Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

Ferrari: “Lauda missed out on a fine opportunity to keep his mouth shut”

2010 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Cari Jones

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010Ferrari has hit back at Niki Lauda’s following his public outburst against the team and its use of team orders at the German Grand Prix – claiming the Austrian has “missed out on a fine opportunity to keep his mouth shut”.

The comments were made on Ferrari’s official website on Friday, in a column entitled ‘Horse Whisperer’.

The Horse Whisperer column states:

After events in Hockenheim, a wave of hypocrisy swept through the paddock, with so many pundits, young and old, keen to have their say: some were promptly brought back into line by his master’s voice, while others continue to pronounce sentence willy-nilly.

The lastest missive comes from Austria, from a person, who having hung up his helmet, has never missed out on a chance to dispense opinions left and right, even if, on more than one occasion, he has had to indulge in some verbal acrobatics to reposition himself in line with the prevailing wind.

This time, good old Niki has missed out on a fine opportunity to keep his mouth shut, given that, when he was a Scuderia driver, the supposed Ferrari driver management policy suited him perfectly” That aside, where was all his moral fury when, over the past years, so many have been guilty of more or less overt hypocritical actions?
Horse Whisperer, Ferrari

The former world champion and Ferrari driver said that he expects the Italian team to be heavily punished by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) next month for their use of team orders at the German Grand Prix.

“What they did in Hockenheim was against all rules,” Lauda said in an interview with the official Formula 1 website.

“Either the rules are changed or everybody observes them. What they’ve done is wrong and they got an immediate punishment – and they will get a pasting from the World Council, that is for sure.”

Ferrari’s Horse Whisperer has replied, saying: “As for any predictions regarding a possible decision from the FIA World Council on 8 September, time will tell: in this sort of situation, the best policy is to respect and to trust in the highest level of the sport’s governing body.”

82 comments on “Ferrari: “Lauda missed out on a fine opportunity to keep his mouth shut””

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  1. ferrari broke the rules, they need punishing, so i agree with lauda

    1. What people seem to forget is that all Ferrari care about is winning at all costs, they are a Formula One team first and foremost, all they want is to win races and Championships and getting the beloved F1 cars screen time.

      1. Soo… does that excuse McLaren’s spying or Renault telling Piquet to stuff it into a wall?

    2. I agree with that. Not sure what Juan means.

      In this case, Ferrari clearly believe they can say what they want, even if it’s thinly veiled in the guise of ‘horse whisperer’.

      They believe they are as big as F1. I do actually agree with what they are saying in this case, but good form would be to set an example, not to lambaste and roll around the mire in arrogance.

      Personally, I don’t care for Ferrari much, and don’t care if they’re in F1. However, many do, so the ultimately turn out of this affair will be interesting! :)

      Will Ferrari be somewhat humbled?

  2. I’m not sure who wrote that article for Ferrari, but they are absolutely phenomenal writers. The articulation in that piece was great to read, something different to the mundane statements that are posted by everyone, everyday, from teams and media.

    1. Yeah. I hope the WMSC reads it too. Ferrari’s insane arrogance will only help to make sure that they get a stiff penalty.

    2. yeah true. can’t imagine mcalren writing something like that. I like ferrari’s honesty!

    3. “I’m not sure who wrote that article for Ferrari”

      Montezemolo who else. Sounds like his usually bickering trying to out class his opponents with words, because that is all he can do. He sounds more like a person going through a perimenopausal stage.

      What happened in the past is past, back then there were no specific clear rules on team orders, now there is. Although it is still hugely exploited by teams, at least it is not done so in a direct and arrogant manner that completely destroys the very meaning “racing”.

      1. It’s not bickering, it’s a superbly writen piece that is clearly aimed and written for Ferrari fans.

        1. Reads to me like someone snarling face down in a bowl of spaghetti and getting rather tangled up in the process (*who* is being hypoctical?!). But maybe that’s just a first impression…

      2. Ferrari is a great team, but Lou sure can rap after a couple of glasses of wine

    4. It´s very funny the way they have written it. McLaren and other teams write in a very refined and polite way, but in Ferrari´s case you have Lou diMonty and his speechwriter, and they never dissapoint

      1. Thankyou Bartholomew, at least one person agrees with me.

    5. Fully agree with you.

      The writer is definitely a very witty one. Rare to see such people in the F1 paddock. Webber and Button are pretty witty themselves, but everybody else is boringly diplomatic.

