“I am much quicker than Felipe” – how Alonso urged Ferrari to use team orders

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Hockenheimring, 2010

New video of the German Grand Prix published by FOM reveals how Fernando Alonso urged Ferrari to order Felipe Massa to let him pass.

Alonso said to the team “I am much quicker than Felipe” and was told “we got your message”.

Because of the editing of the video it’s not clear how much time elapsed between that and the infamous coded instruction to Massa ordering him to let Alonso pass.

When Alonso tried to overtake Massa on lap 21 Rob Smedley told his driver, “he’s pretty close, he’s going to go, you’re going to have to defend.”

Massa was later advised, “you need to pick up the pace because Alonso is faster.” After the race Massa sounded thoroughly unimpressed when he told them, “so, what I can say? Congratulations to the team.”

Ferrari were handed a $100,000 fine for using “team orders that interfere with a race result” and “bringing the sport into disrepute”. The World Motor Sport Council will decide next month whether they will face further penalties.

The move was widely condemned by fans, with 78% on this site calling for Ferrari to be punished.

This is not the first time material published by FOM online has shed new light on the discussions between teams and drivers during a race. After the Turkish Grand Prix FOM published a new portion of McLaren’s team radio showing Lewis Hamilton was advised Jenson Button would not overtake him, shortly before Button did.

Ferrari team orders controversy

315 comments on ““I am much quicker than Felipe” – how Alonso urged Ferrari to use team orders”

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  1. The clearest indication of team orders form me was the radio message when Smeldey told Massa that he “could still win this”. This was when he was in the lead, 6 seconds ahead of Vettel and Alonso obviously unable to pass him.

  2. Hmmm, surprising amount of people who are defending FA…

    Either you can overtake or you can not, what’s with “I am much quicker”??? No wonder he got kicked out of McLaren, he probably shouted it every lap when he’s behind LH.

    Racing is about risk taking, what Ferrari’ve done is totally the opposite direction and unnecessary. Yes, RBR raced and crashed, but they are still in a better position/have the best chances in the championships, and they can be proud to be a true racing team

    1. The surprising thing is that some people have short memories…and forget what ALL the teams have done ALL these years…And believe the reporters and what they say… What DC told to the bbc: “team orders take place IN EVERY RACE”-“That is not the first time this year that we have team orders”…. What Brundle said: “team orders rule is just unworkable because the TEAMS ARE USING TEAM ORDERS EVERY RACE”… They are former drivers, they know from the inside what the teams doing…. RBR true racing team??? You can ask Webber’s feelings after silverstone qualyfing….

      1. Not going to discuss TO. I said it was unnecessary, just like Ferrari in 02′. let’s say all team have done TO, but the fact is: the TO ban was created only after what Ferrari have done, Ferrari is the first to get it banned. It’s not a random effect IMO.

        Who care about how Webber felt/feels??? Racing team means they go racing, RBR may favor Vettel, but with RBR Webber still can race, will have more chance to win more races than Massa finishing right in front of Alonso, well just about everything is more likely to happen than that.

        1. If it was unnecessary you can say it only in the end of the championship… If alonso win this year championship for less than 7 points…then you can say what was necessary and what not… The same done mclaren with hamilton in germany gp 2008 (heiki gave his position to lewis)…that whas unnecessary??? I don’t think so…Lewis win the championship for ONE point….So why massa’s move was unneccesary??? What you say is a random effect…because if ferrari will take a ban in the WMSC then must hand back ALL the championships from 02 and after when the rule exists because all these years the teams are using TO…So the ferrari ban will not be a random ban??? I share the opinion of DC and Brundle TO RULE MUST BE SCRAPTED!!! Why some people think that the teams must be use coded messages to give team orders (what is not good??? the TO orders or the way you give them??)??? If we have a rule that force the teams to cheat to us is better (because we the fans don’t understand this as team order) than have not have a rule and the teams done what they think is good??? F1 is a team sport and all the teams want to win the WDC and not give to an other team… Think in a football match one teams gains a penalty…if the score is 0-0 who is going to shoot the penalty?? The player that they have the MOST chances to score a goal or that that the coach-team- thinks that he has the most chances…

          1. Well, maybe it was necessary for Alonso to win the WDC if Alonso isn’t good enough to do it all alone. Alonso thinks every win is special, so if he is happy to win that way so it’s fine by me, but I for one do not support it.

