Why the team orders rule must stay

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Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

“Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited”, says article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations.

It’s had little use since it was introduced eight years ago, but on Sunday Ferrari were found to have broken it, given a $100,000 fine and ordered to appear before the World Motor Sports Council.

This has led to criticism of the rule but those who call for it to be scrapped have failed to understand why Sunday’s events were controversial and why a repeat must be prevented.

Massa’s position in the championship

Ferrari justified their decision to let Fernando Alonso past Felipe Massa in terms of what was going on the race – claiming the drivers were under pressure from Sebastian Vettel. But it’s inconceivable the decision would have been taken had the championship situation been reversed.

Here’s how the top half of the drivers’ standings looked before the race:

Position Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 145
2 Jenson Button 133
3 Mark Webber 128
4 Sebastian Vettel 121
5 Fernando Alonso 98
6 Nico Rosberg 90
7 Robert Kubica 83
8 Felipe Massa 67

With a total of 225 points to be won Massa was still in contention for the championship.

The new championship points system makes it harder to compare this situation with what’s happened in years’ past. Because the points on offer has increased it makes Massa’s position appear worse than it is.

The current championship system is very much like last years, but with the points on offer for each position multiplied by 2.5. With that in mind, here’s how the situation would have looked under the 2009 points scheme:

Position Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 65
2 Jenson Button 58
3 Sebastian Vettel 55
4 Mark Webber 53
5 Fernando Alonso 49
6 Nico Rosberg 36
7 Robert Kubica 35
8 Felipe Massa 34

That makes it a little easier to understand that Massa was actually not that far behind his team mate at all. Had Ferrari not taken his win off him, the pair would now be fifth and sixth in the drivers’ championship with a win apiece.

We could argue what point a driver is not “realistically” likely to win a championship until the cows come home. The fact of the matter is, no-one can ever say for sure until the championship is over.

Yes, Massa has been largely behind his team mate so far this year. But sometimes the balance of power shifts within a team – like it did at Brawn last year.

Just three years ago, Kimi R??ikk??nen overcame a deficit equal to 1.7 wins in two races to win the championship. In 1976, James Hunt clawed back a deficit of 3.88 wins over seven races to become champion (helped by rival Niki Lauda missing three races due to injury).

Massa was 3.1 wins behind with nine races left on Saturday evening. A long way behind, yes, but other drivers came from further behind to win the championship.

Why the championship situation matters

Ferrari also used team orders in two of the last three seasons – putting R??ikk??nen ahead of Massa in the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix, and vice-versa at the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix.

On neither occasion did they attract anything like the kind of criticism they received last weekend.

Why? Because in both cases the driver who was giving up the place was no longer in a position to be able to win the world championship.

This is a crucial distinction. Part of the reason so many criticised Ferrari (77% in a poll of over 2,500 on this site) is because they expect drivers to be allowed to challenge for the championship as long as they are mathematically in the running.

That is an entirely reasonable expectation – people want the driver who wins the championship to have deserved it, and not just because his team mate was sacrificed.

F1 must understand this if it is to prevent repeats of the kind of criticism it attracted on Sunday.

How team radio played a role

Since article 39.1 was introduced in 2008 there have been other occasions where it seems very likely that team orders were used on drivers when both were in contention for the championship.

Lewis Hamilton charged past Heikki Kovalainen with little difficulty at the same circuit in 2008. Also that year Nick Heidfeld put up little resistance to Robert Kubica’s pass – which effectively put him in the lead of the race – in Canada.

It’s worth remembering that on both occasions the two pairs of drivers were on different strategies. Nor had the lead driver spent the entire race in front of the driver behind him.

But the most significant reason why these examples failed to attract criticism the same way Ferrari’s did was that on Sunday we were able to hear Ferrari’s thinly-veiled instructions to Massa as they were issued. This was not the case in 2008.

Now fans are able to hear the radio of all the teams future team orders will attract the same kind of criticism – if the FIA does not step in to prevent it.

A clear team order

When it came, Ferrari’s coded message to Massa was unmistakeably a team order.

To begin with, it was a dead giveaway that the team felt the need to tell Massa “Alonso is faster than you”. It clearly was not an attempt to help Massa go faster, the only possible positive interpretation of that comment, because it offered no indication of how he might find the lost time to Alonso.

Here’s an example of what a genuine message explaining the pace of other drivers looks like. During the same race Hamilton asked his team what the cars behind him (the first of which was his team mate) were doing. The reply came back:

Cars behind are matching our pace. Jenson slightly quicker in first sector, we’re slightly quicker in last sector.

