Ferrari will not reprimand Massa for ignoring team orders in Japan
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Oct 2013   |  4:17 pm GMT  |  204 comments

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Felipe Massa will not be reprimanded by the team after he ignored team orders during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

On lap eight, Massa, 32, was running ahead of Alonso when the Brazilian’s race engineer Rob Smedley gave him the instruction: “Multi-function strategy A. Multi-function strategy A now please,” over team radio.

Massa, who is racing for his career as he has yet to secure a seat on the grid next year, chose not to move over, however the Brazilian was later overtaken by the Spaniard on lap 20 in a legitimate pass after Massa made a mistake on the exit of the final chicane.

Domenicali said: “At the end of the day Fernando overtook him on the track. For sure Felipe is trying to be as quick as possible and I understand his feelings. He will find the team totally supporting him up until the end of the season with no problem.

“We brought home what was the maximum and there is no story to create around these things because there are other things we need to focus on, including how we are going to improve the car up to the end of the championship.”

Massa went on to finish 10th at Suzuka, after a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane ruined his race, while Alonso finished fourth to keep the title race alive going into the next race in India.

Massa said he spoke to his team about the incident after the race. “It was an instruction,” he said. “I am never happy with an instruction. We already discussed it, but for sure it was an unfortunate race today because of the drive-through. It was not an instruction when he overtook me on the track. The instruction came much earlier.”

Alonso said that there was not issue between himself and Massa after the incident. “We cannot make a big thing about this,” he said. “We are racing and whatever we do today, we finished more or less in the same positions because we could not achieve anything more. I don’t know exactly what happened, but there are zero problems.

“It would be nice to go back to the old days of Ferrari, where we were fighting for first and second, and then decide who wins. Or do what Red Bull does, when one car does two stops and one car does three stops, and they finish first and second. This is a much easier life.

“In our position we are always trying to do our maximum. I am trying to do my maximum, Felipe is trying to do his maximum and the team is trying to do its maximum.”

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1

lets not forget that massa is first and foremost a ferrari employee. now, last time i checked, if i’m asked to do something by my boss, i am contractually obliged to do it…that’s what i’m paid for. same goes for massa. i know he is out of contract at the end of the season, but, alas for him, not until then, and until then he should do as he is told. i wouldn’t last long in my job if i did what i want, when i want, with only my own selfinterest at heart. and i don’t even like massa. or ferrari.

2

im getting quite tired of f1 in general. Been watching gp2 as its more about pure racecars and pure racing. Quite fast too. F1 has gone to the pits of late. politics and spoilt brats are killing the sport.

3

this is why domenacali has to go. not hard enough. toeing company line. how could that result be maximum? alonso at eight laps is a totally different ball game at 20.it gives the others a 12 lap window to power down and move away. ferrari deserve to lose. they are playing a different game now that alonso has shown their poor car up. redbull play favourites and are quite open about it. stupid stupid…

4

As team orders are now allowed, why do they have to use a stupid coded message? Perhaps it would have been too simple to say “move over Felipe and let our favourite driver through”! Well done Felipe for sticking to your principles, and good luck next year; I hope you have a car that can beat the Ferraris.

5

Ferrari is structurally wrong. Domenicali is a problem.

“…If I ran Ferrari and was paying Alonso however many millions of euros a year he is getting, the last thing he would be doing would be sitting in the garage for half of the last session before qualifying when you know you are lacking pace. …” by GA.

6

after he was fired from Ferrari, Mass said : from now on, everyone works for himself.

7

Hi James

Do you have any information about tensions inside Ferrari? between whom there is a dispute and what’s the reason of that?

8

Everyone dis-likes everyone else.

9

i hate team orders. But this is a team sport.

With Ferrari fighting for 2nd in the Constructors against Merc and a seemingly resurgent Lotus, they need all the points they can get. Thier main scorer has been Alonso, not Massa.

Therefore the team order to get Alonso up the road and onto Rosberg’s gearbox to try and take points off Merc.

If Massa goes “rogue” now, Ferrari could lose out on 2nd place, and (in my books) he’ll show he’s not really a team player…Hockenheim 2010 (and Brazil 2007) notwithstanding.

I reckon he should be getting the same pasting as Vettel did for Malaysia…or is this a case are “all men are born equal, some are just more equal than others…”

At the end of the day, Ferrari need a competitive car. Point.

10

I am wondering why Ferrari used the phrase “Multi-function strategy A”, rather than “Felipe, you need to let Fernando passed.”

