very tough here to dissuade any repeat from any of the leading teams as we close out this otherwise fantastic season. Otherwise rescind the team orders rule immediately as it’s farcical.

  186. Nick172 says:

    “It’s a shame, not for us because this is racing, but for all the fans who came here to watch a manipulated race. Everything is against us – it seems they allow everything, and the public has seen a race that is not quite real.”

    Fernando Alonso, Valencia, 2010.

  187. Langue D'Oc says:

    Ferrari are mugs for not making the team orders less apparent. I hope the FIA come down on them like a ton of bricks.

  188. Russell Parrott says:

    Once again … We all know that the “sport” F1 is “big” business but unless situations like this are clearly stamped out F1 does not have the right to call itself a sport unless … Sport is often defines as “An activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Sports commonly refer to activities where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the sole or primary determiner of the outcome (winning or losing)” This begs the question in F1 as to “who” is the competitor – the constructor or the driver?

    If we accept the constructor then why is so much emphasis placed on the “pilot” when simply “drones” would do. But in reality there is a “World Drivers Championship” and as Brucie would say “points make prizes” the aspect of “team orders” is completly contrary to the concept of sport. The more that situations such as this occur the less respect the true sport will have. From a constructors view point, you the aim is to win the constructors championship – so what. The constructors do not risk their lives in the way that their drivers do. Winning the constructors adds to the brand value in the same way winning the “Drivers” does for a driver.

    It is totally about time that in F1 this was stamped out. A simple rule change would make the difference. A constructor ONLY gets points for the first car across the line. Drivers get points as normal.

    Any “interference” should result in a loss of constructor points NOT driver points unless a driver benefits then those points must be deducted. I would even suggest a harsher penatlty – start from the back row next GP for the “benefiting” driver.

    Sport is sport business is business and the two do not go hand in hand

  189. Stuart Brown says:

    Its an insult to everyones intelligence that Ferrari think we can’t see through their lies.

    As I recall it was the fact that McLaren tried to mislead the FIA a couple of years ago that made their punishment so severe, rather than just that the team were in possesion of Ferrari documents.

    I hope Ferrari are given a punishment not only for the team orders, but also for their blatant lies subsequently in deliberately misleading the stewards/FIA.

  190. Dax says:

    Hi James,
    I enjoyed watching the race but as usual yet another situation between driver not being allowed to race or one being favored over the other.
    This situation should suit Alonso who did not have the same influence at Mclaren. Hope he does not end up like Nelson Piquet Jr, risk life and career just to race along side Alonso. Clearly this should eat at the confidence of a driver still recovering and since his last accident in Hungary. We all know teams are very clever and subtle when communicating with their drivers to deliver orders but todays team radio at the Ferrari team were just to obvious. Also made for a boring race as I was expecting Massa to resist and battle for his position which he did very wll until the team radio….Very disappointing.
    Reading the look on Massa’s face tells a whole story and maybe the positive side is this will help him in contract negotiations should he wish to extend his contract at Ferrari.

  191. Phil says:

    I must say that Massa is a complete professional and devoted to his team, for coming out and saying that it was all his idea. I hope Ferrari give him a big bonus for his efforts. Can anyone seriously believe him though? There isn’t an F1 driver that hasn’t got a huge ego, and none would voluntarily give away a win to Fernando Alonso, or anyone else for that matter. We’ll se in the future if FA’s extra 7 points was worth the destruction of team morale and co-operation.

  192. The rules of 2002 were brought to bear due to the fans reactions to team orders, the direvers maybe paid by the teams butt he teams are paid for by the public. It’s a sad day when pundits like David Coulthard can sit and say you will not get rid of this as its the teams who pay the drvers and he forgets as I have said its the public who pay for the teams.

    F1 just continues to shoot itself inthe foot season after season and it’s probably best that we get a neutral for the pundits from now on becuaes if they can see a time when erradication of team orders can be achieved they frankly are part of the problem.

  193. Jon says:

    Days like this I wonder why I watch this sport (or should I say business/entertainment). If they wanted to be entertainment, at least be like USA sports and get it right.

    If they want it to be business, fine, but be upfront about it and I will not watch.

    Days like today (horrible dull race), and Alonso “passing” for the win. How can anyone in F1 hold a straight face after that? How can Massa or Alonso hold a straight face? It’s a mockery. We don’t wait 2 weeks to see that stuff. At least other sports have 2-3 games per week. Or 1 per week at least.

    Give Danica Patrick a Ferrari or McLaren and some “preferential treatment” and she’d win alot too. Ok, maybe an exaggeration. Give Chandhok or Timo Glock that treatment and they’d seem great too.

    Especially with these awful rules, where the race pace is similar to a spec series and there is little chances to change positions. At least in previous Hockenheim races there was sprint format. Kimi did a good 3 stop in 2006, to overtake Button to get onto the podium. There was a reason to watch.

    What I know about other sports, even other motorsports.. when my drivers/teams win or lose, I don’t question why I watch. It doesn’t taste good, but you just wait until next time. At least you can recognise the others did a better job.

    The only talking point about this race is Ferrari and their tactics. On track action? What on track action?

    Arghh. Once again I have to question why I justify this “hobby” to my friends. Days like today I think they are right.

    At least Ferrari have improved their pace, it spices up the championship. That’s the only positive I can find. The rest is bad bad bad bad bad bad bad.

    I am not happy about Webber’s strategy either. It wasn’t mentioned on the telecast but it was horrible. He was never even given a chance to have a good race. It wouldn’t be such an issue if these regs weren’t so horrible.

    Now more then ever before, teams have the chance to make the race go according to their scripts. The unpredictability and randomness is gone. The “against the script” moments are far less likely then they used to be.

    Forgetable race. Whether Ferrari is stripped for points or not, I don’t really care. The sport is not repaying my interest. After days like today, you wonder why should you care?

    Sorry for the rant, but you get excited, you wait patiently, you watch.. then after 20 laps you wonder why. I am getting really tired of it. 2005-2006 was 1000x better then this. Rewatch the 2006 Hockeheim race, it was a cracker.

  194. Zhenya says:

    Actually, there were no fastest laps from Massa after lap 28. He was hardly able to make the gap.

  195. its also spooky the FIA site is down just after the race, they too have buried their heads inthe sand. The site being off line means none of us can lodge a complaint.

  196. James Barnard says:

    Do you remember Red Bull last year in Turkey telling Vettel “Webber is faster” as a code for not overtaking. Similarly Lewis was under the impression in Turkey this year that the team had given team instructions. It should have been handled better, given the regulations, but Ferrari do not deserve to be so persecuted.

    Ferrari need Alonso to win – he is clearly the faster, more consistent driver, and most likely to mount the title challenge. As much as i like Massa, and dislike Alonso, it was the right decision. A coming together, after two races where they had been very unlucky was NOT an option

  197. John Player says:

    The “Ferrari thing” is difficult to judge. On the one hand, Massa has always been a little inconsistent and unreliable( that´s why he can´t disobey, no other top team would sign him) . Therefore it is logical to give some instructions to him and not let him wobble on teammates path. After all, Alonso is in a much better position in overall standings and at the moment it is not too late for attack.
    On the other hand, this year, Alonso have effed up many races as well. That is why I don´t think he deserved so convenient treatment.

    For Felipe, it must be demoralising day. Now the team can see the reaction of their driver(which was calm, no hard words from Felipe, quiet teamplayer guy). So in the future the team don´t have to use those shy signals on the radio. “Hop, hop, Felipe!” or “Why are you still leading?” will be used instead.

  198. Adam 0 says:

    I think everyone is forgetting that whilst 31 points is a lot in ‘old money’ (as Button would call it), it would only take a win and a bit to potentially overhaul that points deficit, with half the season still to go (and a few DNFs perfectly feasible). I don’t think the points difference was enough to justify team orders today.

  199. James M says:

    I think the fuss over FA’s win is the FIA’s fault. The rule is pointless if you can’t enforce it; Ferrari did the same in 2007 for Raikkonen and no one complained and that affected the championship directly!

    Still, it doesn’t make Alonso look good. His two wins have been inherited. So far he wouldn’t make a worthy champion.

  200. Matt W says:

    I hope the FIA come down very hard on this like they did with Crash-gate and Spy-gate. This has done a real blow to the credibility of F1 to people on the outside, the casual fans.

    In the post Mosley era F1 has clearly been trying to turn a new cleaner leaf and this has covered it in the same old mud once again.

    Hopefully the Todt regime can come out strongly and show that this sort of thing is no longer acceptable.

  201. Peter says:

    Ferrari was great up to the moment that Massa missed his throttle, moved three gears, all at once. This is what we need the least in this sport.

    F1 is moving backwards, in particular this team !!

  202. Stanton says:

    Absolutely shameful – I hope the stewards strip Alonso of the win and Ferrari of all their points. If they don’t then allow team orders and live with the public’s outrage when they feel cheated of a genuine race and decide to stop watching. Although I did laugh when Rob Smedley told Felipe he’d explain what ‘magnanimous’ meant after the race!

  203. Andyb says:

    Let’s hope that now that Ferrari have been found guilty, that the World Motorsport Council apply a proper sanction. This was cheating and fraud at its most obvious, and should be punished severely.

  204. Finished says:

    Just a 100K fine by FerrarIA.

    Congratulations on supporting a rigged result everyone involved.

    I am done with F1, scam ‘sport’.

  205. Flintster says:

    65K fine then! Could have been worse…ha, just sell an extra 430, bargain.

  206. Ian Blackwell says:

    While the results definitely makes the championship more interesting the return of the ‘dirty ferrari’ team from the schumacher days is not welcome. Surely somebody in Ferrari had the intelligence to make it less obvious – engine preservation, brakes there are so many ‘outs’ available. Isn’t there something in the rulebook that could be used to punish them?

  207. James Bond says:

    Massa, The Gentleman!!!

    1. Robert says:

      Too much of a gentleman for his own good. He needs a bit of Aussie attitude

  208. teresa says:

    why has there been no comment on the fact that this is the second race in a row that Sebastian Vettel has been in pole, & then tried to push the 2nd placed car (on the dirty side) into the pit wall. If Alonso had not been impeded by Sebastian, there is every chance Alonso would have been in the lead at the first corner & Felipi second, and no need for “team orders”. Should the stewards not also investigate Sebastian for dangerous driving.

    1. Ben says:

      Sebastian didn’t drive dangerously at the start, but he did drive rather amateurishly for someone at his level. Not only by turning right did he unload his left hand rear wheel prolonging his wheelspin but he moved to the slower side of the track and he moved off of the optimum racing line.

      For a driver who started his front running F1 career as the ultimate pole-to-victory winner (or maybe second to Massa) his conversion rate of poles has been abysmal this year. This must surely be a mental issue, rather than a talent one, as obviously this year the weight of expectation upon him is huge:

      Last year he was runner up to a driver with a huge head start and the momentum was with him going in to this season; he was starting the season the best car, a car that has continued to dominate for the first 10 races in terms of outright pace; it his his last opportunity to become the youngest world champion of all time, a accolade that would not only mark his place in F1 history but would also benefit the Red Bull young driver program.

    2. ScooterMcGee says:

      I couldn’t agree more. If Ferrari hadn’t ruined the race with team orders, Vettel’s terrible start would be the focus of attention.

      It’s becoming all too regular that Vettel tries to run his opponent off the road in order get or maintain a position. I think there should be more scrutinizing of his dangerous driving style.

      Perhaps a warning from the stewards to stop attempting to run his opponent off the track? Should he continue to do so, roll on with the penalties.

    3. sayitaintso says:

      If you watched the BBC forum, Vettel joined the team (Martin Brundle, EJ, DC and Jake Humprey). A fan posted a question in regards to Vettel trying to push the 2nd placed car (on the dirty side) into the pit wall and Vettel looked bemused when he heard the question.

      But the most interesting story that came out of the forum. was when Christian Horner came on and EJ asked him that “If Redbull had teamorders then Mark Webber would have been told to move over and Vettel would be sitting there (pointing were CH was) with 25 points”. Horners reply was “yes but we don’t operate team orders, we let our drivers race………..”.

      The intersting thing about the question was in a sense EJ asking CH, that is Mark Webber the number 2 driver and CH got caught out and answered YES

      Here is the link

  209. Dan says:

    If you want team orders to go away, you would have to do the following:

    1. Have the FIA Contract Recognition Board review every driver’s contract to ensure that there is no legal basis for a team to pressurise a driver into moving over.

    2. Have a deadline for driver contracts and driver changes in a team to be finalised. This would create an environment whereby teams would have to stick to the choices they’ve made and would have to support both their drivers. And drivers would not have to fear being sidelined.

    And before anyone says that this is a business and teams should have the right to choose and other arguments against this idea, no driver “suddenly” goes off the boil. These guys are top class and have been doing this for all their lives. They can see out a season at their performance peak ,or close to it.

    3. Force all teams to start the race with a fuel load that will take a car to the end of the race at full pace. In fact ensure that they are carrying more than enough to do so. This is to stop teams from using “fuel saving periods” as cover for misdeeds.

    4. Force teams to provide the same parts for both team member at all races. IF they cannot provide two of the same part, the part does not get used. Like happened in the RB British debacle, what could instead happen is ensure that there are enough parts for everyone, but the driver can still choose what he wants.

    These are some initial thoughts. Feel free to add more.

    1. Dan says:

      Sorry, an addition:

      5. As pointed out above by John85, “hold station” is another tool used in implicit team orders. To be banned. Race to the finish line.

  210. colm says:

    Truly shameful. To see Alonso lying so badly in the post race interview was cringe-worthy. What a way to ruin a perfectly good one-two.

  211. gaspipe6 says:

    I don’t like team orders.

    It’s one more way the “race” can be manipulated such that it’s not really a face any more.

    But it’s obvious that team orders exist, and that Ferrari
    and Red Bull are not going to quit using them.

    It’s time to get rid of the rule which prohibits team orders, and quit pretending this stuff doesn’t happen or that rules will prevent it from happening.

    In any case, I would certainly prefer to see Alonso win this year’s WDC, rather than the youngster who keeps holding up his index finger in such an annoying manner.

  212. AlexBookoo says:

    “I no longer consider Formula 1 a sport” – Fernando Alonso, Monza 2006.

    It seems he meant it.

    1. casey says:

      Good one.

  213. Greg says:

    It would now be very interesting to see what would happen if Massa was to end up leading Alonso in Budapest. Ferrari would be forced to do it again.

  214. Voyager says:

    Could Ferrari management be arrested by Interpol?

    Whatever – I’m glad I didn’t have a tenner on Massa to win…..

  215. Darren says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on team orders James and on the point I make at the end on pits to car radio.

    Having watched the BBCs red button coverage I think it was DC who raised the following points which I think are very important:

    Team orders have always been a part of f1 and anyone who thinks they dont happen just because they are banned is mad. Totally agree with that. One of them raised the point that like traction control, it is so hard to police whether team orders are happening it would be easier just to make them legal.

    Looking at the situation this afternoon, Alonso is clearly Ferraris best hope of winning the championship, Massa looked revitalised this weekend but Alonso (despite the mistakes and penalties) has been strong most of the season. So I can see totally why Ferrari would want Alonso to win. However its not like the championship is down to the wire yet. I suppose you could say that every race is worth the same the last race is the same as the others and a championship is won over the course of a season not at the last few races.

    Maybe my mentality is not the same as that of an f1 driver but I wouldnt want to win a race knowing the team orchastrated it, I would rather finish a soundly beaten second than a undeserved first, just the same as I would refuse to take a wing from my team mate (having broken my own one). This situation changes if for example the championship is at stake (Massa/Raikkonen in 2007) that is just common sense and I would like to think that in that situation Massa would have thought for himself that giving the win hence championship to Raikkonen was more important than him winning the race. A similar thing happened with Senna & Berger a while back (was it 1991?) where Berger gifted a win to Senna enabling him to close in on the championship. Senna returned the favour afterwards at some point and let Berger win a race. That is real sportsmanship.

    What I am getting to (sorry I realise this comment is getting rather long winded) is that I think the team has far too much say in what the drivers do on the track these days, they are constantly informed on this that and the next, how fast to drive, what lap to come in, how much fuel to save, when to push e.t.c. I have said for a few years now that I think pits to car radio should be banned. Let the drivers think, let them make the calls.

    Discuss

    1. ajag says:

      BTW, Schumacher let Barichello Win in Indianapolis in 2002 As far As I remember. That is always conviniently Left out when the Story about Team Orders is told….

  216. Ben says:

    James, as much as I agree with the headline and how everyone knows that is what happened, isn’t the wording libelous? Massa never received any direct instruction to move over. Massa was given a message, which we all know was coded, but without any supporting evidence to demonstrate categorically that means “move over” surely it is just our interpretation?

    Again, I’m not disagreeing with you that that is what it meant but I just wondered how savagely Ferrari’s lawyers will pursue journalists who do report or imply it is a team instruction when they have been very careful to stage manage the situation to ensure the team message is that no instruction was given.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well Eddie Jordan better get his tin hat on then!!

      1. Ben says:

        Point taken, although I think EJ always said words to the effect of ‘in my opinion…’ and I don’t think he has many bridges left to burn in terms of upsetting the F1 establishment whereas this site has great connections and relationships with the sport (as witnessed by the coming together at the F1 Forum)

        Given the situation is getting more messy for Ferrari with the referral to the WMSC I was just worried that Ferrari may become less media friendly and spin this as a witch hunt against them.

    2. Fausto Cunha says:

      The media should tell the true and that´s what´s happening.
      Ferrari created a lie today and that´s the true.
      They continued to lie after the race and Alonso lied to as all live at the press conference after the race.

      1. Tim says:

        …and they have the truth????

  217. Jimchik says:

    Ferrari is as Ferrari does, it seems. But do you think that Ferrari was right? It seemed from your tone that you may support Ferrari’s decision.

  218. Don says:

    Shame on them, Ferrari have obviously not learned their lesson. I hope they have their results from this race removed!

  219. Dhaval Panchal says:

    I think that the $100,000 fine is ridiculous. It should be far more severe than that!

    This is pocket money to a team such as Ferrari, (an amount that could be payed off in 4 RACING LAPS of Kimi Raikkonnen’s salary last year) and feel they deserve a much harsher penalty for a clear breach of the rules.

  220. Ben bailey says:

    One word: manipulated! Right or wrong team orders r banned. No one other than the arrogant ferrari think it was anything other than team orders. Worse than austria as it is now banned and ferrari have the front to say nothing happened. Strip them of win and three race ban for bringing sport into disreput. Ej is spot on. I doubt fia will do anything though… Appaling.

  221. Bill Nuttall says:

    The FIA need to either get rid of this rule or hand Ferrari a ban. What’s the point having a rule if you don’t enforce it?
    A £100,000 fine is utterly irrelevant to a company as rich as the Scuderia.

  222. Wingers says:

    Aaaaah Nooooo, not the World Council Again!
    F1 is bringing itself into disrepute here, no need for Ferrari to do it!
    Alonso has been faster all year long, they have slipped back through ill fortune, they needed this win, and they need their strongest driver leading the charge. Alonso was faster, and by some margin in Quali…, I would have preferred he just race Massa and pass, but the team understandably prefer not risking a Red Bull Turkey move…
    In 2002, Barrichello had DOMINATED the A1 race, and had to let Schumacher reel in a big advantage, that was messy… This was hardly messy, it made sense, it made complete business and sports sense. Its a stupid rule, you could go back to When Massa let Kimi through in 07, for Kimi to win the race in Brazil no less! People will argue, that was for the championship… well, so, whats the difference, this is for the championship, nothing else!
    Hell in, Nascar or Indy or many others, the 2nd driver will even play blocker to make sure they win the ultimate prize, is F1 better than this, well no, they can’t even get the coverage right, watching Hamilton come out of the pits when the lead of the race was at stake, no replays of multiple incidents! PATHETIC!
    F1 in the last 3 races has egg on its face in a big way, not impressed at all, actually quite bored of this nonsense! Bring on Laguna Seca tonight and Montoya winning the Brickyard, where the racing as pure and on the track!

  223. Howard F says:

    Just read Ferrari have been given a $100,000 fine…. so just a slap on the wrist then! Once again the credibility of the sport goes right out of the window. How long are we supposed to put up with this nonsense? At the very least the team points for the race should have been taken off them. I look forward to any comments from Jon Todt….doubt we’ll get any though.

  224. Roberto says:

    Massa did a great race and by some reason Fernando i think was working his strategy trying to nurse the tires, even though as per the last lap, Massa has also something in the bag making the fastest lap of the race. Ferrari made a mess of themselves and i think Rob Smedley showed his discomfort saying thinks like “sorry”, etc. Massa should have been given the chance to fight for his position in the first competitive race for him in a long time. Shame on Ferrari for this, i agree with the stewards penalty, we haven’t heard any radio conversations, but did Alonso was behind this?, who knows?

  225. patrick says:

    Team orders have always existed in F1,
    every team does it, some are beeter at hiding it.

    This decision probably came from Maranello during the race and not from the pitwall.