            DC and MB are just one side, there are also people in F1 with the opposite oppion, I guess we have to live with it.

            BTW I see 2008 as a fully deserved WDC for LH, nothing more deserving than that! I have to leave now haha.

          2. You listen to DC and MB and I will listen to Niki Lauda who called it what it was, bs.

        2. I think driver favoritism and team orders have to be considered as two completely different things.

          1. Then again at the usgp07′ alonso did ask the team to tell Hamilton to move aside for him.

            He did the same thing a few races ago, and this time the team listened.

            … it brings me to question if Fernando was really one of the masterminds behind the Singapore GP or not?

  3. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion
    4th August 2010, 12:32

    Keith, why don’t you find and publish McLaren’s radio transmition on Hockenheim 08 between, when Hamilton and Kovalainen played alike Alonso and Massa, even at the same turn?

    After all, Hamilton won WDC thanks to that few extra points. So, I’m a little confused here. Was it a team sport then? Isn’t it now? Was Hamilton a dirty champion who won a dirty race at Hockenheim 08? Is it Alonso now?

    Please, bring me light in this dark hour

    1. I’ve already covered the Kovalainen thing here:

      Why the team orders rule must stay

      I’d love to hear the team radio from that too.

    2. not comparable at all, then you had Hamilton who had fresh tires… very much faster… he overtook Kovalainen… and moved ahead and overtook Massa & Nelson Piquet…

      If Kovalainen had the pace to beat Hamilton… he would have won the race… and not finish 4th then…

      1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
        4th August 2010, 13:32

        Absolutely the same issue, no matter how you want to look at it…. even more… if Hamilton was so fast he could have done it easily…. the same it’s been said about Alonso.

        In fact, both are like two drops of water.

        1. not at all, in hamilton’s case he was clearly fast not only he went ahead and overtook another two cars ahead… but he pulled away from Nelson by 5.5 seconds…

          the times between Alonso & Felipe was not much… at that pace it was impossible for Alonso to beat Massa on track… unless a mistake…

          in Hamilton’s case he overtook his teammate and Kovalainen…. now had Kovalainen been as faster as Hamilton on that day, he would have overtaken Heifield, Massa & Piquet to finish second or even first… the fact that he could not means he was slower than above three drivers… and Hamilton beat Massa & Piquet fair n square to win the race…

          this simply does not compare… unless you suggest that Massa & Piquet too let Hamilton go ahead under team orders…

          1. oh my dear!!! The fact is that the team gave a team order to heiki to let lewis pass!!! Like it or not this is the fact and not how faster the guy behind was or how slow the guy in front was!!!!

        2. He did do it easily, first overtake HK, then FM and finally NP Jr for the win. People tend to forget the last two overtakes, particularly the one with Massa at turn 4.
          In other words, you can’t compare 2008 with 2010.

          1. WHY??? Because lewis had 2 more cars to pass??? or because the pace was greater??? I say that: and others team gave or give team orders and DIDN’T FACED THE WMSC….. The two moves (lewis-heiki,fernando-felipe) is exactly the same thing!!! Their teams in this two occasions gave team orders to help the faster guy and the guy that they think than CAN WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Stop saying that it is not comparable!!!!

      2. Still, he let him through without putting up a fight which enabled Hamilton to catch the others, Exactly the same thing !!!

        1. so did Massa & Nelson Piquet… they too easily gave up positions…. Hamilton was that much quicker on that day.

          it’s not the same thing..

    3. You mean how Massa was given extra points by Raikkonen that year too?

      To suggest 2008 is similar is a pure joke. Was Hamilton tucked up behind Kovalainen and unable to get by? Or did he come straight out of the pits on superior pace (far superior to Alono’s over Massa – you know, the pace that took him about a dozen laps to close up to his team-mate) and the team wanted to make sure nothing happened in a moment of stupidity?

      The analogy is so false on so many counts it’s ridiculous. But ridiculous is exactly the theme of this whole sage, from the “agreement” to its defence.

