F1 Winter Break
Massa believes he was right to ignore order to let team-mate Bottas past
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  30 Mar 2014   |  5:52 pm GMT  |  367 comments

Felipe Massa has insisted he was right to ignore a team order to let team-mate Valtteri Bottas past him to take seventh place in the closing stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix, despite concerns on the Williams pit wall about the state of the Brazilian’s power unit.

In an uncanny replay of the Ferrari command at the 2010 German Grand Prix in which Massa was told “Fernando is quicker than you”, Massa was informed that Bottas in eighth was running faster than him and that he should let the Finn through. He ignored the request and went on to claim seventh place and six points.

Afterwards, the former Ferrari driver insisted he was right to do so.

“What I did was correct. I am trying to do my best for the team and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “I’m sure the result would not have changed even if I had let him by, so it’s the same.

“The team respects me 100 per cent and they showed they respect me after the race, so I have no problem at all. What’s happened today was maybe not what I expected, but what I did was correct.”

According to Williams’ chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson the request was given to Massa as the team felt that Bottas could catch sixth-placed Jenson Button, and because Massa’s engine was running hot.

“He [Massa] did not do what we would have preferred him to do,” said Nelson. “Felipe was running fairly high temperatures on his engine and we were a little bit concerned about it, and Valtteri had much fresher tyres than Jenson did. We thought that it would be good to give Valtteri a go at getting past Jenson.”

However, he added that had Bottas failed to reel in and pass the McLaren driver, the request would have been reversed and Massa would have been free to retake seventh.

“If he [Bottas] hadn’t achieved it within two or three laps, we would have swapped our drivers over again and everyone would have been happy,” he said. “It’s not a big deal, every team does it. It’s not team orders, it’s a strategic decision based on the relative performance of both cars.”

Bottas, meanwhile, skirted the issue when asked to clarify his position after the race.

“We have still not had a proper chat, we are going to later and analyse this situation,” he said. “We are going to talk through it with the team and analyse what happened and what do we need to do next time in similar situations just so everything is clear with what the rules are and what we do better next time. Maybe it will allow us to get more points in the future.”

The team-mates had clashed earlier in the race with Massa critical of Bottas’ driving as they raced for position. “Did you see what he did?” Massa asked of the pit wall. Bottas, meanwhile, insisted over the radio that “I have more pace than him”.

Nelson concluded by saying that the team would discuss the events with its drivers.

“There’s nothing else going on in the background, we don’t want to put one driver down and one driver up, we don’t have team orders in that respect,” he said. “We will go through everything with the drivers tonight, discuss the situation and what we expect.”



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Felipe, always remember who pays your salary - your team.

I don't like team orders as much as the next spectator, but considering Felipe could not find a way past Jenson, it made sense to let Vatty past so he could have a punt at Jenson.

I will concur the wording of the team instruction was ill-advised, but like I said, any driver must remember who pays his wages.

Watching Vatty's interview on the BBC after the race was a somewhat disjointed affair from the Finn, but understandable.

Also, Felipe could not find a way past Kevin in the early stint despite MiniMag having a slightly damaged wing, no Felipe is a bit rusty when it comes to the art of overtaking.

Frank and Claire, I fully support the instruction for asking Felipe to move over; you had your chance to pass Jenson Felipe, and you failed. Give your team-mate a go.

I thought Ferrari would be fireworks, but I never thought at Grove............


I'm ambivalent about this whole episode, but that might be as a result of the unfortunate failure of romantic love in my personal life, which has me distracted...


Felipe, always remember who pays your salary – your team.

>> Just to keep things in correct perspective. Its after the advent of Massa, and Felipe Nasr, that Williams' car is flooded with Brazilian sponsors. So from that sense, I think the Brazilian sponsors are paying the Brazilian.


Yes, but the fact that remains, Felipe is an employee of the Williams F1 team.

If Felipe doesn't agree with the teams wishes, he can always set up his own team, design his own car, employ about 500 odd people to make the actual car, get in touch with an engine manufacturer, and arrange sponsorship.

As Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and Alain Prost will tell you, being an F1 driver is a walk in the park compared to the huge complexity, stress and frustration of running a F1 team. Felipe has to remember there are 500 odd employees working 16 hour days, 7 days a week to get his car in such a competitive running order as it is at the minute.


How quick you are to villify Massa. It could be argued that if 'Vatty' as you like to call him was that much quicker he should have had no problem passing his own team mate. What chance did he have of passing Button if he couldn't even pass his own team mate.

Whilst I do think that 'Vatty' was quicker at that point, this is F1, these guys should pass each other not be handed instructions. By the way 'Vatty' shouldn't have broken his wing to begin with.


My issue with Felipe is he blatantly ignored a team instruction.

Yes, maybe it was crass, tasteless and misinformed. It probably was all three. However, as I've said before, it is Frank and Claire who employ Felipe, not the other way around. Frank and Claire are the boss. They own the team, so that gives them carte blanche to run it however they want, even if it may appear somewhat bemusing to the outside world.

As for Vatty (I call him that because it ends in an e syllable, like other Finnish drivers such as Keke, Heikki and Kimi - notice a trend?), well, at least he should of be given a chance to try and nibble Jenson as he was on fresher tyres, but that opportunity was wasted.

As for why Mr Bottas struggled to pass Felipe, remember they have exactly the same car with the same engines and same downforce configurations (more or less), so the straight-line speed would have been pretty much identical. Also, it appears to me the Williams, more than any other front runner, struggles in dirty air, but I don't know why.

Personally, I have nothing against Felipe. However, if I was Frank or Claire, I would be reading him the riot act to tell him that he is part of a team, and if he doesn't like it he can sling his hook back to Brazil!

PS Patrick Head would probably have given Felipe a couple of black eyes, at the very least, so he's very fortunate that Patrick isn't at Grove anymore!


While I was one wishing he'd not moved over for Alonzo before, at end of day he is an employee. If he'd not disobey orders at Ferrari, it seems a bit petulant to do it at a new team that gave him another drive when his career may have been over otherwise.


Well said. Yes, that's my point, Felipe is a contracted salaried employee of Williams F1, albeit a very significant one. Frank and Claire employ at least 500 people in their team, and Felipe should remember all the effort those 500 have put in to make him a competitive racing car. Not to mention this time last year he was a washed up grand prix driver, potentially unemployed going into this season until Claire gave him a career lifeline.

Felipe - remember who pays your salary and gives you a car to drive eh?


RE Man on Wheels: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but imagine you were Frank or Claire with the responsibility of running an organisation with 500 odd people, it's a thankless job quite honestly, and perhaps Felipe doesn't realise that.


A contract is agreed on by both sides, it is not that Massa is at Williams, because Claire mercifully allowed some washed up driver to have a seat. Massa has his skill, his experience and market value to offer and Williams wanted that as well as he wanted this team behind him.

Williams is free to get another driver if they are dissatisfied with the value they get for the money and Massa is free to do the same, if he things the money isn't worth it anymore.

Don't know where this "you pay, so you decide" thinking comes from, but you people seem to forget that there is a "If they want me to do this, I want some money" side as well, especially if you're a multiple millionaire who has earned enough for the rest of your life.


In my opinion the driver must have the last say on this. This is not only a constructor's but also a driver's championship. Some drivers are team players and will not put up a hard fight, if he attacks and they feel the battle would be lost in a few laps time anyway.

And if you degrade a driver to play the second fiddle, you will break his will and enthusiasm to perform for the team, that can't be good in the long run. Some employers seem to forget that. You can't treat an employee like a puppet, he will get sick of it and just hang on for the money and relative security and do what's necessary, but not more.

And we've seen it all over the place, as soon as people like Barrichello and Irvine stepped out of their number two rule, they started to perform way better.

It's a shame for Williams. That team always looked like the last bastion standing for true racing among team mates.


If Bottas was really that much faster, than he should have had no problems passing Massa. If he couldn't pass Massa, then i suspect he would not have passed Button if Massa had let him go.




Not much faster than Massa but much faster than Button. And I think Bottas is better than Massa when it comes to overtaking


and this is assessed based on 1 full season with a crap car and and 2 solid races from Bottas so far...?? I think thats a bit rich regardless, Bottas didn't look like he was up massas chuff to the degree that he was being held up or was that much faster..

Williams did not handle this in the most intelligent fashion.. who ever chose those specific words to use with Massa should pull his head out,...terribly callous at best, not one fan of f1 who knows the team orders saga heard those words and didn't think.... " no F'ing way...already??" and that is why it didn't work out as they preferred but in the end it was no real loss...bottas would not have caught button.

Also consider that Felipe brings a hefty pile of cash to what is apparently still a financially wanting Williams team ...

this is why no matter what we think, Massa won't be too bothered by the Williams hierarchy about this issue moving on... It does look like the inter team rivalries this season will run long and deep so we are in for more fun as the season progresses...


So bottas couldn't pass massa (a slower car) to get to button (the much slower car) that massa had trouble keeping up with. Hmm...


Just to add, perhaps they could dock Felipe his wages? That'll make him obey team instructions!


They (the team and Massa) were both right in my opinion - it's just that the team was 'more right' because they get to make the decisions and drivers should obey them.

On one hand there is no need for team orders this early in the season, no one driver has established a lead over the other and the extra point or two would not be worth demotivating one driver for several races to come. BOT was not that much faster than Massa and they were closing in on the end of the race.

On the other hand the team pays the wages and employees (which is all F1 drivers are in this equation) should do as their employers tell them. Time and again F1 teams have shown just how impotent they are in controlling their drivers, maybe one of them should put their money where their mouth is and actually reprimand their driver sufficiently to ensure they do not do it again. But they don't and they won't so they too share the blame.


Adding this comment quite late, but frankly quite surprised at how many people thought that what Felipe did was acceptable.

I will not state the obvious or repeat what has been said multiple times by other users, but one thing that no one mentioned is the fact that over the radio, Bottas would have been told that the request, or order, however you would like to phrase it, has been made.

The fact that it took several laps for this situation to be cleared, during which time the best life of the tyres were used up certainly did not help Bottas with the potential chance he could have had.

Also, I am sure no driver would take the same risk in overtaking your team-mate as opposed to a competitor from a different team, so all the silly arguments in favour of Felipe makes no sense to me. To say Bottas should have overtaken if he could, or if he was faster then the team order wasn't necessary is a very shortsighted argument, to put it kindly.


I know what you mean about Ted, although I would not be quite so hard on him. Don't know if you saw him last season (forget which race) when he tried to 'doorstep' Frank, and was quizzing him about whether Ross Brawn would be joining Williams. Frank chopped him off at the knees!! To me, the interview with Clare demonstrated that she is not really up to snuff, with the job. Give her time and she might be ok, but at the moment I think she is not really tough enough.


