Montezemolo defends driver switch

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has defended his team’s decision to change the order of its drivers during yesterday’s German Grand Prix.

The stewards of the meeting fined Ferrari $100,000 for the move. The World Motor Sports Council will investigate whether the team acted improperly by giving a coded instruction to Felipe Massa telling him to let Fernando Alonso past.

Montezemolo said:

I am very happy for all our fans who finally, yesterday, saw two Ferraris lead from start to finish as they dominated the race. The result is down to the efforts of all our people, who never give up. Now we have to continue working like this, to improve the car so that is competitive at all the circuits we will encounter.

Alonso and Massa also did very well, giving their all throughout the weekend. The polemics are of no interest to me. I simply reaffirm what I have always maintained, which is that our drivers are very well aware, and it is something they have to stick to, that if one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual. In any case, these things have happened since the days of Nuvolari and I experienced it myself when I was Sporting Director, in the days of Niki Lauda and not just then??

Therefore enough of this hypocrisy, even if I can well believe that some people might well have liked to see our two drivers eliminate one another, but that is definitely not the case for me or indeed for our fans.
Luca di Montezemolo

2010 German Grand Prix

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182 comments on “Montezemolo defends driver switch”

  1. Whatever Luca. Niki Lauda doesn’t agree.

    1. He doesn’t agree with the team orders now that he is retired, but I bet when he had the number 1 status in ferrari in the mid 70’s he loved them.

      1. That’s probably true.

      2. but back than they were allowed …

      3. You’r spot on there. It’s easy to say Boo now, so many years after. EJ is doing it as well (due to it being illegal now) but a lot of (ex-)drivers still think the same, but add under the current rules they should have done it less obvious

        1. “but add under the current rules they should have done it less obvious”

          shouldn’t that be…

          “but add under the current rules they should not have done it”

          considering the rules say it’s illegal…

          1. When the title is at stake, i surely support temmates helping each others. i like selfish drivers, but there is a limit. Massa and Kimi wrote the books on that in 07 and 08. ironically they were at Ferrari. so they know how to do it right, it’s just that last Sunday they chose the wrong way, and the wrong timing, and this i think is what pushed Massa to make it so obvious.

            but what is worth is that Alonso doesn’t even acknowledge the fact that Massa gifted him the race, and i think this will put more pressure on their intra-team relations…

            in austria 2002, Schumi at least gave credit to Bar, by pushing him on the top step of the podium, and getting fined for it…Alonso is just a new definition of Low scum

    2. .

      May I, please ;

      Luca and Lauda .. minor impact !

      Luca and Ferrari-owners who are ashamed to drive the Team-Order cars .. that’s major !

      Will that ever happen ?

      Not likely, but it’s in your MIND now !



    3. Who’s Niki Lauda? The Chairman of F1 or the Director of the Archives of F1 Races? He’s one of the best drivers of all time, but what he or any other retired driver says is on no value. It’s just some jarring noise. The hypocritical arguments of him or Eddie Jordan don’t count for anything.

      If at all any sensible remarks are ever made by former drivers it is by Sir Jackie Stewart, a man who has coached Francois Cevert and done so much for the sport.

  2. It is curious that he points out Niki Lauda here. Just when Lauda himself has made a stinging attack on Ferrari.

    1. He’s probably sued Niki as an example for that very reason

      1. *used not sued. My thickest typo since I said Heidfeld was raving instead of racing…

  3. Of course he does.

  4. Lauda is probably part of the hypocrisy he is referring too

  5. Interesting choice of words from Luca there. Did he learn the meaning of the word hypocricy when someone pointed out to him his post-Valencia comments?
    In some ways, what upsets me the most is the blatant lying. Not even a tiny little effort to dress it up.

    1. look at this (Adam Cooper digged up a Ross Brawn interview from 2002), Ferrari has not even learnt from Austria 2002, let alone from Valencia:

  6. if one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual

    …not to mention any rules and regulations too.

    1. You must have forgoten what Maclaren did back in the spygate. All teams has glass roofs.

      1. I have not forgotten at all, but you have left me a little confused by this reply, what should I be remembering exactly?

        1. weren´t you trying to say that Ferrari does everything to be in front of the others even if necessary to cheat.
          Just tryed to show that the others do that too.
          If i didn´t understand your coment, than i apolagise.

          1. Alonso was at the center of the Spygate debacle – and Crashgate. What does that tell you about cheating, any patterns starting to emerge? ;)

      2. @Bernard: Alonso was one of the people trying to expose the cheating. Remember the threatening email? You cant blame one driver without blaming the other (lewis).

        1. Alonso was the one actually doing the cheating (posing questions for the mole).

          Then he decided to blackmail the team to gain first driver status in return for acting like “he didn’t know a thing”.

          Yeah Alonso was the hero in spygate. Really.

          1. My point is that Lewis also knew and said nothing!

            Cheating is cheating and both drivers were knee’s deep in it equally.

          2. No, Lewis did NOT know.

            NO, the were not knee deep in it equally. Alonso was ASKING questions that the mole should answer (ie actively engaging in spy gate)

            While Hamilton knew nothing and thus didn’t participate at all.

            If Hamilton was involved they would have found mail from or to him on his computer or those of other people. They didn’t. Plenty e-mail from Alonso en De La Rosa though

          3. @steven

            Lewis may have been aware, but you can’t say he did for sure. Would Hamilton purposely get involved with cheating in his first ever year in F1? Would the people aware of the cheating try include somebody who has no experience of F1? Maybe. But not necessarily.

        2. @ Steven

          Any evidence for the allegation you’ve made that Hamilton knew about the data theft?

          As for Alonso, he was threatening Dennis with going to Mosley to ‘expose the cheating’ he himself had been directly involved in. Dennis – who claimed not to know the extent of the data theft within the team – then immediately defused this blackmail by telling Mosley himself. This had two effects: enormous fine for McLaren, end of McLaren contract for Alonso.

          Fact is trouble follows Alonso around. Draw your own conclusions. I make mine.

          1. Why would they tell Alonso about the cheating but not Hamilton. Or is Alonso just so dedicated to his job (in comparison to Hamilton) that he works so much harder, talkt to the engineers, tries to understand everything .. asks unpopular questions ..

            (I’m not a fan of Alonsos just so you don’t come around telling me I am one)

          2. @ bananarama

            I can reverse the question: why would they need to? As I remember Hamilton was specifically exonerated from any involvement. Maybe a degree of scepticism is always healthy. But asserting without evidence he was actually in the know seems a cop out to spread the blame when the people involved were specifically named.

            Hamilton was also a rookie. He seems fairly decicated to his job to me. Maybe you know better. Unlikely though.

    2. IF drivers only race for the team honers then we should scrap the world drivers champion title and only have the manufacturers titles only…PERHAPS THEN FERRARI can even employ the faceless stig from top gear to drive for them

      IN hindsight montezii….molo? seems to belong to the musieum by coming up with such comments
      FIA should throw the kitchen sink at ferrari on this one occassion.

      1. Teflonso was the dude taking the most advantage of the mole in spygate, he was that unknown Mr.X in the trailer agreeing and benefiting from Piquet’s scheme for Singapore, he could not, not, have known about it… he was complaining , when in fact he should have been shutting the hell up and trying to get past his teammate the proper way…

        he weaseled his way past Massa while diving into the pits, he literally asked the team to get him out of the way in Germany, the guy is a git, I’m really despising him… he doesn’t even bother do anything with class.