  4. Well he’s been telling his team that he’s quicker than his teammate since at least 5 years ago



    1. Ah, but Fisi beat him to the pit box there!

  5. Racer vs driver – thank you for showing which one you are.

  6. I want to know why all the drivers have to speak to their teams in English. Why dont they just speak their first language?

    1. It might be a case of having problems to actually find the engineers able to communicate (Smedley in Portuguese, would love to hear Jock Clear speaking German, where do HRT find engineers for Portuguese, Indian dialects, German and Japanese).

      That would not work.

  7. u know whts also funny? is that after d race Alonso asked ‘wht happen with Felipe? did he lost a gear or st? wow

  8. The issue is passing, or to get to the point, the lack of it. If a clearly faster driver is able to pass a slower one, as common sense would dictate, then team orders don’t come into play here at all. I mean really, how many passes do we see on the track (among top 10 cars)?
    Bring back the days when F1 was not decided solely in a wind tunnel. When was the last time anyone even mentioned engine development? Are these supposed to be cars, or inverted airplanes?

  9. Oh my, the Ferraristas have really gotten defensive over this haven’t they? You’d think that over the past 11 years they’d have gotten used to people calling them out on their team’s chea…I mean, the blatantly unfair picking on them by the British.

    Face it: your team and its drivers would rather win by cheating and lying and playing everyone for fools than not win at all. I’m not saying that’s a reason for you to stop supporting them. But stop acting like you can justify what happened with ridiculous arguments and irrelevant false analogies.

    If you want to be Ferrari fans, do so by saying you wished the passing had happened legitimately but you’ll stick by your team. Just like Hamilton fans didn’t try to justify Australia 2009 with accusations of jingoism and excuses of “well you have to win the title somehow” (let’s not forget McLaren though they’d be winning again by Barcelona, for some reason).

    The best part of all this is Alonso won’t be world champion and all of this rage and self-righteousness will be rendered invalid by his inability to win in a straight fight. That will be the last laugh.

    1. “If you want to be Ferrari fans, do so by saying you wished the passing had happened legitimately but you’ll stick by your team.”

      This is what I had been wishing tbh…

      “The best part of all this is Alonso won’t be world champion and all of this rage and self-righteousness will be rendered invalid by his inability to win in a straight fight.”

      At least with Schumacher, the criticisms were that he would have won the 2002 championship without Barrichello moving aside at the A1-Ring. Alonso isn’t in a very good position to win it this year, but I guess that as a Ferrari fan I have to support him, even if I don’t want to.

      1. dyslexicbunny
        4th August 2010, 18:43

        You can always support Massa while pulling for Alonso to get severe vertigo so he can’t race. I suggest vertigo because although I’m not an Alonso fan (and not British), I don’t wish significant misfortune on other drivers.

        If Massa somehow (this is a loose usage of somehow) loses the WDC by less than 7 points, it’ll be even greater!

    2. do you really want to know why they (Ferraristas) are on this F1Fanatic forum?
      its because they cant write anything at Ferrari’s Forum unless its (i love Ferrari) anything else it gets deleted.
      the forum is so one side they cant see passed there nose…
      they have discounts of 30% at the moment.

    3. No no, the ferrarista is great (lots of my friends are ferrari fans), just like other teams fans. I just dont understand alonso’s fans..

    4. I really get your anger Ichtyes and it’s a sorry state that F1 fans are upset but at least it shows that they hold sporting integrity in the highest regard.

      However, I have to argue against you bunching us all together. I think it was immensely painful for many Ferrari fans to see their teams and drivers do such a thing. Most people watch F1 for the sport first and their favourites second.

      Yes, there will always be people who put their favourites first. Fansboys or girls or whatever. We get it with Ferrari, Kimi, Lewis, Fernando and Felipe etc.

      The majority aren’t like that though and are just sad at what happened and won’t attempt to justify it. I know some who have stopped supporting Ferrari all together.

      This was a one time thing since the rules changed. It doesn’t make it any better but to say that Ferrari are inherent cheats is a bit unfair I feel. I like to watch F1 for the sport and I wouldn’t support any team or driver I thought would only ever cheat.

