Ferrari fined, World Motor Sport Council to examine Alonso’s pass on Massa

Ferrari have been fined $100,000 for breaking the Sporting Regulations during the German Grand Prix.

The stewards of the race have also referred the matter to the World Motor Sports Council. The result of the race stands for the time being.

Fernando Alonso passed Felipe Massa to win the German Grand Prix after the team had been heard instructing Massa that he was slower than his team mate.

Massa admitted after the race he let Alonso past but said he did so of his own choosing.

The stewards found Ferrari guilty of breaking article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations which forbid team orders that influence the outcome of the race.

They additionally adjudged it to be a transgression of article 151c of the International Sporting Code, relating to bringing the sport into disrepute, the same section that McLaren were famously found in violation of in 2007.

2010 German Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 German Grand Prix articles

Advert | Go Ad-free


362 comments on Ferrari fined, World Motor Sport Council to examine Alonso’s pass on Massa

  1. rampante (@rampante) said on 25th July 2010, 17:28

    I may have got things wrong here or do most of you now want the death penalty brought back in Europe? Ferrari won the race and were 2nd. Any manipulation was wrong but within the team with no other consequences. All team bosses do not want the outcome RBR had and that wil not happen again. A fine was all the rules allow.

    • slr said on 25th July 2010, 17:32

      You are right on the money here. But it’s understandable why so many are angered.

      By the way, the death penalty should come back.

    • Gerardo said on 25th July 2010, 18:06

      I want to see them race each other, like the redbull boys and the mclaren boys. That’s why we all watch it, for the racing. Felipe and Alonso should loose their points as a clear message. If a jockey holds back his horse he is disqualified, its race fixing.

      • Salty said on 25th July 2010, 18:43

        There is a regulation. It was clearly breached – thus the ruling against the team.

        $100K is a joke. Ferrari probably spent that on their corporate entertainment this weekend.

        The result effects the championship results, thus the punishment should reflect that.

        As Ferrari were guilty as a team of manipulating the result, both cars (thus the team) should have been castigated by ejection from the result. Then the team should have been fined for not honouring the sporting regs they obviously felt they were above.

        The punishment should leave no wriggle room. The wrong message has just been sent out down the paddock – you can fudge the result, but do it quietly or you can expect to pay for the result you want.

        As a fan, I want to see racing. Red Bull and McLaren drivers have gone wheel to wheel this season and provided amazing entertainment for us all. But Ferrari decided today that they would decide who would win the Grand Prix. I find that unacceptable as a fan. I am surprised you do not.

        Hope the WMSC revise the result, but suspect they won’t. The prancing horse has bolted and a decision should have been forthcoming today.

        • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 19:04

          Dead right salty. This season has been great precisely because of incidents like the Red Bull and McLaren drivers battling between themselves. Ferrari propel themselves and their drivers into this action – and promptly deprive spectators of seeing Alonso have to fight his way past Massa.

          FIA and the teams can do what they like, it’s their sport, but a warning: if the Ferrari path is taken, the revival in interest in Formula 1 will plummet.

        • theRoswellite said on 25th July 2010, 19:12

          Best post in ages!

          • theRoswellite said on 25th July 2010, 19:42

            ….by Salty that is.

            Also, if these results stand, Alonso and Ferrari had better hope that if they win the driver’s championship it is by more than 8 points…the difference between first and second.

            Otherwise we have the false or “manipulated” champion reigning (raining?) for a year.

          • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 20:25

            It’s OK theRoswellite, I’m sure Salty realized that!

    • John B said on 25th July 2010, 19:47

      That was race fixing. That is against the rules in F1 as well as in boxing, horse racing etc and is illegal to boot. What about all those that had a bet on Massa at 16:1? Will the authorities in Germany investigate the race fixing? I hope so.

      And, it ruined the spectacle, bye bye F1 I’ll stick to MotoGP, roll on 10:00 tonight.

    • DGR-F1 said on 26th July 2010, 8:36

      To me it showed that Massa and Alonso are just about equal in ability in the same car. Alonso tried unsuccessfully to pass Massa through the race, and since Ferrari have absolutely no imagination, they allowed the pass in front of a worldwide audience.
      So, if the team think that these two drivers are unable to battle it out on the circuit without hitting each other, why are they in Ferraris in the first place? (Ferrari supposedly only taking the best drivers they can find)
      If Ferrari management is only going to races with the thought of making Alonso WDC, why haven’t they told Massa yet? (I think if he knew he was No 2 he would have allowed Alonso to take the lead in the first couple of laps).
      This also shows the lie that Ferrari treat both their drivers equally, they definitely have the Number One, and the the one who isn’t!