      2. Why would Ferrari want the Stig?

        Barrichello is faster and they sacked him. ;)

      3. Actually they did didn’t you see Shumi in his outfit? :)

      4. SPIDERman’s ” … IF drivers only race for the team honors then we should scrap the world DRIVERS champion title and only have the manufacturers titles only… ”

        This probably IS the Highest-Sense posting, ever.

        But you know what, SPIDERman, that there will be a whole bunch of disagreements. Some with valid & solid arguments, some with knee-jerk reactions.

        Perhaps we should all start the discussion matter by look at the ultimate reason for being ; Is F1 for the public or for the interest of the one who sign the cheques ?

        The answer is obvious.

  7. “I am very happy for all our fans who finally, yesterday, saw two Ferraris lead from start to finish as they dominated the race”

    That’s ironic as I don’t think any fan could say they were truly happy or satisfied with yesterday.

    “even if I can well believe that some people might well have liked to see our two drivers eliminate one another, but that is definitely not the case for me or indeed for our fans.”

    He’s bang on there. In all my year’s watching this glorious sprot I’ve never once seen a successful overtake that hasn’t ended in a crash. They’ve all had to be fiddled, Bernie radioed Sutil in Silverstone to let Vettel through but to look like he’s defending to make it realistic.

    Sorry, I’ve stuck up for Luca when he has said things this year and I know he’s going to defend what happened but I can’t help but feel he’s adding fuel to the fire by talking down to people and dismissing their feelings on the issue.

    1. Spot on Steph.

      If Luca’s that worried about them running into each other, then perhaps he’s hired the wrong drivers?…

      and referring to the ‘days of Niki Lauda’ doesn’t really wash if the rule that Ferrari so clearly contravened was introduced in 2002.

      1. Maybe he was only referring to it because Lauda was moaning so loudly about it that he coud hear it down in Italy without even turning on the TV. He went on and on and on complaining about what the team did.

        “Niki, how did you find Vettel today?”
        “Ferrari are cheaters”
        “And Hamilton?”
        “Cheaters I’m telling you, Ferrari are cheaters …”

        1. Read more carefully and you’ll realize Lauda was empathizing with Massa a year on after his near-death crash, which explains his anger. Formula 1 isn’t all trivial politicizing between the teams, some real stuff happens too.

          1. Makes a lot of sense for Lauda to support Massa, considering what happened to Lauda.

            Your band on with that one steph.

    2. I was happy. I’m a loyal Ferrari supporter and to me the team always comes first. If giving Alonso the win is in the best interests of the team, then thats what matters.

      1. What? Even the head of Ferrari admits that they are employing two drivers who cannot overtake without crashing into each other and the Tifosi here agree with him?
        Somebody is crazy, and it isn’t me!

      2. In that case lets bring the one car rule. One team can only have one car. Otherwise, there is no point in having two cars per team because those two cars are never effectively racing against each other.

        If you think its fine to give orders in the best interest of the team, then every team is going to start doing the same, and believe me you wont be very happy when you see that happen.

        1. .

          Yes in deed.

          I can’t agree more.

          BTW, in other sports , they called this sort of actions as ” FIXED ”

          If FIXED is found in horse racing ; fined to the owner, suspension / ban to the driver

          If FIXED is found in Las Vegas ; FIXER may be guided to the desert, and may get lost

          Let’s wait for words from Jean Todt. No, he only told Rubens to ” Let Michael pass for the championship ! ” that was when he was with Ferrari, and now he’s FIA’s President !

          Wait !



    3. steph’s ” … I can’t help but feel he’s adding fuel to the fire by talking down to people and dismissing their feelings on the issue…”

      Hmmm…somehow I have the same feeling when I see a brand new 458 Italia…in the servicing bay…..

      Thanks, steph!


  8. Only one sentence possible: Ferrari loose all points in world championship including the one-two in Bahrain.
    Then they will never ever do it again.
    The counsil must ruin the entire season for Ferrari.
    Plus 50Million in fines. I cannot believe the 100.000 fine.

    1. It’s likely that Ferrari will lose there constructors points with the drivers retaining theirs.

      1. _their_ constructors points sorry…

        shoot me now

    2. Yeah, thats fine as long as they hand the same punishment to McLaren for their drivers orders.

      1. If McLaren had given illegal team orders i’m prett sure they would get punished too.

        but the haven’t so … what’s your point?

        1. They have. Last year when Hekki. In the last race they told Jenson to defend when he was on the butt of Lewis’s car(so that he didnt attack lewis).

          But ofc, you didnt notice that because they aint driving in red.

          1. Last year when Hekki. In the last race they told Jenson to defend when he was on the butt of Lewis’s car(so that he didnt attack lewis).

            In Germany, you mean? When did they tell Button not to overtake Hamilton?

            Someone brought up the Kovalainen thing elsewhere, possibly in a different thread, but I’m not aware of any audio confirming it was a team order. Besides which, we should take into account the fact they were on different strategies. Look at the ease with which Hamilton passed Massa, for example. If he was a sitting duck, what chance had Kovalainen?

            But ofc, you didnt notice that because they aint driving in red.

            Your repeated insinuations that everyone else is somehow biaised have not gone unnoticed. Please show the other users of this site a little more respect.

          2. Steven,

            Could you try writing in english? I don’t have a clue what you are trying to say.

            Last year when Heiki what?

            Last race was Abu Dhabi. Hamilton’s car broke down. Why would anyone tell Jenson not to attack Hamilton?

            Honestly no sense at all.

          3. He’s referring to this GP where Jenson was defending from Webber in the early stages rather than having a go at Lewis. That doesn’t really work as an argument for McLaren preventing them from racing though, because as soon as Webber dropped back they radioed Jenson to tell him that he was one of the fastest on the track i.e. you don’t have Webber to worry about now, you can have a go at Lewis.

    3. you are absolutely right
      the only solution is
      1) ferrari gets everything you saying
      2) ferrari lives this cicus run by the british clown name bernie ecclestone and his friends
      then you will understand what formula 1 without ferrari means

      1. Formula one with out Ferrari means two less cars.

        I think you need to consider the seriousness of what Ferrari did last race, before you accuse people of not being fair.

        It’s bad for the sport, it’s bad for the fans, and in the end, it makes the team look bad as well.

  9. Luca is incredible.

    Stripped to the essence all this says is “It’s ok for Ferrari to cheat because that’s what we have always done”…. I’m astounded!

    1. Luca has effectively admitted that Ferrari has given the order and believes that it is perfectly fine to do so. Which is actually not true.

      All Luca has done is made a naive attempt to get to the minds of F1 fans, by trying to prove to people that his team works together, and his team comes first and it is more important than team orders. While at the same time completely spitting on the very meaning of the sport itself, which is racing. All that F1 means to him is business and ability for him to advertise his brand to make Ferrari more popular around the globe. The only reason he responds is to protect the business and their image, otherwise he would not bother.

  10. Lauda was a 2 times WDC with Ferrari and was respected for that but he has not been able to let anything happen in the sport without throwing his hat into the ring. Since he gave up racing he has had a go at nearly every team,track,driver and everyone else involed with the sport. Sadly unlike many past WDC’s when he speaks very few listen. Ferrari have always maintained that the team is bigger than any driver and outwith one or two the very best have driven for the team under those circumstances.

    1. RandomChimp
      26th July 2010, 19:54

      “Ferrari have always maintained that the team is bigger than any driver”

      Then why does it matter which way around the drivers finish?