Additionally, Ted needs to turn the revs down on his arrogance a notch or two considering the way he was interviewing Williams. This guy rambles through an almost totally incoherent report after every race with no substance at all, chips in every now and again with the bleedin obvious and suddenly thinks he's god's gift to motorsport.

This guy comes across like someone who's just found the shiniest pair of shoes he's ever seen on the way to work and he's going to wear the hell out of them while they last.

This guys brings no value to the deal at all and yet thinks he has the right to go all Paxman on Team Principles on issues that really do not matter at all.


Massa did the right thing. He finally stood up for himself.

Had the team gone through this scenario before the start of the season - like Mercedes did with their drivers - things would've been different.


Full support to Massa on this!

The right way for the team to have handled this was to tell both drivers that they are free to race each other, but not to take each other out by putting too much of a fight. If Bottas was so fast, he should've been able to pass Massa. There was plenty of room to pull off an overtake in the wide circuit of Malaysia.

Teams may be the employers, but the drivers are out there to race for themselves and the team. When you ignore the former reason this early in the championship, you break a driver's spirit.

In the end, the team made the right call to tell their drivers they're free to race. This should've been their first message.


The double standards never cease to amaze me, don't get me wrong I think this team order was garbage and the look on Claire Williams face when she was trying to fob of Ted in the interview after the race says a thousand words alone, BUT why is it right for Massa to ignore team orders but the british media and the so called 'fans' bash Vettel for racing Webber last year??? Actually its disgusting these Hamilton fan brigade. Enjoy winning the 'fastest' car but NO it's Hamilton's skill when he wins eh?


Red Bull and Vetell are simply not very popular. Not just in the UK (as you always like to say) but in Germany as well. Only just over 50,0000 spectators at the German GP on race day, with a German driver heading the WDC, says it all. Why you always feign shock and surprise whenever people take the opportunity to have dig at a driver they don't much like is somewhat bizarre. Goodness knows, you should be aware how this works by now, what with you being the Grand Poobah of Hamilton bashing an' all!


your wasting your time C63, he never replies when people point out inconvenient facts that scupper his arguments. loving "Grand Poobah" by the way!


loving that you managed to squeeze an anti Hamilton rant into a post that has nothing to do with him whatsoever, brilliant!

Torchwood Five

The Vettel situation, for me at least, I found myself sitting back in shock, blinking at the screen, trying to accept the possibility that this was one race where the Red Bull team were not actively seeking to sabotage Mark Webber's chances of success.

I waited for the shoe to drop, but no, Webber's KERS has not failed; the car isn't on fire; okay, they'll **** him up in the pits, but no, it looks like for once, the team will support their driver.

We hear the team radio that BOTH drivers have turned their engines down, Webber queries the team twice to confirm this, then Vettel blasts past on full power.

Ah Seb, you little [bleeper].

When you take context into account, Tealeaf, things become clearer.


It's not necessarily double standards. Team orders debates don't have to boil down to the polarised views of "team orders are always wrong" and "team orders are always right". It's perfectly reasonable to consider one team order just, while a different one on a different day is unjust.

For example, one might consider that ordering drivers to hold their current positions ("Multi 21") is more justifiable than ordering a driver to give up a place they already hold (Massa/Bottas). Even if you think it's OK to order a driver to concede a place sometimes, when the drivers are on the same strategy and championship positions are not at stake might not be that time.


The two situations aren't even remotely comparable. The major difference being that Vettel was given Webber's undercut (even though Webber was leading and had the right to pit first) in order to hold off the Merc's.

With the gap between them then reduced, Vettel overtook Webber, who had his engine dialed down as he was under the impression that they would be holding position.

Before crying double standards, do a bit of research or at least watch the race highlights. And what does this have ANYTHING to do with Hamilton?


Totally right, Olivier. Massa is 100% correct in taking control of the situation - if the 2nd car is faster, they can overtake!

There are only two ways to approach 2-car team strategy - 1. Both cars free to race; 2. Individual cars given maximum opportunity on specific occasions. In the 2nd approach, at such a specific occasion, any car ahead on track but failing to maximise the situation should be requested to move over, for a period of 2-5 laps exactly as Nelson mentions in the article, but then - CRUCIALLY - given the instruction to re-take the position if the other team car has also failed to maximise the situation.

Teams do not do this and, despite the quote above, Williams did not appear to do this either.

But the 2nd approach is fraught with issues, as it’s not guaranteed that the first car can maintain a small enough gap to re-take the position without affecting lap times, which is what leads to the fear of losing the position. Williams is an experienced team, they should have full disclosure of all orders discussed when hiring and briefing drivers - not discussed in a race...

Torchwood Five

It is good to know that Felipe has a future as a race strategist when his driving career is over.

Whether consulting for a team, or commentating, like Bruno Senna joining the Sky team, I do enjoy seeing drivers being able to find some way to stay in the F1 Paddock.


James, according to the graphic on the TV feed massa finished the race with around 85% of fuel left in the tank. This surely shows the data is wrong no? Is it possible to finish the race on such smaller amount of fuel? If it was true why didn't they turn the engine up for 20 laps?


I think you will find the 85% usage refers to the 100kg max allowance. The FIA do not know how much fuel is loaded into the cars at the start of the race, also there is no restriction on how much they can carry, or how little, only how much they can burn during the race. The FIA measurement is only checking they do not exceed the 100kg max allowable and the 100kg/h flow rate. As Williams only used around 85% of the allowance, it would be logical to assume they started with less than 100kg - as they would not to finish the race with too much to spare (apart from making sure they have enough to drive back to the pits and provide the 1 litre sample).


James would have to check this but my interpretation was they only ran with 85KG of fuel. 100KG is not the max but there is no minimum I am guessing. If you can get the race done using 15KG of fuel less, then go for it as long as lap time does not suffer.

I'd love James to clarify this because that graphic confused me slightly.


Sorry I was meant to say he had only used 85% of his fuel not he had 85 left. The strange thing was that FOM had displayed this interesting data constantly throughout the race but then when we most needed it close to the end,well it sort of disappeared.

Obviously with the flow meters you couldn't use it all up quickly but surely after the 3rd Pitstop they would let them go flat out on fresh tyres after all these are race cars. I think williams we're much quicker in Australia, maybe they were warned to decrease fuel flow after that race...


My impression was that it is calculated by the amount of fuel used,which is relayed to the FIA through the fuel flow meter. The graphic displayed calculates the percentage used assuming they start with the full 100kg of fuel.this would suggest that Massa started with approximately 85kg of fuel.


I think you'll find it said they had used 85% of their fuel. But that still leaves the second part of your question as relevant: why carry 15kg of fuel in the race that you aren't going to use. Surely they could have used some to push past Button... or maybe this is all part f the complex balancing act? Limited fuel-usage, limited number of power units, limited tyre-wear... if so then I am concerned: these are all artificial limits that reign-in the ability of the drivers to race. That's not good for a racing formula.


Interesting! I'd noticed during the race it seemed low, but didn't think to check at the chequered flag. James, can you shed any light?


Massa was only instructed to not hold Bottas up - and if Bottas had better tyres and pace, then surely he would have easily overtaken Massa,

But - Bottas was unable to overtake Massa so where is the proof that Bottas could have overtaken Button, especially as Massa was not as fast as Button - supposedly.

Massa was in Button's dirty air and so would have been Bottas if he had got in front of Massa.

Massa did the right thing !



One hundred percent agreement! How could Bottas believe he could pass Button, if he could not muster the speed or discipline to pass Massa on his own. Being fast creates its own opportunities!

Martin (England)

As a long time Williams fan the first two races have been great in terms of coverage and points compared to the last few years and a bit of a driver battle spices things up even more, I thought the team could have worded it a bit better and I think Bottas would have struggled to get by Jenson as he didnt just breeze past Massa, Bahrain next week lets see what Williams can do with a dry qualifying.


Don't think Bottas is going to be too worried about listening to the radio about holding station in Bahrain or any other races thus year should he for some reason find himself behind Massa.

It would appear at this stage that Bottas is the faster driver, so I doubt this will even be an issue going forward as Felipe will be behind from qualifying already!!!


From what I know, Massa is 2-0 against Bootas in qualifying and I don't see that changing so soon.


Rockman, you said "As if Bottas would risk crashing into Massa during the race". He bumped against Massa in the begining of the race and was told tyo back off.


you got your crystal ball out again tealeaf?


haha dream on mate, Bottas is faster than Massa end of.


Massa may be a bit faster in qualy but his problems lies in his overtaking skills(he doesn't have it anymore).

As if Bottas would risk crashing into Massa during the race given this is the most competitive Williams have been in a while, they would not risk the points earned.

Overtaking your teammate in the same car is very different to overtaking someone else in a different car.

Massa may have got his self respect back, but he probably lost a lot more somewhere else, specially from the team's perspective.


It was the first race of Felipe. Too early to say something about who is faster. But I will really enjoy an open dispute between both.


From where did you get the idea that Bottas is faster? Massa has been faster in all qualifying and most of the tests up to now.


Let's see how they go as the season progresses. Valterri looks like he's keen to establish himself as a talented racer. Felipe looks like the same old Felipe of the past few years - solid & experienced but nothing spectacular!

I don't dislike Felipe, just think it's time to call it time on his F1 career.


On balance Felipe probably should have let him pass, but it was extremely stupid of Williams to have given the instruction in exactly the same terms as the famous Alonso one. Red rag and all that...If I was team principal of any team I would have had clear conversations with drivers about what to do in this kind of situation before the season even started. A lot of the teams have very equal drivers this year and it's bound to be a recurring issue...


Agree on the stupid way the pit wall delivered the request. They could have known that Massa would never respond to such a request.

But did Massa anything to inhibit Bottas to overtake him? I have not seen it. Bottas, IMHO, never got that close that Massa should defend himself.

The explanations afterwards from Rod Nelson were just as clumsy as the way they messaged Massa.


While we have no way to tell what the pre-race briefing/strategy may have been - it certainly appears on the face of it that perhaps FM didn't have all of the "considerations" now being explained by the Williams engineer?? For example, the concern over engine temperature, the stated tire advantage for VB and (one would think most importantly) the "plan" to reverse the order if JB wasn't overtaken in 3 laps. And, perhaps the unfortunate choice of words would have been enough to obviate any pre-race understandings. Smedley can't get there soon enough, methinks.