Do they want to avoid bad PR? Unlikely, as everyone understood the coded message anyway.

So maybe they did it because they had a feeling that Massa would not obey the team order. Using a phrase as they did, both sides could save face, as Massa could always claim afterwards that he was not sure what they meant.

What do other people think?

11

“I am wondering why Ferrari used the phrase “Multi-function strategy A”, rather than “Felipe, you need to let Fernando passed.”

Because “passed” would blatantly be the

in-correct word to use. The Ferrari chaps

may be Italian, but they do wish to let their

grammar school teachers know that they learned

“past”, when they “passed” their English

lessons. 😉

12

I couldn’t see the point in team orders at that stage. Alonso didn’t have the pace to make massive gains and wasn’t dropping away from the pack he was at the back of.

Ferrari seem to have a knack of applying team orders at really bizarre or inappropriate times. Hopefully they will learn that their current weighted policy completely towards one driver doesn’t work. Red Bull seem able to operate a much more effective system where both drivers are relatively free to race (conspiracy theorists aside).

13

I agree with you that Ferrari do seem to be quite ‘flat footed’ with tactical calls in general. However, their greatest success in recent times (probably all time) was with MSC and I guess that is why they continue to pursue their policy of favouring one driver. Looks like that will change next year – I can’t imagine Kimi rolling over very easily.

14

“It would be nice to go back to the old days of Ferrari, where we were fighting for first and second, and then decide who wins. Or do what Red Bull does, when one car does two stops and one car does three stops, and they finish first and second. This is a much easier life.”

Is this an actual quote from Alonso?, because it highlights two things.

RBR deliberately took the win from Webber,and Alonso expects to be handed a win.

Yeah, Kimi will be a piece of cake.

Good luck with that.

15

Should we all now start booing massa when hes on the ………. Never mind : (

In all seriousness why is it when SV obeys a ore determined team order its the end of the world and when FM and MW do it they are heros?

I’m not a huge fan of team orders unless a driver is going for the title but they have always been part of F1.

16

The answer is simple, because Vettel is not their favorite driver, their favorite driver is not winning and they get frustrated.

17

Whoever signs Massa should give him a zero hours contract because he only performs well when his job is at risk.

18

I just can’t understand why any other team would even want him. His glory day’s are long gone and never to be repeated.

Massa said recently that he has alot to bring to another team. My question then is why hasn’t he brought that to Ferrari in the past 4 years?

19

“I just can’t understand why any other team would even want him”

Well, I don’t think there are many drivers capable of out qualifying Fernando Alonso. The guy is seriously quick when he is on it. And in my view lately he has been racing well too. With a good car Felipe could do pretty serious things.

20

@Denis

“..Alonso is probably the best racer on the grid, but qualifying is not his forte.”

Is very difficult to do that when you have a very slow machine 🙁

Ferrari keeps letting him down yet he stills gets to be 2nd.

21

Anybody that follows F1 knows that Alonso is probably the best racer on the grid, but qualifying is not his forte.

22

lol – good one and fair point.

23

To me there’s a big difference between being asked to hold station, as Seb was at Sepang, and being asked to move over to let your teammate by. Apples and oranges in my opinion.

24

Well done Felipe

25

its easy to see why ferrari issued orders, they are trying to maximize their constructors points, with merc very close in points. Its logical to say both cars in consecutive positions yields same points, Its common sense to switch cars to see if other driver can have a crack at car in front, in which massa failed they can maximize the points. Also massa was holding up alonso, they lost a position to hulk already.

26

so will Massa get booed if he ever wins another race?

27

Based on the opinions above no, somehow many people think this was too much different to the Multi21 and what Vettel did was the most horrible thing a driver have done in F1, on the opposite, this was just an innocent move by Massa.

28

“Vettel did was the most horrible thing a driver have done in F1”

Only if you pray at the altar of Alonso/Hamilton, nobody else cares really…

29

It was a sarcasm, but it seems that some people here actually has that altar you mentioned.

30

Really wish they would ban 2 way radio except when the driver is in the pitlane to discuss any changes or tyres etc (could be linked into the limiter button) or only if there is a dangerous thing on the car which they can you use a special override that’s monitored by the FIA.

At least this way the driver makes his own call without some engineer miles away at base moaning about front brake temps or other nonsense.