      1. Because they want to atleast win the WDC. The constructors seems highly unlikely.

        1. Precisely. WDC means more than constructors considering the amount of hype around it.

          1. WDC is more likely to be won this year, not more important.

        2. Indeed and that is why the WMSC needs to take Alonso’s points away. Don’t give Ferrari the spoils of the crime.

  11. To do what is best for the team is to maximise the WCC points. What they did was maximise the WDC points for Fernando, that is manipulation of the WDC.
    Taking that into account Ferrari have manipulated the WDC when they were in the strongest possible team position, so to make excuses about it being best for team is absurd to the point of arrogance.
    Want to improve the show, make teams go for the WCC and let the drivers settle the WDC.

    1. At last someone making this point!

      How was Massa letting Alonso past helping the team? The points were the same. The consequence likely to be demotivating Massa and *losing* the team future points this season.

      The ‘team order’ phrase is misleading people: the move was done solely to benefit Alonso’s championship bid and possibly the big sponsors he’s brought in, who knows? Maybe the team’s *corporate* interests, but that’s somewhat different.

      I think Brundle’s double think on this question sums it up: he argues for banning team orders, but suggests any driver with any ambition should ignore them! Maybe he’s right.

      1. sorry, allowing team orders…

      2. Brilliant…David,

        Regardless of whoever that’ll be …

        Winner gets 25 points
        Second gets 18 points
        total 43 points

        …as Forrest Gump said…

        Oh. BTW, if those clowns have done this in Vegas, they may be led to the desert and ain’t coming back !



    2. I had an idea a while ago that while isn’t, I don’t, think practical and is rather a departure from what F1 has historically been, I though I’d share:

      2 races, first in spec cars provided by the FIA with points counting for the WDC and the result setting the grid for the second race, in which they race cars provided by their team, with points counting for the WCC.

      1. It’s an interesting idea. Unfortunately, what happens if the driver gets injured while at the wheel of the “spec car” and can’t drive his “manufacturer” one?

  12. “In any case, these things have happened since the days of Nuvolari and I experienced it myself when I was Sporting Director, in the days of Niki Lauda and not just then…”

    This was in the past before there was a rule, there is a rule now and they broke it..

    1. F1 was built on amateur drivers, very uncompetitive teams, drivers, second placed drivers finished many laps downs (this now doesn’t even happen in Le Mans 24h) ,no safety – drivers were killed on average every GP weekend, and a lot of team orders and car swapping between team mates!!!

      Does that make all this OK in current F1, or Motorsport or sport in general? No!! And I think DC’s arguments on Sunday were ridiculous, newer mind Ferrari lying about something which is cristal clear for every one!

      I agree that that was the past, and we can look in amusement and interest at it, BUT WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THAT IS THE PAST! Not present.

      1. I was thinking along similar lines mate, could you imagine someone saying they weren’t going to adhere to the crash test rules this season because drivers dying on track is all a part of the sports history and traditions ?

        There are so many things that could be justified by saying it’s all part of the sports history but the fact remains that the rules are the rules and you either abide by them or you get disqualified.

        The debate about the suitability of the rules is a different issue, all that matters is the rules as they’re written today.

  13. I’m sorry, but this isn’t on. Top teams (and I’m not singling out Ferrari here, because we all know that McLaren, Red Bull, Renault, Williams, Jordan, etc etc etc) have done it in the past) can’t keep on justifying team orders by essentially saying “well, its always happened, so what are you complaining about?!?” We F1 fans have the right to expect more from the top teams. More technical innovation, more exciting racing, more development of young drivers and yes, more sportsmanship.

  14. rashid hasan
    26th July 2010, 19:29

    go somewhere else luca. u don’t belong in f1.

  15. when hamilton overtook the SC, he didn’t lose any points, the main opponents did

    in this case vettel or hamilton didn’t get less points

    so it’s nothing like valencia or silverstone, just blind mclaren fans would think it
    and still, no idea what SAVE FUEL means?
    you guys are all hypocrits
    brit blog, and mostly mclaren supporters reads it.
    still by far the best f1 site in the whole wide word, but english, why should they cheer for ferrari
    and it’s just an opinion

    1. In the context to which you are refering SAVE FUEL means don’t race, hold position (since you may run out of fuel).

      This definitely does not mean SWAP POSITION!

      Silverstone was just another example of Ferrari thinking that the rules do not apply to them.

    2. well said dude,i kinda get the same feeling

    3. So you are saying that Hamilton’s main opponents lost points because he overtook the SC?

    4. Anyone else getting sick of this sort of argument coming up?

      The vast majority of people who read this blog are F1 fans first, fans of specific teams and drivers second, and nationalistic morons a distant last.

      We all want to see what’s best for the sport. And in this case it’s hard to argue that letting Ferrari get away with this is good for the sport.
      Look at the coverage this has got in the wider media.
      None of my friends or family have much interest in F1 yet today I had loads of people talking about how Ferrari were up to their old tricks. Just like loads of people wanted to talk about Renault’s cheating in Singapore, and Mclaren’s cheating in Australia, and Mosley’s twisted personal life.
      It really doesn’t matter who you support, this sort of thing gives a very bad impression of Formula One to the wider public.

      1. 100% agree with you Mark!

      2. Couldn’t agree more.

      3. Thank you for your comments, Mark. Right on the “mark” as far as I’m concerned. Didn’t Keith once provide an article which outlined the geographic distribution of his site users not so long ago? If anyone can direct me, I would like to read it again.

      4. Just because they don’t realise that F1 is a TEAM SPORT as well. Massa was number 2 in his MS years, but his good performance in 08 earn him number 1 over defending champ Kimi. This season so far his performance is relatively bad compare to FA, Ferrari has the RIGHT to maximize the dirver’s title to FA. Keep it up Massa, next year is your turn.

      5. Fully agree. It was even in the main news here on Sunday!

      6. Excellent post.

      7. Well said mark.


        First, there is a specific rule against ordering one of your drivers to cede to the other, so Ferrari do not have that right.

        Second,It is a team sport, that’s why Massa and Alonso should have been very careful not to hit each other when Alonso should have been attacking him.

    5. At Silverstone, McLaren told Button to hold station and not attack the car in front, because he’d run out of fuel if he did.

      At Hockenheim, McLaren told Button to hold station and not attack the car in front, because he’d run out of fuel if he did.

      Why does the fact that the car was Rosberg in the first case and Hamilton in the second make a difference?

  16. *read, not reads, but there are other grammar errors in it, ofc, english isn’t my first language

  17. I read today in the Gazzetta dello Sport that at the 1936 Hungarian GP, Enzo Ferrari himself instructed Mario Tardini to let Tazio Nuvolari, his team mate, go past him.

    The thing is that, as there were no radio or indication panels, Enzo Ferrari waved a hammer (!) at Tardini to instruct him to hand his position to his team mate.

    Domenicali should have done the same; it would have been more original :D

    1. Oh my God!! A hammer!!

      Perhaps drivers should bargain for more money / other luxuries while bring given team orders.

      Team Radio will be even more funnier

      Rob Smedley: Felipe baby, $1,000,000 + Ferrari FXX

      Felipe: $2,000,000 + 2 Ferrari FXX + White Visor, otherwise I cannot see!!

      Rob : $1,000,000 + 2 Ferrari FXX + White Visor.

      Felipe: Deal.