  3. Why do Ferrari think the laws have stayed the same from when Lauda was driving? I agree there is hypocracy within the paddock, im sure pretty much every team would have done what Ferrari did but prehaps gone about it much more professionaly.

    However to me it sounds like Lauda is speaking as a fan and is just voicing the concerns and anger that the fans have at what took place and what he said does make sense.

    Ferrari dont seem to understand that times change and what was deemed acceptable 10 or so years ago isnt acceptable now. They seem to think that the best form of defence is attack, lets hope they loose that attitude for the hearing otherwise they will get a ‘pasting’

    1. “That is what makes this sport a crowd puller because they see the best guys in the best cars racing each other with a ‘may the best man win’ philosophy – and not mocking the fans with a collusive result.”

      – Niki Lauda.

      Regardless of what rules were or are in place, team orders, or “collusive results” are not good for the fans, whether you support the team in question or not. The Horse Whisperer merely pointed out that Lauda used to benefit from exactly what he is now criticising.

      1. Except that in his day it was legal, so I suppose it isn’t exactly the same thing. It may have been morally wrong, but it wasn’t illegal.

      2. It’s easy to be an armchair GeneraL once the battles are over!!

        1. Dianna

          That is the best comment ever.

      3. I think Lauda is wrong about the reasons F1 is a ‘crowd puller’. I watch F1 because of the cars and because I support a driver and in consequence his team (in that order), but I don’t care about the best man winning. That romantic thought has lone gone for me and everybody that follows F1. I know my favorite can’t win if he is not in a good car and also, I kind of know who is gonna win every GP. I watch F1 ’cause the cars are fast and I like to see the race and the things that happens (not only passing, errors, accidents, pits, times, etc), a lot of the time the guys who are winning are boring to watch, I like the other things around it. My point is I don’t like Ferrari but I’m not gonna stop watching F1 because they have applied team orders in such a tasteless and obvious manner during a race, I don’t care about having a ‘collusive result’ as long as they don’t do anything that is against the nature of F1, like making a Virgin win a race.

    2. Ferrari dont seem to understand that times change and what was deemed acceptable 10 or so years ago isnt acceptable now.

      Let alone 30+ years ago.

      They seem to think that the best form of defence is attack…

      That may work on the track, but doesn’t really carry over to PR. Unfortunately they’re in such an isolated little bubble of their own creation that I doubt they’ll ever get a “pasting” as you say.

      1. To be honest I agree with you, I think Ferrari will get away with this, probably a suspended fine or suspension. I can’t see too much damaged being done to them.

  4. And so we here from the Horse Whisperer again. That was to be expected and most of it is exactly the tone and class we expect from him (nonsense and pretty abusive).

    But in Lauda’s case it is very much to the point. Lauda has critisized about anyone anywhere even more than EJ does lately.

  5. The stuff that comes out of ferrari is so surprising to me, is there no PR guy saying keep quiet make the ‘mundane statements’ and keep your heads down? Keep quiet off the track where you have alot to lose, do the fighting on the track.

    Obviously its great fun drama to have so thanks ferrari, but its not going to help themm.

    1. You think if a PR guy tried to tell the big boss man to shut his trap, he’d keep his job for long?

    2. I don’t think Enzo was like that and I get the impression that Ferrari, as a company, don’t care to change the sort of shoot-from-the-hip attitude they have towards PR(for racing).

      Ironically, Lauda is known for the same thing – apparently he called the 312T a “piece of ****” but promised to sort it out for Enzo.

  6. Naturally, The horse whisperer would be in the perfect position to remind one when he should shut his trap.

    And what is 30 years and several sets of rule changes when vaguely comparing situations which may have been slightly similar when viewed from certain perspectives?

    And most importantly, how dare people form their own opinions and wish to express those views via verbal language and in some cases bizarre hand gestures!
    How dare they?

    And I didn’t even mention the word hypocrite.

  7. It really isn’t classy. It’s slightly abusive and it probably isn’t wise. However, it’s downright hilarious.

    Who the heck is this Horse Whisperer? This guy/girl is brilliant! Ferrari remind me of a petulent school kid getting told off from their teacher and goign “shut up, what do you know?”. Finally though from F1 some proper emotions. I don’t agree and it doesn’t do the sport any good for F1’s reputation/image but sometimes I really do like it when people think “sod that” and go for it. So really I’m groaning and thinking oh no but behind my computer I’m chuckling away.

    1. I agree that some color is nice for once. All the same, Ferrari in the past year has sounded pretty petulant and whiney if you ask me.

