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. Pedro said on 25th July 2010, 14:39

    I can’t stand to look to Alonso now on the podium.
    Disgusting, absolutely disgusting :(

  2. stephen said on 25th July 2010, 14:39

    if its a British team/driver doing the bending of rules, nobody gives a damn about it. if its non-brit, all of you grit.

    • Mc Phisto said on 25th July 2010, 14:59

      + 1

      There isn’t too much diference beetween this and “save fuel”…

      • JSC said on 25th July 2010, 16:07

        Well… one difference is that the McLarens in Turkey had less than a lap of fuel on board when they stopped after the in-lap, ie, they were actually short on fuel.

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

          u were one of the the guys in parc ferme and u checked that urself because that is not info that is made available to the public afterwards ;)

    • kaiser said on 25th July 2010, 15:04

      I am not British. I am often very critical of McLaren.

      This was a disgrace. Alonso did not deserve to win. It is a clear breach of 39.1……

    • Manu said on 25th July 2010, 15:05

      Good point mate. But this is a British blog, what do you expect?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th July 2010, 15:10

      That’s complete rubbish. This site was among the first to point out the radio message given to Hamilton at Turkey that Button wasn’t going to pass him, right before he did.

      • Patrickl said on 25th July 2010, 15:18

        That’s not considered team orders. “keep station” was explained as an OK order by the FIA after the 2007 Monaco inquery of Hamilton vs Alonso.

      • cesium said on 25th July 2010, 15:26

        and at least mclaren cars fought wheel by wheel for 5 turns… neither of them “let go” the other one!!

      • ‘Don’t pass’ doesn’t change the outcome. ‘Let him past’ does. I am not happy with ‘Don’t pass’, I think it is wrong, but it is not underhand.

        Isn’t it about time that F1 banned pit to car radio so that the driver is responsible for everything that happens on track?

        • Patrickl said on 25th July 2010, 15:31

          They will just tell the drivers upfront

        • Interesting point that, quite good. with no team radio, they cannot order someone to pass, but they also warn of other things such as bad weather approaching. i heard it in their contracts that the other driver comes first, so maybe contracts should be checked for legitimacy to the rules.

      • Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 25th July 2010, 15:36

        Agree Keith… you’re posts are really unbiased. But some of the commentary here… well… I agree Steph too, I remember the “well done for McLaren in turkey for keeping the team in the world championship battle”

      • Keith, this site is totally non-biased!
        but some of the people here are not!
        They r waiting to pounce on ferrari.
        and i honestly think ferrari enjoys every bit of the criticism hurled at them.
        i think they love it! :)

    • Tom said on 25th July 2010, 15:23

      I think there’s a difference in telling your cars not to push to have one let another one by (and I’m certainly no McLaren fan). Remember the restrictions on engines/gearboxes/fuel. Look at all the points Red Bull have thrown away through failures caused by perhaps failures from pushing too hard.

      Whilst that order is partly strategy, this on the other hand is a deliberate manipulation of the result and championship.

    • Eddie Irvine said on 25th July 2010, 15:30

      I’m personally from Greece, and the most of f1fanatics are from every corner of the world. how can you even say that?
      Ferrari disgrace F1 and that is a fact!

  3. bowa said on 25th July 2010, 14:41

    hahahaha… Ferrari does it again.. let’s see IF any thing will happen to them.. i don’t think so.. But seriously this is not right.. Did u watch massa’s exit of the corner? lifted so much.. So what if alonso is faster? u can be faster then the car in front of you but that doesn’t mean you can pass it right?

  4. Boombatz said on 25th July 2010, 14:58

    Quote from the top of the page at

    “Ferrari controlled Sunday’s German Grand Prix from start to finish after polesitter Sebastian Vettel dropped to third at the first turn. Felipe Massa was ahead of Fernando Alonso for the first 48 laps before moving aside for his team mate”


    • Darren said on 25th July 2010, 15:07

      I went to to see what their take on the pass was too Boombatz, what a joke that site is protecting itself from any controversy.

      • Boombatz said on 25th July 2010, 15:18

        That’s because they are investigating it, but don’t want to SAY they’re investigating it. That way, when the don’t penalize Ferrari, they think no one will notice…

        I’m in the USA and the race is on tape delay on FOX here in another 2 hours…I cant wait to see the US commentary on it!!!

  5. kardo said on 25th July 2010, 15:00

    that was massa race not alonso!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th July 2010, 15:01

    Disgusting. Any respect I had for Ferrari and Alonso have gone now.

    • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 25th July 2010, 18:11

      Icthyes how’d you feel Massa will do in Hungary? You said a couple of times that you had a feeling about Massa for this race and you were right and he would have won so I’m hoping you can bring him some luck for Hungary :)

  7. John H said on 25th July 2010, 15:01

    Let’s see how Jean Todt’s approval rating fairs next month!

  8. Hermann said on 25th July 2010, 15:02

    Mclaren lets their drivers fight for position and leads both championships. Maybe Ferrari should learn something from it.

    And Alonso, he still been the same driver who could not beat Hamilton as a team mate. And won a race after a farce: who remembers Piquet Jr?

  9. djdaveyp said on 25th July 2010, 15:03

    What Fernando alonso said in the press conference is an insult to the intelligence of the F1 fans everywhere.

    Complete utter disgrace.

  10. at least they didn’t force Felipe to crash.

    which are the last 3 races Alonso has won?

  11. spudw said on 25th July 2010, 15:04

    If Ferrari are not penalized, it would make a mockery of the sporting regulations. Full stop. What a sad spectacle.

  12. lord sauron said on 25th July 2010, 15:05

    no way ferrari should have any should work

  13. Dev said on 25th July 2010, 15:05

    I’ve always maintained that Santander bought Alonso number 1 driver seat at Ferrari, it’s simple as that. Thats why Kimi’s contract was bought by Santander instead of Massa… people wanted proof of this today they have got it…

    Alonso owns this team!!

    • bosyber said on 25th July 2010, 15:53

      Santander did not need to do that – Ferrari were wating to have their new MSC, Alonso only had to prove his worth to them – Massa clearly is behind into the WDC, enough for Ferrari to think he cannot do it anymore.

      I hope he proves them, and his first part of the season wrong now, and ends, together with Webber, just in front of his teammate in the WDC. But that seems a bit unlikely.

  14. David BR said on 25th July 2010, 15:05

    Obviously this will stand if – as is likely – those set to gain from any Ferrari penalty think *they* might need team orders by the end of the season, i.e. McLaren and Ferrari. So why was today so sickening?

    Ask Felipe Massa.

  15. Seamus said on 25th July 2010, 15:05

    Absolute disgrace, gutted for Massa and for Semdley having to do that. Imo the drivers should retain their points but no Constructors points for Ferrari from this round.

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