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. Gustafa said on 25th July 2010, 21:53

    I am surprised at where this is escalating to. I have been watching F1 for decades as have many of you here. If I could get you all into a room I would ask you all to raise your hand if you’ve never seen this before. The only problem I have with this is that maybe it wasn’t late enough in the season to ask Massa to give up his race win…and even then i’m not sure as all the other incidents (in 2008 and 2007 especially) had more direct and instant influences on the drivers championship.

    We can’t vilify this instance and not vilify all the others. There was Lewis and Heiki a couple times in 2008…Lewis went on to win by 1 point. There was a gift from Massa to Kimi that enabled Kimi to win by a point in 2007. ‘Hold station’, ‘save fuel’, ‘Jenson will not pass you’…its been happening all the time. We all know it, the FIA knows it, all the commentators mention it. If you don’t see it as being the same then you’re probably just blinded by your affinity to your preferred team. The only thing Ferrari are really guilty of is being stupid about how it was done. Smedley was as inconspicuous as a military tank in a supermarket parking lot.

  2. Bino said on 25th July 2010, 22:01

    Why did Massa let Alonso pass?

    He should had answered to the question:
    “I understood, but I’m good with it”

    He shouldn’t slow down and continue and now he would be an hero for not complying with the given information. Because that was not an order, that was just information and Massa did what he wanted with it.

  3. Gustafa said on 25th July 2010, 22:13

    I would really love for somebody to really tell me whats so different today (Smedley’s comments aside) from all the other times when we’ve seen team mates yielding to each other blatantly or questionably. As bad as I feel for Massa, I remember him almost winning in 2008 because of Kimi’s ‘gift’, so he is not the victim we all want to make him out to be.

    In my mind, the worst thing I’ve seen in F1 is having 2 drivers in the thick of the fight for the world championship and ordering bits off one man’s car onto the other’s (New Slogan: Red Bull Gives You Wings…Then Takes Them Back).

  4. gaz said on 25th July 2010, 22:16

    ok first the passion in me…and alot of anger.

    massa….no pride nor self respect.shame on you
    alonso…joins your singapore crime sheet..atleast no one would ever get hurt today.
    ferrari..you are a disgrace to your country, your history and to f1 fans who “go racing” either via an armchair, stand or cockpit.

    the reality..
    massa…you will never now be a f1 drivers champion and will end uo like rubens…bitter
    alonso….really, i’ve been on here fighting your corner – the senna of the generation a great driver a proper racer…it’s gone today for what is a few points, very litle when looking back.
    ferrari – everything good about f1 you seem to destroy you will not turnthis sport ito a joke again.

    • menzo said on 28th July 2010, 4:06

      gaz…alonso was never the senna of the generation,u need 2 be able 2 overtake people 2 get an accolade like dat,and as we saw last weekend he hasnt got dat in his repetoire,lewis is the senna of this generation,balls of steel,unflinchingly aggresive,overtakes 4 fun,thats wat its all about!!!

  5. Regis said on 25th July 2010, 23:20

    I think everyone should chill a little, this is not new, just let it go, Felipe has no chance in the championship, there is a lot of money for the title.

    I totally agree with what happened, this is a team sport, did you all forget?

    • Damir said on 25th July 2010, 23:36

      Maybe i’m idealistic, but i happen to think this is a race…and that racers should be racing…then again i could be mistaking, this could be pure business, but then we don’t need any regulations, any ethics, let’s strap them in a cars and let them kill each other with rockets and lasers, that will be more entertaining than watching one red car slow down to be overtaken by another red car…

  6. Darren said on 26th July 2010, 0:51

    Seriously I think the star of this years Grands Prix is the public radio airing on TV, from Hamiltons “do you want me to race these guys or what?” or Webbers “Not bad for a number 2 driver!” and now “Alonso has a faster car, do you understand” its been fascinating.

    I love in the post race interviews the commentator asked Alonso about the pass without telling that radio announcements were broadcast publicly and then revealed them when questioning Massa, the two different answers would have been embarrassing to Ferrari.

  7. manatcna said on 26th July 2010, 1:30

    The simple fact is, Ferrari team made it too obvious.

  8. Pab said on 26th July 2010, 1:45

    “Today we see a manipulated race” words of Alonso at Valencia…. What we see today at Hockenheim? As a Ferrari fan im hurt and disgusted / “Hoy vimos una carrera manipulada” palabras de Alonso en Valencia…. Que vimos hoy en Hockenheim? Como hincha de Ferrari estoy dolido y muy enojado.

  9. Pab said on 26th July 2010, 2:09

    Felipe should do the same thing that Reuteman did so many (many many) years ago at Williams. He read the order but never give the position and win the race.

  10. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 26th July 2010, 6:14

    Ferrari should be ripped of the WC, & they should do something with the team orders.Whether they let team-orders to happen or they stop that by giving huge penalty to the team who does that.

    YES I think Ferrari should get a penalty for ordering Massa to let Alonso pass.

  11. What a bunch of B.S. To screw Massa in this way, on the 1 year anniversary of his terrible accident, is just uncalled for. Ferrari should have their result reversed at the very least.