    2. Yes but the whole point is that during the time of Nuvolari and of Lauda, team orders were perfectly legal and an accepted part of GP racing. Now they are explicitly illegal, exactly the same as running under weight, or using illegal fuel or using the wrong tyres. The whole of the Ferrari establishment seem either not to understand that, or to consider that because they are Ferrari it doesn’t matter and they can do what they want.

      1. Get it into your head! Mclaren and RBR have also given team orders this year! Why should the others be allowed to do it when Ferrari is not?

        Stop being such a hypocrite!

        “Save fuel”
        “Defend, dont attack”


        1. I cant’t remember any red bull, McLaren or a car of any other team this year slowing down to let a team member past. Infact with both Red Bull and McLaren we have had dramatic demonstrations that there are no team orders with wonderful fights between the team members

        2. Trying not to stoop to the same levels of rudeness you display to anyone who disagrees with you is not easy….

          Perhaps you should read the stewards report from Monaco 07 which clarifies that ‘hold station’ does NOT count as a contravention of 39.1.

          If you are so disgusted by the ‘British bias’ you perceive on this blog, please feel free to go elsewhere.

  18. There is a fundamental problem in F1 and it isn’t the problem of team orders.

    Ferrari clearly see themselves as a team, with fans who care that the team wins, but frankly I couldn’t give a driving monkey which teams wins as long as one of my drivers is in the seat.

    I would like to see Massa do well because he seems like a nice fella, I would like to see Alonso fail miserably because he doesn’t. That they are both in red cars means nothing to me.

    1. F1 is and has always been both a team sport and an individual one.

      Although you don’t give a driving monkey, I could probably find many people in the world who support Ferrari more than any of their drivers… and there are of course people such as yourself and me who care more about who is at the wheel.

      It’s both, but it’s not a ‘fundamental problem.’

      1. I could probably find many people in the world who support Ferrari more than any of their drivers…

        I’d be one of those :-)

        I still don’t support their actions this weekend, in fact my heart sank when I heard Felipe being advised that Fernando was quicker than him as I knew it meant that Felipe would have to give Fernando the win.

        It ruined the race for me and has also left me feeling pretty disgusted at Alonso, I never wanted him to join the team but I had slowly began warming to him over the last few races. Hearing him complaining to the team while being unable to pass Felipe has got me back to the situation I was in before the season began; there’s a guy driving for Ferrari and I don’t want him to win or even do well. It’s very difficult to balance this with my desire to see the team do well.

        I watched the race with some friends who are also Ferrari fans and up until the message had been sent we were really enjoying the race and we were so happy that Felipe was going to get the win. The guy has been with the team for about a decade now and he has always been a team player and has shown a great deal of respect towards the team and the fans and we thought it would be a great boost to him if he were to win this race, especially given the significance of the date in relation to his accident last year.

        Had the result not been changed the team would now have two drivers sitting 5th and 6th in the drivers championship and the team would be in the same position in the constructors championship, as it stands the drivers are 5th and 8th, the team are yet again being publicly disgraced, have been fined for cheating and could face an even more serious punishment from the WMSC.

        In all honesty I’m more ****** about this than I have been about anything the team have done in years as it appears to me they’re putting the interests of Alonso ahead of the interests of the team – although my dislike of Alonso may make me a little biased…

        1. Nice comment to read Beneboy. I was also really hoping that Massa would win the race and can’t help feeling he has been, if not exactly stabbed, somewhat prodded in the back by the team he did so proud in 2008 (a team that partly lost him the championship one could argue).

          He’s clearly still got the pace/start reactions/racing ability to win the championship – why else would he have been in the lead in the race? I think it’s quite sad, but then again my dislike of Alonso probably makes me a little biased too.

          1. Thanks John !

            I agree with what you’re saying mate.

            While Felipe was leading my friends and I were talking about how we thought that this result was exactly what he needed. He’s been struggling at a few races this year and (in my opinion) Felipe’s biggest problem is his confidence; if he believes he can win then more often than not he will and lately he just hasn’t looked like he believed it.

            My big fear now is that this destroys his confidence and self belief and he ends up as another Barrichello instead of being a genuine race driver for the team.
            I understood why, after so long away from the top, we needed to rebuild the team around a great driver like Schumacher but that’s no longer the case; we’ve got a great design team, test team, manufacturing team and two of the worlds best drivers, we may have had a bad start to the season but there were plenty of points left and no real need to do this other than to keep Alonso happy.

            That doesn’t sound like the best interests of the team to me, especially if the WMSC decides to make an example of the team in a few weeks time.

            And apologies for the stared out comment in my post above, I got a little carried away again. Although I also got CODT again so I may try getting carried away a little more often but maybe with a little more editorial restraint ;-)

        2. beneboy, I can relate to you liking the team, in your case Ferrari, but do you really get more excited about them winning the WCC than one of their drivers, or another driver, winning the WDC? I mean it a serious question, great if you do. It just doesn’t matter to me much – actually, at all! – if my favourite team misses out on the constructor’s championship. So, to be honest, like Andrew I couldn’t care less about the teams winning points. All of which is to say, I’d happily see the WCC scrapped, but I guess a lot of fans would object. And the teams presumably.

          1. I got into motorsport because of the Ferrari F40, when I fell in love with that car was about the time I was old enough to sit and watch a full race so I became a Ferrari fan. The team have always come first since then.

            When I first started watching there were loads of great drivers and Senna eventually became my favourite and I always wanted him to do well but I still wanted Ferrari to win. After Senna died I didn’t have a favourite driver again until Schumacher agreed to join Ferrari :-)

            Having the misfortune of being a Ferrari fan who was born in 1979 I had to wait until I was 21 until Ferrari won the Championship again and I can honestly tell you that it meant more to me than any drivers championship. I still get excited about the drivers championship but it doesn’t mean as much to me as the constructors because I don’t have the same emotional attachment to the drivers that I have to Ferrari.

            Senna is the only driver I’ve ever really loved, Schumacher came close but there’s never really been anyone else I’ve felt that way about. I’ve loved Ferrari for about as long as I can remember.

    2. 100% agree with that. Well said.

  19. Just to clear up one thing that keeps appearing in comments – 100.000 is the maximum fine stewards can impose, the real punishment will come from WMSC.

  20. How ’bout a new nickname for Luca? Instead of the Horse Whisperer he could be the Mad Hatter… “CHANGE PLACES!”

  21. “Alonso and Massa also did very well, giving their all throughout the weekend.” – Montezemolo

    Lap 49 must of slipped his mind. Poor sap!

  22. Uh oh! When first Michael Schumacher, and now Bernie Ecclestone come out publicly defending Ferrari’s decision, you know it was immoral.,19528,12433_6280597,00.html

    1. To be fair to Bernie, he’s saying that the rule should be scrapped and not defending Ferrari’s actions.

      This is different and something many would agree with.

    2. Schumacher’s interview after the race made it seem like he found it amusing :D

      Thanks for the links btw.

      Oh, and Bernie is clearly wrong, if what Ferrari did was legal, it would still cause a lot of people to be upset and a media frenzy. (as it did in 2002)

    3. Brundle is also calling for the FIA to get rid of this rule in his BBC Blog, as well as Andrew Benson.

  23. Massa was only around 12 points (old system) behind alonso before Hockenheim. i think the new system confuses people into thinking the gap is massive.

    1. Totally.

      When you think that Kimi was 17 points behind with two races to go in 2007, it does make you feel even more sorry for Felipe.

