Full WMSC decision: Ferrari used team orders but shouldn’t be punished

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

The FIA has published its full decision concerning Ferrari’s use of team orders in the German Grand Prix.

The World Motor Sport Council agreed that team orders had been used and that Ferrari had interfered with the race result.

However it added there had been other examples of “what could have been said to be team orders” in recent years and that there had been “inconsistency in its application” of article 39.1 which forbids team orders.

They also took into consideration Ferrari’s concern their drivers might crash into each other in light of Sebastian Vettel’s crash with Mark Webber in Turkey.

The WMSC also noted it had received letters of support for Ferrari from Frank Williams and Peter Sauber.

Despite not adding any further punishment the original $100,000 fine imposed by the German Grand Prix stewards was upheld and Ferrari also had to pay the cost of the proceedings.

Ferrari’s defence

Ferrari’s defence was that Felipe Massa was not ordered to let Fernando Alonso past.

They claimed he was “given relevant information, based on which he decided, for the benefit of the team, to allow Mr Fernando Alonso to pass. The relevant information was that Mr Fernando Alonso was faster than him, and that Mr Sebastian Vettel was closing the gap on both of them.”

Ferrari added:

There is a clear distinction between ‘team orders’ on the one hand, and ‘team strategy and tactics’ on the other hand. The disputed communication should be considered ‘team strategy and tactics’.

Ferrari also challenged the charge under article 151 (c) of The International Sporting Code (bringing the sport into disrepute), saying:

It would be improper to try to make good some deficiency in the Regulations (if such there be) by relying on some generally worded provisions which are clearly intended to apply to different situations.

The example of Lewis Hamilton passing Heikki Kovalainen in the latter stages of the 2008 German Grand Prix was cited by Ferrari, describing it as “the same” as what happened between Alonso and Massa while noting that it did not receive a sanction. They did not offer any evidence that the change of position was instructed by the team.

Ferrari also claimed McLaren’s instruction to Hamilton and Jenson Button in this year’s Turkish Grand Prix to “save fuel” was “a coded instruction to the drivers to preserve their existing positions”.

According to Ferrari, the stewards were reluctant to punish them in way that would affect their finishing positions in the German Grand Prix.

They said: “The decision of the Stewards not to alter the race result no doubt reflects a degree of realism on their part regarding the ambiguous nature of the rule itself, and the difficulties of policing it and ensuring consistent treatment between different teams.”

The FIA case against

The FIA noted the exchange of radio messages between the drivers and the team, parts of which weren’t broadcast at the time:

On lap 19 Mr Fernando Alonso put pressure on his engineers saying “Guys, I am a lot quicker”, and the engineer said in reply: “Got that, and we are on the case, don’t worry”; and on lap 28 Mr Felipe Massa’s engineer said: “You must keep up the lead, you must keep the gap to him, you know the score, come on”.

They added:

It is self evident to the Judging Body of the WMSC that this was an implied team order using a message, and as such was contrary to article 39.1 Sporting Regulations.

The FIA also made the case that Ferrari had “interfered” with the result of the race:

It was said by Ferrari that with 18 laps to go at the moment of the overtaking the race results were uncertain, but the Judging Body of the WMSC noted that from lap 1 to lap 49 Mr Felipe Massa comfortably led the race, on lap 21 Mr Fernando Alonso [passed] Mr Felipe Massa only to be immediately repassed, and that Mr Fernando Alonso only eventually [passed] Mr Felipe Massa on lap 49 when Mr Felipe Massa unexpectedly slowed down after receiving the messages.

This clearly interfered with the results of the race, and with Mr Fernando Alonso standing on the podium for first place, when his team mate had slowed to allow him to pass, was in the Judging Body of the WMSC’s view prejudicial to the interest of the motor sport and contrary to article 151 (c) of the [International Sporting Code]. It is important for the FIA to act to protect the sporting integrity of the FIA Formula One world championship, and ensure the podium finish has been achieved by genuine on track racing.

It also pointed out that part of the reason why Alonso was faster than Massa in the lead-up to the change of positions was because he’d been told to turn his engine up:

The Reporter considers that Ferrari’s argument relating to the fact that Mr Fernando Alonso was faster than Mr Felipe Massa appears not to hold up. Indeed, a few laps prior to the contentious overtaking, Ferrari’s drivers reduced their engine speed at the request of their respective race engineers. Then Mr Fernando Alonso increased his engine speed without Mr Felipe Massa’s being informed. Mr Fernando Alonso was therefore benefiting from a definite performance advantage over Mr Felipe Massa in the moments preceding the contentious overtaking.

