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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.

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

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  1. Electrolite
    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.

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

    1. 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.

      1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
        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

        1. 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.

          1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
            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

          2. 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.

        2. 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.

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

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

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. “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.

      1. 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…

        1. 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…

  4. 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?

    1. 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?

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  6. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
    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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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!

      1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. Jhonnie Siggie
      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.

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

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

    1. It’s been done all the time. Except now it’s Alonso in a Ferrari.

  9. 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.

    1. Jhonnie Siggie
      25th July 2010, 17:56

      True indeed…. this is on par with lie-gate in my opinion.

    2. 3 race-ban… and why not life-imprisonment? Come on man let’s be serious.

      1. 3 Race Ban, but that would mean MONZA without Ferrari! Not. Going. To happen.

      2. Jhonnie Siggie
        25th July 2010, 18:36

        CapeFear said “suspended 3 race ban” which does not mean they’ll miss races. The’ll essentially get the same punishment that Lewis got after lie-gate.

    3. Just a fine, but only for now. Todt will find it hard not to make a stance in the WMC.

  10. Jhonnie Siggie
    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.

  11. Whereever Alonso goes…fines follow!

  12. They can send McLaren with them. Turkey 2010 were also clear teamorders.

    1. are you joking??

    2. How was it? Both drivers where in fuel saving mode, would button of overtaken Hamilton? no. because both drivers had to hit 1:30, so if they hit that then no, button wouldn’t of overtook simple.

      But Hamilton posted a 1:33 the lap Button got close to him out of turn 8, it was driver error. So the move was done and Hamilton felt he had been betrayed. they even said it was wrong the way phil said he wouldn’t overtake, but I think if you look at the proper context which he thought if 1:30 time was hit then it wouldn’t happen.

      Of course that wouldn’t stop Button if he saw a chance to overtake though from a mistake.

      Team orders have been around remember last year in Germany when Rubens was told by Ross, “Rubens your pace is too slow, if you can’t pick it up you will need to let Jenson have a go”. That radio message is still up on for now.

      1. Yes, you are right — but Massa was not as slower as Barrichelo was in regards to his team-mate. In case of Brawn it was not a team order rather than an urge for Rubens to speed-up or else Button would catch him. Today Massa could easily defend his position and finish the race first. But it wasn’t meant to be, although if Stefano Domenicali went on the radio and said, “Felipe you are slower and Vettel is catching us, if you can’t go faster let Fernando have a go” things would be different — and I don’t believe Massa would hit Alonso if he tried to pass as many Ferrari fans say.

  13. Gentleman Alonso lol
    25th July 2010, 17:47

    My old dad has always said F1 was a corrupt sport. I used to laugh it off, but now I think Fergal Sharkey was right.

    1. Fergal Sharkey? Ain’t he a pop star?

      1. listen to your father by fergal sharkey

  14. Message to Rob Smedley (or whoever choose those words): next time can u use a more discreet way of passing on team orders?!?! PS and dont say SORRY!!!!! tut

    1. I think Rob Smedley chose very carefully those words, to be sure everybody could know what was Ferrari doing.

      Maybe I’m wrong but I’m afraid Rob has a dark future now in Ferrari.

      By the way, I don’t approve Ferrari action. I think they ruined an excellent weekend for them, for Massa and for Alonso.

      1. I agree IDR, Smedley was basically rebelling against his friend, Massa, being dumped into this position by the Alonso/Ferrari combo. It was a stupid decision all round, ruining a fantastic result for Ferrari. And Alonso could have accepted losing a few extra points, it’s not that critical – particularly compared to the damage this will do him and Ferrari.

    2. Smedly and Massa seemed to deliberately get this done in the most obvious way, just so we all know what’s going on

  15. “… the team had been heard instructing Massa that he was slower than his team mate”.

    I didn’t know you can be “instructed” that you are slower. You can be informed about that, but instructed? I don’t know, it doesn’t sound right.

  16. Now we’ll see if FIA still stands for Ferrari International Aid or not. Given that they have been found to be in breach of two seperate clauses in the regulations, something more than a fine must be enforced.

    For my part, the perfect penalty would be if Ferrari got no constructor’s points for the race and for Massa and Alonso to swap places to where they were before the on-track swap. It is is clearly the team that is at fault here. Sure, Alonso was heard on the radio complaining about Massa supposedly holding him up, but in actually passing him, he did no wrong. If the instruction came about as a result of him throwing his toys out of the pram, then perhaps a grid penalty of 5 or so places at the next race. However, if, as I read on the BBC website, the next meeting of the WMSC isn’t until September, I don’t see that happening.

    It’s worth noting that the last time a team was deemed to be in breach on article 151c of the sporting regulations, the FIA threw the book, the bookshelf and the library at them…

    1. And that team was a British team, so claims of nationalistic bias has this non-Italian, non-Spanish, non-French, non-Briton scratching his head…

    2. Close but not really. Actually i think the last team were RenaultF1 and they got of pretty lightly.
      But the rest of your post makes perfect sense.
      I do think the Stewards did throw in the 151c with this in mind (Mclarens fine), just to saveguard that Ferrari will be punished for something.

  17. Mclaren Turkey 2010 —- Button / Hamilton—-clear team orders….

    1. Two overtakes and contact equals team orders? It looked pretty disorderly to me.

    2. No, that’s not clear team orders at all.

      McLaren allowed their two drivers to fight for first place there and secondly, it was the opinion of Lewis’ engineer that Jenson wouldn’t overtake, a one off remark made at the spur of the moment as the engineer was looking at the data.

      It’s not the same as today’s race, not at all.

    3. @Marcello
      Look at it this way to smooth out the logic.
      I’m in the pub and see someone punch someone in the face and run off. He gets away with it. The following night I punch someone in the face and run off, but i get caught and punished. In my defense I say such and such did the same thing last night so I’m innocent.

      It makes no sense. Ferrari went against the rules and ruined what would have be a good scrap. Because you think someone else did the same thing is no defense. I hope they lose the points too.

  18. I think the WMC has to take this a lot further, otherwise their rules are not worth the paper they are written on.

    Red Bull has lost a lot of points this year allowing their racers to race. They did this (at least in part) because the rules specifically prohibit team orders.

    How much spice has that crash in Turkey added to this years championship? F1 (an otherwise fringe sport in Australia for 51 weeks of the year) has regularly and prominently been featured in the Australian press because of Red Bulls courage in allowing its two racers to go hard at each other.

    The rules are the rules and Ferrari should be stripped of all drivers and constructors championship points.

    Anything less makes F1 look like a farce.

    1. Wrong example there. RBR did not allow their drivers to race, just one of the drivers did not agree with the order and made the other one work for it.

  19. Alonso did nothing wrong at all. Nor Massa. Team made a big faff of it…should take the fine and all the bad press. thats all

  20. I’m guessing Eddy Jordan was part of the team who decided (after listening to their opinions – because there is no hard proof) they had broken the “disrepute” rule.

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