      1. Well… Felipe was around 80 points down on the championship leader. Which is over 30 points down on the old system. With 8 races to go and 5 very competitive drivers in front of him, his chances of winning were next to none.
        Raikonnen had a chance as there were only 2 self destructive drivers in front of him in an equally competitive car.

        Do you honestly believe Felipe has a realistic chance of fighting for the WDC given his current form and championship standing???

        1. He got the betetr of Alonso (and the rest this race) Why wouldn’t he be able to do it again?

          Obviously the car is completely transformed. It’s now stable and faster than the Red bull.

          Massa is the perfect driver to put the fastest car of the field on pole and win from pole.

          With his good starts (and Red Bulls poor starts) he could even come from P3 and jump into the lead.

          Besides, I think Alonso is doing even worse on engines than Massa is.

        2. I see your point of view. Alonso has got 2 titles, so he probably is best to take the fight to the rest.

          But to me, this was a race too early to start favouring one driver over the other. The other teams now know what hand Ferrari have dealt.

  24. FIA throw the kitchen sink at ferrari NOW please….

  25. To me the most astonishing thing is Ferrari’s lack of contrition. They are not appealing the fine and so de facto are admitting that they broke the rules. But there has been not one word from anybody at Ferrari saying something like “we got it wrong and shouldn’t have done it”. Instead there have just been variations along the lines of “we are a long established team, we don’t like the rule so we will do what we want”. That lack of contrition probably more than anything is what annoys me. The rule is a poor rule, but so are lots of others and teams should not be able to pick and mix which rules they obey. If they had admitted they shouldn’t have done it then in the circumstances I would have been content with a light punishment. But because of the “we should be able to do it” attitude I hope that the FIA throw the book at them…. unfortunately I don’t think that they will.

    1. Contrition won’t do the team any good now. Accepting that what they did was wrong will perhaps give some sort of satisfaction to me and millions of other fans but it will cost Ferrari dearly.

      Accepting their fault will mean even stricter punishment by the WMSC. WMSC is not going to give them a lighter punishment just because the accused has shown remorse. Since you see, Ferrari have a history of team orders. Any remorse and admission of guilt will not be taken seriously by the WMSC or the fans.

      Mclaren were very quick in suspending the engineer who was involved in spygate and Ron Dennis himself called Max Mosley and confessed about all of Mclaren’s activities. And the team got the harshest possible punishment from the WMSC.

      Ferrari have already made a big mistake. Accepting it isn’t going to undo it. They just have to stick to whatever story they have cooked up, and pray that WMSC doesn’t disqualify them from this year’s championship.

      1. But if their defence is that they did nothing wrong, aren’t they torpedoing it by not appealing the stewards’ judgement from Hockenheim? The current position appears to be “yes we broke the rules but we didn’t do anything wrong” which the WMSC may not look kindly upon.

        1. Ferrari’s stand as I see it is, “yes, we made a mistake, and we will pay what you want us to, please don’t punish us any more”.

          That is why they have mutely accepted the stewards’ penalty.

          1. “mutely accepted the stewards’ penalty”

            Well, apart from Luca!

  26. The car should never have passed scrutineering anyway. Watch the end plates on the Ferrari’s and the Red Bull in the onboard footage. The end plates flex downwards because of the amount of wing behind them, you can see it at high speed.

    1. Have you got any footage of that? I’ve just been watching the F1 forum again and for both Ferrari and RBR they seem to flex only a very tiny amount it seems.

      Certainly nothing in comparison to McLaren in 2008 for example.

  27. Ok, so “The team comes first” Seems to be the line from ferrari. Fine.

    But as far as im concerned, the fans should come first, the fans where robbed of a proper fight between the two drivers, and robbed of a real result, without us, they would have no f1, they wouldn’t be here, there would be no money from sponsor who pay the team, to put the product on the side of the car, so the fans see it.

    And Ferrari are team who’s whole image is based on F1, a team who dont market there cars because the use F1 as a giant ad for their products, and without the fans, they wouldn’t have that. so they should try should be trying harder not to pee us all off by thinking they are the most important thing in the sport.

    Im rambling, that probably didn’t make sense, it makes sense in my head, so hey ho.

  28. Make all teams have a minimum of X amount of fuel, then they can’t run out -OR- use this “save fuel” order as part of strategy

    1. They have different engines

      1. i have been wondering this, as it would contribute to the explanation of Red Bull’s quli pace compared to race. As the Renault engine is less fuel economic than the ferrari or mercedes, they effectively need more fuel at the start of the race, and therefore their pace is relatively slower than their quali pace (i’m sure some clever fuel-corrected calculations can support this) than the slightly lighter fuelled McLaren’s for example who are slower in quali, but then even out at the start of the race and are often able to keep pace to the front even tho in quali were 0.7s per lap slower.

        i have also wondered why more teams don’t go for hard tires to begin with. As it seems that a long stint on heavy fuel with long lasting tyres then a dash to the end on super-softs would be the fastest way to the end?? obviously losing a few spots on the grid to pay for it, but able to leapfrog all the front runners at the two thirds distance when they swap to the softs? what do you lot think about that?


    Jerez 1997: McLaren order David Coulthard to let Mika Hakkinen past to win
    Australia 1998: McLaren order Coulthard to let Hakkinen past to win
    Belgium 1998: Jordan order Ralf Schumacher not to race Damon Hill for the lead
    Austria 2002: Ferrari order Rubens Barrichello to let Michael Schumacher past to win
    Monaco 2007: McLaren order Lewis Hamilton not to challenge Fernando Alonso for the race win
    Brazil 2007: Ferrari manipulate Felipe Massa’s pit stop to put Kimi Raikkonen into the lead so he can win the world title
    Germany 2008: Heikki Kovalainen lets McLaren team-mate Hamilton through so he can win the race following an error in team tactics
    Singapore 2008: Renault order Nelson Piquet to crash to cause a safety car period that helps Alonso win
    China 2008: Raikkonen hands Massa second place behind Hamilton so he is in a better championship position heading into the final race

    once again, i am astounded by the hypocrisy displayed by casual fans. “my guy is squeaky clean, your guy is as dirty as it gets.” pathetic.

    even if we set aside the ethical issue and focus on legalities, the bbc list post-2002 shows a score of:
    ferrari: 2
    mclaren: 2
    renault: 1

    of course, the popular english-speaking opinion is that mclaren and hamilton can do no wrong, and always the victim of evil conspiracies. hamilton chops another driver, or runs him clean off the road, and he’s “brilliant” but when schumacher did it he’s a menace. time and time again, the team has been found guilty of lying, cheating and stealing. where was your moral outrage then?

    1. If Kovalainen at Germany is on that then why not Heidfeld at Montreal the same year? Or Toyota’s attempt to switch their drivers around in 2006? And shouldn’t we count McLaren telling Hamilton to let Alonso past at the start of qualifying in Hungary in 2007? And… and… and…

      But even if that list were complete I don’t think that since article 39.1 was written we’ve had a situation like yesterday’s. That was, to all intents and purposes, Austria 2002 all over again. Team mates on the same strategy, both in contention for the world championship being told to swap positions.

      So I don’t agree with you when you say the reaction is pure “hypocrisy”. I think Ferrari have pushed the interpretation of the team orders rule further than anyone else has up to this point – and they may be about to get their fingers burnt because of it.