Read the full decision here

The World Motor Sport Council's verdict on Ferrari is...

  • Far too harsh (3%)
  • Slightly too harsh (1%)
  • About right (19%)
  • Slightly too soft (14%)
  • Far too soft (61%)
  • No opinion (2%)

Total Voters: 2,435

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Ferrari team orders in Germany

Image ?? Ferrari spa

167 comments on “Full WMSC decision: Ferrari used team orders but shouldn’t be punished”

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  1. Thats the best they could come up with.

    1. So after a day’s wait, it boils down to exactly what the cynics suggested yesterday.

      The FIA agree that Ferrari did it, Ferrari’s defense is “so what, lots of other people did too.”, the FIA’s response to that is “Well ok, we’ll take your word for that and change the rules for you. Thank you for coming.”

      I expect the incompetence. I can’t stand this “can’t enforce the rule” argument.

      Won’t is not the same as can’t.

      Sickening, sickening rubbish.

      1. Wow, I think you’re taking it a little too far. the bottom line is that it was too vague of a team order to punish and more importantly, that the rule itself is way too vague to be punished. I think you should be sickened by the guys writing the rules.

        they cannot prove that Massa didn’t do it for the sake of the team (even if we think he did, they can’t prove it).

        I’m not coming from a pro-Ferrari point of view either. I like Ferrari and McLaren and personally I’m pulling for Button (and was for Massa)…

        1. but the WMSC actually said that it *was* team orders, they found Ferrari guilty of breaking the rule…

          “It is self evident to the Judging Body of the WMSC that this was an implied team order using a message, and as such was contrary to article 39.1 Sporting Regulations.”

      2. This is the Todt quote:

        “And if you understand all the parts that have been asked, everyone has denied that it was a team order.”

        They lied to the stewards. It’s as clear as mud. Are we going to see a 20 minute press conference with Alonso & Massa put up to the press on their own please?

        1. Yea, if Massa was in an actual court and was sworn in, I think he would say he didn’t want to do it…..but we’re not in an actual court….

          1. …but we’re not in an actual court…

            Exactly. It’s all a big put on sham to make it look like they did something. They never had any intention of ever enforcing their own rule. Boooooooo to the FIA, to Ferrari, to Frank Williams, and to Peter Sauber.

          2. And the argument that the stewards aren’t an actual court has always held up in other occasions where there has been lying…

            Maybe lying to the stewards is another rule that should just be eliminated. Still I suspect the next team that lies to the stewards is going to get hammered (like the times that have done it in the past). This is yet another example of how this situation was dealt with differently because it was Jean Todt’s former team.

      3. wow Hairs and if i told you that every team on the paddock is as guilty as ferrari what would you say? that you have been lied your whole life dont be naive

      4. I agree 101% with this view. Maybe even 102%.

    2. Shocking. The way they gave examples which were so different and still denied it as team orders makes me wished they were heavily punished as opposed to lightly punished as I wanted before. The fact they got off completely, without even a suspended sentence is ridiculous.

      1. The problem is that further punishment is impossible to be given without actual proof that Ferrari are guilty of giving team orders. And I don’t mean just some vague evidence, I mean actual, concrete PROOF.
        Of course everyone knows they are guilty, but how do you prove that in a court? And how can you prove that you are innocent, if you are? It’s impossible and, since we all know team orders are a common practice among all F1 teams – even without proof, it’s still obvious – if they were to punish one case they would have to punish everyone else as well.
        Just imagine the precedent a Ferrari punishment could have set. After each race, teams would be able find slightly suspicious team radio moments to accuse their rivals of using team orders. Each race would take one weekend in the track and one month in the courts…
        See what I’m talking about?

  2. The more I read, the more this seems like a sensible judgement. Really seems like the FIA is trying to achieve consistency in the regulations, which has been one of its failings in the past.

    Hopefully the “revised” Article 39.1, once the Sporting Working Group gets its hands on it, will be clear and applicable to everyone.

