2010 F1 season
FIA president Jean Todt said he supports the use of team orders in Formula 1 providing teams are open about it.
His remarks come as the FIA prepares to discuss article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations, which is intended to prevent the use of team orders, in two weeks’ time.
In an interview with the International Herald Tribune Todt said he was “not against” team orders:
I have asked the Formula One championship — and I go through a sporting working group, technical working group, Formula One commission, and then pass it through the World Motor Sport Council. I asked the sporting working group to review the application of this article and the formulation of this article. I am waiting for this problem to be discussed at the next Formula One commission, which will take place in Monte Carlo on [December 9th].
I am not against team orders, but I am against lies. It is necessary to have the honesty to explain — to account for — and to say that you did it and why you did it. It is completely unacceptable to apply team orders and then afterwards to ask a whole team to lie.
Asked if Sebastian Vettel’s championship success thanks to Red Bull’s decision not to use team orders was a “lesson” for Formula 1 Todt said:
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It turned out that, effectively, it was favourable to them. The night before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix everything seemed to point to it being unfavourable to them, and the price to pay.
But the beauty of racing is that there are, nevertheless, unpredictable situations. Why have they never been able to make a good film about Formula One? Because the races themselves are stronger than a film. Because there are scenarios that we cannot imagine happening.
And that is what happened last Sunday in Abu Dhabi. That is why there is such an interest and enthusiasm for Formula One. And thank goodness, because if we had all the races where the starting grid was the same at the finish line, then it would be a procession.
As Todt mentioned elsewhere in the interview, he used team orders while team principal at Ferrari, most famously at Austria in 2002, which prompted the introduction of the current rule.
Following Ferrari’s use of team orders in the German Grand Prix over three-quarters of F1 Fanatic readers said they should be punished.
A similar proportion said the World Motor Sport Council’s decision not to dock points from the team or drivers was “too soft”.
Read more: Jean Todt’s Approval Rating X
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