Massa’s unhelpful instruction came with the pointed question “do you understand” added on the end, making it clear there was a subtext to the message.

Then, to cap it all, Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley apologised to him. Some claimed this act gave the game away. But it had become obvious long before then what was really going on.

Why the team orders rules must stay

In reaction to the controversy some prominent figures including Bernie Ecclestone and Martin Brundle have called for the team orders ban to be scrapped.

This would be a grave mistake which would lead to worse controversies that would further damage the image of Formula One.

It would open the way for even more contentious acts of race-fixing, similar to those we saw at Suzuka and Jerez in 1997. Surely we don’t want a Formula One where half the drivers on the track are only there to hold up the other drivers for the benefit of their team mate?

Yes, team orders have always been a part of F1. And no, I don’t believe they can or should be eradicated completely.

But as increasing transparency in F1 put the teams’ every move under scrutiny those that try to manipulate the championship will only bring Formula One into disrepute.

It’s clear from the vehement reaction to Austria 2002 and Germany 2010, and the muted response to Brazil 2007 and China 2008, that fans have far less objection to team orders being used when one driver is out of the running for the championship.

But they expect teams to allow their drivers to compete for the championship as long as both are in contention. It’s clear F1 needs a rule to enforce that and I see no reason why the existing article 39.1 can’t be updated to do so.

That is the best way to prevent future rows over team orders and safeguard the integrity of the world championship.

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343 comments on Why the team orders rule must stay

  1. Felix said on 27th July 2010, 13:23

    Keith,
    “Just three years ago, Kimi Räikkönen overcame a deficit equal to 1.7 wins in two races to win the championship.”
    Why yes, but how many drives did he need to outscore to achieve that? My memory says the number wasn’t five. Indeed, it was two – just the two McLarens.
    I mean seriously, yes Massa may have caught one or the other of those five in front of him. But all of them? Don’t be ridiculous. Alonso may only be thirty points ahead, but that’s thirty points less he has to gain on FOUR other drivers ahead of him!

    There is much to criticize in the way that Ferrari handled the situation, but to claim that Massa was deprived of a shot at the championship is bonkers.

    • Jonathan said on 27th July 2010, 13:31

      There is really no excuse for Ferrari’s behaviour. Chances are, neither of their drivers will win the WDC. Alonso’s chances are not that much better than Massa’s.

      Think about it. A Ferrari driver is only going to win the WDC this year if Ferrari dominates the second half of the season.

      If they do, Massa could finish the season with a very large points haul and will be a contender for the championship.

      • Felix said on 27th July 2010, 14:11

        I didn’t attempt to excuse the blatancy of the act. There would’ve been easy ways to swap these places without causing this outcry, but they didn’t. They broke the rule and a punishment is deserved.

        However, the dichotomy between “the car is not good enough for either to be WDC” and “the car is going to be so good that no team orders will be necessary to secure it” is false. It may well be that for the rest of the season the car will be near the level of the RB and ahead of the McLaren, in which case Alonso may have a shot at the championship if everything works in his favour. And part of that everything is getting past Massa this Sunday.

        It may well not happen, but such is life.
        Again, if Massa was thirty points behind Alonso with Alonso leading the championship and only one or two drivers between them it would be a different thing.

      • mfDB said on 27th July 2010, 17:13

        But Jonathan, there is a reason (maybe not an excuse, but a reason…and I’m not defending Ferrari). the REASON, is that in their minds, one of their drivers has a shot, albeit a small one, at winning the WDC. They also thought that Smedley and Massa would follow suit. From Ferrari’s point of view, the decision is understandable – avoid the RBR mistake of Turkey and propel the driver with more points up the ladder while keeping your constructors points the same….little did they know it would backfire like this…

        And this is why people are bringing up the argument of the ‘other teams do it’…the only difference is that they got caught because Massa doesn’t want to concede….Part of me says good for him, part of me says why, why, why….

        • nelly said on 27th July 2010, 18:23

          @Jonathan “Chances are neither driver is going to win the WDC” Now Ferrari have a good car, can you really imagine them just giving in and saying they have no hope? I think they’re desperate, very desperate and that’s why Sunday unfolded as it did. Alonso was ahead in the championship, doesn’t matter by how much due to their level of desperation, and obviously the person they feel is more likely to win the WDC.
          The fact they’re desperate doesn’t make it any better though. I don’t agree to what happened and just because they are yearning for a win and the championship they should not resort to breaking a rule.