The Spanish Inquisitor

100% Agree

Martin (England)

A thought just came to me reading your post, maybe the team worded it like that to stick a rocket up felipes exhaust, they may have thought it would fire him up to get by Jenson ? just a thought.


If Williams thinks that they are going to obtain a positive response from Felipe Massa by repeating the "Fernando is faster than you" mantra, they clearly have not been paying attention to history or driver psychology.

Yngwie Malmsteen

+1 and I'd like to add that Ferrari NEVER asked Felipe to move for Alonso in only the 2ND race of the season!


I agree 100% with Massa. At this point if he had moved over, especially at that late stage of the race, his racing career would effectively be over. The important thing was for him not to do anything to threaten or damage Bottas car and thus the team's points haul. If Bottas was faster, he should simply have passed Massa, not talked about it on the radio. I didn't see any confusion about Vettel being faster than Ricciardo.


I think judging by the relatively poor pace of Massa in comparison to Bottas over the duration of the Malaysian GP, coupled with his refusal to listen to the teams request his F1 career is pretty much over! Felipe would need to win some races to recover - and given Merc dominance this year I don't see Felipe challenging for anything higher than 7th or 8th.


"If Bottas was faster, he should simply have passed Massa"

I hate it when people say things like that. There are so many variables that affect your ability to overtake someone; the track, the conditions, the drivers, etc etc etc. Not just speed. It's only easy to overtake someone when there's a huge pace gap.

Williams believed Bottas had a better chance of overtaking Button. Therefore, the team order made sense. Why is everyone crying for Massa? I don't get it.


John MC,

Finally someone who makes sense of the situation!


They were driving different cars, it's different passing your teammate to someone else in a different car.

Is that really hard to understand? I don't get all the Massa support for this race...


Well, if Bottas wasn't able to even threaten Massa, what makes anybody think that he'd be able to pass Button?


So its right to order Bottas to stop attempting to pass Massa at the beginning of the race but its wrong to ask Massa to make a way for Bottas when need be?


If you watched the race

Bottas was lunging as massa was trying to overtake and was too aggressive like perez was to button his first year at maclaren

but asking an 11 times race winner to move over for a rookie in the 2nd race race was disgusting

I did not agree with Ferrari in 2010 but at least Alonso on on for points in championship and was massa was not

but what has bottas done to be prioritized over massa


Nelson is being incredibly diplomatic here. Massa never got anywhere near making an overtaking move on Button. Behind the scenes Williams must be incredibly frustrated.

They've basically been undermined - and I hope privately they are giving Massa a bit of a talking to. If not, it sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of the season.

Bottas will just have to make sure he out-qualifies Massa in future so he doesn't run into this problem again.


Were you not watching? Massa caught up with and overtook Button but Button took him staright back, it was great.

I guess Massa dropped back a bit to try again then struggled in the dirty air, overheating his car.

Jenson is not so easy to pass so Bottas probably would have struggled too.

I was so glad Massa did not take team orders this time. Oh and the wording from the engineer was ridiculous, what did they expect saying "Bottas is faster than you"?!



does anyone remember hamilton crashing trying to overtake button in Canada

guess Williams think Bottas is better than Hami


Clare needs to get a grip on the team because, 2 points aint that big a deal at the early stages

or should we tell kimi togive up now then based on williams business plan


You're right, the team employs the drivers, not the other around (apart from Pastor). It is ths team that spends 16 hour days, 7 days a week constructing and fine tuning an F1 car. Felipe should have a salary payment deferred just to show him where his bread is buttered.




Team orders in the 2nd race is Slimey.

If botas was so fast why could he not even get close enough to attempt a pass.


The unfortunate thing for these kind of discussions is that we don't hear all the talk over the radio. Maybe Bottas was told to hold back until we got to the "faster than you" point, we will never know. We do know he was told that Messa would not imped him if he attempted to pass with about 5 laps to go but he didn't get very close. Then the team told him that he was racing Massa and he closed up pretty quickly after that with 1 1/2 laps to go though it was probably too late at that point so you have to question if they should have bothered.


+1 exactly my thought. Massa should have slowed down to give him a try? Silly thinking. And what I don't understand why they kept Bottas behind Massa at the beginning of the race. Was that to keep Bottas in check? To avoid him doing another "Melbourne"?


Bottas touched Massa early in the race and was asked to be less aggressive, not stay behind. Pass if you wil, but don't crash in the process.


Actually Bothas was asked not to attack Massa until after Massa got past Magnussen (who had a damaged front wing), which Felipe never managed to do.

Massa twice failed to get past the McLarens so Williams were well within reason to want to give Bothas a go at Button!


Right, that makes sense. Missed that contact. Thanks.


Maybe the Williams front axle zone is more affected by dirty air/turbulence than the other cars. Remember, Felipe couldn't pass Kevin even though the Macca had a damaged front wing - even though Massa had the best straight line speed of any car.


I don't recall hearing the team say anything about engine concerns. Maybe they should have.

They also told Bottas to not attack Massa and Bottas responded something to the effect of if Massa has the pace let him beat me.

Massa asked the team team to tell Bottas to stop trying to pass.

Both of these were in the middle of the race and need to be adressed as well.

Williams doesn't want a lingering issue like RBR had with Vettel and Webber. Webber seemed to feel unconstrained by team orders and it finally cost him his career in F1 when Seb made a reap what you sow decision and blew by Webber to win last years race. Only fair for Seb considering Webbers past statements and actions about him not being subject to those orders.

Here you have both drivers seeming to want to benefit from but not subject to these orders. Understandable to me but it needs to be sorted out.

Lastly the wording leaves much to be desired. I am sure "Bottas is faster than you" made Massa see red. T


Massa is right. If he had behaved this way earlier in his career he would not have to put up with rubbish like this.

Bottas is laying out his stall - like most European drivers his arrogance proceeds him (read Vettel, Schumacher Hulkenburg etc).

All those fake smiles at Williams things have not changed that much.

Next time Bottas needs to out qualify and have track position ahead of Massa or pass him on track. Don't say your faster prove it.,.?


It's precedes not proceeds


Indeed, he is! No doubt...


Felipe tried to pass Button and failed, so I doubt Bottas would have been able to do it, so if constructors points remain the same, why should Massa give away 2 points to his mate at this stage of the championship

Felipe is a nice chap who would surely give the place to Bottas at the end of the season if he was higher in the standings and Williams position was at stake

What I see is much closer driver pairings than last year, bar Caterham and Marussia, which adds to the fun.

HAM, VET and ALO might have a small edge over their team mates, but it seems it will be no regular runaways like before, more so when you factor rain, reliability and minor incidents, like Kimis flat today.

Maybe BOT and MAG will start slower but be consistently faster than theirs by years end, and HUL is already faster, add that PER has not even been able to have a normal race

So if MB stays dominant and until RB is up to par with them, we will at least have nice intrateam battles to watch, and pit walls should let them


Certainly doesn't sound like a happy camp, in any event, especially this early in the season.

And I can't imagine how a driver is supposed to stay focussed and push hard when he is asked to "give someone else a go for a few laps" let alone build a passing strategy of his own, which can take many laps as we know.


O dear Massa.. New team. New opportunity. .. sometimes drivers forget that they are employees too..

Shows he still has a Ferrari hangover... Bottas is faster than you!!!


Williams pace was a disappointment. Would have been interesting to see what Bottas would have done if he past Massa. But why did he not overtake if he was faster?


He tried at the beginning but he was ordered not to


Only after Massa complained on the radio. I'm not saying they should have asked massa to let bottas pass him. Just let them race.


Massa complained: "Did you see what he did? He touched me." and the team told Bottas not to be so aggressive and back down, they'd need to get Massa past Magnussen so he could follow. After that, I'm sure no one would have had anything against Valtteri giving it another go, without near crashes.


Williams team not the drivers are to blame for this

Massa "bottas is faster than you" a repeat of 2010 only thing worse would be if smedley was on radio

Massa did right thing, if bottas had the pace should have taken him

Yngwie Malmsteen

yes, I couldn't believe my ears! That message sounded sarcastic!


Of course Felipe was right to ignore team orders, if Bottas was so much faster then let him pass on the road. Same issue with Weber last year if he was as fast as he maintained, why didn't he re-pass Vettel?

I am sick and tired of moaning racing drivers asking the pit wall to intervene and help them out.

Not that it matters much, F1 is in serious trouble with the new sound or lack of. It's time to remember this about racing cars not making science projects. Together with disintegrating tyres and the raft of other stupid new ideas, F1 has now taken away the one aspect that made even boring dull races like today interesting.

Without the sound F1 is nothing and is of no consequence.


I think you missed that Massa, when following Magnussen, first screamed to the pits, that Bottas was trying to pass him.

The team asked Bottas to hold back till Massa had made his overtake.


The unfortunate thing for these kind of discussions is that we don’t hear all the talk over the radio

PS to copy someone else


Massa shouted that Bottas had touched him - made contact - not the same as you said.

The team then ordered Bottas to stop being so agressive early in the race.

Torchwood Five

Okay, I heard "he tried to attack me!". I supposed I could have mis-heard "touch me" as "attack me."


It is amazing how many people reject the idea that the sound is what's primarily responsible for the electric atmosphere at a racing circuit.

Unlike me, they were not sitting in the s-turns at Watkins Glen in 1973 as 35 Formula 5000 cars took the green flag (led by Jody Scheckter). Had they been, they would understand why sound is so important.


Yes, but Europe, Australasia, Japan and South America - F1's heartlands - have changed dramatically since 1973. Their car industries and cars themselves have had to become more efficient and down-size their engine capacity since the early 70s - regulations, oil shortages, recessions, new technology that sort of thing. I think the sound is fine, its just the volume is too low. The mixing at the sound-desk needs adjusting, and then at least on-board shots would sound fine.

By the way, why would anyone want to go back the 70s anyway? Britain in the 70s was shite - high inflation, football hooliganism, strikes, black-outs, crap music made by long haired manky beardies, England didn't qualify for the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, streets piled high with rubbish, recessions, awful cars by British Leyland, and a top rate tax of 83%! That was why James Hunt moved to Marbella in the mid to late 70s as Mr Healey would of taken everything he practically earned. After he retired in summer 1979, James had saved himself over £3 million in taxes!


Australia will have no car industry in 2017... But agree with you with volume needing to be increased, attended the Melbourne race and they just sounded very uninspiring versus the Porsche cup cars and V8 supercars. My expectations were of hearing something similar to the 80s Youtube clips of Aryton's turbo Lotus where a large bassy drone would echo through the grandstands. But at Melbourne the cars could not be heard coming to the finish line and the sound would disappear once they were out of eye contact. In years past you could hear an F1 car be at any section of Albert park and know when it was coming closer to blast past you with violence.


great post!