  12. Paul said on 26th July 2010, 11:09

    And dont forget Alonso’s much earlier call to the pitts where he was complaining about Massa not letting him pass and asking the team to interfere. The pit then told Alonso to be patient, it was too early to make the call.

  13. dandanzen said on 26th July 2010, 14:06

    The one thing that people cant see past, forget the team orders for a moment…
    If Alonso was so much faster, and wants to go on to win the WDC, then surely to do so and desrve it he should have RACED for the win yesterday.
    For me at least, if by some chance he does win, I will always think it was by cheating and not a clear win. And I suspect many others will too
    No matter what the final outcome, F1 will never be sthe same again. And both Ferrari & Alonso will never be held in quite the same light anymore…

  14. Colm said on 26th July 2010, 15:16

    I have read the F1 biographies of Caracciola, Nuvolari, Moss, Fangio, Collins from eras past and have loved F1 since a boy. Tongue in cheek, Massa should have hammered the brakes after the hairpin and have Alonso run up his rear, taking them both out. Or, he could have replied “so tell Fernando to pass me if he so fast”. Or Smedley could have radioed “they have told me to order you to allow Alonso to pass you, but I am unable to agree”. A pox on ALL their houses. A fine is inconsequential. Ferrari and both their drivers should be made to sit out the next event and FIA should reverse the finishing order. For those of you, ATB included, who suggest that these actions of team finishing orders is acceptable my wish is that you take up synchronized swimming or ballroom dancing as an alternative to F1 “racing” for you really are not competitive people. A blight on the sport, sad, sad, sad.

  15. Colm said on 26th July 2010, 15:25

    Diana, that quote is from Grantland Rice, American sports write in the early 1900’s.

    Though I prefer Oscar Wilde’s:

    “It is not whether you win or lose, IT IS HOW YOU PLACE THE BLAME”

    The again, Vince Lombardi (American football coach) said:

    “WINNING is the ONLY thing (that matters around here)”

    In the F1 farce yesterday NONE of the participants get it.

  16. Alberto said on 26th July 2010, 17:22

    Was not the first time that Massa let Alonso pass. In China GP, to avoid a crash at box entrance, Massa alow Alonso to pass by him and have to wait Alonso in the pit stop. I´m glad that Massa just let Alonso to pass by him, thist time, after a team order. Get close in one thing, pass is another.

  17. Jim said on 26th July 2010, 19:52

    What perhaps the the teams need to be able to do is to publicly announce before a race – any race be it the 1st of the season or partway through the season that they will now be backing a particular driver so then people know what to expect.
    If Ferrari had been able announce before this race “Alonso is the driver we are giving No1 status for the rest of the season” no one would have been surprised to see Massa lift off and let Alonso through.

    We’ve seen in earlier season teams having a driver line up with a clear 1-2, Alonso and Piquet, Piquet and Fabi, Senna and Nakajima, Senna and Johnny Dumfries, Schumacher and Rubens/Irvine. They could all have stated at the start of the season that they’d be doing the best to favour Driver1 throughout the season.
    Then for the likes of this season you’d be able to have RedBull or McLaren come out with 4/5 races to go and say ‘Given current standings they’d be backing Mark or Seb, or Lewis or Jenson to help them win the drivers title for the rest of the season or until they were out of the running’

  18. menzo said on 28th July 2010, 3:37

    alonso ts a spoilt brat who has zero respect 4 his fellow drivers/team mates,he’s a cheat,and is nowhere near as talented as people think he is,4 godsake its not about him being quicker,if f1 was jus about being quick red bull n vettel would be leading both championships,some deluded people r missing the point,anytime he comes up against competiton alonso folds,and he will NEVER be considered as 1 of the greats as a result,how dare he do that 2 massa after wat that boy has been tru,n if massaknows wats good 4 him he should sabbotage the ferrari challange 4 rewarding his 10year loyality wid a humilating slap in the face,as any1 wid a brain knows,gettin close 2 sum1 is 1 thing,passing is where is real skill comes in,n the honest brutal truth is alonso lacks that level of ability,and he himself deep down inside knows this

  19. menzo said on 28th July 2010, 3:57

    and if ferrari know wats good 4 them they’l start looking 4 a genuine top driver who wont end up draggin their team deep down in2 the gutter,n gradually ease alonso out of that team…alonso is bad 4 f1..period!!,all the other 23 drivers all have a level of mutual respect 4 each other which is how it should be,alonso jus arrogantly believes he has the god given right 2 be number 1 when in truth(as lewis proved in his 1st year in f1)alonso was lucky 2 win 2 titles when the field wasnt as competitive as it is now,how any1 wid any sense can rate that guy is beyond me..real champions go out there n handle their buisness n come out on top,im jus glad he’s being exposed 4 wat he is…A FRAUD,and in 15-20years from now everybody would finally realise this…the guy makes me sick 2 my stomach,and he needs 2 be gently eased out of f1 4 the good of the sport..its jus beyond a joke,he’s a disgrace,4 all alonso fans,do urselfs a favour n follow/support real racers..i.e,vettel,rosberg,hamilton,button,massa,webber..take ur pick,who have real dignity n respect 4 their fellow pros

  20. aNT366 said on 11th August 2010, 3:25

    This is hypocrisy SAXON

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