        • Adam Tate said on 27th July 2010, 22:13

          @ mfDB if you were Massa or Smedley would you have just sat by, accepted that and done nothing. You would be livid that you were robbed of a most deserved victory.

          • mfDB said on 28th July 2010, 18:35

            You should re-read my post. I do say part of me says good for him for making it obvious, but in reality I think he made a bad judgment call. If he didn’t think that the pass was best for the team he should have stayed in front. If he thought the call was correct than he should have just let alonso by subtly like we have seen these situations take place in the past.

  2. bosyber said on 27th July 2010, 13:24

    Thanks for this article Keith. It perfectly catches my thoughts on this.

    I feel that, with the car coming good, Massa seemed to be finally getting up to speed and showing some of his previous self, and the win could have bolstered that to kick the team into action. But maybe Ferrari prefers Alonso asking favours instead.

    I am really dissapointed with Alonso, I had doubts about ethics, but not about his skill to get another WDC – seems he does, not feeling able to pass on merit. In the past few races he has really been showing himself to be impatient and irritable, instead of coolheaded and clever.

    Glad that Ferrari kept themselves in the WCC, but hoping they get nowwhere with WDC, meaning that I hope Massa takes their points from now on, with a revitalised car.

    Red Bull wil be working hard to gain back their advantage, and already know they have to be careful with their handling of drivers, so they are not really on the backfoot.

    McLaren meanwhile keep coolly, relatively calmly, taking points while they are not the top dog, working to once again become that and stay on top.

  3. Harry Ball Ox said on 27th July 2010, 13:31

    There’s a logical argument either way….

    As long as the teams spend millions building race cars and then employing someone else to drive they will, understandably, want the very best result for the team at every race by expecting the driver(s) to do whats best for the team. As fans we want the teams we support, and even those we loath to do the very best they can. This promotes better racing – in therory.

    But….this isnt the type of racing we want to see. It’s worse than the arguments we’ve been having over the last few years about teams reshuffeling their drivers via the pits, or the only overtaking being in the pits.

    For me, I think Hockenheim was a real sham. As a fan of F1 Im embarassed about this. Primarily because Massa wasnt simply asked to let Alonso pass, Massa had to slow down to let Alonso pass. Every fan, hopefully, wants to see every driver race for the checkered flag and not have it handed to him. I agree with Keith’s comments that Ferrari should have simply told Massa not to hold up Fernando. But then again, you could argue letting him pass prevents us from seeing real wheel to wheel racing. It’s one thing to be faster than another car that is in front of you but another, entirely, to get past it. Even for a great driver like Alonso.

    At the end of the day I think this rule should stay, albeit nearly impossible to inforce. But I think the FIA have every responsibility to insure this, and any rule on the books, is inforced.

    It’s also very sad for every member of the Ferrari team. They collectively look bad when it’s realy down to team management.

    I think Massa said it best when he commented that he’s a professional doing what’s expected of him from his employeer. We ALL do that in our every day lives. Even those of us who are self employeed. We cater to the ones who pay us – if we dont, they will find someone else to pay.

    This is not an easy topic to resolve. But I think Ferrari continues to shoot themselfs in the foot by making comments about the team being first and drivers having to do whats best for the team. Then turn around and say this wasnt a team order. I think the WMSC will take further action, as they should.

    The real winner in all of this is Red Bull. If you’d have said, prior to the race, there will be a major scandal at the end of the race, who wouldn’t have believed it was about Red Bull. being a Mclaren fan, Im very happy that it’s not them who were talking about this year.

  4. rampante (@rampante) said on 27th July 2010, 13:32

    It may only be me but why are there continual references to previous points systems? What happened in the past remains there, what is the reason of discussing last years points. We may as well at the end of the season discuss the 11 from 16 etc. The rule will probably be changed as this has always been a team sport and Ferrari showed the worst way to express it last weekend. One key difference between fans is that in Italy the team is key and not always the driver. In the UK the majority seem to follow a driver. We are keener to see a Ferrari victory and when they win the press report it as a victory for Ferrari. The press outside Italy tend to mention the driver first.

    • Patrickl said on 27th July 2010, 14:04

      Because people might think that 30 points is a huge amount. Last year it was 3 full race wins. This year it’s a win and a third place.

      It’s the same reason that the drivers (etc) keep saying how the new points system makes such a huge difference. When in reality it does not. It’s just the perception that’s different.

    • John H said on 27th July 2010, 14:07

      “…why are there continual references to previous points systems?”