We'll done Massa


Start as you mean to continue


Oh dear Massa's done a Vettel!


Time for a poll on whether Massa was right or wrong?


Given what he has gone through in his career, I think what Felipe did may not be correct, but was understandable.

What I don't like is hearing him cry like a baby on the radio when his faster team mate is attacking him. Quit crying and drive the damn car.


Not crying like a baby, complaining that Bottas had irresponsibly touched him as he was moving to overtake the next car.


Good on ya, Felipe!



Judging from the comments on Williams' Facebook post about the race, I'd say the vast majority of Williams fans agree with Massa. Sepang is hardly a difficult circuit to overtake on if the extent to which Bottas was claimed to be quicker is to be believed, and it seems like Rod Nelson's explanation was either (a) not communicated to Massa at all or (b) made up after the event to justify a dubious call. I'm a Williams fan, but this was a bad call.


What a lot of cobblers !

If there was any difference in speed it was very slight and very temporary and the "order" should not have been given particularly with Massa's history.

Well done him.

Christos Pallis

Can't believe they used the phrase "Felipe, Valteri is faster than you" do they ever watch F1? I'm amassed he didn't cry....


I'm amazed he didn't immediately switch off the radio and set the engine to Ramming Speed. Couldn't BELIEVE they used that phrase on him.


Frank Williams might recall a certain race at Jacarepaguá in 81...Felipinho, you are in for world of pain!


Could you please explain, or do those of us who are younger have to spend an hour trying to find out what happened there? All I can find readily online is that Williams finished 1-2.


Mike84, perhaps you need to enhance your google-fu. Took me about a minute to find this:



If I remember correctly, Reutemann was leading the race with Alan Jones close behind in second. Reutemann was asked/instructed by the Williams pitwall to let Jones through to win, but ignored the instruction and took the win himself. A very miffed Jones finished second. The relationship between Jones and Reutemann from then on was poor, to put it mildly. At the end of the year Reutemann lost the championship to Piquet by one point and Jones lost by four points - so the incident did not affect the championship result, but came within one point of doing so.


Yes, the story is actually a bit more complicated than my oversimplified account, of course. There was some sort of agreement that if Jones came within 4 seconds (or something like that) from Reutemann then Lole will have to let him through. Jones was around that distance but then again, never looked like he could realistically overtake Lole without the team orders.

In any case, that was one of those fascinating "odd couples" that F1 gives us occasionally.

James should write sometime about all these teammate's pairs!


LOL sorry!

Jacarepaguá, 1981, "Lole" Reutemann (Williams' driver alongside reigning champion Alan Jones) was leading the race under a heavy rain. He was in contention for the WDC. Williams, though, had other ideas. A pit signboard showing "JONES-REUTEMANN" was put for Lole to give way for Jones. Jones was not even close to Lole. Reutemann chose to ignore the sign. "I didn't see any signboard with all the rain" was his excuse.

That year, he would lose the championship to Piquet by a mere single point, after his own team decided not to support him on his last race. Reutemann retired next year.


I don't know where Williams' reputation of being a "fair" team comes from. In 1986 the WDC was theirs to grab, all they had to do was throw away their English pride and give the smarter and more experienced Piquet AT LEAST equal treatment. (And it was stupid of them: Honda was furious and left Williams one year earlier alongside Piquet.) And in 1993 they accepted the no-Senna clause imposed by Prost. (Which was the smart thing to do IMO, but it shows their double-standards.)


I am an employee at my place of work.

Im told to do things Im not always happy about, but my bosses pay my wages, so I do as Im told.

Massa has clearly forgot that one simple fact - that he is but one cog in an enormous wheel, one of many employees, and needs to remember who pays his wages.

Massa has shown Bottas that its now okay to ignore clear instructions and dont worry about repercussions.

Nothing is ever his fault. Ever. The man is in a state of denial, and I can see him leaving by mutual consent at the end of the season.......


There's more to his career than just being an employee; at this level his name is also a brand and one he'll be stuck with for the rest of his life. He has to protect that also, not just his current job that's only for a short time.

Do you think Senna would have a movie made about him if he let whoever's currently feeding him tell him to move over and lose points?


He did - in the 1991 Japanese Grand Prix Senna moved at the last corner to let his team-mate Gerhard Berger win. Ayrton finished second and later said it was a thank-you to Gerhard for supporting his championship campaign. Bear in mind Senna hated loosing, it was quite a self-less act of gratitude that is often overlooked.


Wow with your logic then Schumi would deserve all the accolades by letting Rubens pass him in that 6 cars farce! (I am a Schumacher fan and wished him all the best.)

Massa had done this once already! He had all the rights to say "I am not going to let that happen again!"

Had this situation happen to Webber last season would you think he would turn down the engine to let Vettel pass him again?

At the end of the day the team had the right to ask, and the driver had the right to decide what is the right thing to do.


You don't take sponsorship money to your work, or do you?


No, and neither does Massa.

Not a cent.

Its been well documented that Massa is a on a salary at Williams, and is bringing with him NO sponsor money.

As per his interview to Brazil's Globo in November, when asked specifically if he was bringing any money into the team he said no, but "...I will do all I can" - google it.


No comparison. It is not a regular job.


@Stephen M

Petrobras and Banco do Brasil: do you really think they don't give a damn that there's a Brazilian driver in the team they're sponsoring?


I hear Williams is planning on having their reserve driver Felipe Nasr drive in the Friday practice sessions for the next three races, and that it's supposedly Bottas who needs to step aside. I wonder if it's all of a sudden going to be Massa who sits out the first practice session...


Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.


James, time for you to tell the true story, especially few laps before the team order laid. Thx


Geoff - Why should James jeopardise his position and standing with the teams, you obviously know something why don't you (more or less anonymously) enlighten us all...

If there is more to it I would love to hear it....

IMO If Bottas could have passed Jenson, he could/should have been able to pass Felipe...he couldn't / didn't...bad call by the team and especially the terminology....even as a joke it wouldn't be funny. To do it in all seriousness...disrespectful.


I missed this part of the race 🙁

is it true that Bottas was told not to overtake Massa initially? Is it also true that Massa complained when Bottas was going to overtake him?

thanks for your clarification


No to both. Bottas touched Massa and was told to be less aggressive, not hold back. Massa said "he touched me", not 'he attacked me".


Yes to both.


I don't have any story, but usually James will discuss such topic in UBS race analysis, he will analysis the lap time and the rationale behind Williams decision

F1 is team sport, for Williams every single point is important when fighting with sauber and force India, one point may worth 10million...


Enjoyed the photo above of Felipe Massa looking like Mussolini.


Deja Vu all over again!!!


Poor old Massa.... he'll always be perceived as a Number 2 driver.


Perhaps that is because he is a number two driver


Not at all. Massa has demonstrated more than once that that as well as being a great driver, he is very correct and dignified in his actions on and off the track. Raikkonen won the 2007 title because and only because Massa relinquished the lead of the last race to him through a deliberately slow pit stop. Without this sporting action Alonso or Hamilton (both in McLarens) would have been champ (not sure which as points were equal). In the following year Massa convincingly beat Raikkonen in the same team and came within a point of beating Hamilton to the world championship. So Massa will relinquish a place when appropriate, even though in my opinion he is very much the number one driver at Williams now - as he was at Ferrari in 2008.


Very nicely put.

Plus he is the only driver on track who's recovered from a serious head injury to participate competitively at the very highest level. Considering recent events in the wider F1 world and the awful consequences now apparent, people might do well to remember that and show some respect.

Remembering as well that he's 2-0 up against Bottas in qualifying and didn't hit the wall in Melbourne while well placed for a podium.


Not anymore. That's the point.


According to what I see in this chart: https://plot.ly/~pfsq/87/ Bottas, although having a slightly better pace than Massa, would not be fast enough to catch and overtake Button. In the end, Williams would have taken home the same points as it did today, Massa giving away his position and a point towards the championship.

Were I Massa, I would have done the same; I would be fed up with being the second driver of the team, the squire of another driver. Especially during the first races of the season.


is this willians displaying their usual capacity to self destruct by disrespecting the wiser head to please some you upstart wether in their team or elsewhere. They spent many years in the wilderness by doing this before.


Felipe was in the right, Williams management was stupid to give that order, knowing his history. Just another example of them shooting themselves in the foot.

Dimitar Kadrinski

I do believe the team asked him to let bottas throug because they though there was a chance of him getting button, but saying they would then reverse the position if he didnt is a joke. Last but not least, the sentence they used over the radio to massa was the worst...i mean those people are supposed to be intelligent...why would i telligwnt person use this iconic sentence?..

They way they asked Massa to let Bottas was bound not to work.


For me the clearest answer to all this came 12 mnths ago at Merc AMG.

Negative .....Valtteri... Negative.

Williams are trying to save face for their lack of leadership. Ross was able to put the long-term prospects of the team first.

It wasn't Nico's Race Engineer that came on the radio..

It wasn't the Lead Race Engineer..

It was the Team Principal!

Where was Claire in all of this?

The other question I'd pose is; would it have made a difference?

For me not only the wrong call was made; the wrong person made it.


There is a reason this keeps happening to Felipe, nice guy but Fernando really was faster than him and it looks like Valterri is too.


Thank you, most people don't get it.




Agree 100%. Felipe is not a team player anymore he is driving for himself, not for the team, he said it right after race. Williams tried to maximize points and Massa didn't obey. Valtteri will destroy Massa at the next races, he is much faster and better driver.


I have a feeling we're going to see a fair bit of this during the season, and not just with Williams. I can see JB being bettered by K-Mag quite regularly once he gets a few races under his belt. I'm just hoping Kimi can get a good race under him as I can see him and Fernando occupying similar positions in races, increasing the likelihood that they have to go head to head.


Good for Massa. He did the right thing. At the same time, if Bottas couldn't pass him without the team order, why he believes he would've passed Button? Stop complaining and do your own race...


Best joke so far: Massa is still tuned to Ferrari radio


lol that should have been been the title of the article




James, Williams plan was to try to overtake Button. And they thought Bottas had a better chance to do it. Do you think Willimas was right? Massa challenged and pressured Button but in the end he couldn´t overtake him. There were only 4 laps left. Maybe Williams should´ve made that call earlier.


Massa brought too much baggage to the race to ultimately do the right thing by the team.

Objectively, Bottas looked faster at that stage of the race, but in the same hardware, the guy in front was able to do just enough to hold him off.