  8. Which is more to the point, Lauda’s ranting or Ferrari’s audacity? I think Lauda speaks to the hopes of a lot F1 fans, while Ferrari’s response is consistent with Ferrari and their fans. FIA on the other hand wants this issue to go away.
    That means a simple reprimand or some form of a suspended sentence. The results from WMSC meeting in September is not something I intend follow; it will be old news and they will treat it as such.

  9. From a quick review of Lauda’s past career, I don’t see him benefitting much from team orders, he and his teammates seldom finished in consecutive positions whilst driving for the Scuderia and when driving for Mclaren he had to race Prost down to the wire.

    I think the biggest difference between now and the past when it comes to team orders, is reliability. In the past, every result had to count, because just finishing was far from guaranteed, and so it was often run on contracts where there was definite “second driver” It would be in their contract to do so and no one complained, because it was pretty much a necessity. Only when machinery was fast and reliable enough were team mates allowed to race. Today, with supposedly two equal drivers in reliable machinery, the oproar is decidedly bigger when team orders are used, particularly as we can now hear the radio messages being sent out.

    Hardly surprising to see them attacking Lauda though, they’ve got to do something to keep the criticism at bay until the WMSC ruling.

  10. In my opinion, Lauda should have kept his mouth shut. This situation doesn’t concern him. Though I also believe that Ferrari should have just ignored Lauda. He rarely makes sense anyway.

    1. You must be from a country where one can’t voice his or her opinion. This situation concerns anyone fond of F1 “racing” and Herr Lauda should if anyone have the right to say whatever he pleases. Frankly he is 100% correct in his assessment of the situation. The punishment should be less than Renault’s though.

      1. Nope, I live in England. It’s just how I look at this situation. Lauda is a three time champion, and still doesn’t seem happy with life. He is always speaking negatively about F1.

        1. But that is also because he is a regular on the German RTL F1 coverage, is always asked about things, thus needs to put in an opinion, and well, he has had to do a lot of talk about Vettel vs. Webber, and Schumacher already – he can be a bit grumpy after that. I often think he should not say so much, but here he did make sense, actually.

          The horse whisperer is brilliant, hilarious, and ridiculous at the same time. It is entertaining, but at the same time, the language, FUD, and ranting is grating, and a turn-off with respect to Ferrari. But I guess I’m not really a fan of theirs right now, so what do I know.

  11. I am a 100% Ferrari fan of many years and while I understand the dislike for the team I love their ability to say what they mean without corporate bull. Lauda is an idiot,and has been for many years. It is very hard to find a 3 times WDC who has as low a credit rating as him. He has moaned for 40 plus years and those of us old enough have had enough of it. If someone has something to say fine but in all that time there must have been one subject he might have agreed on. Ferrari handled the race badly and will suffer as a result. Lauda and his middle aged chip on his shoulder should give up.

    1. Your right about Lauda. A couple of years back i used to watch F1 on German RTL and they had Lauda commenting.

      Not sure he did ever say much positive about anyone. He critisized just about every driver and team for what they did or did not do.

      This Horse Wisperer is a “comic relieve” and brings something to discuss for us. But not really to my taste, especially with the rants on the new teams.

  12. After all thats said and done. Its nice to see that some of you are smart enough to realise that whatever the opinions are or the outcome of this scenario is, its not Alonso that is to blame, but the way Ferrari operate.

    Put yourself in Alonsos’ shoes. What would you have done ? What if he went against Ferraris policy ? Went ahead and tried to overtake Massa without their permission and wiped them both out ? He is ‘paid’ to drive by Ferrari, not by the FIA or the circus that is the media.

    I personally would have loved to see a fight. But its easy to judge when your the guy sitting on the couch watching the race and not in the pressure cooker situation of actually driving the car.

    Its easy to sit back and say ‘look how Senna drove’. All or nothing style. But its different these days. The FIA has much harsher penalties these days which the drivers and teams have to deal with.

    I personally think Ferrari will be punished heavily. And I can just see the punishment being heavy enough to thwart Alonsos chances of winning a title.

    But thats just the way it goes. Regardless of the outcome, im behind Alonso all the way.

  13. Ferrari should have responded lot earlier and point out every time a team order has occurred in different races and in different seasons even after 2002.

    Ferrari definitely followed ‘the best man should win the race’ and it was Alonso who was better that day.

    It would have been illogical if Ferrari ordered Massa to step aside right at the first stint. Ferrari gave him every chance to pull away from Alonso, but he could not. So Ferrari had to choose the best man to win the race.