      That’s my point of view at the moment. I’ll do more on that in article after I’ve had chance to think it through fully.

      hamilton chops another driver, or runs him clean off the road, and he’s “brilliant” but when schumacher did it he’s a menace

      The way I see it, Schumacher pushed the boundaries of acceptable driving standards further than what had been seen before, in some respects at least (e.g., he obviously didn’t invent ramming your championship rival to win the title).

      Once he did certain things and got away with them, his rivals and their rivals had no choice but to copy him. They’d be fools not to, otherwise they’re just giving the opposition an easy means of beating them.

      It’s clearly wrong to suggest that only Lewis Hamilton has adopted Schumacher’s tactics as his own. Fernando Alonso, Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa… – we’ve seen them all chop other drivers and push them off the track. I don’t like it now any more than I did 15 years ago but these are the standards of driving the FIA is happy to tolerate.

      1. thanks for taking the time to reply. i hope the site is doing well with these spikes in interest.

        as for dirty driving, all i wish to add is “1989, japan, turn 1.”

        now that i’ve had a day to digest yesterday’s incident, my opinion is there’s a method to ferrari’s recent madness.

        i think ferrari wanted a change in how race control and stewards manage the race, and by taking the alonso/kubica incident to it’s maximum, they got that change. by the way, the sport is better with the 90 second timer on such decisions.

        similarly, i think ferrari wanted transparent team orders in the sport. i also think the sport is better for it, since subterfuge cannot add integrity. since the rule is obviously un-workable, i’ll eat my hat if team orders are banned in 2011.

        to that end, ferrari was prepared to take the brunt of the backlash to get the changes they wanted, while maximizing the chances of one of their drivers winning the title. alonso and massa will go unpunished, and ferrari are willing to throw away anything less than 1st place in the constructor’s championship.

        1. What a load of rubbish!

          “i think ferrari wanted transparent team orders in the sport.”
          No, The only reason we know about this, is because Smedley and Massa didn’t like it, and made it so obvious, If it had happened how Stefano had wanted, we would never have known.

          “to that end, ferrari was prepared to take the brunt of the backlash to get the changes they wanted”
          Then Luca would have openly said that he was against the rule, in fact, so would have Stefano, considering he was probably behind the decision.

      2. Plus you have the opposite happening as well, where drivers deliberately drive off the track to gain an advantage. Kimi at Spa et al.

  30. ferrari haven’t broken a rule technically speaking just the spirit of the rule. They haven’t gained points and it is up to them on the order their drivers finish. In valencia hamilton overtook a safety car, broke a rule, beat rivals by doing it. This was unsafe, far worse and if any points are taken he should lose all points from valencia.

    1. Ferrari have very definitely broken rule 35.1, and have as much as admitted this by not appealing the judgement of the Hockenheim stewards that this was the case.

    2. Hamilton passed the safety car ‘just’ after the line.. it was pretty much touch and go and hard to say whether he did it deliberately or not… perhaps he did, I don’t think its clear cut though. He got penalised, but Ferrari were just unlucky at Valencia. It happens sometimes.

      This is different. Ferrari take the public and the stewards for fools by saying it was Massa’s decision alone to move aside. It’s that refusal to admit they did wrong that gets people.. something Hamilton admitted to at Melbourne 2009.

    3. From what the Stewards ruled, they broke 2 rules. The team order rule was obviously infringed. The team instructed Massa to let his team mate pass him (asked for confirmation of order understood). It may be a case for the judge to decide how hard the evidence is when Massa, Smedley and the team stay with their line, that it was a voluntary desicion by the driver.
      The other rule Ferrari evidently broke (look at the bad press everywhere from Italy to Britain to the whole wide world) is bringing the sport in disrepute. That one is very easy to prove and to penalize with watever penalty the FIA feels fit the crime.
      Last time they got 1 million and TO were not even illegal as such, so Ferrari might be into a lot heaverier fine as well as possible suspended race bans and points losses.

  31. In defence of Luca, there is nothing else he can say now, is there? The mistake was made on Sunday, if Luca were to expect the mistake on Monday, that would only be compounding on their original mistake.

    Do you not realize why the stewards were able to penalize Ferrari? It wasn’t because of the team orders. The team orders were coded instructions and hence Ferrari & Massa are not lying when they say it was Massa’s decision alone. What caused trouble for Ferrari was Smedley’s apology. He said “Sorry” to Felipe which allowed the stewards to point out that this is indeed a case of team orders.

    It was this apology which allowed stewards to interfere in the matter!! If Luca were to say sorry, and show contrition, he is only inviting the full wrath of the WMSC.

    Just rewind back to 2007 and see what happened with Mclaren.

    Mclaren were very quick in suspending the engineer who was involved in spygate and Ron Dennis himself called Max Mosley and confessed about all of Mclaren’s activities. And the team got the harshest possible punishment from the WMSC.

    Ferrari have already made a big mistake. Accepting it isn’t going to undo it. They just have to stick to whatever story they have cooked up, and pray that WMSC doesn’t disqualify them from this year’s championship.

    1. Disagree. Smedley asked Massa to confirm if the latter understood the transmission “Fernando is faster than you”. Since we can reasonable assume that Massa is capable of understanding the actual words, given that his English is fine most of the time, it can be assumed they had another meaning.

      Given what happened subsequently the balance of probabilities would lie in favour of it being team orders.

    2. Looking back at my Tweets from yesterday I see that before Smedley had said “sorry” I’d said “Is that code” and “If Massa lets Alonso past here there’s going to be a right old row.” There were a lot of similar remarks flyign around at the time. I think it was pretty obvious before then what was coming.

      1. Jonathon Legard said (I know most of you mute him, so…) after Smedley’s can you confirm you understand that? “I think we understand that!”

        1. That’s actually a really good benchmark: if even Legard can understand the hidden meaning, then there’s a hidden meaning.

          1. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. I see your point. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out what the coded instruction means.

        But when one talks about article 39.1, one isn’t dealing with a person of reasonable intellect. One is only looking for plausible evidence which directly violates the wording of the rule.

        Smedley’s “Fernando is faster than you” (however obvious it might be to each and everyone of us) does not violate 39.1. But his apology “sorry” after the ‘overtake’ clearly violates the rules. Without the apology, Ferrari would only have broken the spirit of the rules, not the rules per se. But thanks to the “sorry”, they did break 39.1 and got the penalty.

        1. “Do you understand?” is pretty much an idication that Smedley did not just mean that “Alonso was faster” (which he really wasn’t anyway)

          Also, again, the remark from Smedley that they could “still” win the race when Massa was comfortably ahead of Vettel. All of a sudden he started doing fastest laps like a bat out of hell.

          Obviously there was reason for that sudden and (in a normal situation) unneeded urgency.

  32. the rule is only broken if they directly told massa to move. They didn’t, the only communication was alonso is faster than you. Massa moved over of his own accord. We know this is not true but cannot be proved. Only the spirit of the rule has been broken but this happens on a technical side all the time.

    1. That is why the steward brought in the “bringing the sport into disrepute” rule as it is easy to prove and very open in the scope of penalies given.

  33. team sport. If the drivers title is above all then when new parts are brought to a gp then both must have them if not both should use old parts. RB used team orders during the front wing debacle. I don’t care which ferrari wins but want to win both titles so give the advantage to the driver most likley to win even if bin laden was in a ferrari.

  34. sorry can be argued to mean sorry i didn’t help set the car up so you were faster than alonso. We know what it meant but cannot be proven. To break the rule it would have to have been along the lines of sorry for making you move over. Sorry on it’s own can mean anything, no rule broken

  35. This team order thing is so unfair to the fans. Just think of all of those who placed bets on the race in favour of Massa. They lost out and ferrari are to blame as they are so arogant as to think that the fans dont matter. bad form ferrari, bad form!!!!!