The driver can radio in to the team if he decides he’s pitting or has a problem though

31

Given the fact that team orders are now legal, why do teams persist in giving coded messages that are deciphered easily?

32

I assume they think it is bad PR to be seen to issue team orders.

33

It’s so that all the fanatics don’t get outraged about the moral implications of it all…

34

I suppose, but the “codes” don’t fool anyone, this article is proof of that.

35

Andy-baby. Multi-function P/R.

Sponsormoney is behind you.

Sponsormoney is faster. Do you

understand?

36

hahaha, love it.

stay cool we are getting you the clear visor!

38

Nearly wet myself great comment

39

An honest 8/10 for this one! 🙂

40

That’s what Ferrari engineers have been doing lately after upgrading the car to perfection; they’re planning to print the new prancing horse code words and sell it to the other teams.

41

For everyone blaming Alonso :

Was it Alonso asking for the team order or was it Ferrari themselves as they are still fighting Mercedes for 2nd place in the championship ..?

42

It was Ferrari. Alonso didn’t know exactly what happened right after the race.

43

I’m sure if Alonso had requested any orders the audio or transcript would have surfaced by now.

44

So, where are all the people who were incandescent with fury that Vettel ignored team orders? After that one glaring exception to the rule we seem to be back to the normal state of affairs, where the great majority of fans think that ignoring team orders is either no big deal or is even a *good* thing.

45

@SteveS

So, where are all the people who were incandescent with fury that Vettel ignored team orders?

Oh come on Steve, you know where they are. It’s because (for whatever reason) Seb isn’t popular, so posters take the opportunity to have a dig. That’s why you have to spend so much of your time telling us all off 🙂

46

The same people are here, but they can open their eyes and analise the situation, unlike you, who thinks it’s only black and white.

If you would open your eyes, you might see that Massa was holding up the proven fastest driver in a Ferrari, while Rosberg ahead was getting away. With only 1 point advantage over Mercedes, Ferrari needed to finish ahead of Rosberg and their best chance was Alonso.

Yes, Massa did not listen to the team, and I’m sure he is going to get an earfull, but Massa even said a few week ago that now he is driving for himself. He did not agree, like Vettel, to a “multi12” or “multi21” code and then break that agreement. I suggest you open your eyes a bit.

47

@MISTER – There is nothing to say Vettel actually agreed to anything. He broke team orders, but there’s nothing in particular over Massa that he did wrong.

48

I have re-read my post and then read you reply and I am puzzled. Did you mean to reply to me? Most of your post refers to something completely different to my comment??

49

The situation was different in the vettel vs webber situation. Back then both vettel and webber received instructions to hold positions with webber even turning his engine down. At that point vettel took advantage of a defenseless webber. So you see it wasn’t just one driver not heeding orders but a driver who knew of an imposed limitation on his team mate’s car and stole the place.

50

Webber wasn’t “defenceless”. He seemed racey after the final pitstop, when Vettel was right next to him. He seemed fine when he actually used DRS to come back at Vettel on the following lap, but couldn’t get past. The only manner Webber could have been considered “defenceless”, is that he had used up more fuel than Vettel as confirmed by the team post-race. Vettel was just faster.

51

@SteveS

With me at least, believing that Red Bull has for three years supported Vettel over Webber, THE ONE TIME that they appear willing to give Mark a shot at a win without interference, and Sebastian apparently agrees to the arrangement before the race, that’s why I could be more upset over the Vettel team order “scandal” than this one here.

Though, if it makes you feel any better, I am multiple-times more furious about Ferarri sabotaging their own drivers’ gear box in Austin, than the Multi 21 thing.

52

It wasn’t “a shot at a win”. Webber has won 9 races, and had many, many other “shots”. It was an attempt to gift him a win.

53

“believing that Red Bull has for three years supported Vettel over Webber”

People believe the oddest things. Why “three years” though? Vettel beat Webber in 2009 and 2010 as well, were those not due to “support” from Red Bull?

54

You’re right, they did favour Vettel in 2010. Thanks for putting him right on that point.

55

I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the lack of outrage here… When VET did this people were calling for his head and saying the Horner was an ineffective leader, etc. The response is awfully muted in comparison.

Separately, I have to wonder what could have been with MAS. Sadly he has found his voice too late. I think Senna said it best: “You must take the compromise to win, or else nothing. That means: you race or you do not.”