    Why don’t the teams invent a device that can slow the car down, by sending a signal from the pitwall, without the driver or spectators noticing…

  226. opsin says:

    I can absolutely understand what Ferrari did, why they did it, and that even with a ban on team orders, it’s a rule that is almost impossible to properly police. That said, I am devastated for Felipe, for whom a year after his accident it would have been a fantastic win. And as someone who has watched Alonso get away with a win in Singapore after his teammate brought down an entire team, and his childish behaviour when a rookie teammate was capable of outperforming him it always frustrates me to see him do well, let alone at the expense of someone with integrity.

    I certainly think Smedley and Massa made it obvious what happened, and they could have made the switch in a less obvious and crass way. Surely this now comes down to whether the FIA see a driver lifting off to let his teammate past is team orders, or whether they need to hide it better to at least make the show more interesting to fans.

    If this had happened between the McLarens or Red Bulls, I would be mildly displeased. Because it happened at the expense of one of the nicest guys out there, and it was Teflonso who took the win, I am most definitely unhappy abut it.

  227. JP says:

    Can’t understand why Massa let Alonso pass in such an obvious way. It was hardly subtle. But it could have been. He only had to run wide by missing his braking point or something. So why did he leave himself open to allegations of orders? He is an extremely well paid employee with another 2 years of contract in his pocket. Massa has benefited from a team mate playing the “team game” for him in the past so why move over in such an obvious sulky way?

  228. mark edwards says:

    I now know why the worst Ferrari driver for years got a 2 year extention – Doesnt make it right though! And they could have done so differently with fuel save or something. But to be sooooo blatant!

    Ferrari deserve to be stipped of result just for being so cocky!

  229. P says:

    As fan of Fernando Alonso, it’s sad to have to see him win this way. But no matter how difficult it is to swallow, I think Ferrari made the right call.

    Unlike in the previous scenarios we had with Red Bull, this one is perhaps more justifiable given:

    (1) Felipe is nowhere near striking distance of Fernando in terms of championship points, unlike Sebastian and Mark back in the British GP weekend.

    (2) Fernando was faster and being held up – when Massa was struggling in the hard tires and keeping Alonso bottled up, Vettel was some half a second per lap faster than the 2nd placed man.

    (3) Fernando has carried Ferrari this year. Pure and simple. They need to nurture the more consistent driver and not take chances with the one who has a good-weekend-bad-weekend cycle.

    I know this will not go down well with all the Alonso haters out there, but c’mon… put things into perspective. He does have more chance than Massa of winning the WDC.

    I do feel sorry for Massa as well, however. It’s a shame to see him relegated to this position, but he did in a way, dig his own grave by being off his teammate at the start of the year.

    Plus, see how smoother this turned out for the team (not in a PR way but results wise) compared to RBR’s Turkish GP? When they deceived Webber to “go into fuel saving mode” and told Seb to pass? Webber didn’t know what was going on, so defended and when Seb messed it up we all know how that one turned out.

    This time around, Ferrari kept both drivers informed and although they are denying they did anything wrong, they were gracious enough to Massa – unlike RBR who was still trying to undermine Webber’s claims up until this weekend.

    It was a difficult and atrocious call… but at the end of the day, you gotta do what it takes to win. Even if it would mean everyone would hate you.

    1. Peppe says:

      At last, a sensible post. Who would have thought.

    2. Monktonnik says:

      A well reasoned argument. I don’t agree with it but it is an interesting point of view.

      I agree that Massa hasn’t been that impressive. I thought Ferrari were mad to keep him AND pay off Raikkonen this year. I think he his drive earned him the right to race.

      Would you agree though that even though Massa has been inconsistent, Alonso has made more actual mistakes.

      The fact remains that what they did was illegal.

  230. Lewis Jones says:

    OOOOH, $100,000 fine. Those hard cases at the FIA are showing they mean business! Ferrari International Assistance (proprietor J. Todt) seems to be alive and well. Mind you, in a way I’m quite pleased that we can get back to hating Ferrari, it never felt quite right making Red Bull the villains of the piece for 2010…..mind you, if Webber keeps turning in sub-par performances like this one, it will start to be exactly ‘what you’d expect from a No 2 driver!’

  231. Chris R says:

    I didnt agree with Eddie Jordan’s contempt for such a decision. It comes down to one thing, the teams will bend the rule, take the punishment and deny guilt.

    The sport/teams need to decide on a punishment that will deter team orders completely, or allow team orders.

    100k to ferrari, they can just sell 1 car…

  232. Greg says:

    Wht a joke. Massa, you drove brilliantly, even james said you would struggle and you drove like a champion.

    Remember Felipe – what goes around, comes around. Forza Massa

    1. John Pugh says:

      I share your sentiment Greg. I would never underestimate Felipe’s resiliance.

      I thought, despite the lock ups, he was getting to grips more with the hard tyres in this race than at any time before during this season.

      Sadly the only way he’ll be allowed to win this season is by Felipe emabrrassing Ferrari with his pace so that the “code” has to change to “Ferdando is not faster than you – please confirm that you understand that!”.

      Unfortunately he’s not there yet by a significant margin. I did think he was very impressive all this weekend, even with the practice spins in the wet, until the team call came.

      He stands head and shoulders above the rest of the grid in knowing how to behave. I genuinely don’t think he was lying when he said it was his decision to let Alonso through. I think he did it because he was asked. On this occasion, however disappointing for him personally, I think he reluctantly accepted that his team had the right to ask him – not order him. I cannot beleive that this potential situation had not been discussed in detail beforeheand. Of course he is disappointed – who wouldn’t be?

      Establishing supremacy in the team is part and parcel of being a racing driver. He’s drawn the shortest lot in that regard! But he eventually achieved it with Kimi, which was no small achievement. Maybe next season, with Pirellis and a front end more to his liking, he’ll can do it with Fernando. I think that would be more satisfying for him than the FIA coming down heavy on Ferrari for doing, relatively openly, what every other team does more covertly. The FIA were mistaken to believe they could ever legislate the team’s view of its best interest out of the most competitive team sport on the planet.

  233. S.J.M says:

    Two things come to mind,

    1) Why didnt the stewards flag this whole incident up DURING the race. Me, The TV watchers, commentators and everyone else saw what happened, but the stewards choose to investigate after the race had ended. So either they was letting it go but have bowed to the sheer anger from all, or they was taking their time over this.

    2) Going to the WMC will certainly have everyone watching. Ferrari’s old team boss is head of the FIA and will have the conspiracy theorists on standby depending on what they rule. The FIA have a recent history in appearing biased towards Ferrari and as i said, this is definatley going to be interesting to watch.

    1. cjf says:

      Agree with your first point, another curious turn of events from the stewards.

      On the second point though, I always find it odd when people talk about Ferrari bias, it definatly existed in the past but there has been no real evidence for it in the past 2-3 years. On the contrary, the personal antipathy between Jean Todd and Luca di Montezemolo is well known and it is suggested that Montezemolo showed Todd the door at Ferrari, possibly even because of his “Alonso will not drive for us while i am here” stance. These facts may carry more weight when considering any bias. Also you never hear talk about the possibility of bias towards Todd’s old mate Brawn at Mercedes.

  234. Tony says:

    Maybe all the punters that bet on Massa should start a class action suit against Ferrari

  235. richard hughes says:

    They have been hit with a 100,000 dollar fine.

    what a joke.

  236. drplix says:

    Its not that they chose to move Alonso ahead. That’s F1, business, life. I didn’t like it much but I can live with it.

    What’s so galling is that they failed to understand that everyone watching knew precisely what was happening. But then chose to attempt to stonewall and/or blattently twist the truth. That insulted the intelligence of the public.

    The sad thing is that they completely missed the opportunity that a Massa victory would have presented – a good news story. 1-2 victory. Great press. Great news.

    So sad.

    1. Peppe says:

      Not so great for the drivers championship though, hence why all of this happened. As the last few championships have proven, titles are won by a matter of points.

      Sadly, although I really like Massa, Alonso is much quicker and I think it will be the Spaniard who has the most points out of the two by the end of the season.

  237. Well, the Stewards have now fined Ferrari $100,000. This is way under half the price of their cheapest road car so it’s hardly even a slap in the face, yet the results still stand.

    I never like to see the WDC or WCC effected by outside interference from the stewards or team orders but surely in these circumstances Alonso should at least have been given a 5 second penalty which would drop him to second place ?

    Let’s hope the World Motor Sport Council increases the fine and imposes 5 secs on Alonso.

  238. Michael says:

    It was painful hearing Rob’s voice telling Massa to move over… I’m pretty damn sure he didn’t want to relay that message.

    Also, it was humorous to watch Stefano run away from the RTL pit lane interviewer immediately after the race was finished. He was trying to ask him about the pass and it was clear Stefano was running away from answering the question. Suer he can make excuses that he had places to be but the podium ceremony was not close to starting…

    In any case I understand that there is no way to truly ban team orders. I agree that it is a “TEAM” game. So legalize them. That is the only way to remove this controversy.

    Drivers will have to learn to live with it. Team bosses that want to win the constructor’s championship will learn to manage two fast drivers. Those that don’t will be stuck with a number 1 and an also ran. Fine. At least than it wouldn’t be this sort of sham.

    Like many others, I was glad to see Felipe in form and fighting again. Ferrari has been his family in F1. His body language spoke an enormous amount after the race. No matter what his contract may have said, he must of felt that he’d just had a dagger stuck in his back.

  239. Chris J says:

    The race, and Ferrari’s explanation, was an insult to our intellegence. Apparently Ferrari either hasn’t learned anything since Austria 2002, or they just don’t care. A $100,000 fine is a joke. Add three more zeros to the end of that figure or disqualify them from the race.

  240. Peter says:

    If it was at the end of the season and Alonso was in the hunt for the title then I would have fully understood and accepted this. But it wasn’t at the end of the season. It was sheer theft from Massa and a clear breach of rules. This has been another desperately disappointing result for Formula One, yet again involving Alonso who is becoming a dirty stain on the sport.

  241. Crys says:

    Ferrari should be disqualified. That was a blatant case of team orders. I’d feel a bit sorry for Massa. but Ferrari as a team should NOT benefit from bending the rules so obviously.

  242. Don Farrell says:

    I love Ferrari… always have… but I honestly thought they had learned lessons about how not to do this kinda thing back in 2002 when it was Schumacher & Barricello!!!

    I’m disgusted at this repeat ‘performance’ but then again I was never happy with Ferrari signing Alonso after Alonso’s behavior at McLaren & Renault.

    Alonso is a spoilt brat and Ferrari should be ashamed of itself for allowing him to ‘rule the roost’!

    A dark day for Ferrari especially when they scored their first 1 & 2 win in 2 years – it takes the shine right off the day eh. :(

    1. John 85 says:

      first 1-2 in 2 years, if you dont count the one in bahrain at the beginning of the season yeah? ;-)

      1. Don says:

        Hey John…. you’re right there.. although it seems like it was years since they had a 1-2 eh lol

  243. Peppe says:

    Great to see that Ferrari has taken a massive leap forward with the car in the last few races. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain the development and make the title a three team battle.

  244. James B says:

    Team orders are and always will be a difficult one. Even pre 2002 there was much outrage when DC twice handed wins to Mika. Subsequently we have seen many examples of team orders in a race and mainly they have been acceptable. Lets not forget Kimi slowing on the back straight in China to allow Massa through or Massa handing Kimi the title in Brazil in ’07?

    However, I feel this is the worst example to date where a team has fixed a race win at such an early stage of the season. Lets not forget if Massa hadn’t have slowed it was highly unlikely Alonso would have passed him. This is the difference with the Kova/Ham example that has been already referred to.

    This is the biggest test for the FIA on their no team orders rule because this is as blatant as it gets.

    Oh and I just wish Fernando was more gracious. He really could have done more to console Massa rather than making up a blatant lie about some gear problem and then avoiding all questions and claiming he was a deserved winner. At least MS had the grace and embarrasment to put Rubens on the top spot in Austria – which costed Ferrari a rather large wedge!!

  245. Nick Hipkin says:

    The important thing is the case has been referred to the WMSC, the stewards couldnt disqualify Ferrari but they have found them guilty which is crucial.
    All the FIA have to do now is decide the punishment…

  246. Joe S says:

    Ferrari should be punished, not the drivers. It is a team order and had there been none given, Alonso could not do an order himself. While I loathe Ferrari and dislike Alonso as a person, Alonso should not be punished for what is really the team’s doing.

  247. Martin says:

    How about banning team radios? It would get rid of fuel saving, stop team orders etc…

    MotoGP is fine without team radio.

    1. J. Singh says:

      That’s something worth considering.

  248. Lilla My says:

    James,

    I was so disappointed and mad to see how it all went. But at the same time I wouldn’t trash Alonso that much as many of you do. As much as you had to feel sorry for Felipe, you must have noticed that Alonso wasn’t happy with the win at all. Team orders come from the team as the name suggest (probably not in all cases, but still), so why is so many people acting as if it was all Alonso’s fault? I’m his fan, so I will always try to protect him, but… Anyway – shame and disgrace for Ferrari, but I would really leave the drivers alone. Massa followed the orders most probably and gave Alonso space. I had no idea if Alonso knew what was going on or if he had thought that Felipe had some problems as his message from after the race would suggest. If he hadn’t passed Massa at that point and tried to stay behind him, Vettel would have caught them and they would have lost the lead (both of them). So when Felipe decided to pull back, Fernando had no choice actually, he had to use it, otherwise it would have cost them lots of point probably.

    What I want to say is that it was the team’s choice to use team orders and (in my opinion) there’s no use in blaming either of the drivers (though I still feel really sorry for Massa). If anybody should be punished it’s Ferrari.

    I know I have nothing to do with it, but if that depended on me, I would take away Ferrari’s points (from the WCC), but leave the drivers’ points, ’cause I don’t think they are the ones to blame. What do you think James?

    1. Andy says:

      Fernando made it very clear to the team that Felipe should just let him pass by commenting in the radio that it was “ridiculous” how Massa defended his position earlier. Therefore, Alonso deserves all the bashing, in my opinion.

      1. Tim says:

        He is a racer they all think it is ridiculous to follow ANYONE

      2. Lilla My says:

        I absolutely understand your point, but it’s still not Fernando who gives the orders. We saw that I guess in USA in 2007 (correct me if I’m wrong) when FA wanted Hamilton to let him pass, but the team didn’t listen and ordered the two race each other fairly.

        My point is that probably every driver complains from time to time that he is being held by his team mate (or about anything else). Thus, Fernando could have been whining all race long, but the final decision belongs still to the team. The driver can ask whatever he wishes and it’s up to the team whether they listen to him or not. I don’t know if you get what I mean – he could ask for it as long as he wished, but it was the team’s (and not his) decision to give the order to Felipe. They could easily have said “if you think you’re faster, then pass him fair and square”. I don’t say it was fair from his side to ask to be let through, but asking for it and complaining about being held by your team mate isn’t against the rules, is it? Therefore, it’s the team’s responsibility to give the order. So I think Ferrari should be somehow punished and the drivers should be left alone.

        P.S. As an Alonso fan (yet not a blinded one as I can clearly see that Alonso isn’t perfect and is sometimes the “bad boy”) I totally hate this “victory” and I feel so sorry for Felipe who should have won (or Fernando should have passed him by himself).

  249. David says:

    James: if Massa did indeed have something worked into his new contract about accepting team orders (and second driver status), could he be found in breach of contract if its wording required him to breach regulations governing the sport? I can imagine he wouldn’t want to test Ferrari on this, but sounds iffy.

  250. Matt W says:

    I sincerely hope the FIA hit Ferrari hard over this. At the moment it looks like a $100,000 payoff! Surely they should have been DQ’d as a matter of course.

    This has also done more harm to Alonso’s legacy. Two fixed race wins and a central part in spygate.

  251. Neil Kenward says:

    I’m appalled that Ferrari should be able to lie their way through the aftermath of the race, be found out by the FIA, and then only be fined $100,000 and allowed to keep their points.

    The only member of the team with any credibility left is Massa, and he should have parked in the garage and walked away.

    I love this sport, and Ferrari should not be allowed to get away with this.

  252. cobbs says:

    The only leverage sporting fans have is to boycott Ferrari sponsors products. Don’t buy Shell, marboro, Sandander, etc…They support cheating.

    That will make a difference to team managers decisions.

  253. Steve JR says:

    What makes it all so ridiculous is watching Domenicalli make a real ham of the interview with the BBC after the race, smiling and giggling and half denying and to then see the Ferrari press officer make a similar mess of it. Both were denying and defending the undefendable which implies by definition the racing fan watching is completely stupid. One can’t help wondering if they’ll be working in F1 next season?

    It must be so frustrating for the big brains back at the factory in Marinello who work so hard every day of the week to see the pantomime and sham played out by the management.

    I wonder if Ferrari fans feel any anger over the way the team conducts it’s business or whether loyalty and winning simply overrides such feelings?

  254. Ivar says:

    I loved the RTL commentators taking on Ferrari that someone should tell Massa, that Vettel is also faster than him :D
    and Nikki Lauda wouldn’t just shut up on this topic, next to Nikki, Eddie has some skills to polish

  255. Parthi says:

    Ferrari should be stripped of their results for this race, with the matter also referred to the FIA WMSC.

    They clearly broke the rules, its matchfixing.

    In cricket that would earn a player a ban for life.

    “Was a party to contriving or attempting to contrive the result of any Match or the occurrence of any Event”

    Also what about the punters who backed Massa to win the race?

    1. Phil W says:

      “Also what about the punters who backed Massa to win the race?”

      They weren’t too smart ;)

  256. rodrigo says:

    The public outrage is overwhelming… I was up a nutty hour for Sunday to watch the race, was excited for Ferrari when FM & FA got past Vettel, that was racing!!

    And for almost 50 laps I was enthralled with the FA & FM battle, would FM fail to handle the tyres, would FA making a LH type of passing move, would Vettel catch the Ferraris … then the team orders came… the feeling of a fix was overwhelming.

    I don’t know if I will follow F1 now, it depends on what penalty Ferrari and FA get (yes, FA, I feel he asked for the fix so he could win)… if nothing happens, then perhaps it’s time to forget about F1, why would I watch, never mind pay good money, to watch a fixed race and manufactured “winners”?

    1. Parthi says:

      I agree, FA definitely put more pressure on the Ferrari management than he did on Massa.

      He gotta away with it in the spy scandal and crash-gate, I hope he gets punished here.

    2. John Gibson says:

      Well look, no one is forcing you (or anyone else for that matter) to watch.

      Personally, I think all team orders (of any sort) should be permitted. If that means teams start designating no. 1 and no. 2 drivers for the whole season then fine. I’m sure the lost TV and advertising revenues would subsequently make them re-think that.

  257. Rasco says:

    I can hardly put into words how angry I am with this result! Massa still has a chance to win this championship and was totally robbed of a deserved win. Alonso had every oppertunity to pass him on track and if it came to it be a worthy champion, as it is his championship will be a complete sham!

    I almost switched the telly off after the contrived move, but have to admit that the chemistry between the drivers on podium and in the press conference was very compelling to watch. It says a lot of Alonso’s character that he appeared happy with his win!

    The $100,000 fine is an absolute joke, they should have been thrown out of the championship for bringing the sport into disripute! :(

  258. Danny says:

    Are the FIA saying with this fine that team orders are okay as long you are prepared to part with $100’000?

    Again the FIA are setting themselves up for inconsistentcy, they must know that team orders go on all the time, but they obviously turn a blind eye otherwise there would be cases like this almost every other race. They only acted on this because Ferrari made it look batantly obvious and/or Massa was not going to play ball in making it easy for Ferrari to defend.

  259. Kenny says:

    Generally I support Ferrari in the world of F1, but I do support the other teams and this recent act of them was a disgrace and a half!
    It was totally unnecessary for them to have pulled ordered the switch maneuver to take place given technically neither driver has come out as a clear number 1 and Massa did a better job than Alonso.
    Alonso had atleast 2, maybe 3 chance to overtake FAIRLY. Pretty positive that 2 of them were down at the hairpin and another was at the sequence of corners that followed afterwards into the Mercedes kurve.

    If Alonso had done (in hindsight) what Martin Brundle said and that was to have eased off the throttle and then just sent it up the inside (and of course keeping the car on the track) Alonso would have easily taken the place and no fuss would have been made about it, apart from maybe some praise for the overtaking meanuever. But he didn’t.

    Instead Massa kept his head, kept to the racing line which closes the door on anyone that tries to go on the inside of turn 7.
    The only way Alonso could have POSSIBLY pulled it off at turn 7 was if he had a car lengths better traction out of the turn 6 hairpin as Kimi Raikkonen demonstrated in 2006 against Jenson Button.

    He didn’t, he lost time and in doing so wasted a chance to assert his authority the proper way. Now his reputation has just been tainted even further from previous incidences.

    Of course he isn’t the sole person to blame, the heads of Ferrari that did the ordering are also to be blamed heavily for this. They didn’t have to adhere to Alonso’s complaints about being held up and so on and so forth considering at one point Massa was pulling ahead at half a second per lap!
    Sure Ferrari as a team want both the constructor’s AND driver’s championship, but Alonso would have still gained significant points in relation to the people ahead of him in the championship.