      I think it’s to empahsise that Massa isn’t as far back in the championship as a first glance would suggest.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th July 2010, 14:32

      It may only be me but why are there continual references to previous points systems?

      Just because we’re on the first year of a new points system and it’s hard to put it into context otherwise.

    • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 27th July 2010, 21:09

      Rampante, what would be more important to the average Italian fan: a win for an Italian driver or a win for an Italian team (not necessarily Ferrari)?
      I’m not making a point mate, just curious.

    • I disagree that in Italy the team is the key.

      The change of order in the German Grand prix made NO difference to the amount of points Ferrari scored. The only thing it did was favour one DRIVER over another.

      Team no, driver yes.

  5. bamps said on 27th July 2010, 13:33

    what do you guys think of one car teams? not necessarily one car, but, for example, ferrari would have two cars running as “isolated” teams, each one of them with their own sponsors and technical team

    this way, of course, alonso would still be benefited, but at lease, in cases such as last sunday, the team would have more independence

    though, i don´t know exactly how this would work for constructors title :)

    • John H said on 27th July 2010, 14:09

      Sounds great, but anything with an inevitable cost increase is a definite no no at the moment.

    • graigchq said on 27th July 2010, 14:13

      this is the heart of the issue i think.

      I don’t think that 1 car teams is the solution, but a more independent sub-team within the constructor would lead to the kind of open rivalry we all want. Rob Smedley would still be a Ferrari employee, but his loyalty would be to the Massa championship bid, not the Ferrari one.

      As for punishment, i’m feeling that the only appropriate penalty would be to strip Ferrari of all their constructor points for the 2010 season, however, that actually goes to their favour, because its Alonso they’re trying to promote, but then taking Alonso’s points away from him is too harsh on him, and not harsh enough on Ferrari.

      Really, why can’t all teams compete in a fair way, allowing incidents to happen and not trying to bring this team aspect into it? Because there is a WCC as well as a WDC. This is what makes F1 different to ALL other forms of motorsport, and why the fundamental structure is to blame for this incident, not Ferrari in and to themselves.

      I am however not offering any solution to this, or even saying that the structure should be changed, but first we must understand what drives teams to these decisions before we can understand what would be a fair punishment for the contravention of the rules.

      • Adam Tate said on 27th July 2010, 22:17

        Just reverse their positions, demote Alonso to second and give Massa the victory he deserves. Let the drivers keep their points, but strip the points from the team. Yes, Alonso is still a complete baby, but Ferrari didn’t have to give in.

    • mfDB said on 27th July 2010, 21:48

      sounds like a terrible idea. there are other forms of racing with incomprehensible teams with different sponsors that are difficult to follow. There is no need to over react.

  6. sumedh said on 27th July 2010, 13:34

    As a Ferrari fan, I agree with Ferrari’s motives of backing only Alonso this season. because, frankly, Massa has been very off-pace all season. There is less than 1% chance of him being a WDC this year. I mean, just look at the German Grand Prix ‘preview’ article written by Keith here. The majority of comments deal with Massa being sacked for under-performance and be replaced by Kubica, people questioning his 2-year deal. It can be seen from that article that no one seriously believes that Massa has a shot at the WDC.

    As a Ferrari fan, I do have a problem with HOW they managed the situation. Open Team Radio or not, there are better way to do this. And Ferrari should have done that. They cleverly disguised that in 2007, a little blatant in 2008, but on Sunday, it was just embarrassing.

    To sum up, it is not the team orders I am opposed to, but the way they are implemented it.

    • Patrickl said on 27th July 2010, 14:19

      The thing is though. Massa is doing much better with the new car.

      Massa has been picking up places at the start all year too.

      He could very well be at the front of every race from now on. With Alonso right behind him every time.

      • poshus said on 27th July 2010, 14:57

        HA! Imagine if that does happen. Next race Massa is in front, gets told to let Alonso past again.

        And we fans are complaining now…

  7. Crom said on 27th July 2010, 13:39

    Telling a driver to “hold position” and not try to overtake is on the same page as telling a 2nd driver to let him past, in my book.

    There still are, and always will be, team orders – because it’s a TEAM sport.

    The negative media/fan reaction is because it’s Ferrari, and because they handled it so very badly.

    • Patrickl said on 27th July 2010, 14:22

      But then the rules aren’t in your book, but in the book of the FIA.

      The FIA has said that “hold position” is allowed.

