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. Hamilton was disqualified in Australia last year for attempting to manipulate the result through not telling the truth and yet every single Ferrari representative today including Massa, Alonso, Smedley, Coliani and Domenicali all spurted blatent lies to similarly cover up clear race manipulation and we are expected to lap it up and act like it’s fine?

    1. I hope the WMC disqualifies Ferrari for this. The standard that has been set is that lying and covering up what was a minor infraction on the track is far more severe than that infraction. Its not even just that Australian decision. There are numerous other examples where its been set that if you decide to lie to cover yourselves you’re going to be made to wish you hadn’t. Its absolutely clear, not just from the radio exchanges but also from the press conference, that Massa didn’t just decide to let Alonso by and he wasn’t happy at all that it happened. Yet they are now trying to make that be their story. Its not believable, its clearly a lie, and the standard set for a cover up is a disqualification of some sort. I wouldn’t say this warrants a disqualification from the entire season championship, but certainly it does from this race.

      1. You mean the multiple reprimands and toothless penalties that benefited Mclaren recently are ok. Hamilton and the team lied to the Stewards in Australia ’09 as well… let’s not get hysterical.

        Ferrari’s actions were a disgrace because they were so foolish and blatant. They have forced the FIA’s hand. Turning revs down, save fuel, tires, don’t attack etc. are all team orders and illegal… but it’s done every race… let’s be realistic.

        1. Yes. exactly. McLaren lied in Aus 09 and were promptly disqualified.

  2. So the price for a “result-fix” is €100 000 (~ price of a front wing or two). So when they need one, they can buy one…. or? I guess it’s an attractive price for Ferrari to consider for the next races if they need to be fixed. Add to that that Ferrari won’t loose their points, F1 is becoming more and more fair, huh?

    I’d like to repeat what Alonso said on the air – “This is ridiculous”. But what exactly is ridiculous? The fact that he can’t win without asking dad for help? Or that he had to pay his way to win?

    Why don’t FIA put prices on other cheats too? A jump start may cost 100′ too. A cut could cost a bit less though. Considering the budget Ferrari has – they will certainly be able to win most races this way – The Alonso Way. But I guess they already know this since previous years. ‘Cry yourself out of the problems’ used to work in preschool, but now it apparently seems to work in F1 too.

    A fine is hardly even noticeable for Ferrari. What’s more – if FIA don’t scratch the Ferrari drivers’ points from this race – FIA will automatically start a corrupted cheat-auction in the largest racing-series. What hinders a team from doing the same next time? $100 000? Is that all?

  3. Marc Connell
    25th July 2010, 20:36

    switch the drivers around. Imagine it was massa passing alonso. I bet alonso will complain and leave ferrari and no fine would be put down.

  4. Disqualification from the whole event was the only punishment that fitted here. For the whole team.

    Just for once, I wish a driver would blatantly ignore the team. Be a man, a proper RACING DRIVER instead of a corporate puppet and say “sod off, if he wants my position, tell him to earn it.”

    If the FIA had any brains they would outlaw contracts that dictated who was a number one/two driver. And make a huge example of Ferrari over this whole episode.

  5. ok
    could anybody explain to me why this isn’t a team order “Hamilton asked the team: “If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me or not?” McLaren’s answer to him was: “No, Lewis. No.” (turkey)
    and this is a team order
    “Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?
    Rob Smedley” (today)
    because i am having a hard time to find the difference

    1. Because after that transmission Button overtook and Hamilton had to fight to get the position back. :)

    2. MacademiaNut
      25th July 2010, 21:19

      That could simply mean, how fast is Jenson? Is he fast enough to pass me? “No Lewis, No” – means “he is not fast enough to pass you even if you slow it down a notch”. Jenson is also on a fuel-saving mode, so his pace is not up to match or pass you (even if you slow down a bit).

  6. “Is Jenson going to pass me or not?”
    “No Lewis, no.”

    I’m sorry but that are also clear team orders from McLaren to me.

    + I don’t see why Ferrari bought the win. They were 1-2 and they still are 1-2. Apparently the FIA are scared of Fernando Alonso winning the WDC, instead of their Lewis Hamilton.

    There were, there are and there will always be team orders. I don’t see why this particularly one should be punished.

    1. Let me make this plain at the outset; I do not support Ferrari.
      But what is actually wrong with team orders? Team managers take the long view of racing situations and they ‘manage’ their drivers.
      They look at the contest as a season-long affair, just like a football team manager does. What’s wrong with that?
      Ferrari won, they are the winners of this particular race. The only losers are people who bet on Massa winning instead of Alonso.
      Next time, bet on Ferrari instead.

      1. “But what is actually wrong with team orders?”

        Because in the rules they are illegal…

    2. good point brian,it seems other teams use team orders and its over looked,but if the ferrari does it everyone says how bad it is,imagine if it was mclaren that done this today i think alot of people would be like oh thats legal or fair…………

    3. Two differences… first even though the engineer told Lewis that he wouldn’t be passed if he slowed, Button didn’t back off at all. If those were team orders they were incredibly sloppy in giving the team orders to only one of the drivers. The actions of Button after that radio exchange seems to indicate that it was instead a driver getting an opinion from his race engineer rather than team orders. Finally in the end, despite that exchange (whether they were or were not orders) the final results of the race were not impacted by them, as they did end up settling it between themselves on the track (nearly running themselves out of fuel before the end of the race as a result).

      1. I think they were sloppy orders.
        After twe two overtakes, Button engineer was yelling to him “FUEL CRITICAL”.
        I think he misunderstood the TO the first time.