    1. Couldn’t agree more.

      At the end of the day the WMSC has confirmed what many of us said here. The rules are unworkable as they are. And to punish Ferrari for this, and ignore previous transgressions would been seen as hypocritical in the extreme.

      Hopefully now, with some input from people in the paddock perhaps they can come up with a system that is consistent, or scrap it altogether.

      At the end of the day the WMSC decision is the best possible because it forces F1 to solve the problem, and not continue in the way that it has.

      1. I really hope they don’t scrap it altogether. For me it’s obvious some teams are unable to discern a fair and decent way of treating their drivers. A petulant star being handed a win is apparently more important than a loyal driver giving them a well fought and meaningful win. That to me is the bigger issue here. They were being punished for breaking a rule, yes, but the intent of any rule is always more important than the rule itself. And in this case, decency to the drivers and fair play are what’s attempting to be achieved.

        1. Do you think then that Red Bull should be punished for taking off the only available latest revision front wing off Webers car and handing it over to Vettel, potentially giving Vettel more speed in qualy and race?

          How about Mclarens move in Turkey telling its driver not to fight each other (my interpretation of the fuel saving message). Should they also be punished?
          If yes we will end upp with good and consitent rule, but then FIA needs to have payed spies in each and every team so that we are sure we have reliable information neccesary in order to enforce a such a rule. Do you think that is realistic? If not, what is the alternative way to do it?

          1. Favouring one driver over another is not illegal. Giving one driver a better car than his teammate is not a “team order which interferes with the outcome of the race”. Think things through before writing them down please.

            McLaren’s radio instructions to save fuel in Turkey we meant as that. When the race ended, Hamilton had less than a lap’s worth of fuel in his tank, and Jenson just a tiny bit more. Without the saving fuel order they would’ve run out of fuel on the circuit…

          2. couldnt agree more comment of the month

          3. @George M

            Think things through before writing them down please.

            I am tempted to tell you the same actually. So you are arguing that a team that consistently gives better equipment to one of its drivers will not in reality give that driver more speed and thereby interfere with the outcome of the races? Longterm, that kind of behavior will not only interfere with “outcome of the race” but potentially also with the outcome of the championship if we are talking of a team with a competitive car! Do not forget that F1 is all about innovation and EQUIPMENT!

          4. George M, qUattO’s reply was to the comments Joey-Poey with regards to the intention of rules, being fair and equal to the team mates. Letting pass ur team mate (finally, Masssas decission) could be considered even more unfair than having to use old car pieces because your team mate crashes the new parts

          5. was reading again and the last quesion was ment to be a question (sorry for my English)

    2. Consistent? Don’t make me laugh. It would be consistent if any other team were charged with 39.1, but they weren’t. As much as the Tifosi rage about ever incomparable situation they can muster (ironically, including their own), the fact remains this was the only incident deemed to be worthy of investigation since 2002.

      39.1 was brought in precisely because Ferrari made a mockery of the sport. In other words, 151c. Fast-forward 5 years and McLaren are fined $100million for breaking 151c. Two years later Renault are given a suspended ban. Ferrari get nothing.

      The only consistency is that Ferrari walk away to be allowed to do what they want. No doubt it pleases you, but unfortunately it seems that for apart from a minority, being a fan of Ferrari and sport are mutually exclusive.

      1. Well, first off, I’m not particularly a Ferrari fan. I prefer them to McLaren, but then the list of things I prefer to McLaren is pretty long and includes several infectious diseases. Anyway, I digress….

        The fact that “this was the only incident deemed to be worthy of investigation” since 2002 means nothing, because it is the system of investigation that is broken. To add another past situation to the list, have a look at what was said to Giancarlo Fisichella over the radio in the 2005 Turkish GP; in practically every detail it is identical to what happened in Germany (even with the same driver as the beneficiary). Those who argue that Ferrari should have received a penalty might be able to lightly dismiss some incidents, but I’ve yet to see a convincing argument as to why that one didn’t deserve punishment, if Germany ’10 did.

        39.1 was brought in after Austria 2002, but was nothing to do with 151c: the FIA specifically ruled that what Ferrari did in Austria did NOT bring the sport into disrepute (personally I don’t agree with that, but that’s what they said at the time). In any case, 151c is quite a handy umbrella rule for the FIA to punish miscellaneous indiscretions: I’m sure you agree that deliberately staging a crash requires a different investigation and different punishment to having a mole inside a rival team, even if you might have punished the former more severely than the latter. If I’ve misread you then I apologise, but it seems like you’re implying that all breaches of 151c should receive an equal penalty.