    Totally uncalled for, unnecessary and an abomination (if that’s the right word?).
    This should really teach Alonso to keep his mouth shut about this kind of situation.

  260. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    This is no doubt Domenicali trying to save his own bacon after two very unfruitful seasons at the helm.

    No doubt he is feeling a very sharp sword resting on the back of his neck…held in place by one Mr. L De Montezemolo.

    Domenicali is now pandering to his “wonder boy” Alonso is the hope that he is the great saviour that will keep him at Maranello.

    Alonso knows this and is taking heavy advantage of the situation. No doubt that both will be out within the next couple of years.

  261. amit says:

    Hi James,

    I think there’s going to be a lot of hue and cry (the press is gonaa have a field day) about the way Alonso won the German Grand Prix, but IMHO the faster and better (consistent) driver won the race. Poetic justice I figure.

    I am sure there are going to be comparisons with Barichello; Schumacher Austrian gp incident, this however is different in that unlike Barichello, Massa wasn’t faster or way ahead of Alonso.

    I think anyone who understands F1 knows that it’s a team sport and whatever suits the team will eventually transpire. And though this holds true for every team on the grid, Ferrari seem to have acquired the dubious distinction of a “team orders” team.

    Also it’s worth pointing out the Alonso had two very good runs on Massa and showed great restraint in backing out, which i am sure wouldn’t have been the case if he were racing any other car. If anything think Alonso himself is a bit weary of battling with his team mate on track after the Mclaren fiasco. There have been a number of occasions this season that he has patiently driven behind Massa & waited for chance to make a clean pass or wait for pit stops. I can sympathise with Massa but i think i his heart of hearts he knows that it is justified (if he were in Alonso’s shoes, same would’ve been done for him).

    Lastly, what do you make of Vettel, though his talent is obvious, i think we have seen a few chinks in his armour, especially on the mental toughness side. For two races in a row he has been more focused on the car behind him than the road in front and both times he’s come out worst. I hope he can concentrate on his own prowess and win the title which is his to lose. Would love to hear your views. Thanks

  262. Langue D'Oc says:

    Interesting that they also got Ferrari for bringing ther sport into disrepute – certainly no doubt on that front in my mind.

    Here’s looking to the WMSC for a clear lead on this situation when they come to examine it.

  263. Red5 says:

    At last, a result!!

    I put a tenner on Alonso to win today.

    In truth, Ferrari have a stronger change to win the championship by backing the strongest driver.

    In their defense, you can be sure the team were wanting to avoid a collision between the two red cars. Alonso got close enough to make a move the previous lap. Then once passed, consolidated his lead by a succession of fastest laps.

    Clearly Ferrari want both championships this year. The result today has put them back in the hunt.

    Surely that is good for the sport.

  264. SHIPARCH says:

    As a Ferrari TEAM fan this is the best they could’ve done. I feel bad for Massa but we have to fight for the world championship now. Be it team orders or not (I do think it was team order) we can’t risk a Red Bull like situation as it happened at Istambul and securing a couple points which might be decisive at the end of the season.

    Every team has team orders one way or another, Mclaren, Red Bull, etc. Some are more obvious than others. I’m sure most voters here are extremely disgraced because they want Alonso and Massa to lose their positions so their beloved Hamilton and Button can go on to P2 and P3.

  265. mano says:

    Fernando is faster than you means:

    a. In this race, Fernando has more pace than you.
    b. Fernando qualified better than you (practically equaled Vettel), you got lucky at the start

    Please confirm you understand this means:

    a. You work for Ferrari & by so doing, agree to abide what the bosses say (don’t we all do?)
    b. Non compliance means, you’re out of a job unless you can prove the opposite.

    If Massa was indeed capable of doing the opposite (meaning proving everybody at Ferrari wrong) all he had to do was pull away from Alonso, which he did not.

    If Massa couldn’t pull away from Alonso it is because he was slower than Alonso. Further, Ferrari with this statement emphasizes that the faster driver has the preference. As proof, I present the earlier radio transmission by Massa’s engineer when he told Massa “keep this up, you can win”. This conversation took place when Massa’s lead over Alonso had ballooned to more than three seconds!

    Massa can feel gutted for not winning but he does know without a doubt that Alonso was indeed significantly faster than him today – Alonso pulled away from Massa after the pass, in spite his engineer saying “stick with him”.

    I would have had Ferrari investigated for team orders had Massa been significantly faster than Alonso & had ordered Massa to “save fuel” or to “short shift to cool engine” to allow a “slower” Alonso through to favor his WDC aspirations

    Today the fastest Ferrari won, Massa can’t say he was denied victory & nobody can say otherwise!

    1. Exactly right! Well said!

  266. Harvey Yates says:

    James,

    Do I understand it correctly: it has been referred to the WMSC because the stewards do not feel they have sufficient powers of punishment?

    Whilst I feel Ferrari’s behaviour has been a clear case of rule breaking and without apparent remorse, it is only a case of swapping drivers. Not the worst ever case of cheating. It is more a case of depriving the fans.

    All we need to do is ensure the punishment is sufficient to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The stewards have been very restrained of late. It would be a shame if the WMSC change this.

    The newspapers will go to town tomorrow but they’ll soon move on to something else.

    Even if they get heavily penalised nothing can take away the fact that Ferrari managed a great 2-1 at Hockenheim.

  267. zxzxz says:

    what would massa expect if the situation was reveresed?

    he would expect to be let by.

  268. Gaspar says:

    I am amused by the vehemency of some comments . Massa the Victim , the great champion who was stripped by the great victory .I think he should show his greatness in qualifying where you can dominate you’re teammate , let’s say by NOT being slower half a second . And he can thanks to Vettel , his move almost putting Alonso in the wall created him the opportunity to lead . Anyway Ferrari shouldn’t do it by this way . There are many code messages , mixture 2568 : ) or whatever .

  269. KidrA says:

    I read many comments how they feel sorry for Massa. I don’t. I blame him as much as Ferrari. Yes, most of the drivers would have done the same as Massa. That’s why I like minor of the drivers who I believe would never do anything like that. It’s either you’re a driver who feels “I’m so lucky to be in this team” or team is lucky to have a driver like me”.

    Would Kimi had done the same in the middle of the season? No, cause of self respect.
    You see how Webber stood for his rights in wing saga, cause he has self respect.
    That’s why Ferrari always has a nr.2 driver without self respect and I can’t feel sorry for Massa.

    1. dstaisey says:

      I agree on that.

  270. Phil W says:

    The $100,000 fine is baffling.

    Whilst everyone knows that team orders were implied, there is not a concrete case against Ferrari to punish them as no specific order was given to let Alonso through.

    Either the result stands with no punishment or the result is invalid with both drivers disqualified.

  271. For Sure says:

    Actually I think team orders are part of this sport. If we don’t like it don’t watch it. But the problem with what happened today is that Massa was a proven championship contender and it was a point where he could turn things around.
    But they broke his heart and say mate you are going to be a no 2. It was very painful to watch. The guy is genuinely a nice kind man. He isn’t like exactly a number 2 driver as he proved that he could beat a world champion and close to win a championship unlike previous second fiddles. It’s very cruel of Ferrari to do something like that to him.
    As for Fernando, what do you expect?
    At least Michael let Rubens to stand on the top step and gave him back a win. The guy is like a animal which sees winning as a meal he needs to survive. He doesn’t care how he get it, he needs it as a commodity. 2008 Singapore GP and now this, he doesn’t care. He would say “screw you guys, there is no horrible way of winning, THERE IS ONLY WINNING”

  272. Rodrigo says:

    Massa`s uncle died this weekend. At the press conference, Massa dedicated his “good result” to him. Poor uncle… lucky he did not have to see this race. Such disrespect. Massa should not have allowed this to happen.

    To me, he used to be a pilot with a good fighting spirit to make up for some lack of talent. Now I only see him as a regular employee, colleting his paycheck.

  273. AlexD says:

    I am going to say something. You need to calm down and thins it all over again.I do not think that Rob Smedley told Felipe to let Alonso through. What has really happened is that Alonso was faster, he tried overtaking Felipe before and Felipe protected too much. Ferrari understood that they might race each other too hard, a la red Bull in Turkey and be both out of the race. They simply informed Felipe that Alonso is really faster over the course of the race and that the next time Alonso will be there to try again, Massa should not try too hard to defend his position as it doesn’t make sense for the overall result. This is how I think it really was.

  274. Sergio says:

    - Massa has to meet with Kovy right now. He can learn one or two lessons from him.
    - Domenically and Smeadley has to meet urgently with Withmarsh, Dennis, Brawn or even Todt. For sure there are better “words” to give team orders.
    - From now on I think we can propose a prize for the best secret team order and concede 2 points for that.
    - But the best prize is totally deserved for Whiting and english media. Great job and far better to improve a car or to have “good luck”.
    - Instead of critizise the Alonso’s words in Valencia I think right now are more valid than ever.

  275. moggi says:

    Schumacher agrees ’100%’ with Ferrari outcome “By the end of the year, if you think you would have lost the championship for exactly that point you will ask yourself, all the fans, the television, the journalists, why didn’t you do so? “If you go back to other years, other teams and other situations, in the last race there were clear team orders and everybody accepts those. Whether it’s the last race, second last race or even earlier, what’s the point? “I can see that in the years when we did it, because we were leading so much, that people thought it was unnecessary and I can agree on that one in a way. “But in principle I cannot. I agree with what’s going on….

    1. monktonnik says:

      At least he showed some contrition and understanding of the public outcry, and at least he had the decency to look embarrassed on the podium.

      He also repaid Rubens a few races later!

      1. moggi says:

        Yeah, when MSC did that- that was ok. And in Imola ´94 there was a decency on the podium as well. Btw I wonder, if there was team radio transmissions in MSC era if he would be so popular or glorious today ?

      2. monktonnik says:

        Yes, even for a Schumacher fan those moments were hard to defend.

        I think that the other consideration from that time is that in Austria 2002 what they did was legal. Wrong? Probably, yes. Illegal? no.

        Either way it was interesting to hear his perspective. Everyone would be calling him a hypocrite if he had said it was wrong.

  276. Merry says:

    Just read Force India can be excluded from the race because they mistakingly put the wrong tires on the wrong cars, which they corrected in the next rounds when they noticed it….

    SO willingly breaking the rules, changing the race result like FerrarIA did will get you a pocket change fine…but making a mistake, correcting it immediately will get you excluded from the race result.

    FIA is on a roll this year!!!

    Also James, my uncle just called me, he betted 50 euros on Massa winning. Does he have a chance of suing FerrarIA for rigging the race?

  277. Dave Roberts says:

    I feel sorry for Massa, particularly with the poignant anniversary of his accident last year.

    Just on a tangent, does anyone else consider that Rob Smedley is one of the most charismatic characters in the sport outside of the drivers? I think he is brilliant! We saw how close Rob was to Massa after his accident and we have seen on several occasions how they interact with ease.

    I really felt sorry for Rob having to pass on the message and his disappointment for Massa was tangible after the race.

    Having said all of that surely it will be better for the FIA to accept team orders are in existence and deal with them transparently.

    1. Blanchimont says:

      I think Martin Brundle once said in a commentary after hearing some Massa/Smedley radio that if he was still driving in F1 he’d want Smedley on the other end of the radio. Agree entirely – and frankly I think he is more charismatic than quite a few of the drivers!

  278. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Perhaps the team orders came from Emilio Botin, head of Santander who was lurking around the Ferrari pit garage?

  279. Merry says:

    The other thing I noticed is how COulthard and Brundle tried to make it look like it was OK.

    I am sure if their close friend Webber was told to do the same and let Vettel pass in the same way, the dynamic BBC duo would not complain too ;)

  280. Stu says:

    I am simply disgusted. I thought the dirty days of team orders were over. If Alonso couldn’t overtake Massa despite being faster then he doesn’t deserve to win.

    I turned off the moment this happened. The only shame is I could see it happening a mile off.

    (PS. Feel very sorry for Rob Smedley, you could hear it in his voice when he said “Sorry”)

  281. dils says:

    Along with a large number of F1 fans I enjoy following the sport because of the drivers championship first and the constructors championship second.

    If Massa wanted to let Alonso through for the good of the team then he could have at least appeared happy about it. Has Rob Smedley apologised to Massa in the past as he did today? The apology really came across as James has mentioned in his article.

    Massa in my opinion should have fought for the win and not made it so easy for Alonso to pass. What’s the worse that could have happened off track? Ferrari terminate his contract one year early? At least he’d have a fair shot at the title in a decent car this year.

    If he continues to yield in future races he’ll just become Alonso’s lap dog instead. However, given today’s fine handed out to Ferrari it’ll be less likely or less obvious next time.

    Domenicalli claimed Rob’s message was just to inform Massa on Alonso’s speed so as to avoid a similar incident between the two Red Bull drivers in Turkey. He has no confidence in his drivers abilities to have a clean fight then. If Alonso in a faster car couldn’t pass Massa on the track then Ferrari had no major concern to worry about Vettel passing the two Ferraris.

  282. Ged says:

    James you were commentating on the Hockenheim race in 2008 when Heikki was informed over the raido, “Lewis is faster than you” & then just a couple of corners later he pulled wide & let Hamilton pass him. How come now outrage that day?

    1. Dick Matthews says:

      Your implication is that there is outrage about todays events from James. I don’t see any in the above piece, it seems to report the facts pretty accurately. Perhaps you’re just seeing what you expect or want to see eh?

    2. Sergio says:

      Well there is a very logical answer here. When Lewis Hamilton comitted a fault or something controversial, from that moment the same action will be prohibited for other drivers and Ferrari did it. And you know, if something is not published it doesn’t exist.

    3. Ben says:

      There is a difference between the two situations.

      Hamilton closed in on Heikki and was always going to make that passing move whereas Alonso never looked like he was in a position to pass Massa fairly.

      Hamilton made a move on Heikki, Heikki did not defend it.

      Alonso did not make a move on Massa, Massa slowed down to let him pass.

      Hamilton went on to overtake three more cars (which his team mate did not) and finish 12 seconds ahead of his team mate whereas Alonso only finished 4 seconds ahead of Massa.

      Given the context of both messages, whilst there will always be doubt, the McLaren order is more along the lines of ‘do not defend’ as opposed to ‘let him past’

      It is a subtle distinction, and arguably still a breach of the rules, but that distinction and the circumstances under which it happened did not bring the sport into disrepute. The Ferrari incident has brought the sport into disrepute and I believe that is the area of the regulations that this rule is part of.

  283. L Reeves says:

    Logically Ferrari’s actions were justifiable given the whole point is to win championships. Team orders have been in F1 since it began. This is nothing new. It is after all a team sport with two cars within each team, one of whom has to lose ultimately. In 2002 they brought in a virtually unenforceable rule which every team on the grid has been guilty of breaking one way or another. Red Bull and McLaren have been using team orders for all to see this year and yet no penalty. Ferrari used them today, and it seems to me Rob Smedley took it upon himself to make it abundantly clear to the world (and I wonder about his position within the team as a result). If Ferrari are to receive further penalty, then I do believe the other instances should also be investigated otherwise the rules are again not evenly applied. I’m sure Mark Webber will have a lot to say on the matter. To say that just because the other teams weren’t as blatent therefore shouldn’t receive punishment seems a bizarre argument, similarly the ‘hold station’ order. That is as much a team order and manipulation of the result as Ferrari’s attempt today. If this rule is to be applied, it must be applied to all. But as usual, they are not, and the FIA does seem to be disgruntled with Ferrari at the moment.

  284. montychristo says:

    DISGUSTING….. Thats all i can say, and if thats how alonso wants to win so be it but he won’t be a champion in my eyes…champions WIN races.. they dont have them handed to them.

  285. Robin says:

    Many have commented on Kimi letting Massa pass in China and Hekki / Hamilton, but to my knowledge, at those races we didn’t have the opportunity to hear the radio transmissions. Today we did and I think it made the whole scenario strike home much more. I think we’ve been insulted today and I shook my head in disbelief at what went on.

    F1 runs the risk of imploding with such crass antics like this. I use to repsect FA – but I think his attitude is now one of arrogance. I mentioned on another post how he was heard telling the fans to “go home” after quali at the British GP. He needs to take a lesson from Massa and learn to be a gentleman.

    This episode needs to be addressed – we all heard and saw what was said and we don’t want to be treated like idiots.

  286. Anthony says:

    So 2 weeks ago Alonso comes down on Massa, gives him a flat tire and ruins his race.

    Today Massa got a much better start than Alonso and Vettel just to have Alonso the whiner complain to the team and be given the win.

    Here’s some news for you Alonso, THE FASTEST CAR DOESN’T ALWAYS WIN, just ask team Red Bull.

  287. Ayrton says:

    A while ago when the “overtaking” discussion was taking place Fernando Alonso made some declarations where he was saying F1 should not be about overtaking. I guess today’s race illustrate how he feels about the topic. He made a total of two or three weak attempts to overtake Massa and as he did not get his way he started his usual complaining and then got the team to move Massa. A sad day for F1 and Alonso.

    Meanwhile Sebastian needs to spend some time practicing his starts. That is 2 for 2 in the last races…

  288. Jameson says:

    Alonso yet again demonstrates his excellent ability to pass by use of his radio.

  289. Lojen says:

    This whole team orders deal is a thorny issue indeed. Certainly Ferrari’s handling of the situation is at best woefully inept and does indeed embarrass F1 as a whole.

    I do not believe that the team orders rule is unenforceable however. If they wish to keep this rule maybe they will need to tighten up on its enforcement.

    For instance, any communication to a driver that would slow that driver down, a call to conserve fuel, tyres, brakes or whatever could be required to have an accompanying technical submission to the stewards in the form of telemetry evidence from the time the call was made.

    Also perhaps if a team wishes to issue team orders, it could maybe be allowed so long as the team in question has registered the benefiting driver as the teams “official number 1″ before race start. Once a driver is registered thus then it cannot be changed for the rest of the season and only that driver can be the beneficiary of a team order.

    At least then nobody would be under any illusions.

  290. Miguel says:

    Surely the test of whether team orders were applied would be to ask Massa whether he feels he can win the world championship?

    As with most drivers in a front running team they believe they are a contender as much as their team mate is. Certainly Webber thinks he is and wouldn’t give up the chance of a race win that would enhance his challenge regardless of what result his team may prefer.

    So why would Massa think any differently? Why would he give up a certain race win that would bring himself back in to the championship running even if his chances are slim? He wouldn’t.

    It’s one thing to tow the team line in the aftermath of controversy but another when your desire to win is questioned. An F1 drivers ego is built on total belief in themselves regardless of whether they are at the front or bringing up the rear so why when victory is within reach would Massa decide to move over unless given no choice than to do so.

    The rules are the rules, regardless of what team orders may have been given in previous championships, and were put in place because the teams cannot be trusted to do what is the interests of the sport and the fans.

    What would the FIA do in a situation where a team were running a system on their cars that wasn’t traction control as we know it but that the end result was a way to control traction? Would they let the team off the hook just because they say that it wasn’t traction control?

    If the rules or the spirit of the rules are broken then the FIA have a duty to the integrity of the sport to take decisive action and put both Ferrari’s to the back of the grid for the remaining races to send out a message to the other teams that team orders will not be tolerated and that radio transmissions be limited from the pitwall to the driver.

  291. monktonnik says:

    Firstly, let me say that as a long time fan of MSC I am probably going to say some things that are very hypocritical. I apologise for this.

    This is a real own goal for Ferrari and F1. It is exactly what the sport doesn’t need. I was genuinely enjoying the prospect of the battle between Fernando and Massa. We were robbed of that. In fact I had commented at the start of the race that Fernando’s performance in in practice and qualifying was really changing my opinion of him, and that I had felt ashamed of the booing he received at the British GP. Oh, the irony!

    In times when F1 is trying to improve the show for fans, most especially with regard to overtaking, this has been a sporting and PR disaster. The whole reason team orders were banned in F1 was to avoid exactly this kind of thing in the future.

    There are many situations since the rule change were a driver has moved over (brazil 2007, 2008; both Ferrari funnily enough, as well as some Mclaren examples) and I am afraid that when I saw each one I thought that they should have been penalised, because IT IS ILLEGAL! There is no such thing as the spirit of the rules.

    I think that DC and Martin Brundle made some interesting points about why team orders have existed, but I feel as a fan I have to respond to Brundle’s comment that the teams “spend hundreds of millions to win the world championship”, as if this justifies team orders during race 11 when the difference between the 2 places is 7 points. My feeling is that the money they spend comes from the fans, admittedly largely indirectly, but without people tuning in to the races each week there is no reason for sponsors to pay up, or for TV companies to pay Bernie such large fees.

    Interest in F1 declined in Schumacher’s dominant years. Many people proposed that this was because of the dominance of MSC and Ferrari. Perhaps we need to re-examine that. Perhaps it was because of the very blatant team orders at the time. It has been one of the constant criticisms of Schumacher, that he needed his team mate to hand him victories in order to win championships. How will genuine fans of Alonso defend his record if he wins this year? People have claimed that Button wasn’t a worthy champion because of qualifying performances in the 2nd half of the season. I think that we can honestly say that he beat Rubens fairly and held off a better car in the RB5.