  2. Guys, too early to assume that $100k is the extent of it, perhaps that is the maximum the race stewards are allowed to fine up to, the heavy guns can come out at the WMC.

    Interesting too that it was under both 39.1 and 151c – nice to see them using 151c, it basically backs up the fans opinion – if we are all screaming about it then the sport has pretty much been brought into disrepute, it’ll be all over the morning papers…

    • Gerardo said on 25th July 2010, 18:12

      So true, i should be in bed since its middle of the morning here in Australia but im so annoyed I cant sleep. It spoiled the race. Disrepute, fine the team and take the drivers points. Make it clear to everyone

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 22:32

      The 151c also is a good safeguard for keeping up at least the fine, in case the WMC fails to hand out a more severe penalty for 39.1 or Ferrari appeals succesfully for lack of evidence (as 151c is easy to prove and almost impossible to appeal).

      It will be a real test for the WMC procedures and for how Todt will handle this one.

  3. Bernard said on 25th July 2010, 17:29

    $100,000 is a tad short of $100,000,000 though isn’t it. An utter disgrace. Ferrari should be disqualified not fined.

    • Bernard – the 100M was levied by the WMC, not by the race stewards – it’s really too early to assume this will be the end of the matter.

      • Bernard said on 25th July 2010, 17:38

        Your right Elly, I should contain my frustration for the time being. While the WMC are at it though they should also consider installing an official in the team to oversee parity the remainder of the season, maybe the top 4 teams should all get one. :)

  4. hawkfist said on 25th July 2010, 17:29

    Jean Todt’s in an uneviable position now as the Ferrari team boss who led to the rule being introduced in the first place. Think the most realistic punishment has to be taking their constructor points away for that race and settle at that and maybe an increased fine.

  5. DavidS said on 25th July 2010, 17:30

    Good work on covering this story Keith.
    You are giving us front row seats to what appears to be a massive storm of controversy…and it’s only just started raining.

  6. Electrolite said on 25th July 2010, 17:31

    “Fernando Alonso passed Felipe Massa to win the German Grand Prix after the team had been heard instructing Massa that he was slower than his team mate.

    Massa admitted after the race he let Alonso past but said he did so of his own choosing”

    This, looking at pure facts, is what happened. But it was obvious what the intentions were and I sure hope the WMC use their common sense here and not textbooks.

  7. Petros said on 25th July 2010, 17:31

    ferrari fined for the team orders. ok! mclaren not fined for the same reason in turkey! well done FIA

    • John H said on 25th July 2010, 17:35

      Oh please.

      Yes, I distinctly remember Hamilton moving over to let Button pass after a team order, and then Button moving aside on the next straight after receiving his.

      Exactly the same.

      • Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 25th July 2010, 17:41

        Letting a driver pass alters the result just the same as impeding another to overtake.

        Unless you are a fanboy and can’t understand something as simple as that

        • John H said on 25th July 2010, 17:48

          Fair enough. But Ferrari don’t make it easy on themselves:

          “We need more fuel saving. Fuel is critical. Save tyres in turn eight.”

          is not the same as:

          “Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand?”…”Good lad. Just stick with it now, sorry.”

          And I’m no fanboy thank you very much.

          • Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 25th July 2010, 17:56

            ok, you’re not a fanboy….

            but, you are missing a point here, the save fuel order came after the wheel to wheel battle that almost ends with the two drivers in the park. Something that was really near to happen today, two times, turn 6 and next turn 7 where Felipe simply throwed Alonso off the track, although he has the interior for the next left turn 8.

            Or maybe, I’m a fanboy and I saw a different race

          • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 21:14

            So… the point is? Alonso should have backed off to preserve a Ferrari 1-2, right? Wrong of course. Massa was expected to let Alonso past.

            Fact is Alonso, like Vettel, couldn’t get past his team mate. Hamilton, though, retook Button with some impressive driving where both were competing. Point made.

        • JSC said on 25th July 2010, 21:00

          Except both Mclarens were actually short on fuel in Turkey, as was evidenced by both of them having fumes in their tanks after the race.

      • graigchq said on 26th July 2010, 10:54

        lol – i love sarcasm – it really cheers me up!

    • disjunto said on 25th July 2010, 17:41

      IIRC Mclaren’s team orders gave us some excellent racing between team mates. Ferrari’s team orders stopped us seeing a race

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th July 2010, 22:34

      And RBR not fined in Turkey for it as they shot themselves in the foot.

      Hamilton/Button having a scrap in Turkey does not really fit in there.

    • tota said on 26th July 2010, 11:30

      If you ware watching the Turkey race carefully, the situations you could see was, how the racing between team mates should looks like. RedBulls and Mclarens ware RACING between mates. Bulls ware not so good, and has crashed, but what Mclarens has shown, was good lesson how it should be.