        The interests of the sport go far deeper than what happens in this race or that race. For too long there has been a culture of inconsistency in the FIA – I’m sure everyone on the board can chime in with a few examples of such – and it finally seems like the federation is taking steps to address this. That’s far better than perpetuating the same inconsistencies, just for the peace of mind of some outraged fans.

        1. Charles Carroll
          9th September 2010, 17:54

          Except that it may open the door for more inconsistency, or a consistent ethic of corruption.

          Let me elaborate. Once you stop enforcing a rule simply because it was inconsistently applied in the past, there is nothing to stop the enforcing of nearly all of the rules if it were determined that anytime in the past someone slipped by without punishment.

          That is a dangerous precedent: To throw out the rules entirely because someone managed to beat them at one time or someone failed to enforce them.

          What that does is neuter the entire rule book by using history, normal human error, and political correctness. What is left is basically a sport without rules, where race fixing will readily occur and the only product the consumer receives is one that is predetermined and prepackaged…just like professional wrestling.

          Well, F1, you’re on your way.

          1. Charles Carroll
            9th September 2010, 17:56

            In summary:

            It is better to start enforcing the rules now, as best as you can, and not worry about “past inconsistencies” or any other mistakes made in enforcement.

            Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water. Just FIX the enforcement of the rule, don’t just throw it out entirely.

          2. Thankyou Charles Carroll. Yours is the perfect riposte to the shallow and devious posts immediately above your own. If a sport as huge as F1 has such an ineffectual governing body that it simply dare not enforce the rules it created to ensure racing fairness and honesty, then we are indeed on a slippery slope. And as you so accurately describe, to use a defence for your laxity which includes the premise that it was always difficult to enforce this rule so we’ll just let things go from bad to worse and do nothing, verges on criminal negligence.

            I have tried to explain to my teenaged sons what these events imply. They are not impressed.

        2. Well I wouldn’t want to start this without saying you’ve satisfied some of my points, and that I mistakenly thought you were a Ferrari fan based on your general comments. Not that my final paragraph was intended for you solely, but obviously it was addressed to you.

          Anyway, here’s the sticking points:

          If I’ve misread you then I apologise, but it seems like you’re implying that all breaches of 151c should receive an equal penalty.

          No, just that they have (a suspended ban) in the past two high-profile cases. And your argument is about consistency. As yet, we haven’t heard the WMSC even mention 151c, but it’s clear they didn’t find Ferrari in breach of it, so they obviously don’t get that penalty. Fair enough.

          What will be interesting is their reasoning for not finding a breach of 151c, and whether their reasoning is consistent; after all, how can you lie to the stewards and not bring the sport into disrepute? Remember the last time that happened? Again, consistency.

          Those who argue that Ferrari should have received a penalty might be able to lightly dismiss some incidents, but I’ve yet to see a convincing argument as to why that one didn’t deserve punishment, if Germany ‘10 did.

          I’ve yet to have seen a convincing argument that because someone else got away with it, everyone should. It might be a good reason to scrap the rule, but not to do the most to disregard it whilst it still exists.

          In the most bitter of ironies, given your comments about inconsistencies, what the WMSC has basically done is undermine the idea of following a rule, but the next time it happens you can bet the punishment won;t be the same. That’s really what’s at the heart of the issue, regardless of who’s being investigated.

          1. I’ve yet to have seen a convincing argument that because someone else got away with it, everyone should.

            This is the crux of the issue. It’s not that someone else once got away with breaking the rule. It’s that prior to Germany, everyone did. And the Turkey incident I mentioned was pretty much exactly the same, yet no penalty. Not even an investigation.

            What happens, in terms of investigations and punishments of subsequent team order incidents, between now and the rule being rewritten is an open question. But I would think that a brief period of uncertainty in that regard was preferable to having the same system of double standards in place, where the level of punishment applied to team orders is (seemingly) proportional to public and media outcry over the incident.

      2. In fact McLaren was charged with breaking 39.1 after Monaco 2007. They were thoroughly checked. Every strategic decision was questioned.