    I think that the FIA WMSC has to impose a much harsher penalty on Ferrari than $100,000 dollar fine (which is a joke when you consider what Mclaren got fined for cheating). I feel they disqualify both cars from the race, if not the whole championship.

    One last thought.

    We have had 3 major incidents of blatant cheating in the past four seasons. Mclaren in 2007, Renualt at Singapore 2008 and Ferrari in Germany 2010. Does anyone else see the connection here?

    I wonder if like Fernando Alonso at Monza in 2006 if we should all question whether or not Formula is still a sport?

    1. Matt W says:

      That is the concern for me. Three times Alonso has been at the centre of major cheating and fraud scandals and on each occasion he claims to have been completely innocent. I cringed when I heard him ask over the radio if Massa missed a gear.

      Surely his legacy has to be questioned now.

  292. David Ninnes says:

    James, people inside F1 will as always accept this as it’s ‘part of the sport’. Hearing Schumacher’s and Coulthard’s comments confirms this, but what about the public and those who watched race. F1 is so introverted that again it will push the public’s perception to one side ahead of corporate and competitive consideration.

  293. Brace says:

    To all those who are siding with Massa, remember that he received the same gift from Kimi in China 2008 and was also making up some excuses how he passed Kimi.

    I’m Alonso’s fan, but I must say this really didn’t look pretty either.

    However, being more pragmatic, how do you people think this race would unfold if Alonso didn’t pass?

    Vettel came within 1 second of Massa in the last part of the race. Where do you think Alonso would fit in that gap between them? Ferrari stood to loose 1-2, but the way they did it they were pretty much guarantied 1-2.
    Not only would Vettel be able to overtake Alonso, but due to the fight between Alonso and Massa, Vettel would close in much faster and would stand a realistic chance to overtake both of them in the heat of the fight.

    I repeat again, I really hated how this looked, and although being Alonso fan, I would have preferred Massa to win unless Alonso overtook him for real.
    BUT, as I explained above, team made this decision to make the most of the situation. Maybe both Massa and Alonso would have been able to hold off Vettel, but don’t pretend like this is something farcical compared to other stuff we are seeing in F1.
    As I said, Massa received the same gift from Kimi in 2008. Kimi was then already mathematically out of the contention, but while Massa still has mathematical chance to win WDC, there is no realistic chance.

    1. Lex says:

      Remember Brazil 2007.
      Raikkonen would not be a champion, if it were not for Massa giving him the win.

  294. Andrew says:

    If the FIA wanted to get serious about this issue, they would only allow 1 car per ‘team’. As long as there are 2 cars, there will be team orders – we had Button and Hamilton ‘saving fuel’ earlier this year, this is no different to me than the ‘hold station’ order at the end of races. The team pay the bills including salaries, they get to make the rules.

  295. rachel says:

    Its clear who pulls the string at Ferrari now; Santander. Ferrari, why have you lowered yourself to the gutter level?

  296. Mark says:

    Disgrace today James, is all I can say,I know you are a big Ferrari fan but surely they should be stripped of all their points today and maybe even disqualified from a race or two? I knew there was something in Rob smedleys message when I heard him say “I repeat Fernando is faster” and then he said “great reult and very magmanomous of you!” Why should sponsors be attracted to a team like this?

  297. Foobar says:

    What an amateurish move by Ferrari.

    They could’ve handled it much better by saying something like ‘Massa, your oil/tire/engine/brake temperatures look bad, please slow down’.

    However, as long as there’s profit to be made by letting a team mate win I have no problems with team orders – Heck, as far as I’m concerned they should just allow them: Potentially losing millions for ‘spirit of the race’ is just plain stupid when your goal is running profitable business.

    The alternative is to tweak the rules such that the Drivers/Team Championship points have no relevance regarding distribution of money….which sounds silly.

  298. Ivar says:

    Clearly the winner of today’s GP is Christian Horner who is obviously losing the spotlight of favouritism

  299. Qiang says:

    I feel pity about Massa because he did a favour to the team but make the matter worse by not resisting the desire to tell something later. Ferrari has been kind to Massa this season up to this race. It’s clear now he is not a WDC contender, while Alonso still is. I honestly believe he should show a bit more team spirit. This year’s title race will be so tight therefore we will see more such situation when team order make perfect sense.

  300. Red5 says:

    A good point made above.

    Is telling Massa to let Alonso through the same as telling 2 drivers not to fight to the finish?

    And in light of MW + SV crashing together at Turkey is there now a clear need for teams to clarify comparative race pace in order to avoid similar accidents?

  301. Arcturis says:

    So picture Hungary next week. Vettel in 2nd place is pushing Webber in 1st. “Mark you have high engine temp can you limit the revs – Seb is now faster than you – understand?”

    Spa -Button (2nd in standings) leading Hamilton (1st in standings). “Jenson – can you lean out your fuel for a few laps – Lewis will be quicker than you.”

    Italy – Nico – “Michael is on fresh tires – dont do anything that compromises both your races”

    So my question – is F1 becoming a sport only for the constructors only sport as the driver standings and race slots are fixed by external considerations including corporate sponsorship?

  302. Kim D says:

    What Mclaren team orders have been done this year then? Ferrari cheated Massa out of a victory today and to say it was done for the team as he was backing Alonso into the path of Vettel that’s why it was done then surely someone of Alonso’s experience and considering his big wage packet we should expect him to be able to keep the red bull behind him and not need help from his team/team mate to ensure a 1-2 finish. They are racing drivers and should be made to race, Alonso should have got off to a better start if he wanted to win so badly – get the job done at the start like Massa did. To me Alonso surrounds himself in trouble whatever team he drives in…..have we all forgot the Nelson Piquet incident with the purpose crash to let Alonso win? Maybe Alonso is scared he can’t win on his own and needs others to do the job for him…..earn your salary and race!

  303. Robert says:

    The transcript of the written press conference is good stuff and the journalists giving Alonso a roasting are from all over the world, not just England (though the man from the News of the world really goes for him better than anyone)

  304. HowardHughes says:

    Oh please. Such sanctimony from most here. If I own or run an F1 team, and I’m responsible for paying the wages, and my sponsors are breathing down my neck for a championship, and the wrong guy’s ahead, damn straight I’m gonna order a switch. There isn’t a team boss in the pitlane who wouldn’t, and not a fan among us who wouldn’t if they were ever in that position.

    Team order have been a bedrock of the sport since before Stirling Moss, before Neubauer, before Enzo and before Nuvolari…the only issue is if a team, or the drivers, execute the change inelegantly.

    Get over it.

    1. Criscles says:

      +1

  305. El shish says:

    Put allegiances aside, mclaren are the only ones that have managed this with any dignity this season. In turkey, there might have been thinly-veiled team orders but, as with every other race this season, the two drivers have been allowed to race. I can count at least four overtakes between the Hamilton and button this season… Those are proper overtakes and not just a case of getting a better start off the line. They’ve done without putting team points at risk. Red bull got all they deserved in turkey for trying to manipulate the result and Ferrari – whether in the form of official sanction or loss of dignity and respect – will do so as well.

    I simply don’t buy into this argument that alonso was faster and that automatically warrants being let through… The same applies to races those races where alonso as stuck behind massa. Points are earned not just by being faster but through qualifying, an ability to start well, overtake, defend position and look after the car. Occasionally, a bit of luck (e.g safety car) plays it’s part but it’s a combination of all of those things – saying somebody is fastest and so should be let through is a very narrow-minded approach.

    It’s interesting to see that the drivers occupying positions one and two in the standings have been fastest – in the most basic understanding of the term – only once or twice this season.

  306. Rich C says:

    This wasn’t about “team” orders so as to maximize team points – this was about “driver preference” and as such is a complete fraud. Its race fixing.

    Nonetheless, the rule is patently un-enforceable and should be canned.

    I shudder to think of the possible permutations if 3-Car-Monty had his way.

  307. Robert from Texas says:

    This is ridiculous. They had a 1,2 finish before the pass and a 1,2 after the pass. If it was for the team, no order would have been issued because either result gave the team the same points. That was a blatant statement that there is a #1 driver.

    If Alonso is such a good driver, he would have to race for the win. Instead, the team gifted him a win to get him closer to the WDC.

  308. AP says:

    Well, well, team orders are, and will always be, used in F1. They can be called “Alonso is faster” or “Mark save fuel” or “Button hold position” but they are eventually the same thing.

    Of course, today Alonso won and not Hammy so many people are “shocked”….

  309. Chris Anderson says:

    I was a Ferrari fan until today It was a disgrace result. I want that 1 hour 30 back i wasted watching it.

    Alonso is just a spoiled kid. Massa drove one of his best races and deserved the win.

    I notice whenever Alonso is 2nd in a race and his team mate is 1st he waves his fist or hands and crys like a baby. There is just nothing to like about Alonso he has a very poor attitude.

  310. robertmorphon says:

    I am one of those few, it seems, or at least those in minority, who do not think what happened today is a big problem. It is the context that matters here, in this case. I like both Massa very much, Alonso is not very impressing this season, he said and done some stupid things this year. But it is him that still has the chanse to win at the end of the season and Ferrari would be stupid to ignore the fact that it was problably the last race to join in the fight for Alonso’s championship. And the truth is Alonso is usually a bit faster than Massa, and it was the case this race. I would be very unhappy if teams gave orders to faster drivers, as it probably was the case in Red Bull. But this is not the case, so I am not going to be predend to be outraged or indignated.

  311. JustAnotherF1Fan says:

    James, first off, this is an excellent site that I stumbled upon a few months ago and among the many things that I like, one is the comment section. Very civilized, good points made without degenerating into name calling on other sites. Articles like analyzing the Ferrari floor picture in Monaco are great to read. Excellent job!

    As for today’s race, here is my $0.02. I understand F1 is a big business, highs stakes, high pressure environment requiring tactical thinking, pinnacle of racing and that teams orders (in form or another) have been part of F1. Despite that, today’s incident felt like a slap in the face. For the first time, I questioned why I woke up early to watch a race. I’ve been watching F1 for 15 years and there a few times I’ve been disgusted by what goes on, this is one of them.

    1. The decision may have been tactical but the victory was hollow. What seems to be ignored is the “fan part” of F1. After everything is done and said (or feebly explained)aren’t fans part of the show and felt left out in some way?

    2. Arguments about driver A being faster than driver B in practice/quali are moot. You get points for the race, you battle it out when the red lights go off. If Alonso was faster, he should have overtaken Massa on the track. F1 racing is a lot of things but isn’t the actual racing on the track the core of it?

    3. Don’t buy the argument that Vettel would have caught up and been a threat to their 1-2. Ferrari had the pace. If Alonso with all his talent & pace couldn’t overtake Massa, how would Vettel have overtaken them? Same argument Horner tried in Turkey that Lewis was catching up.

    4. I find it harder now to convince people here that F1 is fun to watch (and better than Nascar IMO). As someone mentioned above, it is clear that sports here are a big business but at the end of the day, they are entertaining.

    As a long time fan of Ferrari, I wouldn’t mind it if WMSC stripped them of their race points.

    James, we know that there are lot of behind the scenes stuff going on so please keep us updated!

    1. JustAnotherF1Fan says:

      On a related note, the car manufactures would have to think twice before they pulled of a such a blatant move in the upcoming US grandprix. They would loose a lot of fans (in what they consider an important market).

  312. JFB says:

    Like everyone else I’m very disappointed with this race “result” – if Alonso was faster then overtake!! It seems the problem is that there are two championships being decided in each race, the drivers and the constructors. With the issues of overtaking etc why doessn’t F1 go down the route of having two shorter races on the Sunday, one race purely for the constructors championship and a second race for the drivers championship. The long races can be boring, cut them in half and have two – perhaps we would see flat out racing for a change – no need to use both tyres etc.At least everyone would be clear on what they were racing for, all out for your team or all out for yourself.

  313. Nesto says:

    Alonso is the Ferrari driver who has a chance to take the WDC this year, Massa has NONE. 0% chance. Sure, you feel bad because it would be his first race win since his accident but as 2007 & 2008 proved, every single point is essential.

    For those with short term memory, the pit stops were constructed in Brazil ’07 so that Raikkonen passed Massa to take the championship, otherwise Massa would win at home once again as he always does and Ferrari lose the WDC in the last race rather than taking it and handing it to rival McLaren & Hamilton. Is Raikkonen’s ONLY WDC a sham ? In this year of single stop races, there was no further pit stop to hide things.

    In China ’08, Raikkonen lets Massa past to assist Massa’s championship bid, Massa should remember this and understand the need to let the teammate with more realistic title aspirations by to collect more and necessary points.

    Where is the outrage over these same situations with the same team and same mindset and same goals at hand ??? If you notice, Massa is the one driver constant in all 3 circumstances, he SHOULD understand. We all wish his accident last year hadn’t happened as it’s made us all doubt if hes the same driver and with his first win in hand, he unfortunately had to hand it over. It sucks that the team can’t be honest about it but if you were in their shoes and faced the consequences they face, you should understand.

    Alonso protected Massa in Australia from Hamilton and since then has shown he does not want to be held up by his slower teammate (see pass in pit entrance in China). You can not simply say “if hes faster, he should be able to overtake.” IMO, the F10 is not a great overtaker, it needs clean air to really show its potential. Being held up by a teammate in the same spec car and allowing rivals to close up is not in any team’s interests I’d think.

    As for Massa opening up a gap, I’ve seen several times this year when mid-race Alonso backs off to get in clean air when his bid to overtake is futile. Plus, a driver does have to conserve their tires and theres over a half-race distance to go. He also might have allowed a gap to build to show that he was indeed faster and should be let through as an overtake between 2 fighting teammates for the race lead would result in disaster.

    1. Alexis says:

      So why have Red Bull stated they allow their drivers to race and wouldn’t have done what Ferrari did today?

  314. Lalit says:

    James,

    I think as a team sport we must definitely allow these things to happen.

    There are millions of man hours spent back in the factory developing a ‘common’ platform which the two sides of the garage simply leverage to their driver’s liking.

    But at the end of the day we must not forget that it is due to hard work of the entire team, that each of these drivers are getting a chance to exploit.

    Also, look at how Red Bull, despite being the most advanced car is not leading the championship now, because they keep tripping over themselves.

    And Finally, what I would really like to know is how can this fall under the banned group of team orders and race result manipulation; but others like ‘hold station’ that McLaren seems to always prefer,

    Also, with this logic, even the FIA shoudl be fined for race manipulation when they decide to have ridiculous safety car rules, so the cars finish in order, yet without racing each other. If they want fair racing they should have applauded Schumi’s move on Alonso in Monaco.

  315. Carlos Rivera says:

    I have always been a Fernando fan (always will). But today… Wow! I feel like barfing. If he was so fast then he should have raced for that first place and win the race fair and square.

    1. Richard S says:

      I agree. That’s the worst thing about this whole thing. He could of fought hard and got past, I mean we are talking about probably the best driver out there at the moment and for him to want the place handed over to him is shocking! Lowest point in this season I think.

      1. Alonso4ever says:

        Am also a Fernando Alonso Fan and always will be. Even i would like to see Fernando Alonso fight hard for Victories and not be gifted Victories like this. But I don’t think Fernando Alonso is anywhere at fault here. Either the Team Ferrari or Felipe took the decision to let him pass, in the best interest of the Championship. I seriously hope the Drivers are not punished by stripping them of their Points or giving a Ban of ‘X’ Races. The most fair Penalty would be to strip Ferrari’s Contructors Points for the German GP.

  316. Sharp_Saw says:

    Here’s what I think may have been even worse for Ferrari. If Massa was informed about what was happening behind him in order to prompt him to let Alonso overtake him, then Ferrari’s championship strategy has been exposed. In such a case, their rivals can become more vigilant of Alonso as a result because they would know that Massa is out of the title race and that Alonso is without any teammate competition.

  317. stephen pugh says:

    what is it about f1 that the ‘great’ drivers always have to request that others are moved out of their way or are not allowed to race against them? Also what kind of sportsman wants helps to pass when he can not do it himself. F1 looks more like W.W.F than a sport

  318. Nmphotog says:

    Wow this happens at least two or three times a season and such virulent responses as if it’s new. Massa can’t be innocent here either. I do remember Raikkonen gifting Massa a place in Brazil when he was neck and neck with Lewis in the championship. He didn’t complaIn then. Still lost the fight too.

    Get over it. As long as theres millions of dollars at stake, Team orders in F1 has always been here and always will be.

    1. Alexis says:

      I think the difference is that the ‘undeserving’ driver succeeded at the expense of the one who should have ‘rightfully’ won in this case.

      The championship for Massa was more deserving than just another win for Massa.

      It would have been very cruel if they were going for the win and Raikkonen had never won a race before.

      But it would still have been sporting to let Massa win his first championship and sacrifice a first win.

      But in this kind of case, you wouldn’t need team orders because the other driver should know to let the other past. He should have been briefed beforehand, in which case would it count as team orders if he if wasn’t ‘ordered’, but briefed on what would be ‘fair’ in certain circumstance.

      At the end of the day, the sporting thing would have been for Alonso to not accept a phoney win, because he didn’t need it and he didn’t deserve it. He’s kidding himself by trying to justify it by saying he was faster in practice and qualifying.

  319. David Smith says:

    What should have been marked as an excellent return to form by ferrari has turned into this fiasco. Forza Ferrari :)

  320. Mike SPA says:

    i feel so angry that the ferrari drivers could not fight it out. I lost respect for ferrari today.

  321. Northerner says:

    Personally, I can’t see what all the fuss is about. If anything Massa & Smedley have made this situation worse by their actions. Yes, they have a right to be aggrieved but why didn’t they sort any issues out behind closed doors.

    1. Alexis says:

      What actions? Smedley issued orders as instructed.

      1. moggi says:

        Smedley dramatised the whole thing. He was emotional and not professional. If I am the team ledaer I would make him pay those 100.000. Sorry.

      2. Alexis says:

        What if Smedley’s words were designed to prevent Massa pulling up in the pits and going home?

        Because that’s what I would have done if he’d just said “Move over”.

  322. k miles says:

    so lets put all this into perspective….
    ferrari were finded 1million when this happened in 2002 when there were no team order rules and now that we have the rules they’re fined 10 times less??!!
    if they were fined that means they broke the rules… so they’re NOT disqualified?!!? WHY?!!?
    if alonso is sooo good as his supporters claim they why did massa have to move out of the way?!

    with so many points to gain there was NO NEED to do this cheating strategy! what if massa somehow happens to fight for the title and then loses out by 5 points?!

    its pathetic isnt it?!

    the graph showed massa on 50% throttle out of the corner, smedley says he “made a mistake and shifted up 3 gears in one second”?!! i mean they’re really taking the mik out the fans and the fia, well they’ve got away with it, so in theory it means any team can do this again and keep the result!

    i for one wont be watching a fixed sport like F1 anymore! especially when teams and drivers cheat and get away with it!

    1. Ben says:

      Ferrari were not fined 1 million for team orders in 2002. They were fined 1 million for not following the podium procedures when Barrichello and Schumacher stood on the different steps to where they finished. It was not given to them by the stewards but from the FIA.

      The $100,000 was given to them from the stewards and is the maximum fine that the stewards can give. They have referred it to the WMSC because they believe it warrants further investigation with the possibility of further sanctions.

  323. bryan says:

    I dont know if anyone has mentioned it before but I think Massa was very lucky not to have been asked to stick it in the wall !!..

    1. adam b says:

      loool!!! that is top draw!!!

  324. Luis says:

    F1 Fans want to see battles and overtakes, and not just naughty team orders.

    This could have been a redemption race for Ferrari – but they made it all of a mess

  325. Alan Dove says:

    James my main worry is this. It appears many ‘at the top’ don’t seem to be in touch with the grassroots of the sport. How can we expect parents to invest thousands upon thousands racing go-karts and then cars if this is what they can expect if they ever make it to F1.

    Motorsport already has a very tarnished image and this really kind of doesn’t help. The parents will just find other ‘fairer’ sports to go an do with their children.

  326. bodmonk says:

    Fans of Massa and fans of reading the Sun will be unhappy … real fans of Formula One will not care less.

    1. Mars says:

      So you are saying, ‘real’ fans like rigging races and whiney primadonna drivers who want everyone to just let them pass?

      I must be into the fake F1 where drivers need to race each other and pass like a man, not like a little girl whine to your team to let the other pass you ;)

      The funny thing is, most of the Ferrari folk and commentators who try to OK this pathetic move by Ferrari are the same ones who critisized RBR for allegedly favouring Vettel ;)

    2. Rick J says:

      I have been an F1 fan for 45 years and I care a great deal. I would say you have your last comment completely backwards.

    3. Alexis says:

      500+ comments on this page says otherwise.

    4. AJ Senior says:

      I am a real fan of Formula One and I think this is an absolute disgrace.

      Boo Ferrari!

      And Boo FIA for handing out such a weak penalty!

