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. 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

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. paul sainsbury
    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    1. “Punish them as hard as McLaren”

      Ferrari hardly stole anything from another team did they?

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

      2. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. theRoswellite
    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

  9. 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.

    1. 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).

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

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

  11. It still makes me wonder, what the heck was ferrari thinking. I mean anyone wudve come up with a better line than that! At least say something like, the weather is fine today. :-P

  12. I think ferrari are the stupid ones here. In the interviews after the german gp, they all said that the drivers should act in the interest of the team. Big point? that the team had a 1-2, and according to the team bosses, it doesn’t matter which way the drivers are. Ferrari had a 1-2, then they were stupid, then they insulted our intelligence. now they should face concequences

  13. Ferrari were wrong in what they did in Germany, and verbally bashing a driver that helped win them championships years ago only adds more fuel to the fire and vindicates those who dislike them.
    These comments remind me of Max Mosley calling Jackie Stewart ‘a certified halfwit’ a few seasons ago, totally pointless and unprofessional. They serve no purpose at all and are hollow, spite ridden words. If Ferrari are that fixated on Niki Lauda, I hope they will be equally fixated on beating McLaren and Red Bull this coming weekend.
    The events of Hockenheim 2010 will always be remembered in a negative way as far as Ferrari are concerned, and that is regrettable for a team as highly regarded as they are. I don’t buy the argument that banning team orders is a rule impossible to police, if the powers at be want to police it ofcourse. Match fixing is match fixing no matter what spin one puts on it, and just because it happened ten or twenty years ago does not justify it now! No other sport would, or should tolerate this sort of behaviour as we have seen from Ferrari, and other teams to be fair, over the years.
    If F1 is to break into new ground and attract new fans, it has to be run impartially by the FIA with a set number of rules that are not changed willy nilly every five minutes to suit certain people within the sport. We have to maintain some kind of credibility.

    1. “No other sport would, or should tolerate this sort of behaviour as we have seen from Ferrari, and other teams to be fair, over the years.”

      Ah, but that’s what makes F1 so unique. It is both a team AND an individual sport.

      There is _no way_ of making team orders a black and white issue, and hence the rule should be abolished if we want to maintain credibility by having enforceable sporting rules.

    2. May I remind you that Lauda was the first to speak and Ferrari has responded. Moreover, Lauda is trying with is words to influence the WMSC’s decission. Has Ferrari no right to defend themselves when team orders are the norm in F1?
      I know Lauda might have not a huge influence on the WMSC but yes on public opinion generating debates like this one. And the F1 is based on image as it’s funded by publicity, so the media inlfuence is huge. Obviously, the british media is always keen on publishing big anything against Alonso/ Ferrari and they warmly welcome Lauda’s words.

    3. Same as British media kindly hides actions of their british drivers that should be punished much harder because of security reasons; no media pressure, no punishment as a result. You want examples? Yes, Hamilton and lets stick in 2.010: Racing twice in the pits lane (Vettel and Alonso), 4 times direction changed when Petrov was trying to overtake, safety car in Valencia (incredible!), no petrol finsishing in pole position with a monetary sanction. This viedo includes this and some of other years. (where does Whiting come from???)

    4. Did Ferrari put in danger any driver with their team orders? Did they influence the score of any drivers other than those of Ferrari? Going back to Hockenheim 08, Kov letting pass Hamilton did influence the rest of the race. If Kon would have resisted longer, Ham could not have catched up with Massa and Piquet.

  14. Anybody else think that Ferrari sounds slightly xenophobic when they make these statements?

    Every time they bad mouth somebody they have to refer to where the person is from. Why in the world is it relevant that “this time it comes from Austria.” Remember when they called Stephan GP “Serbian Vultures”??

  15. That is some bona fide crazy-talk. I am now expecting Luca to conclude the hearing by attacking an official with a folding chair and shouting a proposal for a live cage-match into a TV camera.

    F1 does need more non-corporate-speak—I miss people like Stoddart and Jordan who spoke their mind and seemed to actually enjoy their work, but that is different from the attitude shown in the recent spate of belligerent and petty eruptions from Ferrari. Whether its about how they hate the small teams or some injustice by the stewards, it’s all bile all the time.

    Now that RBR has lost its fun edge, and McLaren losing Dennis’s brooding verve, Briatore and his retinue of supermodels gone, F1 has become very dour and without interesting personality—and its prevailing tone is thus becoming this negativity.

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