      No one really has a problem with that. Of course people frowned a bit when Alonso was held up by Massa in Australia, but when Domenicali said that the standard order was that there was no overtaking allowed on the last stint, people just accepted that.

  8. Tomcat173 said on 27th July 2010, 13:41

    This is one of the very few times that I disagree with you Keith.

    The only real reason you give as to why you think the rule should stay in play is: to avoid even more contentious acts of race-fixing. I think that argument is pretty flimsy really – after all Piquet Jnr put his car into the wall in order to set Alonso up for a win while the team orders rule was in place.

    Personally I think its ridiculous to try and control what the team does in relation to its drivers. Ferrari clearly believe, given the current situation (both the points situation and relative performance levels) that its worth backing the driver with the best chance of winning the championship. Alonso has been quicker all season, and swapping of positions at the front of the German GP is completely understandable from the teams perspective.. and should be permitted under the rules.

    I think its ridiculous to have a team orders rule, because it forces the team to try and use underhanded tactics, code words, etc that the ordinary viewer can see right through. The outcome on the weekend was poor because Ferrari were forced to blatantly lie about what was really happening.. that was actually worse than swapping the drivers’ positions.

    • chemakal said on 27th July 2010, 14:13

      Here another example of race fixing as you seem to find only Alonso actings in the past.
      SAME CIRCUIT, SAME CURVE, SAME TEAM ORDERS, DIFFERENT PLAYERS (KOV-HAM), DIFFERENT TEAM (BRITISH) = NO INVESTIGATION FOR MACLAREN. That’s year 2.008 when Hammilton won the WC by 1 point difference to Massa. Ron Dennis: “We have just informed Kov about Hamiltons pace” – Comments in Spanish but images very clear comaring the 2 overtakings: http://vimeo.com/13652447

      • Patrickl said on 27th July 2010, 14:23

        Massa and Piquet must have been ordered to move over too seeing how easily they let Hamilton past. Imagine that …

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th July 2010, 14:34

      Singapore ’08 is a problem case, I agree. But it’s also unique and I think alarm bells would ring if we ever saw something similar happen again.

      • f1yankee said on 27th July 2010, 23:51

        agreed, singapore 08 is an extremely anomalous situation.

      • Patrickl said on 29th July 2010, 17:19

        We just saw Webber crash in Valencia at a point where the safety car came out just as Vettel past.

        If the safety car had been out a second earlier he would have stopp Hamilton too and Vettel would have been wel ahead of the whole lot of them.

        I’m pretty sure he didn’t do that on purpose though.

  9. Tiomkin said on 27th July 2010, 13:44

    If the public gamble on F1 results then what happened on Sunday was criminal. If I had bet on a Massa win I’d be demanding my stake back, as the race was fixed. So I do hope Ferrari get a race ban or two, at best they should be stripped of points for race fixing. They also ruined my race weekend.

    • chemakal said on 28th July 2010, 0:38

      Oh yes, criminal. I bet with you more money has been bet on Alonso 1st than on Massa, so its been probably the maFIA whos fixed the race. An immediate investigation should be started!!! Mr Whiting come on, act as you do with spoiled child Hamiltonto: http://vimeo.com/13002137

  10. DGR-F1 said on 27th July 2010, 13:45

    The only team order that Ferrari had needed to give to both drivers on Sunday was ‘have a good race and don’t crash into each other’.
    I think that the only person who gained anything from what happened was Alonso, so it was all done purely for his benifit. If it had been for the ‘team’, the instruction would have been for Alonso to back off and get maximum points for the Constructors Championship, since he was having difficulty passing his team mate. Instead, its pushed Alonso up where he imagines he deserves to be, and left Massa nowhere, having gained nothing.
    Yes, I think team orders do have to stay, mainly since there is only one Pit Box for two cars, and somebody needs to co-ordinate whats happening, and the drivers do need input about what to do when SC conditions apply etc, but really, as taurus says, since we can now hear everything the FIA allow us to hear, the teams should cut down on messages unless they are really necessary and let the drivers get on with the racing.

  11. CPR said on 27th July 2010, 13:49

    I think the current rule could be “clarified” as follows:

    A team may not in any circumstances *instruct* a driver to let their team mate past, either directly or with a coded message. If two drivers are on different strategies the team may *ask* one driver to do the sensible thing and hope they can benefit the other way around later in the season – the driver *must* also be entitled to decline. If one driver in a team is mathematically out of the championship, with the understanding that the situation could be reversed next year, the drivers are allowed to come to a private agreement *before* the race to prioritise the leader – but the team cannot “prompt” or “remind” the drivers of this during the race. Any driver contracts which contravene the above are illegal and offending teams can be thrown out of the championship.

