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

2010 F1 season

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 ?ǣ 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 ?ǣ 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.??

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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

  1. Chippie said on 21st August 2010, 0:10

    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…”

  2. Alex Bkk said on 21st August 2010, 1:46

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

  3. Cynical said on 21st August 2010, 2:12

    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.

  4. andrewf1 said on 21st August 2010, 3:20

    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)

    • bosyber said on 23rd August 2010, 12:21

      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.

    • chemakal said on 24th August 2010, 14:25

      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

  5. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 21st August 2010, 3:22

    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.

  6. Slim said on 21st August 2010, 5:58

    I dont care anymore about the Team orders… It was really upsetting to me but im getting over it… does anybody else agree that we need to move on? Id also like it if Lauda would stop talking for a while because he tends to be annoying

  7. Ozzy said on 21st August 2010, 8:07

    Old niki, for sure he doesn’t remember in 1977 when his new team mate Carlos Reutemann beat him fair and square in the first two races (Argentina and Brasil). What did Niki do? before the South African grand prix in Kyalami he went and spoke to Ferrari management to get the whole team behind him.

    • bosyber said on 23rd August 2010, 12:24

      But those were different times, and essentially: before 2002. Arguing that the rules should be changed is one thing – just not obeying them could be called “civil disobedience” but it rarely goes unpunished – and those that commit it also usually agree that they are braking that low, but they are making a point. Not this Horse Whining stuff.

  8. paul sainsbury said on 21st August 2010, 8:17

    The fact that he was a consistently better driver didn’t hurt either, but you are totally missing the point-back then it was legal, now it is illegal. So Ferrari bringing up the 70’s is a total irrelevance.

  9. Stepney said on 21st August 2010, 8:41

    Some good posts about this,i personally found the article funny even if slightly abrasive,yet understandable given the amount criticism Ferrari have recieved.
    Unfortunately the execution of team orders and how Massa made the move so very obvious for everyone to see,has given Ferrari good media coverage but for all the wrong reasons. No one wants racing to be fixed.
    Whilst i go along with that view, i also accept it probably has never stopped even when the rules were changed,from any team.

    If the WMSC are set an example Ferrari could be severely punished and team orders will still be forbidden,or will this rule cease to exist and Ferrari along with every other team continue knowing team orders can be used,openly, without fear of public castigation.

  10. P5ycH0 said on 21st August 2010, 9:57

    Ferrari broke the rules AND LIED about it. Punish them as hard as McLaren or just hand them the victory cup so there is no doubt regarding know Ferrari-International-Assistance

    • David A said on 21st August 2010, 15:59

      “Punish them as hard as McLaren”

      Ferrari hardly stole anything from another team did they?

      • The fact that some people go as far as to compare Spygate with what happened in Germany is beyond me.

      • bosyber said on 23rd August 2010, 12:27

        But McLaren were punished so harshly because “they lied about it” – at least, that was the official thing. Same with Australia 2009. So, even if you consider FIA are unMaxed and thus supposedly reasonable, some consistency might be appropriate?

  11. Pigeon said on 21st August 2010, 14:21

    I’m more amused, than anything, by Ferrari’s rantings. The team has sounded pretty deranged all year. Their tactics have been deranged. The body language and radio transmissions of Alonso have been deranged. It’s like a huge crazy pantomime, but instead of pantomime dames they’re more like schoolgirls dressed up as an F1 team.

    It’s hugely entertaining, as long as they don’t benefit from it. I hope the FIA dock their WDC and WCC points from Hockenheim, at a minimum, otherwise F1 will never be taken seriously again. Maybe a season’s ban would send a strong enough message to all the F1 teams that the fans don’t like being made fools of. The return next season of a more humble, dedicated, professional Ferrari team would be an enormous asset to F1.

  12. John H said on 21st August 2010, 15:53

    Ferrari do not seem to understand that ignoring Lauda would be a much better response than criticising him.

    Ferrari should learn when not to take the bait.

  13. theRoswellite said on 22nd August 2010, 5:20

    Ferrari broke the rules, the rules by which all the contestants agree to abide. Without rules, and rule compliance, you have chaos…and chaos isn’t much fun to watch.

    I’m looking forward to putting this issue behind us

  14. Funnily enough I brought a copy of “For the record” – Lauda’s autobiography which concentrates on his four years with Ferrari from 1974-7 – on holiday with me. And its true that Lauda did benefit from preferential treatment within the team.

    But it cut both ways – at the start of 1977, perhaps not believing Lauda was back to full health, the impetus in the team was more strongly behind his new team mate Carlos Reutemann.

    Of course, this account comes with the standard disclaimer that it is entirely from Lauda’s point of view. Still it seems credible and if you see a copy of the book I recommend picking it up.

    And, as other people here have pointed out, team orders were legal back then, so Ferrari’s complaints about “hypocrisy” are not only mistaken, but tantamount to an admission that they did use team orders and therefore broke article 39.1 in Germany.

    • BasCB said on 22nd August 2010, 16:48

      Hi Keith, nice thought on this subject. To me it seems, Ferrari will have a though job to “prove their innocence”, maybe they will just try to attack the fact that TO are illegal and other teams probably used them in the past at the hearing

      Even so, I think Lauda should speak less about F1 (heard to much of him critisizing everyone in the last 8 years).

    • BasCB said on 22nd August 2010, 16:48

      Oh and are the both of you enjoying yourself without moderating the blog every day?

  15. John H said on 22nd August 2010, 17:36

    Ferrari have missed out on a fine opportunity to keep their mouth shut

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