  10. (Nearly) everyone has taken a pee in the pool once or twice, but Ferrari chose to do it from the highest springboard…

  11. This is all abit pointless. Most of us do not need to hear this communication between Alonso and his team as we already know what went on in Germany. All it does is prolong the story long enough for the FIA hearing which, I believe, will be a whitewash anyway.

  12. First of all, good afternoon. This is my first post, so I’d like to say Hello, and naturally thank Keith. Wonderful site, thanks for the analysis and devotion. I’ve been reading it for months now and like the debates and options.

    Well, caveat emptor: I am a confessed Ferrari and Alonso tifosi, having had a professional relationship with Ferrari for 8 years and being Spanish myself. Nobody’s perfect…;-D

    Now, my 2 cents. I did not like what happened, but to me three things are pretty obvious:

    A) Alonso wants to win. Period. He has never hidden that. Neither has the Scuderia.

    B) Poor Massa…he must be the only one who still says out loud he is not the #2 driver. He acts as one. He’s been the de facto #2 after the second curve of the first GP of the year. As Keith says, he’s never proven otherwise. Ferrari mistake: I was among those (check the GDS forums) who thought SF should have dropped him and kept Kimi but…poor guy. I pity him…quoting Sara Palin, he’s no Webber, he does not have what it takes.

    C) Di Montezemolo is right: Enough of this hypocrisy. Just three links for us all to remember Germany 2008:

    Go to 01:50 at


    then read the third paragraph at…


    at even more blatantly here


    Does this make it right? No! But grow up people, ****** happens, aka feces occur.

    Just my opinion, that tries to be fair but acknowledges it could be biased…:-D

    1. Alonso was challenging Massa for the win and he was drooling over the additional 7 points that would bring him. He – and Ferrari – had no right what so ever in stealing those 7 points from Massa.

      The 2008 German GP is nothing like what happened at this year.

      Lewis had won 3 races that year prior to Germany and had double the points of Heikki (with this year system the gap would have been even bigger), he was also on a different fuel strategy and won the race over 15 seconds ahead of his team mate.

      Team ‘orders’ in this instance did not cost Heikki the win nor did it force him to concede against his wishes as was clearly the case with Massa.

  13. @Keith Collantine: James Allen wrote an article in his blog that explains what happened in Hockeheim with Scuderia Ferrari. If you want to continue the confusion you can write more articles like this but this will not be the true.

    1. What are you confused by? The quotes in this article are taken directly from the footage – you can listen to them yourself if you follow the link in the first paragraph.

      1. There was a agreement before race in Scuderia Ferrari: to avoid collision between teammates the two drivers must show who was faster than the other, and the faster driver wins the best position in race. The method was simple: 3 seconds delay and if the driver can reduce this gap in a few laps then it shows he’s faster than other SF driver. If you remember there was a moment in which Alonso was 3 seconds behind Massa and Smedley told brazilian he had to drive as fast as he could to win the race. He did it, but Alonso was clearly faster than him and reduced that 3 seconds gap. He showed be clearly faster and he gained the first position in race, but Massa didnt accept it and he made all possible to show people there was team orders when it happened was a team agreement before race. This is the true.

      2. I think what he’s saying is that perhaps the whole story isn’t being told. With the agreement that appears to have been in place at Ferrari since Melbourne it puts the use of the team orders in a different light. Of course it was still a clear breach of the regulations but I think people would be more understanding of the decision if they were more aware of how it was come to and that it wasn’t simply a knee-jerk reaction to Alonso’s radio messages.

        Such an agreement also shows that the race wasn’t fixed as many have claimed, since the switch was not inevitable. If Massa had driven faster he would have been allowed to lead the Ferrari 1-2 home.

        1. dyslexicbunny
          4th August 2010, 18:47

          I was unaware of this. Was it announced somewhere or just something in private that later was mentioned? I only read a couple of F1 sites so it’s likely I could have missed it.

          Honestly if Ferrari had just brought this agreement to light, I would at least been less peeved about it. They still broke the rules but at least the drivers were aware such a thing could happen.

          1. James Allen highlighted it on his post race analysis and I presume its been covered a lot more in the Italian press.

            The thing is if they admited to the agreement they would agree to breaking the rule and thats why they’ve forced themselves into the silly situation of denying they used team orders.