    5. Tim B says:

      Intriguing… What makes someone a “real fan”? What do “fake fans” look like?

    6. bodmonk says:

      @ Tim B : By real fans I mean people who understand the F1 is a team sport, and this happens up and down the grid all year, admittedly to a lesser extent.

      @ Alexis : 500+ comments saying otherwise is all very good, but there are millions watching. That’s a pretty small percentage.

      Mars : The race wasn’t rigged. And referring to Alosno (when there is not one other driver on the grid who wouldnt tell his own team he was faster if stuck right up behind his teammate) as a whiny primadona makes your real reasons for being annoyed clear.

  327. Paige says:

    I really wish that this was a perfect world and drivers would be allowed to just fight it out on the track. As such, I really don’t like team orders. But Ferrari and every other team out there have every right to issue them if they see fit. The drivers are employed by the team and must obey them.

    I’ve got a big problem with the penalty that the FIA has imposed on Ferrari for this incident. In 2008 at the same circuit, Ron Dennis radioed Kovalainen toward the end and told him the same thing Smedley told Massa: your teammate is faster than you. (i.e., Let your teammate through.) The race went on, Hamilton made a furious charge to win, and McLaren received no penalty. Ferrari basically pulled the same stunt today, and they got the book thrown at them.

    I have a feeling this penalty has more to do with F1 politics than it does with enforcement of the letter of the law.

    1. Matt W says:

      Hamilton was faster by quite some degree there. He would have passed Kovy anyway since he passed Massa and Piquet with so much ease. The difference here is that Alonso did not have the speed advantage over Massa that would suggest he could pass, and in general overtaking was far more difficult today than in 2008.

      The rule does not need changing, only Ferrari seem to have a problem with it. Everybody else seems able to handle the rule with a degree of common sense.

      The rule was brought in to prevent instances like Austria 2002. Nobody was bothered about team orders before that, or since. It just seems Ferrari can’t understand why there is an issue with moves like that.

    2. Alexis says:

      “But Ferrari and every other team out there have every right to issue them if they see fit.”

      Except its forbidden in the rules, which is why Ferrrari were fined today.

      1. Paige says:

        It is forbidden, but in my view the regulation is wrong, not the concept.

    3. Nando says:

      While the results were the same Mclaren could of argued the case and would of won most likely. Smedley’s words went beyond “he’s faster than you”.
      If Massa had “out-braked” himself like Heikki did then they could of argued the case instead Massa somewhat foolhardily decided to lift of the throttle making the manipulation completely clear-cut.
      So Ferrari get punished because Massa’s side decided not to deceive the public (well not until someone had a word with them) that’s just a quirk in the regulations and why it would be best to get rid of the team orders regulation. While the regulation is there you must get punished if it can be shown to a reasonably degree of certainty that you’ve broken it.

  328. Tom says:

    A farce of a win, the lying makes it worse, it insults the fans.

    I thought there was a drivers and a constructors championship, the order the cars finish does’t matter for anything other than the WDC. Therefore it is not for the benefit of the team it’s for alolnso.

    The fact that you basically had everyone admitting teams order go on all the time does not make it better, I hate it every time it occurs and this was no better, the only thing about it that is in any way decent is how blatant Massa and Smedley chose to make it.

    Poor Felipe Massa, he deserved this win as much as anyone, it would have been a fantastic way to mark the anniversary of his crash.

    disgusting

    1. bodmonk says:

      It doesn’t insult intelligent fans who understand the sport though.

  329. dimitris says:

    I have said this before: if a team wishes to issue team orders so be it. But they should notify FIA so that the driver championship is awarded to the team, not the indvidual drivers. For 2010: driver’s championship won by Ferrari. First driver, Fernardo Alonso with 225 points. Second driver, Felippe Massa with 125 points. Chief engineer, etc,., etc.,
    Or, for 2010, driver’s championship won by Hamilton, or Vettel, or Button, etc.

    1. David Baric says:

      An excellent idea – and would clear all this mess up right away – what do others think of this?

  330. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Ferrari’s response makes no sense.

    If Fernando was so fast and they were worried about Vettel catching him, then wy put a “slower” Massa in front of Vettel?

    How could this have been good for the team?

    Michael Schumacher should help Felipe with that Mercedes drive when he finally bows out.

    1. ChrisS says:

      That does make sense (even if it’s not necessarily true). If Massa really was holding Alonso up and they hadn’t switched the positions, Alonso would have been trapped behind Massa and Vettel could have passed Alonso. Then Vettel could have passed Massa, because Massa was slower.

      Whereas if they switched positions, Vettel could have passed Massa but he would not have been able to pass Alonso, as Alonso was quicker and would have been disappearing off into the distance. So at least a Ferrari win would have been secure.

      I don’t buy it personally, but it does make sense.

  331. Tone says:

    A lot of non Ferrari fans feeling disgusted here.
    All I’ll say is think back to Turkey and Red Bull’s race. Ferrari avoided that.

    1. James Punt says:

      Yes they did avoid a collision…..by breaking the rules of the sport. Red Bull did not give the instruction to Webber to let Vettel pass and the result was a very dramatic and dare I say exciting coming together. The paying public were not unhappy, it was entertaining, it was sporting theatre.

      Alonso on the other hand simply complains to his team and his team mate has to pull over, no racing, no risk, no skill and no entertainmant for the audience.

      Ferrari should remember that with out that paying public, there is no F1, no big salaries. They have brought the sport, not just themselves, into disrepute and a $100000 fine hardly looks like a reasonable punishment.

      As for Alonso, well the man has no credibility left. He spends a year at McLaren complaining that he was not being treated equally, then goes to Ferrari and insists that he gets preferential treatment. Like Schumacher before him, he has no sense of shame.

  332. Craig D says:

    Great post. One thing I’ve been hearing about is people saying that they fail to see why people are happy for say, Massa to let Raikkonen win in Brazil 2007 (so Kimi could win the title), but cry out at today’s race.

    The case of Brazil 07 [mod] wasn’t unsporting race fixing, it was the only commonsense option available. Massa couldn’t win the championship, only Raikkonen could. It would have been ludicrous for the team to have denied Kimi. Such a ‘team order’ was clearly in the interests of competition and there was no alternative.

    Today was not a case with a ‘no alternative’ situation. Massa was deprived of his chance of fighting for the championship at a time in the season when those decisions shouldn’t be made. Through the nature of this being a sport, drivers should be allowed to battle it out freely and fairly until a driver is mathematically out of contention. Only towards the end of the season when everything has come out of the wash and a driver is out of the running is it logical and ‘fair’ for that driver to support the other.

    Yes Massa is behind Alonso on points and hasn’t matched his pace thus far, but who’s to say that Massa couldn’t hit a purple patch and outperform Alonso, a la Webber. He’s clearly proven before he has world championship potential. Also, though he was 31 points behind Alonso, lets not forget that under the old system that was only 12 or so – hardly enough at halfway through the season to say, ‘No, it’s too late for you Felipe, only Alonso has a chance now’. Sometimes I think with the new points system, people think the points gaps are more significant than they actually are – as evidenced by the many swings we’ve had and people suddenly leaping back into contention when folk had them down and out.

    Alonso may have been faster today but Massa had done the better job. It was up to Alonso to overtake and get the job done. If Alonso could only have finished 2nd and then lost the championship by less than 7 points, then that’s the way things would be, and the actual champion would have won fairly. Instead if Alonso now wins it by less than 7 points, people will just call it a tainted championship.

    Finally, yes I understand the point that teams are like businesses and lots of money is at stake to succeed, but at the end of the day the strength and credibility of a sport relies on it being exactly that – a sport.

  333. Nash says:

    Glad there is a place to express the frustration about today’s result.

    I like Alonso, I want to see him being a championship contender. I was really waiting for him to overtake Massa. I do not like Massa so much, I feel the team loving him so much held up Kimi while he was there… and now he’s always driving in the way of Alonso…

    But to see Alonso take a win like he did today, the radio transmission… the faces on the rostrum, and the lying by Ferrari afterwards… that was just disgusting. Really the FIA is right… for WMSC for bringing the sport in disrepute… because this is what it is… this gives a nasty taste coming close to race fixing. I wish teams wanting no1 and no2 drivers just come out and say.. we officially have no 1 and no2. No more surprises.
    I really come to respect Red Bull and Mclaren today, also Mercedes, for giving their drivers equal opportunities!

    I also think that for those teams, Ferrari breaking the code of equal racing… is not fair.

    Sure team orders will come in to play… but you’d want to see them at a WDC decider race. Yes Massa is out for the WDC, but what a story it would have been “Massa wins race, 1 year after life threathening accident”…

    Shame on you Ferrari! Shame on Montezemolo!

  334. Richard says:

    Simple solution to prevent team orders; get rid of the radios and leave the drivers to drive the cars as fast as they can without interference from the pit wall. Good old pit boards will keep drivers informed of their relative positions and instructions to pit, can even give them the settings to select.

  335. p90 says:

    we dont know what did the team say to alonso during the race… perhaps he was told to wait and not to pass massa… FIA manipulates information and .. for your information… it wasnt the first time the team told massa he was slower (obiously if we all watch the same race Alonso was faster)

  336. Jake Pattison says:

    Forget Ferrari. Petrov just kept his seat alive by scoring a vital point.

  337. Fulveo Ballabeo says:

    I get it: Ferrari have no choice but to play it this way. But oh how obvious — and insulting — it is. Ferrari assumes fans can’t see through the charade. And they’re dead wrong. That hurts their creadibility, and tarnishes their image.

    I lose respect for Alonso by the day. He is such a whiny cry-baby (“this is ridiculous!”). Just imagine his (over)reaction were the roles reversed. He didn’t earn this win, and he shouldn’t be happy about it.

    I gain respect for Massa by the day. He came back from injury (see Hungary 2009), is a true class act (see Interlagos 2008), and a consummate team player (see this afternoon). Unfortunately, that respect is not going to win him races/championships.

  338. eddyr says:

    I thought it hilarious that Ferrari were so blatant- I was displeased by it though.
    Having said that, I really don’t get so bothered by it that I feel cheated or the like.
    In fact, it’s almost a good thing – really spices up the sideshow! Anyone who watches F1 purely for the racing is watching the wrong sport.

  339. Hawknest says:

    Shame on Ferrari.

    Red Bulls and McLarens are risking by letting their drivers to fight, but we get pure sport races, up to full contact and crashes, and losing points… But that’s a great show with great personalities involved, that’s drama on the track which keep us breathless.

    If Ferrari would like to treat F1 only as business, nothing personal, they should have gone to a bank, not race track.

    Alonso – no comment. He is sure that his teammates must let him pass and feels free to ask his team about it. Can’t believe that he still has fans.

    P.S. Poor Massa, I really regret he didn’t get deserved win a year after his accident =((

  340. Toby1Kenobi says:

    Soooo disappointing.

    It wouldn’t have been ‘ridiculous’ if he’d been unable to pass Vettel in his (slightly) slower car, that would have been racing, but Fernando seems to feel like there’s at least one person on track who should just roll over.

    Sad for Massa (not particularly a favourite driver of mine), sad for F1 (although aware that this wasn’t the first and won’t be the last), and really looking forward to hearing Alonso whining about how unfair the FIA is next time…

  341. fausta says:

    It sounds to me from ready most of these posts that Alonso fans are happy and those the dislike him are not. While I feel Ferrari should have made the pass on Massa a bit more realistic, like Massa going off some, the face is Alonso was being held up and vettel was close behind. If the two Ferrari;s battled too long Vettel could have slipped by one of them and that could not happen.

    If you don’t think any other driver gets on the radio and tells their team when they are going faster behind a team mate you are kidding yourself. All the teams use team orders all the time, we just don’t notice them usually. In this case we did and those that are unhappy with the result are complaining.

  342. Benalf says:

    hard day for all those Alonso haters; it also seems that JA knows all the Ferrari book of codes to decipher the “team order”. Everyone forget how many times other teams rather than Macca has done the same wihtout any punishment. It was clear that Alonso could have got several chances to overtake Massa before the checkered flag and yet people whine about him getting 25 instead of 18 points….why such a hate? the stewards did nothing in 2007 when Massa gave away the race to Kimi to defeat both Maccas….what about Ferrari in China ’08…or Renault in China ’06…What about the orders of Macca this season about not to pass Hamilton?…or the bullies of Reb Bull instructing Webber to “save fuel” while telling Vettel to attack, all those things are also team orders and once again the FIA has charged against Ferrari. I am not Ferrari fan, but all this Alonso witch hunt against Alonso really suck

  343. AdrianP says:

    (1) Team orders are prohibited by the regulations.

    (2) Telling a driver to hold station is as much a team order as getting them to swap positions.

    (3) The rule is absolutely impossible to police. The reality is likely to be that all the teams have team orders of sorts – e.g. I beat my bottom dollar that the Maclaren drivers were encouraged, today, not to race each other until a handful of laps before the end.

    (4) That (3) is true is recognised by anyone with half a finger on the pulse – e.g. especially Coulthard and Brundle are completely alive to the reality that team orders of sorts go on at every race.

    (5) What is a team order? If the team communicates to a driver what the situation is from the team perspective and the driver decides to act on that, is that a team order? On the one hand, surely not, the decision was the driver’s perogative; on the other hand, surely yes, since not doing the team thing will certainly have consequences. What again if such ‘orders’ have been negotiated between the drivers themselves before the race? In a sense every team strategy is a team order.

    (6) What has undone Ferrari today is a combination of (i) a rule which is unworkable; and (ii) the fact that the reality was a little too obvious. What was surprisng was how deliberately obvious Massa and Smedley made the switch; and (iii) the various different accounts that different Ferrari personnel came up with up with after the race.

    (7) Ferrari should have either arranged things such that there was much more room for doubt as to whether Massa gave the position up (high risk, as if any deception were uncovered the penalty would be that much more serious; in some senses, it is to Ferrari’s credit that they did not try to ‘code’ the message too much) or all stuck to the line that Massa was informed of the team situation but made the decision for himself. They have fallen between two stools.

    (8) What was interesting for me was how shamelessly Alonso carries off complete mendacity. If I harboured any doubts but that Alonso knew absolutely about the Singapore fiasco (I didn’t), those would have disappeared today.

  344. Gord says:

    You would think that Ferrari would have learned from Austria 2002, but no they have not.

    What is worse though is that Ferrari made it quite blatant as well.

  345. Darren says:

    I had to try and expalin this to my 6 year old son the morning…… without using the word FIX……..

  346. aneoone says:

    I think they should clarify rules… fe 16.3 ONLY UK TEAMS ARE ALLOWED TO GIVE TEAM ORDERS… so we can save tons of posts

  347. Spyros says:

    So, Bernie wants to sell F1 to the Americans?

    Seriously?

  348. michael grievson says:

    The rule I’d like to see changed is this fuel saving nonsense in the race. Teams should be forced to fill the cars with enough fuel to last the race driving flat out. This is denying of real racing

  349. mahargon says:

    I had a bet on Massa to win today – If this thing happened in other sports such as horse racing the jockeys would be banned and the trainer sanctioned too.
    The drivers and team should be penalized and banned for fixing the race.

    How many Ferrari team members had a bet on Alonso knowing that Massa couldn’t win?
    What are the bookmakers saying – they must have had more money for Alonso than Massa?

    Me and my mates will not be betting on F1 again, so there’s not much point in watching, as its the only thing that made the two plus hours less boring. (Apart from Eddie Jordan’s comments)

  350. Declan says:

    What about dem tyre compounds huh? Not.

  351. Rick J says:

    I find it abhorent what Ferrari have done and forever my opinion of them and their accomplishments has been diminished.

    I feel sorry for Massa. He will feel differently about himself as a driver after this day.

    Alonso has gained five points he didn’t earn and if they prove crucial to his championship success for me it will always be a counterfeit victory.

  352. Frank says:

    Honestly, I do not know what is all the fuss about. After the rule was implemented there have been instances where team orders has been used.

    During the Renault years Fisi allowed FA to pass him at least twice and Renault did not pay any penalty. I do remember on the top of my head China 2006. The message was the same, Alonso is faster than you.

    Another good example, Brasil 2007. Massa was under team orders allowing Kimi to take the first position and allowing him to win the WC.
    I do not record any fine either.

    At the beginning of the season, FA found himself on the same situation and FM kept his position because he could fight for the WC. At this current stage he was the 0.001% chance (being very optimistic).

    Let’s be pragmatic, put yourself on the shoes of the team principal at Ferrari. Today, 1/2 is on the bag, FM has no chance to win the WC, FA still might have an small chance, what do you do? Bear in mind you have to answer to Ferrari’s boss.

    Even Martin on BBC was shouting it out loud, Massa allow Alonso pass you!!!

  353. Craig March says:

    What an embarrassment.

    To all those happy with the ‘result’ are you really willing to take one race victory over the long term integrity and future of the sport?

    I’ve read a number of arguments for what happened today and I hope for everyone’s sake this is not a common occurrence because it will end up destroying itself of corruption when the supporting ecosystem (fans/sponsors/media) turn away.

  354. Justin Holden says:

    Disco them both and remove there points, that will teach them

  355. Peter B says:

    A simple suggestion. No radio communication allowed. Fill em up, let em race. No telemetry, no fiddling from the pit wall. Think of all the people they wouldnt need.

    Either that or make the drivers anonymous so that it becomes a true team sport, and the driver becomes just another goal scorer, interesting who won, but not crucial to the championship result.

    For me, team orders are in the same league as the Renault manipulation in Singapore. Domencali should be banned

    1. James Allen says:

      Sorry but it’s not even close to being in the same league as Singapore. Let’s keep a sense of perspective here

      1. monktonnik says:

        In terms of danger to spectators and other drivers, of course not. In terms of affecting the result inSingapore, it was a bit of a shot in the dark. Renault couldn’t be sure that they were going to win the race, and the result was equally affected by Massa and Ferrari having the incident with the fuel hose. Their actions were indefensible and I thought that the lifetime bans were fair in light of that. The incident yesterday has deliberately, cynically and blatantly afffected the race and championship, and under the current rules that is not allowed.

        I think that the depth of feeling from the majority of fans is that this is still an exceptionally serious incident and shouldn’t go unpunished. I understand the pragmatic view of many in the pit lane that this is a necessary and unavoidable part of the sport, but I think the majority of the fans disagree.

        I have made this point before but, I remember various journalists and commentators stating that the loss on interest in Formula 1 durnig the early 2000′s was because of Ferrari’s dominance. I wonder if team orders affecting the result had more of an effect than was previously thought?

        If F1 (and by extension the FIA) wants to attract more fans, and retain the interest of it’s current fan base it needs to send a clear message to the teams amd fans by penalising Ferrari heavily. Either by race suspensions, disqualification from the race, or dare I say it, from the 2010 championship.

      2. Peter B says:

        James, I beg to disagree, it was done for the same reason, and that is a blatent manipulation of the result. Only the means differed.

        One was not subtle, the other much less so. Cheating is cheating when covert actions are taken to subvert the rules.

        The drivers championship has had its day. A relic of past times when the owner was usually the driver. Let us acknowledge the modern era and instead of mano a mano it is now team against team. Then team orders would not be illegal but required. As it is there is an unreconsilable dichotomy in both needs and outcomes.

        It still comes down to the fact that if team orders are banned then it is cheating

      3. Flintster says:

        Rubbish! Ferrari didn’t cheat! they played the game….!

        Blame the game not the players

      4. Iorwg says:

        I agree with the ‘radio silence’ idea – why not just allow teams to contact drivers in an emergency (‘you’ve got a puncture’, ‘yellow flags out, watch out at turn 3′, etc, or ‘pit next lap’) and nothing else? It would put an end to incidents like this, with the added bonus of putting an end to Alonso’s girly whining (and am I the only one who gets the creeps when Smedley/Massa are doing their ‘good lad/boy/son’ routine? – sometimes feel like I’m eavesdropping on a ‘grooming’ session – ‘and if you’re a good little lad there’ll be a sweetie waiting for you in the garage’..)

    2. Jason C says:

      For me, team orders are in the same league as the Renault manipulation in Singapore. Domencali should be banned

      Absolutely not. I can’t even begin to say how much I disagree with that.

  356. Iorwg says:

    An insult to the intelligence of all fans. Even those of Fernando. Saddest of all was seeing Brundle and DC on the BBC trying to justify it from a ‘driver’s viewpoint’ – don’t they understand they ALL owe their jobs (even post-driving career) to the fans? Maybe the BBC should stop employing cynical ex-drivers…
    Re the ‘for the team’ argument: Ferrari (the team) didn’t gain a single extra point – didn’t matter who was 1st or 2nd. Only Fernando benefitted, so it was ‘for Fernando’, plain and simple.
    After Singapore 2008 and his more recent whining about ‘manipulated’ races, can Alonso really expect to be taken seriously ever again?

  357. Graeme Nesbitt says:

    Personally, I am disgusted by this farce of a situation. I felt at my lowest f1 ebb when Felipe was injured 12 months ago and today’s order cut emotional scars almost as deep as erstwhile physical trauma.