    1. I think if you’re going to bet on F1, you should know in advance that there is a chance of Ferrari doing this. There’s no skill in betting if you don’t do your research.

    2. Whoever betted for a Ferrari 1-2 with Massa in front can only blame him/herself for losing the money.
      Remember, that after the first 2-3 laps Brundle already discussed how the wrong car is in front and it will be interesting to see how Ferrari change positions.
      Who not expected that does not understand the sport enough to place bets with a calculated risk.

  36. The corruption is in the F1 establishment; they enforce the rules with a blink and a nod in one case, a wrist slap in the next, and massive retaliation in the next. Utterly arbitrary. The one commonality is a general bias toward Ferrari. You’ll never find one of those red things in my garage!

    1. nor in most of our garages, i don’t know anyone personally who can shell out £100,000 on a car when the saloon on their driveway cost them less than a fifth of that!!

  37. Is instructing one driver not to attack his teammate as illegal as instructing somebody to allow a teammate past? A quick dictionary brush-up on the semantics of the word “interfere” (as found in the FIA team orders rule) seems to suggest that both are equally out-of-order.

    Yet personally, telling teammates to hold station at the end of a race constitutes sensible team tactics, with the teammate who’s leading at least earning their place at the top of the order.

    Whereas this place-swapping business seems a much more insidious affair; for me it shows a team directly altering what’s currently the order of their cars on-track by way of coercion. The tactical usage of pitstops to change track position (ie, bringing in the lead car a few laps earlier back in the days of refueling), or the aforementioned “do not overtake” situation seems to me to be more acceptable even though they are equally illegal.

    It is a strange way of viewing it though as they are both technically to the detriment of the F1 spectacle. Eddie Jordan was remarking post-race about how Ferrari had stolen a potential duel from the viewers and racegoers, but every time a team tells its drivers to hold station, the same theft takes place.

    I think it’s as though the notion of “team orders” isn’t half as bad as the overt nature in which they are carried out. That artificiality can be stomached in small amounts as long as it is imperceptible enough.

    It’s an interesting argument and i’ve enjoyed reading all the views on here over the last few days. I’ve been watching F1 since the mid-90’s as a kid, so i like to think i’m more than a casual viewer. Although the short-term nature of my F1 memory see me unwilling to participate in these combustable issues the majority of the time.

    Due to growing up with the seemingly neverending Ferrari dominance of the early 21st century, i don’t care much for the team. The arrogance that the team and Alonso continue to exude isn’t doing anything to change my personal view towards them, but this entire issue isn’t as clear-cut as it first appears.

    1. “Is instructing one driver not to attack his teammate as illegal as instructing somebody to allow a teammate past?”

      It must be the same thing as you mention, there is certainly some interference by not allowing a driver to attack. McLaren did this at Monaco 2007 (although people seem to be citing the Kova examples, there is no radio message I know of for this one) and should have been penalised then… but they weren’t.

      There is one simple way out of this, that is to allow team orders and remember that F1 is also a team sport (there is a constructors championship I believe!), and let them decide whether to have a number 1 driver or not. We have to remember that this regulation was brought in completely different times, when there was only one quick car and one of the drivers had a contract that said he couldn’t win.

    2. “Is instructing one driver not to attack his teammate as illegal as instructing somebody to allow a teammate past?”

      No, see as I mentioned in a previous comment, see the FIA press release from Monaco 07, ‘hold station’ is not a contravention of 39.1.

  38. It only seems so much dirtier because it’s Ferrari, they’re both well out in front, and it robs Massa of what would have been a highly popular victory. It happens in code up and down the paddock, you know. Doesn’t make it any less bitter to watch, but don’t bring the old Alonso vs Hamilton debate into it.

    I know many of you are staunch British fans, and likely detest Fernando to the sole of his shoes, but this is Domenicali territory. You don’t think all drivers voice their displeasure when a slower teammate is in front? How about Button and Barrichello last year? Alonso can whine on the radio all he wants, but that’s because he knows he needs wins to get his championship back – he would have accepted second place, no qualms whatsoever, and been happy to know that with Ferrari’s renewed pace, he was back in contention.

    With all my heart, I want Webber to win the WDC. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Fernando take his third, to give some of the more one-eyed McLaren fans here – who label Teflonso a whinger at every opportunity – something else to cry about.

    1. Just because someone’s British (as slightly under one-third of this site’s readership is) doesn’t mean they automatically dislike Alonso. One thing I’ve been struck by since this happened is the number of people saying they used to like him, but after things like this and Singapore, they’ve gone off him. And that’s not so hard to understand, is it?

      1. True that, he was the new plucky pretender challenging Schumachers dominance back in 2005 (-ish)and i supported him wholeheartedly to begin with.

        But his particular interpretation of “hotblooded latin” started to grate after a while – with his frequent in-cockpit gesticulations whenever anybody put up a fight being particularly irritating.

        He’s too good a driver to be continually trying to get assistance from all quarters, and it results in him appearing to think he’s better than everyone else.

        And like Keith mentions, unsavoury events seems to follow him about. Much like Hamilton actually, and i don’t really like him either.

        1. I was very much a Alonso supporter in 2004-2006 and through 2007 (sure the way he went along it at McLaren was not very good, but Hamilton did his own part as well). After Singapore it was hard to really feel good about him.
          I was happy when Alonso commented on making a lot of mistakes and realising that now when looking back to 2007 at the start of the year (Hamilton did the same). And i was starting to like Ferrari for their drive to compete. Now it has gone back to feeling bad about this way to win at all cost from both Ferrari and its driver(s).

          As in the Docvee blog posted above, Massa could just have ignored it and faced the concequences afterwards, like Webber did in Turkey.

      2. I understand that, but, there’s no such thing as a perfect racing driver when it comes to desirable personality traits. However, it seems on this site that anything the Spaniard does is met with derision and contempt, while equally Hamilton is portrayed as a Saint who can do no wrong. I would assume this is largely because of McLaren’s 2007 season. It’s a shame, because I love this site and your articles Keith, but I know I don’t speak alone when I say some of us non-Brits get a bit sick of it. I mean, what was Alonso supposed to do, slow down and refuse to overtake Massa?

        1. Alonso and Hamilton, no matter what situation they are found in, are always going to be the two drivers which most people either love or despise. Some people see Alonsos heated team radios as showing human emotion and showing how much he wants to win, others see it as moaning. Same with Hamilton. Plus they’re both very successful and with success brings the love and hate.
          I wouldn’t say Hamilton is always portrayed as a Saint though… not anywhere. His haters always come out given half a chance – some british, some not.
          Alonso overtook Massa since he slowed (because Massa was asked). To me neither should have done it and had more of a backbone but Ferrari issued the order and so should be duly punished. I agree though, if Alonso knew nothing then yes, what else was he supposed to do? I don’t think Alonsos complaints were asking for a team order, but I can’t prove that any more than anyone else can disprove it and it still seemed odd he said them just before the incident. And as well when he asked if Felipe was okay when they’d finished. Nice comment but strange. Maybe he was just being his usual flamboyant self though.

