Ferrari controversially instructed their drivers to change places while leading the German Grand Prix.
Felipe Massa allowed Fernando Alonso by into the lead on lap 48 after receiving a coded message from race engineer Rob Smedley.
Before the change of places Smedley was heard to say:
Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?
Not long after the message was broadcst Massa slowed at the exit of the hairpin and Alonso went pass. Afterwards Smedley told Massa:
OK mate, good lad. Stay with him now. Sorry.
The BBC’s Ted Kravitz reported a “flurry of discussion” in the 12 laps leading up to the change of position.
Ferrari clearly orchestrated the change of position and could find themselves in trouble with the sports’ governing body. Article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations says:
Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.
The rule was brought in when Ferrari did the same during the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix – when current FIA president Jean Todt was in charge of the team.
But significantly, that order came when R?â?ñikk?â?Ânen was out of the running for the championship. Massa is not.
It’s a clear sign of the status of the two drivers at Ferrari, as it now seems Fernando Alonso is the favoured driver within the team.
Ordering Massa to give up the win today is especially poignant as it is one year to the day since he was badly injured during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Update: Ferrari have been summoned to see the German Grand Prix stewards.
Should Ferrari get a penalty for ordering Massa to let Alonso pass?
- Yes (78%)
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