I was hoping to see Bottas catch and try to overtake Button, but alas, that didn't happen.

Massa's set a precedent for how he feels about team orders and the other guy, and when the shoe's on the other foot, I wonder how he'll like it.


Well British press, you're pretty quiet now! Last year this time you roasted a German driver for disobeying team orders. This year you question "How could they do this to Felipe" but say nothing of his disobedience? !


"Fire and Ice". Seems to be an old F1 cliche test days… 🙂


test?! Goddamn predictive…



Good on Massa. Its only the second race of the season. Let them race


Just let the drivers decide. Its only the second race.


I don't want to state the obvious, but if Bottas was that much faster than Massa then:

A - Why couldn't he pass him own his own merit?


B - Why was he behind him in the first place?

Two thumbs up Massa, stick to your guns 🙂


PS Random, what chance Felipe turning up in Bahrain with a black and blue shiner on his face, eh?

No, musn't condone violence.......haven't said that, when you look at some photos of Mr Bottas, you wouldn't want to spill his pint down his shirt............and he's served in the Finnish Army as part of his mandatory National Service. I wouldn't pick a fight with him!


No chance - Bottas seems like a pretty cool customer.


Random, the SAS only picks the coolest customers - they tend to make the best fighters!


Because in attempting to pass Massa, were Massa resisting the pass, Bottas would have used up his (supposed) tire advantage and overheated his car, thus diminishing any advantage he might have had over Button.

I am not arguing for or against Massa, only stating the technical reality from the team's perspective.


Remember Felipe had the highest straight-line speed of any car during the race.

And yet despite that, Felipe was unable to pass Kevin in the early sting, even though Mini-Mag had a damaged front wing, so perhaps the Williams is more affected in dirty air than other cars.

Just a theory.


Sorry, I meant stint, not sting.

Although there was a sting in the tail for Claire at the end of the race............


Not that simple. And you know it.

There could be dozens of reasons for being behind your team mate with 4 laps to go and yet being faster than him. And he probably knew that with the team giving a multi 21 to Massa it had just made Massa unstable. Attacking Massa at that point could make him close the door and both drivers ending the race off the track.

But anyway, I'm the 1st to say "good for Massa!"


"Not that simple. And you know it"

100% correct, but they were still two questions worth asking 🙂


It was the right call to make by Williams, but a boneheaded way to do it. Were they reading transcripts of Ferrari's radio message back to Massa? "Felipe, we want to put some salt on an old wound. Do you comply?"


Teams orders right or wrong will be a debate that rages until the end of time.

But Massa now has to be careful he created a precedent between the two. He shouldn't expect any favours from Bottas. These two seem more evenly matched than the two who had problems with teams orders last season at the same venue... Could make for one interesting sub-plot during this season.


Pretty dense to think that Massa would obey such an order ever again!


You either have team orders in F1 or you don't,

Currently we do and Massa should have followed the instructions he was given.

Williams were being perfectly fair and logical and Massa was clearly in the wrong.


Agree, it's his 'job' to race for the team, it'll be interesting to watch the relationship between CW and the two drivers going forward. I thought that VB dealt with the post-race interviews in a very measured and mature way, he has a very bright future.


I don't think it's a driver's job to race for the team, or you might as well do away with the WDC. To relinquish a WDC point for the bennefit of the team, there has to be a clear tradeoff. I think Massa was unimpressed by Bottas' speed and, remember, Massa has previously missed the WDC by a single point.


Williams don't, I believe, consider their guys to be WDC contenders but they are desperate for the team to perform in the area of the grid that they once dominated and rightly expect their drivers to further that ambition. As all of the pundits will tell you, the team standing in the championship is where the money is, and the drivers are under contract to....the team, the team provides the car and the back-up, and in most cases the salary. While many will root for a particular driver the majority are team followers no matter who drives for them. FM is lucky to have the drive that he has, his inability to perform consistently cost Ferrari dearly in the constructors championship, I'm sure Williams have reminded him of his obligations.


I think things will turn nasty with Massa when he realises that Bottas is faster than him.


I think he's already there!


Massa should stop felling sorry for himself and start behaving like the highly paid professional that he supposed to be. It was the team's call.

Some of the drivers are very unprofessional.

If you have a direct order from your management, you just don't ingnore it.

No sympathy for this type of behavior.


Agreed. I think that because a lot of Brazilian sponsorship is appearing within the team that FM believes it gives him some sort of de-facto superiority.... Nope. Perhaps he should be sitting out the next couple of Friday sessions in favour of their Brazilian test driver.


thats exactly the sort of thing Frank would have done...


+1 this is the acid test for CW.


And the "Stick it to the Man" award goes to.... Felipe Massa!!!

Cristóbal Loira

I think Massa has made very clear to the team and to his teammate that he will not be accepting anymore any kind of team order. Whatever Bottas may do better than Massa he will have to gain in the track. He has just had enough of this in all this time in Ferrari.


Then Massa can expect to be sacked before the season is out. That will be a good thing as I think he is nowhere near his pre-accident form.


"Then Massa can expect to be sacked before the end of the season"

Is that you Claire Williams? I mean here is a proven race winner with lots of experience who hopes to start on a clean slate with a new team after enduring a last minute championship loss, a life threatening accident and "Ferrrnando is faster than you" and the next thing you know is that after having to sit out the first race through no fault of his, he is required by the team to move over for a near rookie to have a go at Button of all drivers. And this is the same guy who threw away an opportunity in Oz trying too hard to pass Alonso, kissing the wall! Take it easy Claire!


massa's just too hot headed. he causes too much friction wherever he goes.


Like at Ferrari?


Well it's certainly not the first time Massa disobeyed a team order... He clearly thinks more of himself than he really is, and seems only to get turned on when his team mate is behind him...

On this occasion Bottas was faster than him, but he just couldn't let him pass... the Brazilian driver has lost his edge as a race driver, which is only fair to acknowledge he once had, but it's been now too many years with him in the paddock without adding anything to the equation.

He should be fired... because he is just mediocre, and a bad teammate...


He was.

2 races in and its come to this already?

Come on Williams,show the guy a little respect.


OK James, we read the facts and different parties point of view but what is YOUR point of view ?

And i'd love to hear Fernando's point of view on this one

My take on this is that the pit wall knew about Massa's history so saying" bottas is faster than you" is indeed insulting. If they really wanted to swap back drivers if bottas could not pass Button why not tell felipe "Felipe we need to try something crazy to try and catch Jenson, can you "slipstream valteri in the next DRS zone and let him have a go at it, his engine is in better shape than yours. he will give back position if not successful by the last lap"

that would have taken so little time and then If massa refused to give up he would clearly not be able to claim the innocent victims role in this case..


the pit crew were racing under pressure with very little time to hold meetings. they make quick decisions to their advantage but am sure they've learned from this. as far as the choice of words, is smedly not working with massa? am not suprised you used the same words from his vocabulary.


Terrible mistake to phrase it like that

If it is true that Massa's car was running hot put it in those terms surely?


Do you not think that perhaps that wording might have been intended?

Perhaps there had been some comms between the pit and Massa about the position already and this was from 'the boss' and intended to put Massa in his place?


I'm sure there was a discussion between Massa and Williams management at contract signing time about not having to repeat his role at Ferrari. Having had that conversation, and having publicly stated that he is done playing the servant, Massa would have been very insulted by the radio comments from the team.

There was no question that Massa was slower at that point in the race but it was also clear that Bottas could not pass Massa and therefore one could argue that he didn't have a chance in hell of passing Button.

In my opinion this instruction to Massa coming so early in the season says that Williams is perhaps not confident that they can stay this competitive for long against the other teams - hence these desperate instructions are given to maximise points while they still have a chance of scoring some consistently.

Looks like the money is running out at Williams. Again.


Damn right he was right, only telemetry had a different opinion and Bottas interests, teams' feelings and thoughts. Next time my friend try to show you are faster than your team mate at least, or make a move and let the spectators and the global audience celebrate your style of overtaking 2 guys in front of you with a combine experience of 450 GP starts on equal and or better equipment with 4 laps to the finish. Gi did you see how Massa mastered those old pirellis to the checkered flag?!?! How dare he, he should have given a chance to the new pirellis of Bottas? Strategy. Okey I would call it stupid. I m sorry but I would call Strategic the orders given for championship points, not for P7 and maybe P6.


There are a few points here, the most basic being, if Bottas couldn't get past Massa right ahead how was he going to pass JB who as we already saw has every skill needed to stay ahead. Also, if they want to keep Massa's head game intact and avoid the situation he's had at Ferrari it seems pretty short sighted to come out with ...is faster than you, after last week saying he's driving for himself now. Lastly, if they planned to instruct Massa to retake the place, I cant see Bottas being interested in that! Williams has never been known for soft handling drivers but team orders have always been out of bounds as I recall, and if this is not team orders, what is?!


Call me naive but I always believe if the guy behind is really so much faster, then surely they should be able to pass without their team mate waving them past. If you're only a tenth faster and you need to be half a second faster to pass, tough luck.

Of course, F1 is a team sport dictated by money and these drivers are employed to follow orders. So while not in the spirit of real racing, if your contract says move over then move over. In the real life like everyone who comments in here, if we ignore our boss we end up being fired.

Probably the reason I work for myself then 🙂


Probably the reason I keep getting fired.


I always jumped first 🙂 Or took the redundancy. Ironic I now work longer and much harder for myself than I did any boss 🙂


Even if they felt it was right they could have worded it better. Using an infamous phrase in exact words to a driver with a forever wounded pride like Felipe was just asking for trouble.

And like Mercedes learnt with Lewis, give the driver a full explanation and don't try to spin it afterwards. Mercedes explained to Lewis that when asked to turn down the exact same instruction was related to Nico. It prevented misunderstandings. If they'd said to Massa - ok we will give Bottas two laps to pass Jenson if he fails, you can have the place back - he still might ignore it but then at least you can show you tried.


i don't understand why redbull didn't realise that ricciardo's front wing was damaged by the front jack when they took the car back to tighten the wheel nut.



It's a new F1 with new car systems and so on. Massa could not drive at the first race. It was a long race with slower lap times than in the past. In other words, it was a long race.

And right at the end of it, comes order from the box to do something. Massa is not a boy any more. Everyone wants him to retire already. First him, then Kimi and Alonso and Button. Just like Mark retired last year.

We hardly recognize the new names of F1. Now they have numbers to market like Massa's 19. They have pride.

And all of that goes downhill once the team gives an order that shatters dreams. Just like Koba did to him in the first race.

