Massa ordered to hand win to Alonso

2010 German Grand Prix

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

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?
Rob Smedley

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.
Rob Smedley

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.

Two years ago Ferrari instructed Kimi R??ikk??nen to let Massa by for second place in China.

But significantly, that order came when R??ikk??nen 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%)
  • No (21%)
  • No opinion (2%)

Total Voters: 2,662

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409 comments on Massa ordered to hand win to Alonso

  1. MacademiaNut said on 25th July 2010, 16:24

    Looks like Ferrari has been summoned by FIA stewards.

  2. Nacho said on 25th July 2010, 16:24

    So when McLaren tells Jenson Button catching up on Hamilton to “save fuel” there’s no hubbub, but if Ferrari does it (In a less subtle and far dummer way), it is a disgrace, right? Encoded team orders are a shame, regardless of whether the driver ends up passing the slower team mate or not

    • bosyber said on 25th July 2010, 17:08

      Actually there was quite a bit of “hubbub” about that, even if the mess of Red Bull at that race caught most attention. McLaren were, in the end, able to show it reasonably likely that they were indeed fueled very light – leading up to Canada where people were wondering if the light-fueling would lead to penalties because of too low fuel at end of sessions/race.

      • Sri said on 25th July 2010, 18:25


        Please show a link where it is mentioned that McLaren testified to FIA with level of fuel in their cars after the race in turkey. When you say “reasonably likely”, it means there’s some degree of presumption involved. Well, fuel consumption is a measurable thing, and whatever McLaren had to say in that scenario would have only gotten them in deep. Just like “lie-gate.” Trust me!

        In Canada, most commentators did feel that McLaren stopped a healthy car on track, which is against the regs and should have been penalized. I don’t remember seeing as many folk asking for a penalty.

  3. Ali33 said on 25th July 2010, 16:25

    What we saw today was exactly the same with Hamilton’s repass on Button in Turkey. Only Massa made it more obvious to protest the situation.

    they are all team orders.there are always team orders. Yes this is boring and disgusting, but please nobody, dont pretend to be seeing this for the first time in F1.

    about Ferrari being investigated,I am afraid there will be consequences if Ferrari is given a penalty,after Valencia and Silvestone

  4. Tmax said on 25th July 2010, 16:25

    Booooo Fernando Boooooo Ferrari

    What a shame . And even more a shame when Alonso says that I dont know what happened and Bob Saying Massa Shifted 3 gears atonce.

    I sincerly hope the people who booed Schumi on 2002 Austria Podium Booed Fernando on the poddium today as he sis not deserve a win what so ever. Atleast Schumi wsa earnest in handing the trophy to Rudens and Admitting it.

    Bob and Ferrari are making the fans , stewards and everyone looks like a fool by first saying DO U UNDERSTAND , then Sorry and then shifted 3 gears at once.

    It was Massa’s real good comeback. He was really lying low after the accident last year and was the best chance to prove he is there. But then Alas… Fernando BOOOOOOO for saying first saying this is ridiculous and then saying i overtook him when i got an opportunity as if nothing happened……

    BOOOO Ferrari…..

    I Sincerely hope stewards give the victory back to Massa and penalize Ferrari. Otherwise they are making themselves look like fools in the eyes of the world and making themselves Ferrari’s Puppets.

  5. I Follow F1 to see car racing, not red tape decisions about who should win. Dignity is more important than victory. Only the weak thinks the opposite. Fernando and Ferrari actions are a shame for sports, not only for F1. If Fernando is a good driver he would not need Ferrari help, if he is not, he would not deserve it. Anyway, this is about honesty, sport spirit and dignity. And he has showed more than once he is weak in all these aspects of human development. I hope FIA follows the rule, in a ruthless way.

  6. Sri said on 25th July 2010, 16:29

    Have a look at this for a lesson in “Hypocrisy 101″

    Horner: Ferrari move clear team orders

    • Enrique Miguel said on 25th July 2010, 17:30

      I don´t believe Horner is the right man to make such a statement after what has happened in his own team with his drivers…..

  7. Roberto said on 25th July 2010, 16:39

    It shows to all world how these people are: Italian Ferrari is coward, Spanish Alonso is Incompetent.That is the Formula 1 circus: the clows are those who watch.

  8. Roberto said on 25th July 2010, 16:41

    It shows to all world how these people are: Italina Ferrari is coward, Spanish Alonso is Incompetent. That is the Formula 1 circus but the clows are those who watch. Congratulations to English team for their ethic behavior. All support to Hamilton.

  9. Powerslave said on 25th July 2010, 16:48

    Sooo much hypocrisy in the F1 media world right now, it’s just disgusting ….. Well, that’s all for now. Off to enjoying the well deserved 1-2 victory !!! :P

  10. adam23 said on 25th July 2010, 16:49

    If Alonso wants to beat Massa, he should try being ahead of him on the race track in the first place. It says everything about Alonso’s attitude that he shouts “this is ridiculous” down the radio because he can’t pass Massa, as if it’s somebody else’s fault.

    I hope Massa wins in Hungary.

  11. Ed. said on 25th July 2010, 16:57

    I remember some words by Ron Dennis in 2007: … we were racing Fernando!

    Those were times when there was no team order in McLaren for championship contenders. I miss them.

  12. theo said on 25th July 2010, 16:58



    • bosyber said on 25th July 2010, 17:11

      Fans are there also for a good race. So are TV stations, usually. Maybe even the bookmakers are in it for an un-team-ordered race.

  13. felipe massa fan said on 25th July 2010, 17:04

    i am disgusted with ferrari massa drove the race of his life in any case ferrari probably wont win the drivers title so why didnt they let felipe win
    alonzo should be disqualified and massa given the win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    massa was much quicker than alonzo throughout the race and he stated in an interview that he deserved the win

    but i am pleased that massa is being very professional about it unlike THE SHORT FUSED FERNANDO ALONZO WHO COULDNT PASS MASSA BEFORE THE TEAM ORDER

    REALLY F***KD OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Enrique Miguel said on 25th July 2010, 17:10

    Oh well, when Enzo Ferrari lived he always said that he did not care which of the pilots won as long as a Ferrari car won, today that is no longer the case, I wonder what would il commendattore say if he were alive today….

    Me being a Ferraristi my concern is that a Ferrari wins no matter the driver.

  15. Gurpz said on 25th July 2010, 17:10

    Apparently, $100k fine for Ferrari but the result stands. Also, it’s been referred to the World Motorsport Council.

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