  358. Martin says:

    James you havne’t been hard enough in your report of the race! We all watched a set-up. Ferrari not admitting it too, we are being treated like fools.

    It was a poor win for Alonso and both Alonso and Massa looked pathetic with their explanations. The other top drivers would be vocal in their anger at that situation.

    Ferrari should be treated more harshly for their actions, at a mininium be striped of the race result

  359. Eric says:

    Shame on Ferrari for fixing another F1 race. Shame on the cry baby Fernando Alonso for taking another undeserving win. Alonso should be disqualified from the race for taking benefit from the team order!

  360. phil says:

    I have no problem with it at all. Massa can’t win the title, his actions helped to bring Alonso and ferrari back into the title race. He did what is best for the team, and he understood his role.

    I think alot of the brits are just annoyed because it has helped alonso reduce his points to the two brit mclaren dirvers.

  361. CJH says:

    Ferrari did exactly the right thing today and the only aspect of the race that can be described as shambolic is the FIA’s frankly futile attempts to legislate a ridiculous ruling.

    I also don’t understand why so many people seem quite content to loathe Fernando Alonso. I sense he could be the man to beat over the remainder of the season.

    And finally, is it just me that thinks Eddie Jordan’s completely out of his depth on live TV? The man loses more and more dignity each week.

    1. Damian Johnson says:

      Why is Fernando the man to beat? He can’t even overtake his own team mate without help from his own team.

  362. mo kahn says:

    Alonso is a mercurial character. There was a lot of coded messages being transmitted between the drivers and teams. When Alonso came on the radio and asked “isn’t he the number two” which according to me was a warning being sounded by Alonso that he will attack and will overtake irrelevant to the consequences. He was already wronged when Vettel squeezed him against the pitwall at start forcing him to lift and he was toying with Massa today with his sheer pace and superior racecraft. We’ve seen the preceeding race (Silverstone) that he is not afraid to take the fight to his teammate. So when he fired that coded warning, Ferrari had two choices, face the possibility of both or one of their cars being eliminiated or to order Alonso through. And with the effort it took by Ferrari and every member of their factory to make the car the way it turned out, the decision was in the best interest for the team and an honour for their hardwork. We all know Massa is no match for Alonso, we all saw Alonso was closing in at will and even took a lunge at Massa. He is no Kimi, Massa must knows that all too well now. And besides Massa should have not made it so evident about it and saved the embarrasment. Didn’t Button do so in Istanbul? and Mark for Vettel? So its nothing new, but neighter Button or Mark made it so obvious about it. So I think its Massa which should shoulder the blame, simple for Massa, if you don’t like whats being told to you then go find another team, but not make mockery of things when asked to follow orders and destroy otherwise a wonderful race. Wonder what Stefano would say to Massa, he was clearly upset with Massa which was evident on the podium.

    1. Iorwg says:

      I want some of what you’re on – obviously strong stuff – is it available OTC, or do I need a prescription?

      Er, thinking about it, I’ll stay clean and keep my dignity in public..

  363. Damian Johnson says:

    James,

    Time to get A FIA representative in the Ferrari garage?

    And a points reversal between Alonso and Massa?

    And punitive costs £100 million for denying what happened?

    1. James Allen says:

      Let’s keep a sense of perspective here.

      1. Damian Johnson says:

        Did FIA show a sense of persepctive when they fined McLaren $100 million in 2007? It depends on whether Ferrari continue to deny their guilt to the WMSC and precedents have been set by FIA with size of fines based on a team’s ability to pay. But we know that FIA has operated a kangaroo court and it’s all about politics at the WMSC and not with dispensing justice.

  364. DavidW says:

    James,
    I can’t beleive you have 500 responses to this. Most are from people who just do not understand 2 points. 1.F1 is a business and winning is what it is all about.
    2.Alonso has done wonders with the Ferrari all season and consistently blown Massa away. Even Alonso’s driver peers have voted him the best driver in the field in a Hockenheim survey.Massa needs to grow up or drive faster. Most of us would be happy to drive his ferrari to 2nd place every weekend for the 8 million he receives. Alonso gets paid 3 times as much because he is that much better. No wonder Massa got told to get out of his way.

  365. Don Farrell says:

    Wow James… 501 replies by Midnight on the Sunday just after a Grand Prix – that has to be a record number of comments relating to the one subject?

  366. mo kahn says:

    Christain Horner’s exact comments after the race: “I have to say, that’s probably the clearest team order I’ve ever seen – especially when you have a team apologising to a driver,” Horner, referring to Race Engineer Rob Smedley’s ‘Sorry’ comment, told BBC Sport. “It will be very interesting to see what the stewards make of it but for me it was just as it was in Austria in 2002.

    “I think that it’s wrong, it’s wrong for the sport; the drivers should have been allowed to race – Massa did the better job, he was in the lead. The regulations are pretty clear; team orders aren’t allowed and it looked like a team order.”

    Well, Christian wouldn’t you love to rub it in and make Massa a Victim?

    Point to Consider Mr. Christian:

    1.Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:27:38.844
    2.Felipe Massa Ferrari +4.196
    3.Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +5.121

    DISTANCE BETWEEN MASSA AND VETTEL: 0.925 SECONDS.

    DISTANCE BETWEEN MASSA AND ALONSO PRE-OVERTAKING: UNDER 0.50 SECONDS.

    So, you would love Ferrai to put its faster car behind its slower car so that YOUR car can attack is it?

    Mind you my Horner, not every team is as navie as to take each other out when dominating a race… does Istanbul ring a bell?

    You wanted Ferrari to make the very same mistake you made in Istanbul?

    Mind you Mr. Horner, we the fans are not naive to bite into such naive comments.

  367. Oliver N says:

    Such a response to this issue, and apologies, but I don’t have a week spare to read all the comments, but.

    F1 is a team sport, always has been and always will be, and in my view always should be.

    However, if the FIA decide impose a dumb, and more importantly, unenforceable rule, then they should at least have the nuts to punish those who break that rule. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ferrari spent 100k on coffee in a season.

    They have basically manipulated the result of a global sporting event, and got away unpunished.

    …and what irks me most, is that with the exception of Domenicalli, all the Ferrari people I’ve seen interviewed as asking me to believe them when they say ‘he had a problem with the hard tyre’, ‘there was no team order’. Por favor, I’m not stupid, please don’t treat me as such, at least ‘fess up and take whats coming.

  368. Érico says:

    Funny, isn’t it? A win after a race like this seems to fit just fine in Alonso’s biography. It goes right with not being able to handle not having preferential treatment in McLaren, Singapore 2008 and all the general moaning and crying he has done over the years.

  369. Marybeth says:

    I am one of those who believes that Massa pulled over, though not as obviously as today, to let Alonso pass in Bahrain, per team orders.

  370. Ben says:

    Does it matter if it has been got away with before? Fuji 2007 and Brazil 2007 were much harder to be 100% of team orders although it was very likely. Everyone who watched the race knows it was team orders today, even the FIA did otherwise they would not have fined Ferrari. That is the difference and Ferrari should have been punished further. Of course I’m not saying its fine to use team orders if you do it sneakily, but when it is as obvious as todays, surely you need to really clamp down on it.

    The gap between the two before the race was basically 1 race win. 25 points sounds a lot but in this point system it really is nothing at all. If Ferrari have the fastest car now, they have just shut one driver out of the title race completely.

    James – As pretty much everyone on the grid sided with Webber over the front wing issue, do you expect a similar reaction for Felipe? It doesn’t seem that Alonso has too many allies on the grid as it is other than Kubica.

  371. Érico says:

    I’m even happier now Massa didn’t win’t the 2008 title. I can’t imagine a worthy and proper WDC having to go through this and humiliate himself in these circumstances. One way or another, the WDCs do have a stronger backbone.

    1. Markku says:

      I totally agree!

    2. Ben says:

      As has been pointed out by many people, Massa was only in contention for the F1 2008 WDC because of a managed move at China where Kimi pulled over and gave him his position.

    3. Femi Akinz says:

      This is why I respect Lewis Hamilton. A rookie stood up to a 2x world champion who felt the world has to bend over for him to do one.

      Lewis and perhaps more importantly understood that if you get labelled a #2 it sticks forever.

      I think it was James speaking in a programme on Hamilton who said that Alonso underestimated the sense of purpose of the Hamiltons

      For anyone who said Kubica should go to Ferrari can you ever imagine him doing that? I cant.

      In any case, this was very short term thinking by Ferrari. Yeah in the short term you get points but they could so easily have had a rejuvenated Massa for the next two years at least.

      As for the move itself, its like getting a colleague to hand you your sack letter while the boss takes the week off. Stefano should have done it himself and been a bit more subtle.

      Phew!

  372. chris green says:

    Penalty?

    How ’bout $100 million and loss of all points for the year.

    The German GP was just another f1 farce.

    1. SKWD says:

      A little premature; the stewards are, as far as I know, only allowed to impose a fine of up to $100k, so they applied the maximum they could and referred the matter upwards.

      The test of the FIA’s resolve on this issue will come at the WMSC hearing. The stewards have done 100% of what they could here.

  373. Sebee says:

    Hey James,

    Weren’t you asking why Flavio was at Ferrari last week? It was to negotiate full #1 status for Alonso since there is no way he can’t do it for Mark.

  374. Jan says:

    I understand what happened today. What I cannot comprehend is how inelegantly it was done. How is it possible that Felippe and Rob do not have pre arranged codes? How can any driver/engineer on the grid not have face saving routines in place? The lack of foresight is shocking, really. Absent that, I have to agree with EJ in that the breach was made much worse by having Rob give the order. If the bosses cannot man up enough to give the order themselves, double shame on them.

    When I was much younger I thought, how nobel and gentlemanly were World Champions. I was young and naive then and perhaps I am still naive, but I expect a certain amount of dignity and honorable behavior from a Champion. Alonso may be two times a Champion and a very skilled driver indeed. My bad for expecting him to live up to my expectations. :(

  375. Albertini says:

    a lot of hipocresy,many alonso´s haters would like to see a ferrari crash… i can feel the fear, Fernando is back

  376. Spenny says:

    It should be interesting to see if the WMSC operates differently with Moseley out of the way (or is he?).

    If Ferrari embarrass themselves by denying team orders at the hearing, they will force the WMSC to punish them severely, because to deny team orders is to lie to the WMSC who simply will not be interested in the technicalities in so obvious a case – and even if they did find that technically they did not order it, they have still brought the sport into disrepute by “discouraging” their drivers from racing in such a blatant manner.

    Ferrari will therefore only have one avenue, which is to find a way of pleading guilty while saving as much face as possible. 151c is a gem of a rule to allow WMSC to do what they want, regardless of the case before them.

    In the end, the big problem for Ferrari is that Alonso did not take the fight to Massa and force the issue – the lap times before the switch simply do not support the case that Alonso was consistently quicker, and even though he was a bit quicker afterwards, take into account a de-motivated driver, it is not entirely surprising.

    1. Damian Johnson says:

      I fear Bernie will do a secret deal stitch up to save face for Ferrari and in return will seek favours in the 2013 negotiations. A very small increase in the size of the fine is likely!

  377. Greg says:

    This is worth analysing James.

    Red indicates Massa times are faster.
    Black indicates the ‘Overtake’

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_TYJrB8ZJQ8A/TEyQoSAxZeI/AAAAAAAANW8/to6Csdngj_c/s1600/hockenheim.jpg

    1. ginnerchris says:

      The times before the switch, are interesting, but Fernando’s argument would have been that he could have gone faster if he was in clear air.

      The times after the overtake show just how close it really was between them.

    2. Aloh says:

      this does not consider the effects of traffic, and does show that Alonso was faster – especially once passed Massa

  378. Mark M says:

    Initially I was annoyed at the situation but recalled watching the Tour De France.
    Each race seems to worked out prior to the start , not to mention the drugs.

    Ferrari were going to be 1st and 2nd anyway so only loser was Massa and Ferrari credibilty.

    1. Sebee says:

      And you, after wasting two hours watching F1.

  379. My Facebook…

    ‘What were Ferrari thinking? Im all over the place with what’s happened!? ‘Felipe Baby’ should have won that race, no need for team orders, he nearly died in a Ferrari exactly one year to the day, they should have given him that extra 5 points…. this is exactly why I’m more a Porsche man than a Ferrari man’

    http://www.facebook.com/thisischris if you want to follow my Formula 1 ad Photography interests.

  380. Nilesh says:

    Different team, different teammate, same result. The calls in ’05 were ‘Giancarlo, Fernando is faster than you.’ Somehow it went by people’s radar then.

    This is an absolute disappointment for the fans. In the very first lap when Massa took the lead, I told my wife that this will end with team orders. I’m sure there will be many ardent followers left with a very bitter taste in their mouths for the better part of this Sunday.

  381. Bernard says:

    Dave Ryan was sacked and Hamilton disqualified for lying to the stewards last year and McLaren given a 3 race ban suspended for 12 months – and that was for ‘being open and honest with the WMSC’.

    Two years before that the FIA installed an official at McLaren to oversee proceedings and ensure equality between Hamilton and Alonso.

    Will we see similar outcomes for Ferrari? Let’s hope so, for the sake of the sport.

  382. TG says:

    There definitely seems to be a disconnect between those who support team orders, the traditionalists who consider themselves “real F1 fans” and everyone else. Fortunately, for the good of F1 as a global sporting event, the former seem to be in a sharp minority.
    Common sense will prevail – F1 needs to be a legitimate, modern sport respectful of its global TV audiences to survive.
    If the WMSC has any sense it will look at how IndyCar handled its controversy this weekend to hand Dixon the win post-race.

  383. bones says:

    To all people asking for Ferrari to be punished:
    FIA’s president is Jean Totd.
    Enough said.

    1. Ben says:

      Which means he will be under greater scrutiny not to sweep this under the carpet. I suspect that he will leave this to the courts and will not be dragged in on either side of the argument other than maybe a statement that reiterates the wording of the rules and how that is the FIA position on the affair.

  384. Nick says:

    James, how different would this be if this was the last race of the year and the Championship was on the line? I suspect there wouldn’t be this kind of controversy.

  385. houstongeordie says:

    how exactly did this trivial thing ruin a whole race? it’s happened many times before and will happen many times again. F1 is BIG business as well as our favourite sport. get a grip and sweat the real stuff!

  386. bones says:

    James,could you please tell Massa off the record that he will regret forever this,he should ask Rubens how he feels NOW over his time in Ferrari,his reputation will be gone and from now on he will get hired only to be a number 2 driver,his dream of becoming F1 champion will be just that: a dream.
    He has to die fighting.
    Thanks

  387. Andrew Myers says:

    Just thinking about this a bit more. Things are going to get really interesting in terms of team orders if we get the “push to pass” button.

    1. James Allen says:

      The adjustable rear wing you mean

      1. Rich C says:

        The adjustable “bodywork.”

      2. Andrew Myers says:

        Sorry James – yes that’s the one.

  388. Shane says:

    WOW! What a contentious issue! I know my comment will be lost in the noise, but I do want to chime in.

    First, I think it has been clear all season that Alonso is quicker than Massa, maybe not astonishingly so, but quicker nonetheless. Second, Alonso is much closer to the WDC title than Massa. Third, they both race for Ferrari.

    Consider the situation that RBR faced in Turkey. Ferrari aren’t about to let that happen.

    The true tragedy here is how Massa and Smedley handled this situation. They should have accepted the FACT that Massa was slower (as evidenced by Alonso pulling a massive gap after he passed) and taken their medicine like big boys. If Massa was pissed, he should have stayed on Alonso’s tail, but he was too slow for that.

    And for those of you that think a silly little rule will prevent team orders, think again. When a team is up against a wall, like Ferrari is, they will absolutely give their drivers instructions to do what is best for the team, and rightly slow. The team orders rule is lame.

    1. Jason C says:

      I would just like to add to your point about Turkey: unlike at at Red Bull, one Ferrari driver is consistently faster than the other this year and is much further ahead in the championship.

      1. Shane says:

        Absolutely!

        I was also thinking that perhaps this is Ferrari’s first play towards consolidating their position in the Constructor’s championship. Ferrari have their back against the wall and are bearing their claws. Perhaps they wanted Alonso to get past Massa in order to allow the faster driver (Alonso) to pull a gap in case Vettel made a play for second. From Ferrari’s point of view, a 1-3 finish is seven more points than a 2-3.

  389. Alan J says:

    The reality is that the rule preventing team orders is unnecessary and unenforcable, and the sooner it’s gone the better.

    As David Coulthard said in his post-race comments, team orders always have been – and still are – are an integral part of the sport, whether that means giving one driver priority in pit stop strategy, or giving one driver a new technical update ahead of another one based on their position in the driver’s championship (yes, I’m talking about you Christian Horner), or ordering drivers to hold station until the end of the race in order to prevent potential accidents and preserve the result for the team (e.g. McLaren a couple of races ago after Button unexpectedly challenged Hamilton and almost collided with him).

    Alonso was consistently faster than Massa all weekend, has already lost points this season due to being held up behind Massa (e.g. Australia) and is the only Ferrari driver with any chance in the driver’s championship. The only thing Ferrari did wrong in my opinion was not to disguise their move more cleverly.

  390. Nick says:

    I think this is where the new points system backfires a little, with the gap between first and second being relatively larger than last year. If the difference was still 2 points, would Ferrari have bothered with team orders?

  391. Mike says:

    Absolutely sick of this. If F1 wants to retain support and viewing figures this has to be reprimanded. It’s a farce and the response of Ferrari is insulting to the general public who saw EXACTLY what happened. I think they should be disqualified for the race.

  392. BA says:

    FA:”This is ridiculous”

    I bet Massa was feeling the same when he was passed by alonso in the pitlane entry incident at Shanghai :))

  393. Steve Smith says:

    Wow. 500+ comments in one day – is that a record? This season might otherwise have been an extremely drab affair were it not for Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s ability to implode so spectacularly. Christian Horner must be breathing a huge sigh of relief that Ferrari have managed to take the heat off his team for at least this week … with the likelihood of the fall-out from this race continuing on to next week’s race also. I have never seen a driver (Vettel) look so pleased with third place! Whilst Ferrari’s antics spoilt any kind of racing spectacle, the team have managed to create great drama off the track! Will McLaren join in the party at the next round, or are they just lapping it up while the other teams argue amongst themselves? F1 has turned into a circus show! Rob Smedley’s final comment to Massa on his return to the pits (that his performance was ‘magnanimous’) summed up events perfectly!

    1. James Allen says:

      No, we’ve had more, but this is a big subject which has got fans roused, clearly

    2. Ben says:

      I think describing this season as a drab affair other than the soap opera drama that Red Bull and Ferrari have provided is not a fair reflection.

      Every season has had its soap operas, in 2009 we had Lie Gate, we had Barrichello complaining about favouritism, we had fallout of Singapore 2008 affair, we had Schumacher’s aborted comeback.

      Every season has soap operas, what has lifted this season has been the great on track action. That is possibly why there has been such a huge reaction about what happened yesterday. In a season with such great racing where we have seen regular on track fighting between team mates, Ferrari denied us of that spectacle and gave us a managed move.

  394. Spyros says:

    So, it looks like the fine won’t be followed with a change in the results…

    That’s a bit like a judge finding someone guilty of bank robbery, but not ordering that the discovered loot be returned to the bank.

    1. Shane says:

      Or a bit like like allowing a car to pay for their qualifying position for a paltry $10,000 US.

  395. Justin says:

    A few times on the BBC coverage they noted that it is usually the team manager or boss that announces the team orders, ahem, I mean relative speed information to the drivers. So it’s interesting that in this case it was Rob Smedley who handed out the bad news to Massa. I wonder if they had an agreement that it would be Rob that would make such announcements, possibly because he is one of the few people that Massa trusts any more in the team, but certainly I would say because at least Massa would know that coming from Smedley at least he knows that a battle has been fought on his behalf to allow him to race.
    Anyway personally I think that if this had been the last race and Alonso had needed the win to secure the drivers championship no one would have batted and eye lid. However because it was mid-season and really the only thing really worth talking about in what was otherwise a pretty processional race then it’s become a massive talking point

    1. James Allen says:

      Something like that should come from the boss. Driver and engineer have a bond and Smedley’s tone showed that he felt that bond was being tested

      1. Ben says:

        Don’t you think if that message came from the Team Principal (or if anyone other than the engineer) it would only look more suspicious and even harder to defend that it was not a team order?

        If a team principal suddenly got on the radio to a driver and a lap later that driver pulls over for his team mate then the evidence would be black and white. By getting Smedley to do it Ferrari can at least construct a version of events that would be able to pass through a court hearing.

      2. Blanchimont says:

        I felt very sorry for Smedley, but I suspect it was all part of the cover up: if it comes from Smedley you can (and I accept everyone sees through this) try and say it is just the usual relay of information from engineer to driver, if you have Domenicali say it it is closer to “Rubens, let Michael through for the Championship”, which I think were the exact words used by Todt in 2002.

        I forget what changes to the WMSC and the disciplinary process have been introduced post-Mosley, but it places Todt in a rather difficult position when he’s been one of the foremost proponents of team orders in the past.