Unfortunately for the last few year MAS has not been racing. MAS was so completely and throughly marginalized by ALO for so long I think he lost the will to fight. Same could be said about WEB albeit for different reasons. I think he would have loved to take the fight to VET, but was gutted season after season eventually realizing that he didn’t have it in him to beat VET. I also think ALO is starting to go through a similar period with RAI coming into the team and the vote of no confidence that Ferrari has made in him. The psychology of it is fasinating and would make a fantastic read.

56

Massa stopped racing after Germany 2010. Alonso’s motivation must be pretty low now, since he’s on the verge to change team yet again.

57

@ Fireman

” Alonso’s motivation must be pretty low now, since he’s on the verge to change team yet again.”

You would too when your team keeps giving you a truck to race instead of a fast machine. Yet he keep sfinishing 2nd to Vettel. So how are the other drivers feeling?

FA is a champ till the end and he wants to WIN. Ferrari had let him down by not producing a competitive car.

58

Vettel has not been fired – work it our

59

Perhaps it’s more simple than that: Fernando is better driver than Felipe. Regarding Kimi, well you speculate, I don’t.

60

He should have done something like this a long time earlier.

In Germany 2010, there was only 30 points gap between the two, and it wasn’t even half way stage. So Mathematically, Massa was still in the fight for WDC.

But then after that incident, may be should have sought a drive for other teams, & he may not have found himself in a position in which he finds himself now,unable to find a seat for next year.

61

It was the 11th race of a 19 race season..

62

But Mathematically he was still in the fight for WDC, so why move over when you still have a chance?

63

First of all, it should be shame to give any orders for this undermines FA capabilities..second, they need to get used to this for KR is not going to obey any in 2014..third what do ppl in paddock and fans have to say now when someone else disobeyed orders apart from Vettel??

64

Just like Kimi never moved for Massa? I think you will find that both Kimi and Alonso will do what is necessary and what the team asks should it ever get to that. I seriously doubt that Ferrari will ask either of them to move unless one is out of the WDC running and the other not. Always been like that and always will be.

65

Kimi did move over and helped Massa, so what makes you think he won’t do it for Alonso?

As long as it’s reasonable and his chances are over, why not?

66

@MISTER

Who said that was anything to with team orders?

67

yeah, but that happened when Kimi was Mathematically out of the WDC.

This year, Kimi is Mathematically out of championship after last race at Suzuka.

So certainly, don’t expect anything like what happened in Germany 2010.

68

Re point number 2:My thoughts during the race as well.

Alonso needs to learn that he won’t get help from the pitwall next year.

69

People were up in arms at the start of the season because Vettel ignored a team order.

Why is this different?

70

When the number 1 driver benefits from an order it’s just annoying. But, when the secondary driver finally catches a break, it is good to see. Simple. And understandable, unless one is an equal opportunity elitist. The same type of person who thinks a billionaire and the average-Joe should pay the exact same tax rate.

71

@ Wade Parmino

“When the number 1 driver benefits from an order it’s just annoying. But, when the secondary driver finally catches a break, it is good to see.”

Totally agree but Massa hasnt done ANYTHING for himself or the TEAM all these years for Ferrari. He was there long before FA arrived at the team. So why hasnt he dont much better? He is the ONLY driver who consistently starts 4th or 6th and ends up much further than that. He doesnt have the toughness or mentality to be a top tier champ.

72

In this case, the best thing for the team to do was for Massa to let Alonso through, as he was holding him up and potentially costing the team points. At Malaysia the race was over, there was no benefit to the team if Vettel won instead of Webber, it was all about Seb looking out for himself.

Also, as other people have said, there’s a lot of difference between being asked to hold station behind a driver and being asked to move out of their way when you’re ahead on merit.

73

There’s a lot wrong with that. For starters, it made no difference to Ferrari in the end. Alonso and Massa finished where they were going to with or without team orders. It’s not like Massa cost Alonso a podium spot.

And Webber was not ahead “on merit” in Malaysia, he was ahead because of team orders. For about 20 laps prior to his overtaking Webber, Vettel had been obeying team orders to stay behind him while complaining that Mark was going too slow.

74

@Andrew M

Webber did not get the jump on Vettel at the start of the race. He jumped ahead through the first pitstop phase when it was wet, despite Vettel having a 4 second lead going into that (Webber battled a front wing-less Alonso for 2nd on the first lap).

75

There’s nothing wrong with it at all.