        In the end they were acquitted of wrongdoings and with it the verdict set a precedent that telling you drivers not to attack in the end of the race was a legal team order.

        In that case Alonso was the benefactor of team orders as well …

      3. …being a fan of Ferrari and sport are mutually exclusive.


        1. Not if F Alonso drives the car ;)

          1. He may well be talented, but Alonso ≠ sportsmanlike.

          2. Why should be, Peter? He himself said F1 isn’t a sport, funny at the time it seemed to bother him a lot more.

    1. He is a conservative team boss after all. TO were there in the past, so he sticks with them in the future.

      Good STR have Mateschitz, otherwise they would have to support this same way as Sauber had to for his engine supply.

  3. Depressing to say the least. But then this is what you can expect when you let a bunch of amateurs run a tribunal.

  4. In other words the teams win.

    They’re the only people who want team orders like what happened at Austria and Germany and even though the FIA tried to outlaw it with rule 39.1, in it’s first and last test case the WMSC didnt have the strength to uphold it.

  5. So they get no penalty at all for having practically the entire team lie through their teeth about it to press, stewards etc etc… unbelieveable.

    1. The penalty was 100,000 ….

      1. Plus legal costs

      2. and a whole lot of bad karma (hopefully)

        1. Hahaha! Like it Patrickl…can’t help but think Alonso will claim to have had enough bad luck already, but then he does like a little whinge…. ;-)

          As for the decision – WSMC has simply said we’re convinced it was a team order but agree there’s some ambiguity in the rule. I read that as ‘we can’t prove it and we know if we charge them, they’ll apeal and win and so we’ll look REALLY stoooopid!’

          I think they’ve done reasonably well even if I would have liked to see another fine imposed, but then I openly hate Ferrari and Alonso in equal measure, so I need to temper my enthusiasm to see them kicked out of the championship just for being too damned RED. :-P

          1. haha, like your honesty there Geordie, right with you on that one. Trying as hard as I can to keep a balanced viewpoint, but the reds make it really difficult…

        2. The $100,000 was for using teams orders. They got no penalty at all for all the blatant lying after the fact.

  6. Except the only blatant use of ‘team orders'(i.e. driver position swapping) in ‘recent years’ have both been Ferrari too (Massa being passed in the pits in 2007 at São Paulo, Raikonnen letting Massa catch up at China 2008). Okay so nobody protested in these two cases, but it hardly counts as an excuse for the same team to act in the VERY same way that led to the introduction of the rule in the first place. Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari. Not much else left to say.

    1. No, there have been quite a few more than that since the rule change.

      1. Obviously there has been more teams, and it is mentioned in the article if you want to know the team name.

      2. That involved swapping driver positions and had a direct bearing on the championship? Such as?

        It’s bizarre and completely cynical (of course) that Ferrari claim Massa moved aside of his own free will, without any coded message involved, and then claim McLaren were passing a coded message with their ‘save fuel’ order AFTER we’d all seen Hamilton and Button battle it out on track.

        1. I find this a very poor excuse by Ferrari as well.

          The sole fact they could not think up more than those 2 examples (one of them being at most a misunderstanding, the other perfectly normal team strategy to give the faster one a chance to win the race) shows on what level Ferrari pushed over those WMSC members. Those are worlds away from the blatant infringement by themselves.

          Interesting they felt the need to pick on McLaren, why not Renault, where the incidents of Fisi moving over for Alonso could have been confirmed by their own driver?

        2. Such as Mclaren 08 Kov letting pass Ham and Ham winning the tittle by 1 point difference. This is not only altering the race result, is altering the whole championchip!!! Sure the engineers ordered Kov to figt his position to death

          1. Yes, but there was no damning radio evidence, and Hamilton didn’t just sit around directly ahead of Kovalainen. He put 3 extra cars between them.

          2. Well, Alonso could not put 3 cars between him self and Mass, could he. He was nr 1.

          3. Sure, remember just 1 point difference at the end of the season. If Kov would have fought to keep position and resited longer, Ham might not have had time to catch up other cars, or not all of them. Just 1 point ahead…
            And radio talks get recorded to serve stewards but obviously, if an investigation is not started, end up in the bin

  7. Sound_Of_Madness
    9th September 2010, 17:16

    So team orders are officially legal.