      3. Aloh says:

        if it was not a team order – as they claim – then the info coming from Smedley is the correct procedure right… ? from a technical standpoint, and leaving the emotion out of it.

      4. monktonnik says:

        here here.

        It would have been more suspicious coming from Chris Dyer or Domenicali

  396. Augusto Baena says:

    James,

    Let’s not be hypocritical. Ferrari (and most teams, for that matter) can play “drivers’ equality” until half of the season more or less (remember Australia, where Alonso was blocked by a clearly slower Massa), and then they typically support the better positioned driver.
    There have been many post-2002 cases (just top-of-the-head examples):
    - Ferrari 2007 (when Massa supported Kimi to grab the title)
    - Ferrari 2008 (where Kimi supported Massa to grab the title, which he couldn’t).
    - McLaren 2009 (Kov moving over to allow Ham through)
    - Brawn 2009 (Brawn giving a third stop to Barrichello to allow Button through)
    - RBR 2010: the infamous front wing (removed from Webber’s car)
    - McLaren 2010: team orders are coded as “save fuel” (eg Turkey).

    Alonso was clearly faster, and he could ruin the team’s race (à la red Bull) by trying to overtake him. Massa was defending his position tooth and nail (when they overtook a train of slower cars) and it didn’t make any sense from a team’s perspective.

    If anything, Ferrari has been guilty of doing it too bluntly. My gut feeling is that Massa had been given the order to move over in a more subtle way (à la McLaren’s “save fuel”) several times, and he didn’t comply, and that would be why Smedley would speak it out to him so slowly in a tone that looked like if his patience was about to run out. The problem is only this last communication was publicly aired.

    Massa was understandably disappointed and has executed the manouvre in such a way he triggered an investigation against his own team as a sort of vengueance.

    Regards

    Augusto Baena

  397. Bluey from Oz says:

    I understand why there has been a big backlash by fans of F1 – because we were all sitting in Massa’s cockpit when he got the radio message -and then watched at turn 6 when the trade took place.

    But it is Team politics – the commentators hit the nail on the head when they said,” why do you sign Massa to a new 2 year deal while he was still recovering from his injuries” – for the exact instance that we all saw in yesterdays race.

    As a dyed-in-the-wool Ferrari supporter (yep through the bad old days as well) , I’m just happy to see Ferrari claim 2 of the 3 podium positions.

    And as an Aussie, I am a staunch supporter of Mark Webber (not of RBR).

    But, it only goes to prove a couple of things

    A) Fans now support a Driver rather than a Team

    B) That in all F1 Teams, there is a #1 Driver and a #2 Driver

    And that the Drivers Championship (the #1 plate) is the be all and end all.

    So, with Webber and Vettel on the same points –who is the Team supporting to win the Drivers Championship ?

    1. Shane says:

      They should support Webber on wins, and on principle. Webber has built that team from nothingness. He has paid his dues. Vettel is crazy fast, but Webber is more deserving.

  398. Naren says:

    $100,00,00 fine is nothing for Ferrari. They should have been thrown out of the German race, or a time penalty should have been imposed for beach of rules. This was done to Mercedes in Monoco, then why not to Ferrari.

  399. Martin Hathaway says:

    Is there not a double issue here, Ferrari not only clearly used team orders, they are also lying about it ~ & we know what happened to Lewis & McLaren over “Liegate”. At the very least there should have been a time penalty for Alonso.

  400. JamesD says:

    There were a few things I found fairly distasteful about it:

    Firstly Alonso, “This is rediculous” assuming that he has a right to be in front. Massa earned that right with his pass at the start.

    Second – Getting Rob Smedley to give the order – that was bad. Team orders should come from team bosses.

    Third – The way it was so blantant then they just lied about it afterward. I felt it was incredibly patronising to a knowledgable audience. It appears that even the FIA realised in this case also :o)

    That said, I don’t entirely disagree with team orders. As has been said, they have been in the sport forever. However, modern racing/media coverage being what it is, I think they should have to wait until one drivers is mathematically out of the title hunt before they can impose them.

    Personally I think Massa should have ignored the call. He’ll never be the same driver, or be seen in the same way after letting that happen. Even if he got sacked, there’s a seat going begging at Renault at the moment.

  401. Adrian says:

    Alonso did not WIN this race.

    That is all I have to say on the matter.

    1. Shane says:

      Agreed (and I am a fan of Alonso’s), but Ferrari did win and Alonso was able to secure his bid for the championship. Really, a win-win. The season is all but lost for Massa’s WDC bid, it is time for Massa to rally behind his team and do everything he can to assist Ferrari in the Constructors championship and even to help Alonso in his WDC fight.

  402. ginnerchris says:

    My feeling on this is that it would have been okay if Alonso was challenging for the title and Massa didn’t have a chance. I know Alonso is now back in the title hunt, and Massa is further behind than he would have been, but if Alonso has a big accident (like Massa did last year, or Schumacher did in 99), and Ferrari need to throw their support behind Felipe to win the prize, it’s going to be all the harder now.

    I also wouldn’t have had any complaints if once he’d been let past Alonso had pumped in a string of fastest laps and gapped Massa by half a second a lap – this would have shown he was “faster”, but there were tenths in it, and Massa had shown he could react when the Red Bull tried to close.

    Thirdly, Vettel clearly wasn’t capable of challenging for the win – he couldn’t run in the hot/dirty air and close the gap, as Webber showed behind the McLarens. By reversing the positions, Ferrari actually put him closer to the back of their 2nd placed driver (the gap closed from about 5 seconds by a couple on the switch lap).

    1. Alexis says:

      …and Massa wouldn’t mind conceding to a teammate challenging for the championship.

      Being TOLD to concede for no genuine reason is the problem.

  403. Phil says:

    If the rules said nothing about team orders it would be much more suitable. We can never stop the teams from manipulating the races. Team orders should be legal simply because it is impossible to control. If Massa and Alonso had’ve got out of the cars and said “This is what the team needed and this is the best result for us and the championship” the situation would be better. If you don’t like manipulated results, go find a something you understand.
    Ferrari didn’t need to do what they did, and so we should be disappointed in there behaviour, but having a rule about this behaviour just forces the teams to hide it. Let them be open and honest or don’t complain when the teams and drivers are hiding the truth!

    1. Michael Brown says:

      Very well said. My thought’s exactly.

  404. F1 dingo says:

    Hi James,

    Rather a disappointing finish to the race I thought. Alonso looked faster but as we all know that means nothing in formula 1. Both Ferrari drivers had enough to hold off Vettel in 3rd and therefore Ferrari would still have taken maximum points as another comment pointed out.

    For people not to say it was team orders or that the race was fixed is a farce. They broke the rules and therefore should face a more stringent penalty than a fine worth less than an F1 steering wheel.

    I’d also ask this, what about people who had placed money on Massa to win the race? Betting is a large part of any sport and basically this result was ‘fixed’ by a 3rd party, ie. the team.

    Let it not be lost on anyone that for all Massa’s problems this year he has found himself in front of Alonso on a number of occasions and is obviously not fazed by having his mirrors full of the other Ferrari – bar an overtaking manoeuvre into the pits in China (which some might say risked taking out both cars had Massa not seen him) I don’t think Alonso has been unable to pass Massa on track this year?

    Just as F1 was getting back on its feet, Ferrari come to the party once more.

    Either ban the rule on team orders or eliminate Ferrari from the result of the race. The fine is a debacle.

  405. JohnBt says:

    Come to think of it what’s wrong with team orders.
    In fact team orders is a must, why not, the teams consist hundreds of hardworking folks. They deserve to earn results based on team efforts.

    Ferrari is a team wanting to win the championships.
    So if a the slower driver Massa is allowed to keep his lead, wouldn’t that jeopardize the race when Vettel was catching up very fast.

    Alonso would have overtaken Massa with 20 laps to go with a small gap of 0.8 sec behind Massa. Ferrari’s biggest fear were both taking each other out and mind you Ferrari has not been doing well with points lately.

    The only thing Ferrari did wrong was making the team order too clear and very very loud. Anyone who believes there’s no team orders when the situation calls for is a fool.

    We’ve got one week to intensify the criticisms before Hungary.

    Two wishes:
    Alonso, please, please stop whinning, I can’t take it anymore.
    Felipe, please stop looking so sad and also stop whinning.

    These are top racers in the world. It makes me cringe even more.

    Ok, enough said. I’m already hungry for Hungary.

  406. Josh M says:

    Team orders happen at every race. Petrov was ordered how to drive. Webber was told to back off from Button. Button held station behind Lewis without even trying to pass him. Webber was told to run his fuel mix down when Vettel wasn’t. Vettel got the benefit of the new wing over Webber: a clear team order.

    Nothing wrong with team orders. The problem is with the ridiculous rule trying to ban them. Teams will always manipulate the results: credit to Ferrari for being so blatant. They spend millions to go racing, so why lose a championship by dropping points to a team-mate?

    I would change the rules: if drivers from the same team come in line astern, then both drivers should get the points of the leading driver – on the basis that the teams could switch round the results if they wanted to. So yesterday, Massa could have won, but both Massa and Alonso would have picked up the points for taking a win. Similarly, Lewis and JB would both have got points for 4th place.

    People are going on about the audience being smart. Well, we are. We understand it is a team sport and that drivers work for the benefit of the team. Get real. Ferrari were clumsy but “honest”. Change the rule.

  407. Jonathan says:

    The team orders were repugnant enough. But the lies Ferrari trotted out after the race were a new low.

    Rigging the race and treating the public like idiots drags F1 through the gutter. No punishment is too severe in my view.

  408. JR says:

    Heard on the radio this morning that some people are calling for the ‘no team orders’ rule to be dropped.

    This is a bad idea. If it’s dropped all teams might be forced to adopt team order tactics to be competitive, which will mean that half the field — all the number 2 cars and drivers — will become ‘blockers’ with the remit just to defend their No1 drivers, get in the way of opposing teams cars and spoil the race for all the spectators. Might we also see a new breed of driver — drivers with no chance of winning but with highly developed defensive skills?

    Motor racing is not a team sport; it’s a sport where every driver who starts should be trying to win — and should be allowed to win if he can.

  409. James Mc says:

    Seems that the Ferrari incident has made it go largely unnoticed that Vettel yet again failed to convert a top qualifying position and made another what I would call Rookie mistake.

    Surely if there are team orders at Red Bull they must now back Webber as he has been the most consistent driver over the season.

  410. 2010lewisf1 says:

    i would like to see a bit more of impartiality here. just watch the race video of nurburgring 2009 on formula1.com and listen to ross brawn as he speaks to rubens. nobody in the hole world said anything about it then, but it was pretty much the same as this time.

    felipe didn’t deserve to win, he was never fast enough, not even on the soft tyre. felipe closed fernando very hard when he was already passed on turn 6 and then again the next curve. felipe was driving over his limit at that point, you can see it by the many mistakes he made. ferrari accepted the same situation in australia when both had still a chance in championship but now it was the right thing to do. it was done the wrong way and so the fine is ok. just remember china 2008. kimi lets felipe pass the same way, just a bit more intelligent in barking zone, but whats the difference?

    anyway the only reason why felipe was in front is vettels unfair move at the start, but obviously no one is seeing that. as it is ferrari we’re talking about, some people find it hard to be neutral.
    and if you think i’m wrong just look at the video and tell me.

  411. ralph says:

    I’d like to take a more measured approach to all that happened last evening.

    The passion to win makes everyone a cry baby at some point, and seemingly most of them continue to remain so till they quit the sport. Almost all of these racers (and mostly champions at that) are sore losers (cough – Schumi) and we can take this back to even the muscled greatness of the Senna-Prost era (Senna included). The bottom-line; they’re all here to win and will sore up when it goes the other way.

    But this year we’ve seen how things effect the sport when teams make decisions without bringing a touch of subtlety that some of the older management practiced over the years (referring to poor management by Ferrari, Red Bull and word has it that only time will tell a different tale on the flowery picture shown at McLaren). Quite frankly not many would have imagined the level of animosity between Vettel and Webber prior to their infamous crash and the incidents that followed thereafter. Coming back to last evening, Ferrari “badly” executed a team order that most teams do any which way either on field or off it. The penalty they got was a joke really and it easily should have been much severe, possibly even a multi-race ban. Having said all this, I’m sure there are things we are not yet savvy to that brings prioritized governing justice and a flow of green paper to the sport that makes these decisions the way they came to us.

    The post race press conference and in particular the hounding questions from the floor by the journos at Hockenheim was quite a fun event. For obvious reasons it was centered around this team-order-gate incident; poor Vettel was left to sip his orange fillers and he even suggested leaving the room when he was asked to sit by Alonso. Vettel’s words struck a decent amount of providence to the general feeling gathered over the course of the last month or so. Putting it down for readers here to ponder and think over on this fiasco and past ones just to hear it from a drivers perspective perhaps:

    (Miran Alisic – Korpmedia) I have a question for Sebastian. I think you had some not similar but close situations with Mark as well. Do you feel proud that what has happened at Ferrari today hasn’t happened in your team?
    Vettel: Don’t you have another question maybe? Yeah, maybe they should have crashed. I don’t know, I haven’t seen the incident. I was too far back. I always saw them going into the hairpin when I was coming out of turn five, so I don’t know what you’re all talking about. I can guess but I don’t know. For sure my advice would not be it’s better to crash because also then you get a lot of questions that you have to answer so… Yeah, for me I was focusing on my own race and trying to do my thing, trying to stay close enough, trying to get closer, trying to put them under pressure. It didn’t work, so I’m not pleased with that. No matter who you race, it’s always difficult in Formula One to pass people and sometimes you have to take a lot of risk. When you don’t have to race your team-mate, you’re racing for the team, both of you, both drivers and on the other hand everyone looks for his own advantage. We had a couple of situations this year in our team, so it’s quite a comedy that we are not in focus at this stage but life changes quickly, so… It’s never wise to say anything that you might regret. Maybe in a week’s time. I’m happy where we are now, as a team. Again, I can only repeat that from the outside there was more of a fuss made than there was inside. I can assure you that Mark and myself are always looking to do our best but on top of that, I think we understood many times this year that the team is the main priority and we are racing for the team, in the end. We don’t get our cheque from you guys, we get it from the team. I think that’s something we always have to respect.

    Do excuse the longish nature of this comment (perhaps it could be an article on its own accord).

    Cheers all

  412. Bolaji says:

    I will NEVER respect Alonso again. NEVER. I cant understand why a driver would have the GALL to ask for his team to offer him track position to win a race because he was not skilled enough to overtake on his own. Alonso is one of the WORST out there. James, is there a medium (email/postal address) for fans on whom this sport depeneds, to express our opinions and let the FIA/WMSC know how disgusted we are that their reaction to yesterdays race fixing ?

  413. Pete says:

    A lot of people are saying that an Alonso win was the best thing for the sport because it makes the championship tighter.

    I would rather have seen Alonso get an honest second place, or an honest overtake of Massa. Either way would have been a good result for the sport.

    Not a dishonest pass.

  414. andy says:

    Team orders have always, and always will be part of F1, Like it or not F1 is big business.
    However it could have been done better, then we wouldnt have known, massa is in my opinion abit foolish here. Now everyone knows he doesnt follow team orders without a show. I wouldnt employ him now!!!

    1. Olivier says:

      Andy, you’ve lost me here: Are you being angry on Massa and Smedley for being too obvious?!

      You should be angry on team Alonso for being so arrogant! To paraphrase him: “This is ridiculous.” (the Hockenheim farce)

      F1 a corporate business? I don’t think so. Toyota was never able to fight for both Championships because of that attitude.

  415. Paul D says:

    What upset me more than anything is the complete and utter contempt Ferrari showed F1 fans after the race. They really did insult the intelligence of the entire F1 community by trying to argue the team had not made that call. They seemed to adopt this really arrogant stance that I haven’t seen from them for a number of years.

    Also I fear Massa’s career was effectively finished yesterday just like DC’s was in Australia 1998.

  416. johnpierre rivera says:

    james

    wow, i don’t think i have ever seen so many comments (heated) on this post as this incident has generated. as always you commentary is fair, unbiased, and measured (i like the way you let the F1 community duke it out amount ourselves). i have read many posts and, i made it to 200 or so on yours. for me, i think andrew benson’s blog sums it up best. for everyone that is passionate about this unsavory aspect of F1, give his article a read and i feel we can get past all of the emotion and bad will that team orders has caused.

  417. Jon Wilde says:

    I can’t believe the brazen attitude of Ferrari. They seem to think they have a right to manipulate the rules. I think what the past couple of seasons have shown is that F1 is not a better place with Ferrari, they don’t bring anything special to the sport. They don’t need to be at the front winning races. Look at the season so far. The 2 races Ferrari have won have been boring or fixed. They seem to kill the vibrancy and enjoyment the other teams have bought to the sport.

    Really who would be happy with yesterday’s result? Ferrari’s sponsors are global so must produce results which are globally appreciated. If Ferrari have found a performance advantage and go on to win the season it will be tainted by their actions yesterday. Schumacher is remembered by many as a cheat not a great man, Alonso seems to be cementing his persona as the same man. The only team he has driven for who have not been charged for cheating is Minardi.

  418. Ayron says:

    Very disappointing effort by Ferrari and Alonso’s efforts to discuss the overtake on Massa were laughable, particularly when Massa was then asked about it and didn’t try to make up ridiculous tales of woe and just stated, he passed me.
    I was particularly intrigued by one question posed to Alonso after the race regarding on how this victory would rate for him, as highly as Singapore 2008? Very pointed and probably indicative of the feelings surrounding this farce.
    So much heat that poor Vettel, the best placed German driver was completely ignored until he asked if he could go…

  419. Rik McCrossan says:

    James,
    Has the official Stewards report been published yet? I’m very interested in seeing it because effectively what the fine means is that they are calling Ferrari liers – Ferrari said that Massa moved over on his own accord; the fine says that the stewards believed it was a team order to do so.

    I’m also interested to see what Ferrari do to Rob Smedley. His communication made it absolutely clear what was going on. I’m sure the Ferrari brass were not happy about that.

  420. Alric Kitson says:

    I can’t believe Ferrari are allowed to keep their “Win” – What a joke. If I was Massa I’d walk away rather than be a public number two to Mr Cheat aka Alonso!

  421. L Reeves says:

    Massa could have always said “NO”. He made the choice as much as anyone else in that team. Ok he might not have stayed a Ferrari driver as a result (not the first time in other teams thats happened when a driver went against orders), but he could have refused. But he didn’t. We dont know the tone of that message came from Ferrari, or whether it was from a clearly peeved Rob Smedley. As has been said, Massa has been on the receiving end in the past and not complained then. Nor did we hear the entire conversation from Alonso, and without that we dont know the context of his remark. We only hear snatches of what actually goes on, before painting certain parties the villains and the innocents. The tone of the message was unfortunate (and admittedly very funny) but no different to the examples given before.

  422. Steve Mizzi says:

    What a bunch of hypocrites. Team Orders are an integral part of the history of the sport and have occured pre and post Austria 2002. So much so that in the 50s there were cases when people like Fangio finished races in their team mates car and there were numerous obvious and surreptitious instances since.

    Ferrari’s sin is that they do not want to be party to this hypocrisy, they could have easily delayed Alonso’s pit stop or engineered a slow pit stop for Massa. But they chose to do it blatantly.

    On the contrary Red Bull and the sanctimonious Chris “Christian” Horner decided to do thinks differently by instructing Webber to conserve fuel in Turkey and telling Vettel to attack when his team mate was at his most vulnerable. This as we all know back fired. Also it would be interesting to see how an F1 car can survive for such a long time with reduced oil pressure, Red Bull must be using Slick 50 in their engines.

    As regards Mclaren Why was Button called in when he was still lapping faster then his team mate? Could it be that if they delayed his stop by a lap or two he would have jumped Hamilton?

    The rule banning team orders is unnatural, let us compare the situation to another sport such as football(soccer). If your team mate is in contention for a tournament’s top scorer award and you have a clear chance to sore but instead you chose to let said team mate score; isn’t that manipulation of the result. There are people who might have bet money on the tounament’s top scorer.

  423. Vik says:

    I think Ferrari should have let the race run it’s course without intervening. Alonso was unfortunate at the start, but that’s racing. And by his own criteria for success this weekend (i.e. finishing ahead of the McLarens) second place would still have been a great result. Furthermore, they would have not brought the sport into disrepute. Interesting that you mention Massa’s contract and the possibility that he is now obliged to be the number 2 driver. That would be sad for Massa, the sport and the fans, I think. Yes, he’s a bit of a spinner in the wet, but he has shown himself in the past to be equal to Schumacher and Kimi and drove a great race in Hockenheim this weekend. Do you think Massa is too good to be a designated number 2? If so, shouldn’t Ferrari let Massa move on and get someone like Sutil or Buemi in?

  424. Peter Freeman says:

    Hi James

    I don’t know if you read this far down, but the true point of what Ferrari are suspected of doing and how it has potentially robbed the other competitors on the track has been missed.

    Look at what happened to Red Bull in Turkey, they raced to the letter and the spirit of the rules: The collision benefited the rival teams and drivers.