    1. Hrm, funny, I thought the best race car driver should be able to pass of his own accord. Guess we should switch this to everyone running individually against their own clock and determine the winner by that so we don’t have silly things like other drivers blocking their way, eh?

      1. Well, Alonso probably could. And I do think they may not have given the order if it wasn’t for Vettel fastly approaching the two Ferraris. They had to at least ensure first position, and at the moment Massa did not have the pace to pull away from Vettel, so…
        But, had they let the two of them fight it out, it could have ended badly for both. We’ve seen what happened when the two Red Bulls decided to have a fair fight a few races ago.
        And it’s not like team orders have stopped existing anyway. Who cannot see that EVERY team gives team orders in almost EVERY race they come in handy?

  14. Charles Carroll
    20th August 2010, 23:49

    Shouldn’t Ferrari be keeping its mouth shut while finishing plans for an all Ferrari Formula One league?

    Er, shouldn’t that be “Ferrari One” league?

  15. How typical. Ferrari have free reign to criticise anyone and everyone who doesn’t do as they’d like – the new teams, the FIA, Hamilton – but as soon as someone else attacks them, they simply insult and demean them. Even if they’re a former driver.

    1. Would you expect any less from the Clown Whisperer?

      1. Ferrari’s arrogance just rankles me. They’re not Ferrari anymore – they’re just a soulless automaton that is only concerned with winning, whatever the cost.

        I hope the WMSC burns them just to make an example of them.

        1. you don’t have to read it if you don’t like what they have to say. i’m sure enzo is perfectly happy, he was no angel.

          1. No, you don’t have to read it and one paragraph was enough to get the general aimless, self-justifying drift of the whole. However it does give a good insight into how the Ferrari team currently ‘thinks’ and operates.

            I read this and think Ferrari are more likely to get punished by the FIA hearing, not less. Entertaining to the converted, maybe, but a dumb line of defence.

  16. Keith, a more appropriate quote from Lauda would have been the point he made that “the fans don’t want a collusive result” and want to see the “best man win”. I don’t think The Horse Whisperer is criticising Lauda for suggesting Ferrari broke the rules, but rather that: “when he was a Scuderia driver, the supposed Ferrari driver management policy suited him perfectly…”

    1. You mean Cari Jones ;)

    2. I don’t think The Horse Whisperer is criticising Lauda for suggesting Ferrari broke the rules, but rather that: “when he was a Scuderia driver, the supposed Ferrari driver management policy suited him perfectly…”

      If that’s what they meant, that’s what they would have said.

    3. I disagree and that’s why I’ve included the full text.

  17. I think that Ferrari’s response to Lauda’s comments was fair enough. How’s Lauda to know what the WMSC decision will be?

  18. Hmm.. A fine piece of writing dosen’t excuse the facts . Drive within the rules. Ferrari have a history of trying to manipulate things to their advantage. Yes,Lauda should not be so vocal by he was playing within the rules or was it Ferraris rules? They neglected to say. ” When a house is divided it cannot stand”
    So many what Ifs exist in F1 you can only look at the rules of the time as a benchmark whether you like em or not.

  19. Ferrari were caught breaking a rule. They plead innocence based on the sole fact that ‘others give team orders too’.
    Well, i’m sorry, but i’ve yet to see a thief being caught in the middle of a crime and then pleading to be left alone, because “hey, others do it too”.

    It puzzles me how they can use that as an argument. It really is one hell of an arrogance (just like their lead driver)

    1. I find it a rather bad defense: they didn’t protest it then, why bring it up now, especially if you believe it is no problem. But people did complain with several incidents, at least most of those that I have heard pulled out, eh, pointed out. And rather loudly. But now we also have the radio communications, and that makes it more transparent for the viewer, so it is easy to understand that the rules on team-orders have to be obeyed more stringently. Just reality.

    2. Ferrari was not caught, Massa and his engineer made it obvious to the world. Obvious is also the fact that team orders exist in all teams. So what are we judging here? Should the teams get punished only if the orders are blatant? Has Ferrari no right to defend themselves when team orders are the norm in F1?
      Besides, the excellent Ferrari’s response to Lauda is more than deserved as Lauda is trying to influence the WMSC’s decission, this is arrogance and hypocrisy

  20. Ferrari can shout all day but it won’t change what they did. I hope they are punished well so that this type of things never happens in the future where in the middle of the season one driver is favoured over the other, & robbed someone’s victory.

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