Firstly, Alonso was down in sixth when the team order was issued, with Massa behind Rosberg making no impression on him. The team clearly felt Alonso was faster and could challenge Rosberg later in the race. They didn’t know that Rosberg would have his various problems and lose position. Therefore, there was a chance they could finish fourth and sixth as opposed to fifth and sixth if they held the status quo until the end of the race. In other words, there was a benefit to the team in terms of WCC points in issuing the team order, which wasn’t the case in Malaysia.

Secondly, Webber was ahead on merit, he got the jump on Seb at the start and was comfortably ahead going into the final round of pit-stops. It’s only because Red Bull gave Vettel the optimal strategy going into the final round of pit-stops to cover off Hamilton (and because they knew they were going to issue the Multi 21 order) that they gave Vettel this treatment. There were no team orders until the Multi 21 order was issued, which happened after the final pit stops.

76

Of course there was a benefit in Vettel winning. He’s won the last three championships, Webber is the second driver and proven time and time again that he’s not talented enough to beat Vettel over the course of the season.

77

There’s no reason for either driver to be favoured in round 2 of a season.

And Webber hasn’t been compliant with team orders in the past either, this ides of Vettel suddenly breaking a trust is ridiculous.

78

That’s pretty spurious, even the Red Bull pitwall didn’t agree with you that Vettel should be favoured so early in the season.

Also, in Malaysia Vettel betrayed a trust between himself and Webber, which Massa didn’t do here.

79

You need to look at it from a team perspective.

In Malaysia, the RedBull cars were running 1 and 2, therefore 43 points. Whoever was in front was making no difference in terms of total points for RedBull. Agree right?

In Suzuka, Ferrari had 1 point advantage in Constructors championship over Mercedes and Rosberg was ahead of Massa and getting away. Massa was losing time, and Ferrari wanted to give Alonso the chance to catch Rosberg and get more points. Looking at the last 4 seasons or 2013 alone, Alonso ussually brings more than double the points that Massa does, so it would seem logical to give the chance to your faster driver to catch the Mercedes.

Hope I explained this clear enough 🙂

80

Hardly surprising. The Vet brigade clutching at straws to clean up their hero’s image once again.

1. Multi 21 was a pre-race agreement willingly entered into by both drivers

2.In Malaysia, Vettel asked the team to move Mark over which shows a sense of entitlement

2. Vet and RB ambushed MW

3. After the race Vettel pretended he didn’t know he was supposed to honour the agreement and apologized.

4. Vettel reversed himself two weeks later and said he would do it again because Mark never supported him anyway.

5 Compare this to Massa who, 3 or 4 weeks ago, more or less came out to say he wouldn’t obey team orders

6. After the race Massa didn’t pretend he didn’t understand team orders

81

Massa is contractually obligated to follow team orders and move over for Alonso. He willfully ignored an order from management, you can’t have a driver doing as they feel.

People were calling for Vettel to be suspended or stood down by the team, so Ferrari should treat Massa the same. The situation Massa has created at Ferrari is completely unacceptable. Just who is running the team?

82

@Tyemz – What “ambush”? If Webber couldn’t see Vettel when he came out of the pits, or didn’t anticipante that a race was going on, then he needs his eyes tested. And who cares if it could have been Webber’s last win in F1? Why should he be getting gifts in race 2 of a 19 race season?

83

You’re funny :))))

84

All you Vettel defenders have it wrong.

It would be a similar situation if:

* after the final pit stops, Massa was still leading.

* he was given a communication that he can “nurse” the car to the finish and he will keep his higher finishing position.

* he gets overtaken by Alonso who does not, nor is instructed to, hand the place back.

85

Still clutching straws much? This is a guy who is the very embodiment of a team player, who moved over for Kimi when it mattered most, who obeyed team orders even when they were outlawed, who took a gearbox penalty to ensure his teammate started on the clean side of the grid. He disobeys team orders just this once (and with good reason too) and you are desperate enough to compare him to a guy who shamelessly ambushed his teammate to take what would probably have been his last win in F1 and who acts like his teammate should be grateful for just being in the team? Let go of those straws they are very fragile

86

Frankly, there is no difference. Where are the calls to ban Massa for one race? I recommend we should ask John Watson and Jacques Villeneuve for their “expert” opinion on this matter.

I would be very interested to hear what they have to say.

87

Jacques Villeneuve is a raving lunatic when it comes to opinions about F1 today.

88

The reason is, they allow their bias to shape their opinion – [mod]
It’s human nature, every single decision a human makes is based on emotion (there is no logic at all).

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