    The rules say that teams may not avoid the risk of having a collision and manipulate the outcome of a race by the TEAM instructing the drivers to swap positions on the track. Yes?

    Now Ferrari may not have had a collision had FA tried and succeeded to pass FM. But The fact is we now do not know what the outcome MAY have been had FA tried. So the chance of what could have turned into a SV/Red Bull win, by Ferrari running the risk of its drivers overtaking on track, was eliminated by the breaking of rules.

    THIS has robbed SV/Red Bull and all the other point finishing teams and drivers of their fair opportunity of scoring points in Germany.

    We also know that if FA was not able to overtake FM at all, then he simply should not have scored the points for 1st place. And SHOULD FA be a contender for the WC on the final race then the illegal points he gained in Germany will further be robbing his competitors of their rightful and fair opportunity of competing for the WC under the rules.

    Lastly if Ferrari do have FM contractually bound to follow team orders, is this legal in the sport of F1? Should the FIA be calling on all teams to present all their drivers contacts to the World Council for inspection? And if there are clauses in any of the drivers contacts that bind them to follow team orders, then should the teams be asked to either withdraw that driver or re-write his contact, freeing him to drive in F1 according to the rules?

    Now Massa and Ferrari agree that FM let FA through, the question is why? Did he truly think of the team and allow FA though of his own free will, or did he respond to a coded instruction?

    I ask you to consider writing another article on this, outlining the positions of both sides of the argument fully, so the fans can understand precisely what the World Council has to consider and why, in their hearing.

  425. Michael Brown says:

    For everyone here that’s on their high horse attacking Ferrari, team orders have always been and always will be part of F1. If you don’t like them, follow a sport you understand.

    The real problem here is the rule banning team orders, as it forces teams to apply them covertly. The team orders applied by Ferrari in Hockenheim are no different to McLaren (and others) telling their drivers to hold station with coded messages about fuel consumption.

    I hope that when the WMSC looks at this matter they decide to get rid of the rule banning team orders as it’s impossible to police. Even with radio messages as “obvious” as those given to Massa on Sunday there’s still no proof of an order being given.

    If Ferrari did anything wrong at all it was not being subtle enough. It was this same absence of subtlety in Austria 2002 that caused the knee jerk reaction that led to the stupid team orders rule in the first place.

  426. Jake Pattison says:

    The winner out of all this? Chris Horner and RBR. For once nobody is talking about them…

  427. Dyablo says:

    Man, you are blowing this out of proportion. Granted it looks ugly, but Massa should be blamed for it. As he made it very obvious that he slowed down to make Alonso pass. A true team player (eg: late F1 driver Francois Cevert) would have let his team mate pass with a correct fight knowing that his chances for the championship are next to nil (Hamilton had more than double Massa’s point).
    F1 is a team work, and true fans should expect teammates not only to swap positions but also to delay opponents as in any competition you have someone playing offense and another playing defense, except that such positions should be decided after a drivers chance to win the championship becomes unlikely as in Massa’s situation.
    (Michael Jordan’s team mates wouldn’t put up the same face as Massa did during the press conference do they?)
    Alonso on the other hand, and despite the harsh penalties the stewards have given him (as opposed to Hamilton), for example is still in contention.
    So enough character bashing as you all know everyone in Domenicalli’s position would have made the same call.

    Dyablo

  428. Woody says:

    I wonder if this incident answers your previous post of July 21st: Why did Flavio Briatore visit Ferrari?

  429. Peter Freeman says:

    james

    I have just seen another point on another website:

    “And also there is that nasty precedent set by Lewis Hamilton when he was caught out lying at the Australian GP of 2009. He was excluded from the results and team manager Dave Ryan left the team shortly afterwards. That was only for third place. This tariff is a lot higher.”

    Both Ferrari drives have in fact been into the stewards office and given their testimony. Was it the truth that they told? If it was not, according to the precedent in 2009, should they not be excluded from the results on these grounds alone?

    I am sure there are more points to this story, I truly think a balanced review of a full cover of both sides of the argument would help clarify to us what EXACTLY the issue is here.

    Thanks James

  430. Haydn Lowe says:

    Ferrari don’t owe ‘F1 fans’ anything – a show, a result, anything. They do though owe FERRARI FANS a hell of a lot, and I have yet to find a single Ferrari fan who finds anything wrong with what happened yesterday, other than the fact that Smedley made a complete hash out of what should have been a discrete message to Massa, and Domenicali demonstrating once again that he’s somewhat lacking in PR powers (although I’m prepared to put this down to the fact that I doubt he meets a single English journalist who isn’t ‘out to get him’ – present company excepted, of course…). Ferrari fans want to see them win both championships and this means that they HAVE to run a lead driver and a wingman – particularly when playing catch-up as they are now. Massa knows this, WE know this, and everyone with Ferrari’s best interests at heart knows this. Massa enjoyed the luxury of wingman support in 2008, so he can’t complain now. Anyone calling for bans, disqualifications and the like need to consider how their favoured team would behave in an identical situation. No differently at all – they just might be a little better at committing the deed and then dealing with the media storm which would follow.

  431. Aaron95 says:

    I don’t mind that Ferrari ordered one of their drivers to pass the other. I don’t like it, I would much prefer the drivers were able to race each other as it seems the Red Bull and McLaren drivers are allowed to do, but it is a team sport and we all know such things are going to hapen from time to time. I feel sorry for Massa & Smedley, but Ferrari have done this numerous times before and they must have known it was likely to happen again.

    What really gets my goat is the way various people from Ferrari stood there after the race ,on live TV, and lied through their teeth about what they had done. This wasn’t a collision where each driver may have different versions of events. There was no doubt about what happened, and then they stood there and told blatant lies. They couldn’t even do that well.

    1. Nesto says:

      How would you have answered ? I don’t think any of it was premeditated so they weren’t prepared. Massa forced the issue by making it obvious. Btw, what they’re doing is supposedly “illegal” so they’re not going to readily admit to it. Everyone knows, thats not the debate. Its painful to listen to but what are they supposed to do ?

      You ever get pulled over by the police for speeding, running a red light, etc.? Did you admit to the offense ?? Do you think most people do ??

      1. Aaron95 says:

        It would even have been netter if they had said “no comment”. But to stand there and blatantly lie to the cameras just makes me very angry.

  432. Bevan says:

    Every cloud has a silver lining.This incident was the only real talking point from what was essentially a really,really dull race IMO.Was Tilke involved in the redesign?.It still annoys me at turn 2 when I see that gap through the forest,what happened to the magnificent original Hockenheimring is beyond me,it was one of what I considered a real Grands Prix circuit,unlike the go cart like,good for the dollar,not the racing rubbish we see everywhere now.On a different note,controversy seems to follow this Alonso chap like a bad smell.His record will always be tainted like the Schoo’s if he’s not careful.

  433. Jason C says:

    So, as Alan J reminded me… are McLaren going to be fined for ordering Button not to pass Hamilton earlier this year?

  434. Khram says:

    Well, I am Spanish and, of course, I support Alonso as an spaniard, as I support de la Rosa or Alguersuari or even HRT.

    However, what we saw yesterday was how badly can act Ferrari when decissions are not taken in a good manner. Ferrari has two pilots with winning chances and you can’t ruin the race of one of them to favor the other one options. Yesterday, Alonso was faster, that is the only truth, but if so, the Spike curve would have been a good place to overtake in a good manner. Massa and Alonso won’t have to touch their cars, and the risk was very high. But, if you are first and second, for the team is the same: 43 points. For pilots, Massa would have won a lot of self-confidence, that he is needing desperately this season. And Alonso would have recovered 6 points in the championship standings. They are not 13, but, step by step, in 8 GP, they are 48 points; just the number he told he need to make. And then, the Ferrari’s victory would have been a great victory.

    All this is only going against pilots. Massa is seeing that he is not counting for Ferrari, maybe. And Alonso sees that a victory in that way is nothing. And this is discouraging.

    May these winds blow far away and we can return to see a F1 Championship as we do not see in years.

  435. Bec says:

    Why doesn’t FOTA suspend Ferrari, FOTA suspended Williams and Force India for simply saying they wanted to race in F1, Ferrari bring the sport into disrepute and FOTA are conspicuous by their silence and inaction.

  436. Nick4 says:

    All this invective aimed at Ferrari and FA is interesting. Everyone who has an axe to grind with them is doing so, and even Eddie Jordan, who is entitled to his opinion, by making a very emotive statement that is way off the mark. What about the part played by Massa and Smedley? The bottom line is, no matter what Massa’s contract says about team orders or not, he didn’t have to obey the instruction, as he was aware as much as the team of the existence of the rule that prohibits such acts! He could have just pretended he had radio failure and held onto his position until FA took it from him legally or he took the flag!!! In any case it still has to be proven there was a team order! So he and Smedley have shot themselves in the foot and thus the team if Alonso has his victory taken away from him, as the team loses out big time.
    It’s comparable to Hamilton’s naivety last year at the Aussie GP and Piquet’s at the Singapore GP in 2008. Hamilton knew the rules but chose to accept Dave Ryan’s instruction/judgement call. Piquet chose to agree to something that was clearly wrong and dangerous to him let alone other drivers. These drivers are big boys. They have no excuse to accept such orders and contracts that entrench such expectations. As much as I hope the FIA will not take away the victory from FA, I fear they will do so.

  437. Luke A says:

    Hi James,

    I’m sure you’re already in the process of compiling something, but I’m sure I speak for many fans here in saying I am very interested in any analysis you have on these front wings of Ferarri and Red Bull. Specifically regarding:-

    1. Any potential ideas on how they’re doing it legally.

    2. When were these front wings introduced by either team, because I think I saw some similar accusations being spoken about on forums regarding Red Bull’s front wing lowering, quite some time ago. It would be rather coincidental if both Ferarri and Red Bull had brought it for the same race.

    It would also be great to have some analysis on McLaren’s updates and what has gone wrong, they appear to have stepped backwards and to me, their race pace was not as good as it usually was, suggesting that the EBD id hurting their race pace.

  438. Marco says:

    Hi James,
    Although a regular reader I’m not a regular contributor however I do find (unlike other websites) your contributors are particularly knowledgeable and passionate so I thought I would make a comment.
    As a life long Ferrari Fan (loved Michele Alboreto) I was very disappointed with Ferrari’s decision yesterday. Naturally I would have prefered to see the moral victor take the top step but over the past 30 years I’ve learnt that its just not the way of Formula One.
    One of the most distasteful things i found about yesterday was the way other team principles (an ex ones) reacted. Christian Horner decrided Ferrari’s decision to influence the race results, yet two weeks ago took the new front wing from one drivers car to hand it to another (who had damaged his own).Webber was also heavilly critised by his own team for failing to ‘let his faster team mate by’. And its not just Ferrari and Red Bull, McClaren have also instructed their driver not to attack and hold station’ (Button v Hamilton, Hamilition ‘Will he pass me?’- ‘No Lewis’. Martin Whitmarsh said during the week that they are not ready to hand the number one status to Lewis just yet’.
    As a Ferrari fan I wanted to see Massa win yesterday and although I dont agree with it, I do understand their logic, which is the same as all the other teams in the pitlane and thats the really disheartening part about it.

  439. Andy Will says:

    What happened here is fine, Massa works for the team, Alonso works for the team, and team orders go on all the time, whether it’s mclaren telling Lewis that Jenson won’t overtake, or when Reb bull were giving the lead driver first pit option.
    I’m not an alonso fan but there seems to be an agenda working against him lately. Can’t believe that ‘this is ridiculous’ was all he said on his radio all day, but it was all that was played on TV, we only seem to hear from his radio when he’s complaining, i think that there’s some mischief makers out there.
    Was not surprised was how badly ferrari handled it (they have form for this !!) but was surprised how massa took it, he looked very upset, but he’s benefitted in the past from team orders, as all the drivers have.
    Should be interesting to hear Jean todt’s view on this.

  440. Kedar says:

    I think people are taking this incident too far. It was quite laughable when Christian Honer tried be “Holier than thou” when just a couple of weeks ago he had taken the wings of one his drivers and we know how disgruntled Mark Weber was after that. I dont think any team will want to be scrapping over 5th and 6th in the championship when they realistically challenge with one of their drivers for the title. May be Ferrari need to use “Conserve fuel”, “no need to conserve fuel” or speak in Latin in the future to avoid such controversies

  441. mtb says:

    Well, after the shameful actions of Ferrari yesterday we have witnessed far more appalling behaviour from a variety of sources: Christian Horner, McLaren – no surprises there, Jenson Button and the majority of people who have posted comments on this site – no surprises there.
    Christian Horner’s rant on BBC suggests that he has taken over the hypocrisy mantle from Ron Dennis. Contrary to what Horner wanted us to believe, an instruction was given for Webber to let Vettel past in Turkey, however Webber’s engineer did not pass the message on.
    Martin Whitmarsh’s comments were made in spite of the incident at the same circuit two years ago involving Kovalainen and Hamilton. In Turkey this year, both McLaren’s were instructed to “save fuel”, and when Hamilton asked if Button would attempt to overtake him, the answer was a resounding “no”.
    Jenson ‘shades of Pironi’ Button undoubtedly saw the Ferrari incident as a convenient smokescreen for his lacklustre performance, and his latest defeat to his team-mate. It is a shame that Jenson forgot to mention the “save fuel” message at Istanbul Park, his decision to overtake Hamilton during that stage of the race, and his incorrect claim afterwards that he was not instructed to “save fuel”.
    Not surprisingly, there is an outpouring of ‘outrage’ from an overwhelming majority of people who have made submissions to this site. None of them seem to be overly concerned about the treatment of Kovalainen by McLaren at this same circuit two years ago. How many of these people are still outraged about the Hamilton penalty at Spa 2008, but have no concern for the Alonso-Klien incident at Suzuka in 2005?
    I will let people draw their own conclusions about such inconsistent behaviour.

    1. murray says:

      What comments have McLaren and Button made on the Ferrari position swap? I’ve not seen any.

      1. mtb says:

        Here Whitmarsh comes up with the sort of double-talk that only McLaren is capable of.
        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/85573

        Button spoke about the issue on BBC’s post-race coverage.

      2. murray says:

        So Whitmarsh said he didn’t want to give his opinion publicly and you consider this ‘appalling behaviour’? Each to his own I guess…..

        I watched Button’s interview in the BBC post race coverage, and I have re-watched it online in light of your comments. He too refused to comment (when asked, so I don’t see how he was trying to distract from his own performance as you allege) other than to say he would be ‘interested to see the overtake’. Can you provide a link to where he said anything more than that? Again, I don’t see the ‘appalling behaviour’.

      3. mtb says:

        Whitmarsh said that he didn’t want to comment on the issue and then came up with some self-righteous innuendo.

        Surely the best thing would have been not to have said anything at all.

        “…they raced how they raced” – well Mr Whitmarsh, we had a glimpse into how McLaren raced at the beginning of last season.

        And he has said more since then.

        Button was being very smug and self-righteous during his interview. Of course he has never been guilty of any transgressions.

      4. mtb says:

        Perhaps you can reconcile the following with what happened at Hockenheim 2008.

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/85589

        Pure hypocrisy.

  442. Felipe Massa says:

    Every time the ‘sport’ has been brought into disrepute in the last few years you-know-who has been in the thick of it (Hungary 07, Singapore 08, etc) and now he can’t pass Massa fairly on track so he boo-hoos to the team to get help – what a baby…

  443. Aloh says:

    The difference between the Ferrari team order and McLaren team order in Germany is that McLaren already had their number 1 driver in front and they finished down the pack…

    if the viewers had not heard any of the radio commentary would we have thought it team orders…?

    this was manipulated by someone to fuel the media into a frenzy..

    I would certainly be interested to see a detailed analysis of the data to show who was the faster during the period leading up to the overtaking…

    Having drivers from the same team crash into each other is not good for anyone – as witnessed by the Red Bull fiasco..

    How many times during the BBC show was it stated that there have always been team orders in F1 – even after 2002 –

    F1 is a complex team sport with many detailed technical definitions of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. How is giving only one driver new updates not a team order which could influence the outcome of a race?

    Giving the driver the choice to make a decision is not an order… but I’m sure Massa knew what he had to do for the team on Sunday, and after all that is who he is paid to drive for.

    If they are going to ban team orders – surely they need to ban teams in F1?

    1. Steve Mizzi says:

      And guess who screens the radio communications before transmission (Drum Roll please)………….

      Why who else but the Prima Donna referee himself AKA Charlie Whiting. Who was instrumental in issuing an inconsequential penalty to Hamilton in Valencia and a draconian punishment to Alonso in Silverstone after misleading Ferrari’s pit wall.

      my impression is that the powers that be are trying to harm Ferrari as much as possible before negotiations for the new concorde agreement commence.

  444. Richard Wilson says:

    The funny thing is I do need to open a new bank account and had thought of Santander as they offer quite good rates. I think I will go somewhere else now.

  445. denis james says:

    Tough on Massa but the question to be asked is whether this is a sport or a business.If the former than race fixing however arranged is wrong. If the latter then its all part of getting the best bottom line and therefore acceptable.. I would like the hypocrisy to end and all this latest FAI decision does is to denigrate them and F1. Come on, $100K to Ferrari probably wouldn’t cover morning tea expenses.

  446. Christopher Snowdon says:

    I think it’s harsh to punish the drivers, punish the team by taking away their constructors points!! The drivers were simply following orders!! The Mclaren boys were told to hold station, ie – don’t fight each other, so in a way thwey followed team orders!!

  447. Stevie P says:

    If 1 of the 2 drivers is mathematically out of the championship “equation”, then I have no problem with one letting the other one by ; also if you have a clearly defined No 1 and No 2 driver (like at Renault), then again, no problem. I’m not anti-Alonso, but I feel so sorry for Massa. Now he knows where he truly stands in that organisation… he is Number 2.

  448. Mr G says:

    Please please can we analyse the facts as they unfolded.
    Massa at the start got the lead, Alonso second and Vettel third.
    Pit stop, positions unchanged.
    Then Massa got into troubles with the hard tyres and Alonso gained.
    Alonso tried and failed to overtake Massa.
    Pit wall have the famous conversation, Fernando is faster than you !!!!
    At this point, because of the open channel between the teams and the TV coverage, everyone knew what the message was all about.
    The way Massa has allowed Alonso to pass him started all this pandemonium.
    If Massa for example went too deep in the hairpin and Alonso passed him, we will not have all this conversation.
    The fact is, all teams have coded messages and they have been using them since 2002.
    Some teams have changed positions without giving too much away to the fans.
    Massa simply slowed down after the hairpin in a very blantant way and everyone could see that it has been done deliberately.
    Some commentators have been labelled Massa as a very good team player, I think if he was a very good team players we would have chosen a different way to let Alonso pass.
    Overall the move was illegal and therefore Ferrari should be punished.
    The logic solution would be to disqualified Ferrari from the Championship but the sport will be tarnish once again.
    The better solution would be to give the victory to Massa, second place to Alonso and take away all construction championship points from Ferrari, so they will be unable to win the constructor championship.

    1. monktonnik says:

      Well you say that Massa and Alonso should have their positions swapped, but who did wrong here?

      Massa gave way, Alonso didn’t get on the radio to tell him.

      When you consider how angry Massa was after the Singapore scandal came out and publicly said that this lost him the world drivers championship, you have to admit that what has happened here smacks of immense hypocrasy. I have no sympathy for him now, and I may even confiscate my sons Massa//Ferrari hat.

  449. Lionel says:

    I do fear for massa. I hope the Team does not ask him to start Crashing into Walls next so his team mate should win races.

  450. Iorwg says:

    James,

    Great website. Sheer gold. But can I just say I think you and your media colleagues, ‘insiders’, never make enough fuss about things like this (Singapore 08 was another example) and the impression we get is that you’re all cynical , with a ‘it can’t be helped and the plebs just don’t understand’ attitude (DC and Brundle were typical on the BBC – thank goodness for EJ and Horner) – clearly, this sport is going the way of ‘pro’ wrestling – you all devote yourselves to following it – any regrets?
    I was watching with teenage nephews – much more into footie than F1 – and both asked why I was so into it, it being such a sham, and I had no answer…

  451. AP says:

    I sense a lot of hypocrisy here. Alonso won the race over Massa and suddenly team orders are an issue!

    A few races ago McLaren ordered Hammilton and Button to “hold station” and “save fuel”. Was that now a team order? Of course it was! Do we know how exciting the race might have been had Button been allowed to race Hammy?

    But then Hammy won, so not many people cared. Today there is an outcry…

    PS. of course, we do not mention the more brutal team orders in McLaren when Kovvy was racing there…

    1. monktonnik says:

      Button did race Hamilton though. If that was found to be a team order, they should have been penalised.

    2. Peter Freeman says:

      AP The McLaren drivers IGNORED the fuel instruction and overtook each other… TWICE!

      Team orders?

      1. AP says:

        Button did not understand the situation, according to the official McLaren statement Peter.

        That’s why Hammy was so pissed afterwards that Button overtook him. He thought the racing was over. Remember?

      2. Peter Freeman says: <