  8. John H said on 25th July 2010, 17:33

    Ferrari taking points off Vettel isn’t the worst thing that us British supposedly ‘biased’ fans could have wished for.

    Personally, I’m sad for Massa. His passion and commitment to Ferrari is clear (remember Interlagos 2008), and so it’s a shame that Ferrari would think that he’s out of the title race (and expendable) halfway through the season, even though he was only one win behind his team mate.

    • “Personally, I’m sad for Massa.”

      Me too. It took Webber some time to get back on form after his injury, so I hope this is just the beginning for Massa and he will come back with avengence for the remainder of the season. If he does, it would be foolish of Ferrari to repeat this mistake. The outcry over this incident could be a blessing in disguise for Massa.

      Also, on a another note, I don’t understand the “British bias” sentiments from some posters either.

      • KNF said on 25th July 2010, 18:00

        If anything, it should be the Brazilians who should be crying foul, they saw it happen to Rubens and now they see it happening to Felipe as well…

        • David BR said on 25th July 2010, 21:37

          They are… though a lot of the blame will attach to Felipe for ceding. It’s a difficult one. Where’s the dividing line between loyalty and subservience? I think Felipe crossed it, but maybe he’ll only realize that with hindsight. I don’t think it was accidental Ferrari got Smedley to do the dirty job of asking him to pull over. Maybe Massa was already bumped into 2nd driver status when he passively accepted Alonso jumping him at the pits in China. But today confirmed it and I’m not sure what the end result will be.

          One other point: if Ferrari (and Alonso) have demoralized Massa over this and he seriously loses his motivation on track, they could regret the points he could have taken off Alonso’s rivals. All depends on Massa’s reaction. He’s proud, more than today’s incident showed. He could decide to prove his point now in a variety of ways, not all of them good for Alonso…

  9. Zahir said on 25th July 2010, 17:34

    Hang on, so the FIA agree that the race was manipulated, team orders were given and rules were broken. Yet the punishment is $100,000? No disqualification or grid drop from the next race?

    They may as well make team orders legal now, im pretty sure every team up and down the paddock would take $100,000 every race if it meant they got the result they wanted.

    Its like a theif stealing $1 million worth of goods, being caught and as a punishment having to pay a $100,000 penalty. Where is the logic or sense in any of this?

    • Salty said on 25th July 2010, 21:13

      Agree. There needs to be a stronger response or we WILL see more of this in the future.

      Only race dis-qualification for the team makes sense. The team tried to falsify and engineer the result of the German Grand Prix. Team, and both drivers, need to be scrubbed from the results.

      This will send out the clear and unclouded message to the whole grid – LET THE DRIVERS RACE.

      Forget Ferrari/McLaren/RB or any other allegiances, is there really any F1 fan out there that doesn’t want this?

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th July 2010, 17:36

    According to Lee McKenzie the next scheduled meeting of the WMSC isn’t until September. I wonder if they’ll call an extraordinary meeting to sort it out before then? After all, we could see further repeats of the same tactics in the meantime.

    • I’d hope that they would, and hold it over the Aug season break so that we’d have this sorted out before too many more races pass. The summer of waiting for the McLaren decision at the WMC was horrendous not knowing what was going to happen.

    • My guess is that a delay would be helpful to the WMSC, because they’d be able to see how the championship is shaping up by that point.

      IMHO(maybe this is a tad cynical), at the end of the day, it would have been bad for the spectacle of F1 for Ferrari to lose their points from this race, thereby hindering the three-way fight for the constructors championship. I think the FIA would have been much tougher on Ferrari had they been leading the championship, however they are in third place with good prospects.

      The FIA and anyone else with a vested interest in the sport would like to see a nice close fight as we get towards the end of the championship. I think the penalties imposed by the WMSC will take this into consideration, when the time comes.

      In the meantime, I think other teams would be cautious about repercussions because the WMSC meeting is still pending and no-one knows what the outcome will be.

  11. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 25th July 2010, 17:39

    What a fantastic joke…. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.
    1. You only breach the rules if you are a no british team, competing against a brit one, and find enough support from media and fanboys.
    2. Since I started watching Formula 1, beginnings of golden 80s, I’ve never seen a more justified team tactics than this one. Call it team orders or whatever you like it. Ferrari jumped into the only real chance to win the only championship that matters, WDC. Something that has been said here by all of you tons of times.
    3. All this stuff reveals one single truth. Todt was the wrong president to choose. The sport would have been better in the hands of a new board, free of the ties of the past.
    Just my thoughts. And, as ever, I’ve would have been thinking the same, no matter Alonsos, Hamiltons, Webbos, etc, etc…. well, that’s not true. Maybe Stig could have been an exception to the rule.