          2. Jordi Gené, ferrari test driver, told about this agreement before the race on Spanish TV.

            But it doesn’t matter because people was just waiting for a chance to attack Alonso just because he says big truths.

            For example, someone said that he attacked everybody at hockemhein. That’s not true, He only attacked FIA, who is guilty in every case, even in this one. FIA has allow team do what they want and gave space to all this kind of interpretations. And now everybody has his own point of view of something that should be clear.

  14. I think quzhub sums it up: Less graphically, don’t make a farce of the race. Which, by the way, is the key distinction between Hockenheim and this. Kovalainen giving way to Hamilton did not rob the race of a spirited battle for position, much less the lead. And, of equal importance to the analysis, Hamilton dealt with Kovalainen, with his cooperation or not, with about the same fuss required to dispatch Massa, who was faster than Kovalainen. This latter point basically disproves the idea that McLaren’s move somehow cast a pall of manipulation over the race. Thus, there is no parallel between these situations beyond the most formalistic. In fact, examined in relevant detail, they contrast perfectly what we will call traditionally permitted teamwork, in which Ferrari has justifiably engaged in innumerable times, and the kind of manipulation the sport found unnacceptable in Austria in 2002 and which occured in materially the same fashion this year in Hockenheim. You can consider it more simple terms: did the teamwork irrevocably alter the race outcome and quell a meaningful battle for position? The latter outcome, because it matters to the “show,” is what has put the bee in the FIA’s bonnet.

  15. Yep it’s all wrong but things are not going to change.

    If Massa wants to prove that he’s not a number 2 then he’s going to have to grow a pair and disobey his team.

    In other words do a ‘Pironi’

  16. If drivers need only communicate how fast they are as a way to influence track position and ultimately race result, at the next driver’s meeting they should compare their lap times, discuss their strengths and weakness for that track, explain how they might pass others and each corner, then reach a consensus on the race result and save having to wave any green flags.

    That would very much be in the spirit of cost savings. :-)

  17. IMHO the WMSC should kick alonso out of F1, this is their third chance..they must take it! the guy is nothing but a cheating moaning scumbag. Ferrari should have learnt the lessons from Mclaren & Renault.

    1. That’s ridiculous. The FIA aren’t going to kick a driver out just because some people don’t like him.

      1. they can kick out a cheat.

        1. Then, FIA should kick many people out and kick theirselves out aswell.

        2. I’m not sure how many drivers would be left in F1 if they did. Or how many teams.

          Obviously Ferrari and McLaren (spygate, if nothing else) are both out. Mercedes are probably gone too for the reserve fuel tank thing back when the same team was Honda. Red Bull…I don’t recall them doing anything illegal, just somewhat unethical. Renault obviously banned over Singapore ’08, assuming the team got that far and wasn’t kicked out for the various things it did as Benetton in 1994.

          I could go on, but I think you get the point.

          1. They should go too. Ferrari were cowards to give into Alonso and Santander. Ferrari should be banned for the rest of this season and subsequent F1 championship races.

          2. jh,

            Ferrari is who has given team orders. I don’t understand why you speak about Alonso and why do you think that ferrari is cheating just because they joined Alonso and Santander.

            Thats you fantasy story.

    2. This isn’t about Alonso. This is about Ferrari and to a lesser degree, Massa. They made a decision manipulate the race and Massa agreed to execute the plan. A simple no on his (Massa)part would have made this a none issue.

      1. Alonso’s money (santander) talks. Ferrari are no longer Ferrari, but team Santander.

  18. circumstantial evidence is not proof of guilt and never has been.

    Despite the fact that on the face of it all it is close to certain that a team order was issued in some way shape or form through a coded message. There is not actually a shred of evidence that actually has Ferrari telling Felipe to “move out of the way and let Fernando past”

    The council hearing will result in nothing more than a slap on the wrist, and rightly so, at worst they will try to take the constructors points away, which mean very little to Ferrari anyway as their history dictates they are clearly out for the drivers title.

    Hopefully this story, that has been driven by the Ferrari hating british press and bbc will go away so we can focus on the rest of the season.