The engine is there to heat and overheat and when the race is over to cool down. That's the engine's job. The job of the driver is to try. Like Massa did when trying to overtake Button, and Button closed the door at the right time stopping Massa from being able to do it. Or when Massa fought with Magnussen earlier in the race.

We can expect team orders to tell the driver that's behind to hold back a little. In order to get more clean air. Now a team order for the lead driver to step back not once, but twice in a race, that's just out of the ordinary. Say, Massa gave the position to Bottas. Who if not able to overtake Button would need to step back to give the position back to Massa.

That's just a little over the top in terms of team orders. Maybe tricky in every team.


Fair call by Massa. VB's tyres were only 2 laps younger and its not like he was literally bighting at Massa's heals. If he was so much faster he had quali the whole race to get himself in front and didn't.

Massa got himself in front fair and square and deserved to finish there.

As for “If he [Bottas] hadn't achieved it within two or three laps, we would have swapped our drivers over again" ...really?


I don't envy the challenge of the guys on the pitwall in trying to reign in two highly competitive racing drivers, but all this "don't attack him now, he'll let you past later" (as was allegedly told to Bottas in the first stint) and "if he can't get past Button he'll let you back through later" (as was apparently the agreement with Massa) sounds a bit ridiculous to me.

I'm not in possession of the full facts, of course, but the guys on the pitwall can't try and make promises and cut deals with one driver without consulting the other, or to try and engineer some sort of intra-driver "After you Claude" charade. If they were on two very different strategies then that kind of order is fair enough; we've seen that from Force India in the recent past. But these two were pretty much on the same strategy.

Furthermore, if there was genuine concern about Massa's engine overheating, then tell him something like "we need to manage the car; slow down" or something like that and show him the telemetry afterwards. Surely this is preferable to the evocative "Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you" message that went out; when faced with that message, Massa would have known that his compliance would have been harrowing for him given what happened at Hockenheim 2010, and would have wondered if he was being forced to cede vital ground within the team after two races.

I fully understand Williams' desire to get both cars in the points and, indeed, it was a difficult situation given their understandable desire to get all the points they can get. Claire Williams handled the post-race interview with Ted Kravitz quite well, and I do think this will blow over quite quickly. But I still feel they erred in their judgement on this one.


Bottas was fast in clear air but on catching massa he couldn't close sufficiently to make a pass. I firmly believe that he won't catch button either and if he did he wouldn't have been able to pass him. Button would have a very wide mclearn. Delighted to see Williams in the points, long may it last.

Juan Montoya Fan

Face it Felipe, you're just plain slow no matter which team you drive for these days. If you want to prolong your career in F1, then better accept that you are a number 2 driver at best, otherwise you may end up in Indycar sooner than you think.


Jajaja like juancho. I was a montoya fan aswell during his years at indy and at williams. But the guy has become a bad joke. He is like a kid that never grew up.

Following him at twitter was unbearable. And now has become lazy during all those year driving NASCAR, I doubtnhe will be able to be the great driver he once was.

He made a mistake going to NASCAR, I don't think he will be able to recover from that.

kenneth chapman

well done massa. if bottas was so much faster then he should've been able to put a pass on massa. he wasn't so why the stupid instructions?

to try and implement team orders in the second race is just plain dumb. i see now where williams are altering their story saying that if bottas didn't do the business on button then he would've been told to give the position back? is this F1 racing or noughts and crosses?


I'd guess it was an order issued from Bernie E to try and spice up one of the most boring races in memory! Not exactly in the league of "Multi 21". They were fighing for what 7th & 8th?...Yawn.

Matthew Cheshire

Its hard to believe Massa wouldn't have discussed this when he was joining the team. And harder again that Williams didn't think this would be an issue with his history.

If Bottas couldn't pass his slower teammate, he wasn't going to catch and pass Button.

Keep racing Filipe. Schumacher or Alonso wouldn't have yeilded either.

Williams will have a fan backlash if they push this- and Massa should use that and every other asset he has to push for a win.


So at the beginning of the race, when Bottas was faster, Massa was crying to the team to stop him... And Bottas stepped back.. Later in the race - Bottas faster again, Massa was asked to allow Bottas to pass him and he ignored this request..

I hope from next race Bottas attacks and overtakes Massa every time he get close to him... Regardless of the team orders...


Massa just mentioned that Bottas had made contact with him. Not that he shouldn't have passed


Yes, we want to see genuine racing.


Williams should have known better after all the negative publicity that Ferrari got for doing the same thing. IT's way too early in the season for this. Having said that Bottas was very impressive again.

David in Sydney

Yes! Massa was right!

Stephen Taylor

No he AND Bottas were completely stupid. They should act like grown men.


Only issue I have with Massa on this is that he was happy to do it at Ferrari for Schuey and Teflonso, but come to Williams and it's "no way, man", then he talks about respect? I'm all for the Webber-style rage against this kind of thing, but if you're happy (I know that's not the right word, but you get it) to do it for one team, why not another? 'Cause they're not Ferrari? Come on.

Frankly, Williams need as many points as possible as early as possible before others catch up. It's happening already, and they can't catch a break in quali. Please just do it next time, Felipe.


Telling Bottas to back off at the very beginning was ridiculous. I understand the team telling him to calm down and not make contact but to stop him from passing Massa is a joke. If he had more pace than Massa he should have been allowed to attack him. This race track is wide enough to make passing moves stick without taking someone out.

Rod Nelson's comments in regards to letting Bottas through at the end to have a go at Button only to let Massa through again if Bottas could not make the pass really undermines what racing is all about.


Of course he is right. At Ferrari he had to do it because he was so far away in points, but in Malaysia, he was just going to give away some points. Victory was unreachable and the world championship, impossible, so yes you did the right thing, for a change.


I just couldn't believe Williams of all the teams should be asking a guy to pull over. Especially Massa - why would they want to destroy his motivation? Puzzled.


Somethings don't change ha!

Williams has a decent car, many good drivers are willing to take Massa's seat any day.


I thought it was pretty poor form from Massa.


At least Williams are up front about team orders. Nice to see DR taking the fight to the bogie finger. Sad that the team thought they should nobble him to make sure he understands he is number 2. Must give SB a massive advantage this year as the properly quick teams don't have 1 and 2 drivers


Webber's 2013 fans must be furious


Flash backs of "Fernando is faster than you". Felipe probably thought: oh $#:@% not again.


Have to say Felipe was right on the team order. Valtteri did not seem close enough to pass him & therefore not Jenson either. Williams saying the engine temp on Felipes car is a bit high sounds over precautionary to me. As for the tussle earlier in the race- all looked liked fair play to me..

Nice problem for Williams to have to racers wanting to win and a good car beneath them.


Forgot to add. Those words uttered to Felipe by his Williams engineer-- surely must go down in history as amongst the dumbest words ever uttered to a driver..

Claire Williams needs to personally apologise to Felipe for those words. As the team need to calm the situation before it gets iut if control. Im certainly no fan of Felipe and I do believe Bottas is their future, however I believe they need to direct this competitive fire in a positive way going forward.


I am surprised that no comments here suggest firing the guy that told Massa to move over! That idiot does not deserve to be in F1.


As the Multi 21 fiasco kicked off last year, there were suggestions that RBR could leave Vettel on the side-lines for a race, to send a message on whose in charge.

So, Williams, you got a reserve driver you could give a Bahrain outing to?


Thankyou Filipe for bringing some drama to the race. Along with Ricciardos' eventful GP you both were the only bright lights in what was a very dull Grand Prix. (Unless ofcourse you are British).

I will agree with you Brits about one thing though. Good to see someone other than Vettel scooting away at the front.

As a side note: Very interesting comments from Helmut Marko on the weekend about the Renault Powertrain stating that "there is no way of running a Mercedes engine as of tomorrow" and then when pushed on the subject of the engine says, "we are discussing that matter".

I don't believe that's an option even in the medium term as I thought they were locked into a long term contract with Renault but maybe there's performance clauses.

Anyway, this just goes to show, when you need a quote, Helmut is the go-to-man. Excellent media manipulation, using the press to pressure Renault even more for improvements. Love it.


Put massa in any team against any driver, the same words are going to haunt him. So sad...


.....but true!


Williams should know this would be a touchy subject for Felipe. I think most fans would probably prefer drivers to duke it out themselves anyway. I always love a new team mate rivalry!


I think ANY words other than "Valtteri is faster than you" may have had a better chance of eliciting a more compliant response from Felipe. Whetever the siutation, and whatever the basis of the request, his race engineer really dropped the ball by putting it in those exact words. Felipe's blood must have been boiling, I'm not surpised he didn't move over!


Totally agree with you. He must have been fed up with this Deja Vu


Everyone thought Kimi-Alonso issues will be the highlight of the year. Looks like Williams stole the march over Ferari in not only performance, but also in intra-team relationship issues.

Craig in Manila

Gee, when I heard it over the radio it sure didn't sound like a "request" to me, sounded more like an "instruction"....

Oh well, at least BOT now knows that radio-messages are "advisory only" and do not have to be adhered to if he doesnt agree with the content.

Should liven-up a potentially boring season.


I understand Massa, it must've been a painful deja vu.


These inter-team driver battles are going to be fun this year. Massa/Bottas and Ricciardo/Vettel provided some of the best moments in Malaysia. Going to be a fun year:-)


Williams should have chosen different language. If he'd obeyed that order all his Y chromosomes would have fallen out on the track and he'd be speaking an octave higher. Better for Williams if Massa remains a man, so he did what he had to do, what was best for himself and the team.

Better check the IQ of whoever said that over the radio, he's the wrong man for the job. Massa has a point, if Bottas couldn't get by Massa how would he get by the McLaren? They were both traveling at the same speed. And how would Massa's engine be any cooler behind two cars rather than behind one car?

Take an IQ test.


Its too soon for Felipe he's sensitive and emotional. He's totally wrong in my opinion. How is holding up Bottas helping the team? Does he think Bottas will crash into Button?


I wonder how much of a double standard will be applied to the Massa Bottas team order issue today by the fans versus the Multi 21 issue last year?

What is it about the KL GP and team orders?

kenneth chapman

@ luqa....not sure what you're saying here but this situation has absolutely no parallel with the vettel/webber imbroglio last year.

multi 21 was a 'pre race agreement between webber/vettel/horner' which vettel jettisoned at the appropriate time especially when webber was running with reduced engine revs as the team requested him to do. vettel took advantage of this knowing webber was agreeing to the multi 21 agreement. vettel put a move on webber despite horner telling his that it 'was silly'[weasel words]

that was the day horner lost all respectibility/credibility.

the massa/bottas issue is totally different.