    • Jack Holt said on 25th July 2010, 17:46

      The problem (ignoring that Red Bull is actually an Austrian team, why are so many fixated with the Brits?) is that we’re only half way through the season and Massa was still a contender for the title – WAS. Now he’s a number two for the rest of the season. Red Bull have lost points by allowing their drivers to fight, Ferrari ought to be playing by the same rulebook.

    • CapeFear said on 25th July 2010, 17:46

      No! if the Stig was racing he wouldn’t of given up the position, and in press briefing he wouldn’t of said ANYTHING! unlike Ferrari who seemed to change stories all the time.

    • Salty said on 25th July 2010, 21:30

      1. Breaching the rules: $100m fine big enough? Was a Brit team.

      2. This rule that was breached today was put in place to allow team mates to race each other without team pressure forcing a succession such as we witnessed today. Massa was 23 points behind his team mate. That really is very little halfway through a season where you earn 25 points for a win. The rule is also there to ensure that you and me get to see the drivers really competing against each other at the top level. Red Bull let their drivers race. McLaren let their drivers race. Today we learned that Ferrari prefer that their drivers don’t race. You want that? You support that??

      3 . Jean Todt has done nothing to indicate any favouritivism to Fiat. Think he’s kept his head down and down a decent job so far infact. Keith has a running poll of fan’s view of Jean’s performance so far – you might want to refer to that.

      F1 is a funny sport. Sport rock ‘n roll? Nah! More like sport fund managing… but still damn fun on-track!

      • tota said on 26th July 2010, 11:48

        The moment of truth for Jean Todt has come just now. How FIA will judge on this matter, will show its real face. The Old One, with smell of old days perfumes, used often by Max before, or, what I very hope for, fresh and new, with no sympathy for RED team. I really miss for F1 like this. And hope Mr. Jean too.

  12. Marcello said on 25th July 2010, 17:39

    5 hrs watchin F1 in dept–loved it as usual. As an Alonso and Ferrari fan, its mixed emotions for me today. The decision in my point of view was correct from Ferrari. As DC says its a team sport, you win and loose as a team. Alonso was faster and it WOULD have ended in tears as with the Red Bulls a few races ago. In my view All the teams have team orders and they all at some point favour a driver (see Christian Horner ordering Webber to give up his front wing to Vettel at Silverstone), just only Ferrari seem to be able to handle the situations appallingly. The fine is correct as a matter of principle (for having let the whole world know what was going on) but that should be it. I did feel however that it was a bit of a hollow victory for Alonso (his face on the podium said it all), and I feel desperately sorry for Massa and felt awful for him. This is a multi million business like all sports and the prize is immense at the end of it, and it only goes to 1 driver. I think the big teams are sometimes hipocrits as they All will favour the driver who has the most points and best chance to win the championship at some point, and with only 9 races to go, it looks like Ferrari have started early. this sort of thing goes on @ every race, but all the other teams have better “coded” expressions to keep the orders out of the media domain unlike Ferrari who always seem to make a hash of it.

    • Jhonnie Siggie said on 25th July 2010, 17:52

      “The fine is correct as a matter of principle (for having let the whole world know what was going on) but that should be it. ”

      So you would rather remain in the dark? Speak for yourself. I credit the Rob Smedley for having the decency to not hide his obvious disappointment at this team order. Had it not been for him, we would have been kept in the dark and no justice would have been done.

      The intellectual arguments about the justification for team orders should not distract us from the fact that Fellipe was handed heartbreak today and we should all express our solidarity.

    • Nick said on 25th July 2010, 18:38

      If it’s only a team sport, then why is there a Driver’s championship in addition to the Constructors’ championship ?

  13. Patrickl said on 25th July 2010, 17:41

    Come on people, realize that the real penalty is still to come. The team orders ruling has been deferred.

  14. CapeFear said on 25th July 2010, 17:41

    Just a fine, what the heck? I’m sorry but the story keeps changing with these drivers and the team, if anything it should be treated same a lie-gate, DSQ for both drivers and a suspended 3 race ban.

  15. Jhonnie Siggie said on 25th July 2010, 17:44

    Ron Dennis and Mclaren must be feeling vindicated right now after being seen as the bad guys after the Alonso/Hamilton clash. Unlike Mclaren, Ferrari have been cowed by Fernando into granting him # 1 status. Instead of manning up when he could not pass Massa, he whines on the radio calling the actual racing that him and Massa engaged in as ridiculous. If he has his way I would stop watching F1 next week because it’ll be such a bore.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.