    Well, that would certainly be more precise and hopefully much more enforceable. Possibly OTT, but I think we all can agree that we want “honest” racing.

    To me, “team orders” effectively means telling one driver to go slower, to benefit the team not the driver. That’s not in the spirit of F1 and never should be.

  12. rampante (@rampante) said on 27th July 2010, 13:56

    Whether we like it or not team orders exist. When Button tried to pass Hamilton( just after the RBR’s made an ass of it) no one was more supprised than Hamilton as he had been told by his pit specically that Button would not pass. If that is not a team order i don’t know what is. how many drivers have had a crew fumble with a tyre or wheel not or be told about a pressure or temp problem to aid the team. It happens, it’s a team sport. Let us at least see it properly.

  13. qwerty_uk said on 27th July 2010, 14:06

    Of all the people involved, I’m actually quite disappointed with Massa.

    The team can give whatever orders and coded messages they like, but it’s always ultimately the driver that has to take action.

    Massa would have been in all sorts of trouble with Ferrari for staying ahead, and who knows, there might even be a clause in his contract about punishments for ignoring orders.

    BUT: Massa really needed to win the race. He needed to re-assert his position in a team that Alonso is trying to take over. It was also the anniversary of his accident, and I think the majority of the public would have loved him for saying “screw you” and keeping his position.

    (‘Accidentally’ snapping his earpiece wires after the race could have provided a good excuse too!)

    • Chippie said on 27th July 2010, 16:13

      “Alonso is faster than you” – “Oh, OK, well I’ll give him a wave as he comes blazing by at a billion miles-per-hour!”. I agree qwerty, I hope he looses the championship by a point, so no-body does this again.

      • Adam Tate said on 27th July 2010, 22:21

        So true. Just think, a load of BS like this would have never happened with Kimi still at Ferrari. He would have either came in 2nd or tried to pass Massa on the track, like a man. Alonso is a child, and Formula One needs to put away the crayons and send the kiddies home.

    • Alex Bkk said on 28th July 2010, 16:08

      I agree…. would Senna have pulled over for Prost while they were at Macca?

      I think not, but then again there wasn’t a silly rule regarding team orders then.

  14. Maksutov said on 27th July 2010, 14:09

    “Now fans are able to hear the radio of all the teams future team orders will attract the same kind of criticism – if the FIA does not step in to prevent it.”

    In all seriousness, even if I was totally deaf and did not hear the radio transmission, it was quite obvious visually that Massa purposely slowed down to let Alonso pass.

    • Patrickl said on 27th July 2010, 14:27

      Indeed.

      The argument then is that Massa did this out of his own free will, but of course if he really had wanted to let Alonso through, he would never have defended so strongly when Alonso made that move in the Spitskehre.

  15. mfDB said on 27th July 2010, 14:09

    Great article Keith. Very well said. I’m not sure how I feel about overturning the rule on team orders, but I kinda like it best as being ‘illegal’ but still done in certain circumstances (Kimi/Massa 07, 08 – no one cared, if anything everyone agreed with it).

    The McLaren and BMW situations in Canada may be under different racing strategies and situations, but that shouldn’t matter. Those teams and drivers are still guilty of the same thing. I guess the difference is that Massa was so public about being upset and I think a lot of people feel sorry for him. Also, it was WAY too obvious from Ferrari. I’m looking forward to this blowing over…..

    • Adam Tate said on 27th July 2010, 22:24

      Atleast BMW had some heart about it, giving Kubica the win a year after his own horrible crash. Poor Heidfeld though, 8 second places, but never a win, now merely a test driver. Someone should set up a team with he and Massa as drivers so they wouldn’t have to put up with this crap.

      • mfDB said on 28th July 2010, 18:40

        I really dont think that the teams think that way…the drivers don’t really either. The Kubica pass had nothing to do with his crash the year before, it was soley becasue he was faster and leading the WDC. Same with Massa, thier not going to say “poor guy took a sping to head a year ago, we should not tell him to slow down”. These teams are machines…

      • mfDB said on 28th July 2010, 18:42

        I really dont think that the teams think that way…the drivers don’t really either. The Kubica pass had nothing to do with his crash the year before, it was solely because he was faster and leading the WDC. Same with Massa, their not going to say “poor guy took a spring to head a year ago, we should not tell him to slow down”.

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