    1. The stewards have already stated that Ferrari did indeed tell Massa to concede victory to Alonso. So, even if Ferrari have claimed otherwise the stewards – based on the evidence – don’t believe them.

      The WMSC will be under no illusion that Ferrari are judged to have manipulated the race and will have access to the same materials that lead the stewards to their conclusion.

  19. I repeat my message:

    There was a agreement before race in Scuderia Ferrari: to avoid collision between teammates the two drivers must show who was faster than the other, and the faster driver wins the best position in race. The method was simple: 3 seconds delay and if the driver can reduce this gap in a few laps then it shows he’s faster than other SF driver. If you remember there was a moment in which Alonso was 3 seconds behind Massa and Smedley told brazilian he had to drive as fast as he could to win the race. He did it, but Alonso was clearly faster than him and reduced that 3 seconds gap. He showed be clearly faster and he gained the first position in race, but Massa didnt accept it and he made all possible to show people there was team orders when it happened was a team agreement before race. This is the true.

    1. Pretty much spot on really and its the kind of team order that if Ferrari had been open and explained would probably have been accepted my a lot of fans. But because they felt they had to sidetrack the team orders rule the party line post-race was just embarassing and was what angered people most.

      Also though that series of events indicates that Massa would have been allowed to win the race had he driven faster, as a result the result was in no way ‘fixed’ or predetermined.

      1. “Also though that series of events indicates that Massa would have been allowed to win the race had he driven faster, as a result the result was in no way ‘fixed’ or predetermined”

        I get why Alonso done it but that just says that there was an agreement in place which influenced the outcome of the race so was predetermined that the quicker driver would win and therefore = team order :P

        1. Well, I dont’t say it’s not a team order, but if we think we can punish team agreements as team orders there’s no space to teams in F1. And if we think that teams decitions as changing a front wind are team orders as well, then this topic is clear now.

          The question is why two weeks speaking about it when it happens everyweek to everyteams? The FIA video about turkey pointed out McLaren radio chats, also with written comments to understand everything they want to show. FIA are pointing the same thing out (YES, THE SAME THING), and nobody spent no many time critizing.

          Someone told in here something important : There are differences between team orders (not allowed but allowed if you do it a little, very polite, ore it’s the last race of championship) and driver favoritism, which is allowed but not ethic. I think the bad thing of this is not the rule of team orders, or if Ferrari must be banned. I think the point is that ferrari has chosen Alonso to win, wich is legal but nobody likes to see it because its not ethic.

          As Vettel said it’s better not to say anything that could come back in the future. I suggest everybody here not to talk too much more because this situation is going to happen again this year in other teams.

          Maybe it doesn’t happen again and then you must thank to ferrari who stop this hipocracy with a really really bad acting of it.

          1. The question is why two weeks speaking about it when it happens everyweek to everyteams?

            Because Ferrari are the ones about to face an investigation by the FIA.

            I’m not indifferent to your concern that this has been pursued and other potential cases haven’t, in fact I wrote about it here:

            Why the team orders rule must stay

    2. And if that’s true it would constitute a team order which affects the result of the race, which is why Ferrari have been fined and are being investigated.

      1. Nobody is denying it was a team order in breach of the regulations as they stand. It just provides an important background context to how the decision was come to.

    3. The was also an agreement in place at Renault in 2008 just before the Singapore GP…

  20. I think the wsmc should strip Ferrari of the constructors points and reverse FA and FM points from that race don’t know if they can do that but it’s the fairest way IMO. It’s no good banging on about bygone championships they won’t change them now.and as for the race the worst part for me was FA attitude after he’s so far up his own backside that he believes it’s all down to his great driving he was the same after Singapore even shuey was ashamed of the way it went between him and Rubens hence him pushing him on to top run of the podium if your going to take a win in that way at least show some remorse he could win wdc but he won’t deserve it. You can’t just stamp your feet and cry let me past he had one half ***** rookie attempt at an overtake then give in and spat his dummy out if he wants to be ferraris #1 and wdc go out and fight for it just like vettel n webber Hamilton n button shuey n rosberg and all the other drivers out there grow a pair alonso and stop crying about being faster just be better at what your doing what happend to believing in yourself.

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