There is a parallel because a driver ignored team orders and there have been two very different reactions. Multi21 wouldn't have been a pre-race agreement as they wouldn't have known how the race would unfold - Vettel's weekend was all about having a fast car at the end of the race and indeed he overtook Webber on the straight. Bottas couldn't himself get past Massa and asked for him to be moved over. If anything Bottas should be criticised for asking the team for help.

Felipe is not getting the same fan reaction as vettel did last year and i very much doubt he will be booed anywhere!

Fans generally seem to look for reasons to back up their inherent dislike of vettel who is a dominating/german/multi-world champion/superdriver. Fans will say they don't respect vettel because he has the fastest car or because they think the team favours him - but the truth is they just plain don't like him for aforementioned reasons.

remember that multi21 was carry over from several previous incidents and webber has ignored team orders too (to much acclaim). But the press had a field day last year which majored on vettel ignoring team orders - so yes, absolutely there are double standards compared to felipe yesterday.

I also doubt Claire Williams' tameness will evoke the same reaction ('lost all respect etc...') that Horner's did...

Felipe still has an underdog feel about him, so that buys him a certain amount of favour.

kenneth chapman

@ jay... you are completely wrong in your assumptions. yes, the debate is centered on the rejection of team orders but you need to understand the conditions under which those rejections were made.

where do you think the term 'multi 21' originated? it came from the agreement, as i have already stated, between the drivers and horner. it was evidently agreed that whoever was in front after the final pitstop would not be challenged for the lead owing to the sensitivity of tyres/fuel.

as webber had been told to reduce revs to ensure that he made it safely to the chequered flag it was then that vettel took an unfair advantage.

why else did he apologise after the race in a lame attempt to cover up his complete lack of sportsmanship and fraudulent agreement prior to the race?

you need to check the facts. there is no parallel between massa/bottas and webber/vettel other than what i stated in the beginning.


Very well put, thanks!


If it is indeed true that Massa would have been given the position back if Bottas would not have been able to pass Button, then & only then should Massa have let Bottas through. During the live feed, there was no radio message to this effect. How could Massa have known what Nelson was thinking !


As always little frustrated Massa




James, if this had been Vettel then an outcry would have ensued. It only shows that those who are crying foul in Vettel's case was those who are at the other end of his dominance. Double standard, don't you think? in any case Team orders sucks.


F1 2014 isn't about racing...It's about conserving...

- Tires

- Fuel

- Engine

- Position

- Team chemistry

I'm pretty sure Bottas could have overtaken Massa, but why bother?

It's always better to bring two cars into finish and, on the other hand, while overtaking he might have hurt his tires – or even engine! – too much so that he couldn't have attacked Button either.

Even Räikkönen couldn't do anything when he dropped to last place: You can't drive aggressively to make up positions as then you just run out of fuel and tires faster meaning you can't even finish the race. Last year he at least could do something impressive when in bad track position, on Sunday...nothing.

Seems to me that the race is mostly decided in the quali and in the pits, even more so than in previous years. Gaining multiple positions by overtaking seems to be too much for the rule constricted car.


Good points.


Yet another case that proves team orders should not be part of the sport. Imagine in football asking the goal keeper to move aside so they can score a goal, also it is not fair to all this people betting as it seems like its more of a result fixing than anything else really


But the awy I see it is that the racing itself is so boring, then it would add a little chess-like interest to the race.

If they could move a car on better tyres ahead of a Button, then use that position to back him up and allow Massa a shot at getting past him. Then Bot could let Mas through to return the favour.

It would be interesting


No matter which team Massa drives for, nor who the team mate is....the words are the same

"... is faster than you."

Would you hear next year

"Max(Chilton) is faster than you"?


Don't forget 2008. Kimi Raikkonen no less was moved over for Massa (and did it very compliantly).


And in 2007 Massa had done the same for Kimi, also very compliantly. But the circumstances on those two occasions were VERY different than those yesterday...


Don't forget 2007. Kimi was returning favours.


Williams are at a very crucial stage in their resurrection. Their recovery is far from secure and Massa's actions are inexcusable. If I were the team management I'd use whatever sanctions they can within his contract and/or threaten not to renew his contract. Every point is crucial. Don't no who Massa thinks he is? He's an employee.


I'm with you Lee.

The team might have handled the request badly, but they have all the data and have the right to call the shots.


His job is to do what is requested and argue later if he isn't happy. Like this it is all about me. He only wakes up when he got his team mate on his tale. Otherwise he gets sleepy in traffic.


If Mastercard guys do ad with Massa it would be like "Some things never change in life, for everything else there is a master driver" 😛 😛


Bigger question is why couldn't Massa make the pass on JB when he had 5% more fuel left?


Massa clearly feels like he's the big fish in a small pond now, hence him ignoring a clear instruction that at Ferrari he'd have acted upon. If he still feels that way at the next race I'd think Claire Williams operates in a rather different way from her old man - which is fair enough I guess.

I'd tend to agree with a moral argument if Massa have been asked to give up a podium or something fairly significant, but who remembers who finished 7th?


Massa put himself in a difficult position. He didnt have out right speed to justify to the team hired him, now he didnt even bother to at least listen to their decisions. Who else would hire him next yr?

Whats the point difference being it the sixth or seventh? Should have let his teammate pass to have a go at button. Even if Bottas couldnt pass button at least they, as a team has tried their best to maximise the points.


I think the message given to FM could have been worded better. I may be wrong but I doubt Bottas would have got past whoever he thought he could get past. FM needs to raise his game though. He has never been a great overtaker and he needs to work on that. Bottas looks like he is going to dominate him though. FM must be feeling very deflated, he must be thinking "Here we go again". Hopefully both drivers perform well for the rest of the season and Williams have a great year. RBR revival has been amazing. SV's podium just shows the detractors he is a class act. I'd like to see someone other him (Nico Rosberg) win the championship but for me SV is still No. 1.


i think the time has come for Massa to accept he just not that fast.


Massa ignores team order = Hero

12 months ago Vettel does likewise = Villain

Just saying...


And the "hero" this time fought over P7, how pathetic. Vettel is not villain he is just greedy


I always felt it fair that Massa had to cede ground if he was slower of the two. His teammates so far : MSC and ALO were/are the best drivers on the F1 grid. And therefore, I bristled whenever Massa did not move when it was clear he was slower of the two. Or moved too slowly for the perceived benefit to take place. Or felt that he was blocking their championship chances.

However, looking at my TV during this race, it seemed both Williams were moving at the same pace. And I wonder which telemetry, which software, which 'intuition', which genius, which 'leadership qualities', which 'strategist' at Williams decided to go ahead and thus prompted this statement.

Bottas had zero chance of even touching Button's slipstream, let alone come to a few car lengths of him and make a move to authoritatively overtake him. He couldn't even approach two car lengths of Massa!

I think whosoever decided to 'let Bottas have a go at Button by bypassing Massa' was mistaken. Sorely mistaken! Then, to rub salt to wounds, we use the same words that have, by now, become firmly ensconced in the timeless halls of F1 legends!

I think it was the delusion of the Williams team to think Bottas could take Button when he couldn't even come within two car lengths of Massa.

And then, if that was not ridiculous enough, if that was not enough to give a fan backlash, if that was not downright unacceptable, the 'explanation' was that Bottas would have fallen back if he could not have overtaken Button.

It was not enough for Williams to put one foot in the mouth. They had to see if they had place for another!

I personally feel if Claire had come up visibly, apologized over this and told us 'yes we made a mistake. I want to say sorry for Massa. But what's done is done. Let's get over with the racing. Next race onwards this won't happen.' and my respect for her and Williams would have shot sky high.

Instead, we have posturing, incoherent attempts at justification and then trying to soften the blows.

Sorry Williams. You just showed why it will be impossible to cheer for you in the future.


I believe you're right: Massa and Bottas were evenly matched in the latter stages of the GP. The Race Strategy Report should give us more insight.


F1 is an absolute farce. You have one competitor challenging the governing body about the rules and here you see something happening which is fundamentally undermining the competition. Lets ban team orders once and for all. Disqualify the teams from the whole championship. Sure FIA can hear all the radio transmission. Any hint of team orders, black flag the cars.


There is an easy way to cure all of the ills with F1 - including team orders, fuel-saving, pit strategy...

Just get rid of two-way radio.

All drivers race as hard as they feel they can, all the time. Teams have to build best car to finish race flat out. Audience gets to see the best. Everyone wins.


Yep, let's get rid of telemetry whilst we're at it. Set up your car over the weekend and go for it on Sunday.... A novel concept I know, but many years ago in a far away land they called it 'racing'.


Bottas has still got to prove himself in a fast car. He has the potential, and if he fulfills it, things are going to get very interesting for Felipe.

Because (correct me if I'm mistaken), Toto Wolff has a stake in the Williams team, is also Bottas' manager, and his wife is queued up for a future drive. So push will come to shove, and Massa will have to tow the company line this season if he wants a long term future with Williams.

They have acknowledged his worth when it comes to helping build this car under the new regulations, but in the next few years they don't really need his experience as much as they did this year.


Like I have said many times, Massa has no business being in F1. Never been the same since his accident in 2009. If Felipe doesn't want to be issued with a team order he should drive faster.


Bottas wasnt fast enough. end of. well done Massa.

i love all three, Bottas, Massa and Williams. its just bad PR really nothing else to write home about.


so odd to see everyone say "thumbs up Massa" but when Vettel defied orders last year the kid was ,aligned as the next AntiChristm so vocal was the opposition.

Point is, Frank Williams has always treated his drivers like employees. I suspect Clare would follow her dad in that respect. Massa had an instruction and defied it. The how's and wherefore's are not ours to argue...I would expect the team to remind him of that.

In any job, you play with the team or you get out...

The terminology could have been better - isntead of repeating Smedley's 2010 instruction verbatim they could have said Bottas is on fresher rubber and should get a go - let them know off the bat that if Bottas didn't make the pass, the places would be swopped again...

all that's happened now is Massa has put himself on the recieving end of Bottas not heeding a similar instruction in future, or Williams regarding him as "not a ateam player" and using stategy to have Bottas clear him in future.

In my books what holds for one holds for another - Vettel was wrong so why is Massa suddenly right for the same action - ignoring an instruction.

Worst case - what would you all have said had they run into each other? who would then be wrong.

Sorry, I roasted Vettel on it, and i'm gonna roast Massa as well.


There a several small but important differences:

First, when Vettel did it he played dumb and insisted that he misunderstood...at least at first, and then when he realised that no-one was buying that he changed his tune. Massa came straight out and said yes, I did refuse the team order, I was right to do so, deal with it.