  39. NOW that ferrari are openly defending their anointed choozen number one driver ALONZO…expect the other F1 drivers to focus on him intensively….
    I dont think he will win the champioship this year
    as everyone will go all out to race him

  40. Looks like Luca and Dietrich went to the same Management School !

    1. But Mateschitz actually stepped in and corrected his right hand man Marko.
      He clearly stated that as a team owner he wants both drivers to fight it out between them on track come what may.

      It seems Mateschitz understands Brandimage, and sporting emotions require the team to make it a fair fight even if that means losing out on the title in the end.

  41. I know why this is creating such a fuss but i cant really blame ferrari about anything except managing the issue. I think that FM has no realistic chance of being a Wdc this year,not with the 2nd fastest car on MOST TRACKS.the deficiency of point is too huge and i think ferrari would prefer the driver with a 45 odd pts difference rather than a 70 odd.i think FA is their best bet and not to mention the faster of the two and the more likely one to win. And team orders are always there in f1. LH was allowed to pass HK in the same track in 2008. He even thanked his teammate for not putting up a big fight was quite obvious. I want kieth to respond because as much as i like this site i think he has been a bit biased about this particular incident.

  42. I think that FM has no realistic chance of being a Wdc this year,not with the 2nd fastest car on MOST TRACKS.the deficiency of point is too huge and i think ferrari would prefer the driver with a 45 odd pts difference rather than a 70 odd.i think FA is their best bet and not to mention the faster of the two and the more likely one to win. And team orders are always there in f1. LH was allowed to pass HK in the same track in 2008. He even thanked his teammate for not putting up a fight was quite obvious.and what about kimi in 2007 or massa in 2008??i know that mathamatically kimi in 08 and massa in
    07 were out of the championship race but still ferrari played against the rule and it was a disadvantage to the other competitors.why wasnt such a furore created then?? I want kieth to respond because as much as i like this site i think he has been a bit biased about this particular incident.SORRY for stating my mind ,a bit rude i guess. cheers.

  43. Sory for repostn..missed a few points

  44. Oh, that’s rich. Montezemolo says he has “no interest” in discussing the events of the race, but when things didn’t go Ferrari’s way he was leading the charge demanding answers.

    What a hypocrite.

  45. di Montezemolo is openly admitting that he and the whole Ferrariteam is working against the FIA rule stating that teamorders aren’t allowed. Wow! I must say my favoritism for Ferrari is being seriously evaluated as of now. My honest vote for Ferrari and di Montezemolo is – DQ.

    Rules should be followed! End of story!

    What would FIFA do if one soccerplayer constantly disrespected the rules and was making goals with his hands instead of feet or head? Well, at least I doubt they would fine him and let him run away with the points. Especially not if it happened a second or third time.

    Shape it up FIA, for Christ sake! Are Ferrari making the rules and FIA just following them or what?

    1. The only true rule in F1, and much of the true world,is don’t get caught breaking the rules and regulations.

      Several posts have made the comparison with spygate. That incident really annoyed me, not because Mclaren did spy but again because Ferrari made such a song and dance about it. The first rule of spying is that the opposition is ALWAYS going to try and discover our secrets, therefore we must use all measures to secure our data. Ferrari obviously didn’t do that.

      1. “the only true rule in F1, and much of the world, is don’t get caught breaking the rules and regulations” – very true statement. It shouldn’t be like that though. Breaking a rule should be breaking a rule so that things like this are prevented. I know teams push boundaries in all aspects of the sport but at some point, someone’s fingers will get burnt and the whole world will know about it. Push the boundaries of innovative car design too far and the new part gets banned. Push the boundaries of team orders, something which arguably can’t be prevented unfortunately, and all this happens.

  46. alonso could’ve just made a move on massa and taken them both out like vettel did to webber in turkey and have the team blame massa saying he was in the wrong for not allowing room and defending his race lead. LOL.

  47. The key word, nonetheless, is hypocrisy.

    Let’s just take one example: China 2008. Raikkonen slows and lets Massa past. It was as blatant and obvious an example of “team orders that interfere with the race result” as you’re likely to get.

    Where was the universal condemnation of that move? It was every bit as illegal as the one we saw on Sunday, yet there was no stewards’ inquiry, no penalty, no WMSC involvement and – more to the point – no hysterical reaction from “fans.”

    Hypocrisy is absolutely the word.

    1. I don’t agree at all. It’s a completely different matter when a team has two drivers in the running for the championship (as was the case on Sunday) and only one (as was the case in your example).

      It’s not hypocrisy, it’s a realistic appreciation of the state of the championship.

    2. I condemned it at the time. In fact, most people at the time knew what was going on. And to use Ferrari’s own reasoning, it was because everyone knew it really didn’t matter how much Kimi was compromised; the anniversary of Massa’s crash just made it that much worse than simple “he’s practically out of it” argument.

      But the crux of your argument comes down to that if something wrong takes place once and goes by, no-one ever has the right to question a more severe repeat of it. An argument weaker than Bud Light.

      The joke justification of the situation by some Ferrari fans has been as ridiculous as Luca.

  48. East Londoner
    27th July 2010, 10:30

    Oh God. Now Ecclestone is supporting Ferrari’s driver switch and says that the rule banning team orders should go. Really it must be time that he goes from F1 for good.

  49. All i meant was that Ferrari broke the rules, and no argument over the history of the sport and previous decisions can deny the fact that a rule was broken, thats what it comes down to. I am aware that all the teams will gain an advantage if they can get away with it, and it needs to be stopped.

  50. some people are talking about, $100000 is an unfair penalty, worthless victory etc.

    it is all ok if you ignore and pass safety car on track and get unfair points from other teams drivers but it is end of the world if you pass your team mate with team orders.

  51. “Meanwhile those who didn’t follow the rules were penalised by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them.

    “That is a very serious and unacceptable event that creates dangerous precedents, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula 1.

    “We are sure that the FIA will fully analyse what happened, taking the consequent necessary decisions. Ferrari will watch this with interest.”

    Yup, that was Luca after Valencia. And he has the gall to talk about hypocrisy. We all knew he was a joke, but he’s gone even lower this time; he’s a pathetic joke.

    Ferrari and Luca should be banned under Article 151c for this season’s antics. Never have I known a team to so consistently bring the sport into disrepute so many times and so severely over half a season, let alone after having a history of blatant disrespect for the rules again and again over the years (yet McLaren and Renault only have to do one thing and the FIA is after them). But like that’s ever going to happen.

    1. yes when luca said that he was very right, a driver ignored the safety car and walked with it. they applied a very light punishment which had no effect at the end of the race.

      nothing have done about that action also after the race, so why you are moaning now i didnt understand. if the punishment for passing safety car on track is an useless drive through than i think $100000 is very suited for team orders.

      also when hamilton changed direction more than once in front of petrov nothing have done, again when he pushed his car to the pits after his fast lap during the qualifications he didnt lose anything. i think it is useless to remind all these actions were against the rules.

      consider that at least ferrari didnt stole any point from other teams, it was between ferrari drivers.
      when hamilton ignored safety car he stole points from other teams drivers as well.

      no need to mention what mclaren achived by using illegal ferrari data during the 2007 season and what renault team did during the 2008 season is more meaninless to compare with team orders.

  52. I will have to eat the humble pie and agree with Luca here. Ferrari is a team and a team has its objectives.
    For Ferrari, that objective is the Driver Championship and not the accumulation of points.
    We are already in the second half of the season and Ferrari cant be sure of dominating all the remaining races. So I cant really blame them for trying to maximize the opportunity of a driver closing in on the lead of the championship.

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