    1. If you’re Ferrari, yes.

      Otherwise, put your rain jacket on…

    2. no, when the rule were changed then yes. Now, if you do team orders then you pay $100,000 and get a lot of bad karma, as someone said.

  8. lol…reading the full decision..this line grabbed my attention.

    “Ferrari ordered Mr Felipe Massa, driver of Ferrari car number 8, to let Mr Fernando Alonso driver of car number 7 pass durin the German Grand Prix”

    Anybody see the cock up?

    1. The car numbers or the verdict as a whole?

  9. The reasons given for the decision make sense I just hope that they clarify the rule soon so everyone knows where they stand for the Championship run in.

  10. Who’s fault was it that there was inconsistent enforcement? Theirs!

    The decision is looking more and more like a farce the more you look at it. Even rescinding the original punishment on the basis of a lack of evidence would have been legitimate. But now the WMSC have said that it’s okay to break the rules because someone else might (not even “definitely have) have gotten away with it in the past.

    The sport’s governance is more incompetent than I thought. At least Max Mosley would have shown some backbone in whatever happened. Todt’s FIA have shown they don’t even have the backbone to stand by an unpopular decision so they have to make a halfway-house that doesn’t stand up to any logic. Cowardly.

    1. Charles Carroll
      9th September 2010, 17:46

      You’re on point here.

      If we all judged history the way the WMSC just did, in that current rules cannot be enforced because in the past mistakes were made and we don’t want to be hypocritical, such political correctness would strangulate progress and effectively end society.

      Mistakes in the past are where they belong: In the past. Do not let those mistakes preclude you from doing what is right and proper now, such as enforcing laws and rules.

      It really is beyond the pale to me.

    2. Exactly! Bring in that international tribunal as soon as possible Todt.
      These guys are the same lame ducks they have been for years. First they let Mosley use them for endless politically motivated “rulings” that are the epitomen of inconsistency.
      And now that Todt left them to themselves to decide, they continued the inconsistency and let themselves be buried under non arguments by Ferrari.

      I do understand, that it is hard to decide when you never took the trouble in the past. But it has to start somewhere. And those alleged team orders, its rumour and slander until they give at least strong clues.

      The fact that Alonso was not even genuinly faster (just the same trick with turning engines up/down Red Bull gave us in Turkey) makes this even more unbelievable.

      How come they did not bring the sport in disrepute? And isnt it clear they misinformed the stewards, if not lied to them?

      1. The fact that Alonso was not even genuinly faster (just the same trick with turning engines up/down Red Bull gave us in Turkey) makes this even more unbelievable.

        That was the most horrifying bit of information to surface. Proof that they really had ZERO justification to manipulate the race except that they wanted Alonso to win. The fact that it happened a year to the day after Massa’s crash and would have been a huge morale boost for him (and likely many in the team) just makes it that much worse. It’s just disgusting. I will never support this team.

  11. How much money do you think you get for winning the championship? If it’s only $100,000 fine to break the rules why doesn’t someone like Renault/Force India just attach massive Turbo boosters to the car.

    It would be miles faster than anyone else but they’d win every race. And $100,000 fine would be nothing for them when they’ve won the championship.

    1. According to the rules, that would stand for disqualification. I understand your sarcasm, but not all rules are punishable in the same manner.

      1. Let him have his fun mate!


  12. for the optimists out there…ferrari have shot themselves in the foot as maclaren and red bull will successfully order there cars to block out ferrari (who are way to far behind) and run away with the championship. it’ll only cost then a small sum of £100,000 per race……nice one ferrari..well done

    1. Well, for us optimists a matter of 7 extra points was never going to be enough for the mistake-prone Alonso to beat Hamilton or Webber to the championship!

  13. As I said on Twitter yesterday, the WMSC should be brought before a panel of F1 fans for bringing the sport in to disrepute. Doesn’t matter what way you cut it, this result is rotten.

    They either did the crime, in which they should have lost the points gained at the very least. Or they didn’t, in which case the $100000 fine should have been reversed.

    Ferrari broke the rules, and have pretty much been let off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, and a license to do it again. This stinks. In fact, this sport stinks. The corruption running through it is beginning to disgust me.

  14. Ferrari added, “there is a clear distinction between ‘team orders’ on the one hand, and ‘team strategy and tactics’ on the other hand. The disputed communication should be considered ‘team strategy and tactics’”.