You don't have to agree with him, but at the least you should respect his honesty about it.

Second, whatever Horner says Vettel has always had de facto #1 status - he's never been the underdog in his team.

Massa on the other hand has been playing second fiddle to his team mates for years and moving to Williams was supposed to change that.

So given their two different mindsets Vettel would have been thing "I deserve to take that place", which I actually think is a fair enough decision for a multiple WDC to make.

Massa would have been thinking "I deserve to keep this place", which I also think is fair enough.

And finally third, people just seem to like Massa better. It's maybe not fair, but it is what it is...

kenneth chapman

how you can draw that comparison is beyond me. two totally different scenarios. they are not comparable whatsoever.


The fundamentals are the same. Disobeying team orders is the only valid point in the matter. Drivers dont get to evaluate situations. Period.

kenneth chapman

this comment was in reply to the original poster. obviously you don't get it either.


In general I believe a driver should be a team player. I think the language of the first request was poor communication. The second time was better - hence it should have been said: "Felipe, Valterri is on newer tyres - don't delay him - let him past so that he can have a go at Button". Such a request would have been reasonable and indeed Felipe should have followed it for the good of the team ....


Frank needs to do a Ron and get a grip on the management of his team.

Either that or hire Ross Brawn to cut out these strategic errors and plain stupid decisions. Where is Patrick Head when he is needed. Williams are meant to be a racers team so let them race.

Only the 2nd race, Massa 2 Bottas 0 in qually, Same strategies only 2 laps difference in tyres, same points for team, Bottas not even close to passing even with DRS, looking unlikely to get Button, it's for 7th place, Bottas is not needing points to say challenge Seb for the title, and still some muppet uses the exact same infamous phrase that anyone with an ounce of common sense can see you are going to annoy and potentially destroy your driver morale forever.

Herbert said Peter Sauber did it to him with Jean Alesi, he gave in in that race and said he wasn't happy. Then they did it to him again in the next race. He said it destroyed his year.

Massa was right to fight.

Man up, Williams management.

"Felipe, Valterri has more points on his licence than you" 😉


Williams saying it that way to massa was silly. BUT massa having a problem with it is down right stupid. Grow the eff up massa. Those Ferrari orders happened years ago, massa should let it go.

In my eyes he should have let him pass. I hate team orders but rules allow it, he should have listened to his employer.



I always think try and get on with your team at all costs.........perhaps that is why the likes of Lewis, Jenson and Sebastian are World Champs, and Felipe is not.


Massa is not an ex World Champion because of the combination of a set of incredible chance occurrences in the last half lap of one race. As a Brit I cheered at the time, but I've felt for Felipe ever since, especially as it leads some people to think they can deride him for his non-WC status.

And, of course, Senna, Prost, Alonso, Raikkonen, all famous for bending over backwards to get on with their team.


Fair comments.

Having said that, I always though Fernando got on very well for the Renault team in his first stint from 2003-2006. Prost and Macca worked beautifully until a certain Brazilian went to Woking...........I will admit Alain's relationship with Ferrari soured, but he was ultimately right to criticise the Scuderia's lack of technical direction.

However, all the drivers you mentioned have got one important thing in common - they are champions. You don't become a champion unless you can maximise your influence over the team, and those aforementioned drivers did just that.


When Massa and Webber ignore team orders, they become the hero. When Vettel does it, he is the villain...


Yes - because they were in the lead when they ignored team orders! The paying public don't want to watch a bunch of push-overs giving up hard-won track position!

Taking an 'easy' overtake the way Vettel did, with Webber's engine turned down, is more akin to watching candy from a baby, which we don't want to see.

In all cases we would prefer teams to say - YEP, FREE TO RACE GUYS - GO FOR IT!


Please provide proof that the engine of MW was turned down? Looking at the way he drove, his engine wasn't the problem.

kenneth chapman

suggest you research the comments by horner. where do you think the comment 'multi 21' came from?


Christian Horner and all Red Bull PR post-race stated they requested both drivers to turn their engines down and issued both drivers with Multi-21 directives to run to the chequered flag in those positions. Vettel ignored them, which annoyed the public.


Yes but being in the lead and ignoring team orders isn't as exciting as being behind and ignoring team orders. The paying public want to see racing and Vetted passing Webber in Malaysia last year was probably the best bit of racing all season. It was a damn sight more exciting to watch than all of this DRS overtaking, which is like taking candy from a baby and is starting to test my patience as an avid F1 fan.


"Vetted passing Webber in Malaysia last year was probably the best bit of racing all season"

I still don't like the way he did it, but I can't argue that.


I agree! But exciting is not the same as correct, which is the crux of question posed in the article.

To be honest, I watched the MotoGP last week (as with every race) and Rossi vs Marquez has to be some the most exciting racing since Rossi vs Stoner at Laguna in '08.

I love F1, but it's never been as exciting as many other sports and motosports. I watch it for the strategy, the arguments, the drama. It just seems to have more of that than any of the other sports...


What a way to create division in your team and demoralise your new recruit by giving them such an instruction. They should have known that Massa wouldn't play second fiddle to a rookie. Schumi .. yes. Alonso... reluctantly yes. But that is Ferrari going for championships. Not a midfield team. They shouldve known he wouldn't capitulate. This just reads bad management.


I write this as a Massa fan. His engineer's use of exactly the same phraseology as the famous Fernando call is insensitive to say the least. But was it code for "I need to say this but because of its obvious insensitivity, you shoud ignore it." Rob Smedley starts on Tuesday, now we shall see some fun. Go Felipe; get that win you deserve so much.


To be honest, if we'd seen a race and not a procession, the spat between the Williams drivers wouldn't have warrented more than a sentence after the race. FOM were doing all they could to make the race interesting and suddenly Massa becomes the centre of attention for coming 7th and not 8th.

Let's hope the next race has more going for it, otherwise we might end up listening in to Max Chilton's woes !


It was mind-numbingly dull wasn't it...

I've been a fan and follower since the 80's, but this is just not F1 anymore, no excitment.

The big characters are slowly slipping away, the cars are too sterile, bland, QUIET, and the racing has gone.

Even the onboard,it is as exciting as watching someone playing the playstation, no effort or skills on display


Right on Massa... at last a driver sticks a finger up at the powers that have destroyed all the racing elements of F1...

If only all the drivers would do the same to the FIA... we might get back to genuine racing.


Bottas was unable to overtake Massa using DRS, and Massa was taking normal lines, not defending aggressively. So there’s no way Bottas could have challenged Button had Massa let him through.

This was a poorly judged call from Williams. They should apologise to both drivers for creating this situation. I like both the Williams drivers equally , they deserve to be treated better than this by the team.



Poorly judged and even more poorly worded.


Frank Williams has previously abandoned an engine supplier because they dictated the drivers to run.

If he is not on Felipe's side in this, this might not end well for him.


Felipe, everybody is faster than you!


I know we're supposed to be respectful to each other on this site, but it's difficult sometimes.

Dominic Beesley

While I have sympathy for Massa, he can't eat his cake and have it. At the start of the race there were clear team orders that Bottas maintain position behind Massa. When he initially ignored it Massa was straight on the radio complaining (screaming?) about Bottas not following team orders. Bottas then backed off grudgingly but he did as he was told.

Team orders are always going to be tricky but I suspect that Massa due to his sensitivity after years of humiliating radio messages has overreacted and cost himself some sympathy points.

I hope Sir Frank will be giving them both a proper telling off as the last thing a resurgent Williams team need is the two halves of the garage pulling in opposite directions.


Once Williams explained what they were trying to do it made perfect sense e.g. a Monza 1991 type approach.

I just think they should have explained it better to the drivers, or discussed it with the drivers before. e.g. Let Bottas have a go, if he can't get past you'll get your place back.

Problem is after everything Massa has been through he's probably very sensitive and dis-trustful, understandably.


This year Massa will have to prove he is consistently faster than Bottas to justify his drive.

I bet they are paying him more than Bottas and expect Number 1 type performances. If he is not delivering, Williams will probably review the situation.

Too early to judge though.


F1 needs reformatted.

If a team are dominating it can be very boring to watch them streak away into an uncatchable lead for a 2hour race.

I think most would agree that in general, the most exciting parts of an F1 weekend are qualifying and the start of the grand prix where all the cars are jockeying for position.

Therefore I feel it would better to keep qualifying as it is, but split the race into two parts.

Part One (Qualifying Race) - 20 laps:

Drivers start the race from their qualified positions. This race is worth 1/4 of the points of a normal GP. Whatever position you finish this race, is the position you start the next. If you fail to finish, then you do not compete in part two.

Part Two (Endurance Race) - 45 laps:

Drivers start this race from their finishing position from the Qualifying Race. This race is worth the remaining 3/4 points of the race weekend.

This format would encourage more 'racing' and require more from the drivers. It would just make for a mroe intereting spectacle in my opinion.


Interesting idea, with two shortfalls:

"Whatever position you finish this race, is the position you start the next"

What's the point of that? The car that streaked away in the first race will most likely just streak away again in the second race. As much as I loathe reverse grids, maybe in this format that would be a better way to go.

"If you fail to finish, then you do not compete in part two"

Every race should have the maximum possible number of cars competing, and in a situation such as two weeks ago where Massa was taken out by Kobi it would give an unlucky driver a chance to come back and recoup some points.

I can't see it happening but generally yeah, I don't think it's a bad idea 🙂


Williams have rarely been for drivers demands, look at how they have treated certain drivers who have gone onto win the WDC for them, ie Mansell and Hill.

They do however, seem to show a high level of respect for drivers during a season who stand up to the team provided they are quick on the track, ie Jones, Mansell (not towards the end of '92) and to a lesser extent Villeneuve and Montoya. Massa has now showed a stubborn attitude towards the team but now it's up to him to back it up on the track.

What does go against Massa, however, is their recent run with South American drivers. Barrichello, Maldonado and Bruno Senna. All of them showed potential and dollars but they did not maintain their seat. Something tells me Fernando is watching this team closely....


Nelson Piquet Senior has a say about that respect (or lack) towards a driver during the season...


While I have always wanted Massa to have more "teeth", but I think he chose the wrong team and definitely the wrong moment to do this. There are times when you just have to play the team game.

Maybe Williams made a mistake in how the order was given; if it was done in a way to remind massa of Ferrari days, then he was bound to get defensive; on the other hand, it makes sense and Massa should know that Williams are not the team that is driven by anythign other than race results and team spirit. They don't have favorites and they do play fair.