  7. sulzerpower
    25th July 2010, 21:02

    Not the first time Ferrari have engineered a Hockenheim victory and not the first time Alonso has had a victory engineered for him – Fernando Singapore 08 (even if he had no say in that which I respect) and Hockenheim and Ferrari in 99 with Salo leading who let Irvine through for the win, Irvine being the challenger to Hakkinen for the 99 championship after Schumacher’s Silverstone crash. Of course that would have been Salo’s only victory, as deserved as Massa’s here after all he’s been through lately :(

  8. If Petrov was told by his Race Engineer Mark Slade that his engine revolutions would be turned town, should his style of gear shifting not be modified, one wonders why Ferrari didn’t actually do the same thing to Massa?

  9. this is coming from a ferrari guy. Massa and Alonso are employees of Ferrari and are supposed to do what they are told. Fine or punish Ferrari. i wouldnt argue with Ferrari being removed from the constructors championship. this crap should not be happening anymore. if Alonso was that much faster, let it play out on track Ferrari should have their asses handed to them for this. leave the drivers out of it.

  10. for once i believe this is not Alonso’s fault i do think he had a say in it though when he mentioned this was stupid early on because massa wouldn’t let him pass though for what happened i believe that both drivers and the team need to be penalised for the simple fact when it was hamilton there was major up roar but not for ferrari they broke the rules and need to be punished a small fine of $100,000 is not enough if ferrari get away with it it will destroy f1

  11. MacademiaNut
    25th July 2010, 21:23

    I think FIA should just change the rule to allow team orders – Just accept the reality and move on. Ferrari 1 & 2. As long as the team order doesn’t mess up other team’s finishing of the race, they can choose to have whichever car they want on the top.

    It is only slightly worse than: finishing in two positions and decide after the race you want in those two positions. :)

  12. i cant believe it, hamilton stripped of that spa win for trying to race against Raikonen and here a team with a glamourous reputation orders one of its drivers to give way because of alonso’s petulance has prevented an epic battle and all they get is a fine. this represents double standards by the fia im afraid.

  13. macca fans
    mine was a retorical questions

  14. I don’t agree with this penalty. I’m a McLaren fan (and therefore, definitely not a Ferrari apologist), but I remember a scenario in 2008 at the very same circuit when Ron Dennis radioed Kovalainen and told him the same thing that Rob Smedley told Massa: your teammate is faster than you. (i.e., Let him through.) Kovalainen let Hamilton through into the hairpin, and there was no penalty.

    I have a feeling this penalty has more to do with F1 politics than it does with enforcing the letter of the law.

    1. I don’t remember it clearly, but presumably the team got more points by Kovalainen letting Hamilton through? There shouldn’t be a problem with a much slower teammate letting a faster one past – otherwise you’re asking the team to shoot itself in the foot, which seems a little unreasonable to me.

      The team didn’t get more points on this occasion and Massa looked as quick as Alonso. It’s surely far too early in the season to consign Massa to the role of number two driver? Red Bull have lost points this season by following the rules and allowing their drivers to race, why should Ferrari be exempted from following the rules?

  15. sulzerpower
    25th July 2010, 21:46

    ‘the driver needs a team, without the team your out there sitting in your underpants’. lol
    David Coulthard on the F1 Forum, 25/07/10

  16. if alonso win the championship then they would of bought it for $100,000 bargin

    1. if he wins by 7 points

    2. Not ‘would of’ – ‘would have’

  17. This was a very clear teamorder, imagine how Felipe feel… after his accident last year – now first time back on top and team disallows him to win…

  18. Im not a Ferrari fan, but I’ve mixed feelings about this. And its hard for me to find a solution.

    Each team having 2 cars. They need to do what benefits them. (the TEAM)

    Being angry for this is a bit hipocrital. But at the same time, as spectator, you wanna see real racing fights.

    What about having just 1 car per team? that would be fair. But nobody –including me– wants that.

    Maybe we should accept this things and all of this must be… -say the things like they are- (i don’t know the word in english)

    Maybe if every team would be forced to say: “X is my first driver and Y is my second”.

    I know my english is awful and half of the things I said will be misunderstood.

    1. “Maybe if every team would be forced to say: “X is my first driver and Y is my second”.”
      Well that might be a good idea. Let’s have nominated no1

      1. aAARGH!
        Let’s have nominated No1 and No2 drivers as well as team orders so that every one knows what is going and to remove the need for ‘coded messages’ from engineer to driver.

        1. And if the teams *don’t* want to differentiate their drivers?

          Now Ferrari have established theirs, it’ll be interesting to see if it works in their favour. There are sound reasons for having two lead drivers: driver motivation and the teams not really knowing who their best driver might be. Who would Red Bull pick right now, for example? Vettel, if pushed to chose I’m sure, but as he showed today he makes some really bad racing decisions under pressure. Maybe Webber is a safer bet.

          Besides the real point isn’t that FIA and the teams don’t want team orders – it’s the race spectators and viewing public who don’t want them! Hence the rule introduction. No other reason.

  19. 100000 mean nothing. Points do. So drop points.

  20. Alonso called the situation ridiculous when he was trying to pass Massa. I’m asking myself yet what Alonso meant when he said that, maybe during the battle for position Alonso was thinking that Massa was thinking as him: “Alonso is number-f…-one, so I should let him pass”. What is the problem, Alonso? If you’re so good racing-driver, why you would be able to pass Massa in normal conditions?

    1. Sorry, I mean “If you’re so good racing-driver, why you would not be able to pass Massa in normal conditions?”

    2. He did find himself in the same position for the 3rd time this year. And he complained about it already in Australia.
      So here he was, the guy bearing the weight of bringing the team back to to top, having to trail his team mate again. I can understand him feeling gutted about it.

      That does not mean i agree with the way the team reacted to this outcry (just like they would have done better not to in Valencia and Silverstone).

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