    1. Dear Ferrari,

      Look up the word “semantics.”


    2. I guess that statement really clarifies which side of this debate you are on.

      I am not a Ferrari fan. I actually loathe the team, but have supported certain drivers who turned up there because I like the drivers.

      But, even with my overall distaste for Ferrari as a team their statement is exactly how I see it.

      “Team Orders” are a form of strategy.
      Stirling Moss thinks so. Frank Williams thinks so. And so does just about every person in the paddock that I respect.

      1. You sir, are full of win.

      2. Is lying to the stewards a form of strategy? Or is it okay because the team order ban is undesirable ;-)

  15. This is the wooly and illogical explanation I was expecting.
    Ferrari claimed it wasn’t team orders, but by backing the stewards the WMSC basically said it was.
    To claim there might be other unpunished offences is no cause for a judge to throw out a case and it shouldn’t allow the WMSC to disregard the one before them either.
    Where rules are broken they need penalising consistently. Anything else makes F1 look more like politics and less like sport.
    As for bringing the sport into disrepute, that’s probably unprovable and the rule should be removed. Otherwise it will just be used to punish teams the FIA feel ought to be penalised.

  16. Very strange.

    This doesn’t match what Todt was saying about lack of evidence. Stripped to it’s basics the judgement says, you gave team orders, there is plenty of clear evidence, but we are not going to do anything about it because nobody has been punished for it before.

    The last point is certainly true, but hardly a good reason to do nothing now or in the furure. I am surprised that they did not at least impose a suspended points deduction as was proposed, that at least would have been symbolic like Renault in the crash gate scandle, but without any real effect.

    I’m also surprised that penalties on the drivers were never considered an option even though it was only the drivers championship position that was changed by the orders.

    I do think though that the FIA were in an almost impossible position, damned if they did and damned if they didn’t so a fudge was always on the cards, but I’m far from convinced that is good for the sport.

    1. Exactly, giving only a suspended penalty would make perfect sense, if the FIA felt that it would not be good to start dealing heavy penalties the first time such a case is proven.

      With a suspended ban, the penalty does not hurt, unless they do it again. In that case they have been warned and the argument about it not being penalized before does not count any more.

      1. Forgot to add.
        without a suspended ban, this means rule 39.1 can now officially be considered disfunct and unenforcable.

  17. So Ferrari’s defence boils down to:
    1. We didn’t do it.
    2. And even if we did, you can’t prove it.
    3. And even if you can, it’s not wrong.
    4. And even if it is, other people have done it too.

    And the FIA’s response:
    1. Nobody believes that.
    2. The stewards found enough evidence.
    3. It’s against the rules (151c as well).
    4. We’re talking about this (blatant) occasion.
    5. Er, but we’ll let you off.

    1. That sums it up nicely

    2. Todt’s response:

      1. We have enough evidence to convict you.
      2. We don’t have enough evidence to punish you further, despite the other charge not being dependant on how much evidence we have about the first one, which we deemed ample anyway. 3. Yeh, that makes no sense.
      4. Tough.
      5. Where’s my limo?

    3. Yeah, that sounds exactly right :)

    4. Pretty much right apart from 5) for the FIA should read. “But considering this is a a rule which can’t be enforced we’re going to not penalise Ferrari and scrap the rule”

      1. How is it not enforceable when we’ve just witnessed the first time it’s been enforced?

      2. The WMSC didn’t say it was unenforcable. Just that it hadn’t been enfoced (ie point 4)

    5. Exactly. It’s embarrassing to be a fan of F1 today.

  18. Good job Keith – Of all the blogs I visit only you and Joe Seward think the same as the fans. You Have shamed the so called jounalists at the BBC & James Allen.

    And this is why we the fans love you

  19. I’m looking forward to the next “Todt Approval Rating” poll.

    1. Yeah. Todt has been lying flat out about the matter.

      He claimed there wasn’t enough proof to penalize Ferrari when in fact the WMSC stated that they do feel that there was enough evidence.

      Either the guy is an utter liar, or he is so out of touch with the actual goings on that he should have kept his mouth shut.

      Either way, bad marks for him.

      1. Very bad indeed. Can’t wait to click “disapprove.” Keith, maybe you could add a special “highly disapprove” option this month.

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