Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

No prizes for guessing the worst moment of 2010

2010 F1 season reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010
Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

There were many different nominations for the best moments of 2010 named here yesterday.

But when asked about the worst moment of the year one particular controversy came up time and time again.

Even some Ferrari fans agreed that Felipe Massa being ordered to let Fernando Alonso win at Hockenheim was the low-point of the season:

Ferrari’s team orders

Felipe Massa was on the cusp of a remarkable and unlikely win in Hockenheim. Exactly one year to the day since he was dreadfully injured in Hungary, it would have been a heart-warming story.

Sadly, Ferrari chose to order him to give up his win to help Fernando Alonso in the world championship.

Fortunately in the final reckoning F1 was spared Alonso winning the title by the tainted seven extra points he collected.

But that’s no comfort for Massa, who needlessly surrendered what should have been his victory. Hopefully that will serve as a lesson to any other driver who is called upon to do the same.

The strength of feeling over Ferrari’s team orders has been made clear in the comments every time it’s come up for discussion here. It was far and away the single most common choice for worst moment of the year in the forum:

The team orders debacle in Hockenheim, it was so soul-destroying watching Ferrari do that to Massa.
Magnificent Geoffrey

Team orders from Ferrari.

Hockenheim. As a Ferrari fan, I understand it was necessary, but it was poorly executed.

Team orders in Hockenheim. The worst part of it was the fact that it ruined the race. Massa was struggling with primes, and Alonso was much faster – had we not seen the team order, maybe we would see an awesome battle for the win between the team mates.

Ferrari changing the cars in Germany. It was the first time I felt outraged watching Formula 1.
Ciaran Walsh

Ferrari issuing team orders in Germany.
Prisoner Monkeys

The Ferrari switcharound in Germany springs to mind obviously, but that’s more of a ‘bitter’ moment for me.

The low of Ferrari making Massa give up the wonderful win a year after being in hospital in Hungary (that would have been one of the best), even worse the WMSC being reluctant to hand out a serious punishment. Kudos to the stewards for actually handing out that fine though.

Ferrari’s team orders were dealt with poorly and the team have deservedly got a lot of flak for it. I don’t like the way Massa has been cast into the background. OK, Alonso is definitely the team leader, but it doesn’t mean Massa has to be treated rubbish.
Dan Thorn

Ferrari team orders at Hockenheim. Everyone else has covered this already, but I feel it deserves a mention. Undoubtedly the low point of the year
Ned Flanders

Ferrari robbing Massa of a fairytale win on the anniversary of him having a near-fatal crash whilst driving for them. Disgusting.

Undoubtedly the team orders debacle at Hockenheim.

Massa pulling over in Germany

Of course the dreaded slow motion radio of Rob Smedley: “Fernando-is-faster-than-you!” Then he adds the straw that breaks the camel’s back: “Sorry!”

Worst moment is pretty obviously Massa capitulating in Hockenheim, and with that the WMSC’s decision to let the penalty stand but not punish Ferrari further (“they’ve done nothing wrong but we’re going to keep their money”).

It has to be the team orders in Hockenheim. I understand why Ferrari did that but I still feel terribly sorry for Massa. Ferrari’s behaviour after the race was simply disgusting.

Worst moment? Ferrari ruining what would have been the moment of the year.

…and the rest

Although he was unhurt, Mark Webber’s massive crash in Valencia had people worried:

Webber’s smash in Valencia. What was sickening for me was not the way he somersaulted, but the speed he smacked into the barrier with the car just a toboggan by this stage.

I’d have to say Webber’s flip really got me out my seat in fear for a split second, which was a horrible moment.

And the season finale lacked the unpredictable sparkle of many of the races that preceded it:

Abu Dhabi, so much hype, great qualifying, what happened to the race?
Juan Pablo Heidfeld

Pretty much every second of the Abu Dhabi GP. What a terrible track to end the season on. Strategy decided the title.

The moment on about lap 1 when I realised just how bad Abu Dhabi is as a circuit.

If this all feels a bit negative to you, make sure you saw The four best moments of a thrilling 2010 from yesterday.

What did you think was the worst moment of 2010? Have your say in the comments.

And don’t forget to make your nominations for the best F1 pass of 2010 and rate the drivers of 2010.

2010 F1 season review

Browse all 2010 F1 season review articles

116 comments on “No prizes for guessing the worst moment of 2010”

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  1. they were 2 separate points Keith. i was more talking of my experience at Silverstone this year than i was your website readership. i dont think Fanatic has many “england” fans at all. 99% are complete anoroaks like myself.

  2. Ferrari team orders
    Ferrari pretending there were no team orders
    FIA pretending Bahrain is a F1 race track
    Mark Webber airborne
    Schumacher’s near miss at Abu Dhabi
    Schumacher stuffing Barrichello towards a wall
    Alonso and Ferrari moaning at, after and well after Valencia
    Renault’s fresh engines at Abu Dhabi
    Mark Webber moaning about Red Bull’s lack of emotional support at Brazil
    everyone moaning too much about people moaning

  3. surely Webber airborne was literally the high point of the year.

    re team orders. why do ex drivers like Moss, commentators like Murray and the old guard think team orders are ok but the, lets call them generation Y’s, think its not ok…yet the paradox is we all consider racing to be more sporting back in t’old days?

    And dont quote me the rules, the rules were put in because “dressing gown” spectators whinged, not the other way round.

  4. yes remember, its ” conserve fuel please” NOT “let him thru” – THAT would be cheating!

  5. I remember team orders as being when drivers chose the bits for their cars from what was available in the parts bin at the track.

    Stirling Moss, for example, would get all the best bits by going out and testing them on track and his team mates would get what was left. They were the days when one engine/chassis/gearbox was better than another despite being of the same spec. Moss’s team mates were never expected to win, but they were expected to hand their car over should his break down. These were one car teams with ‘spare’ cars out on track.

    That was the birth of ‘team orders’.

    Today the cars are made to unbelievably much better tolerances and no one gets the ‘cast offs’ any more.

    No more team orders please.

  6. the The team orders debacle in Hockenheim was poor but surely the low point was when the FIA let them off…absolute disgrace

  7. I’m surprised Webber got a mention in the category of “worst moment of the year” for his crash. To be honest I genuinely didn’t feel concerned for his safety as I watched it happen. Roll-hoops and all. The only time I’ve had a proper internal yelp for someone’s safety is when Schumacher nearly got his head rammed off in Abu Dhabi. I didn’t enjoy seeing that live. Trulli’s pirouette over Chandok would have been the other moment but I only saw the replays.

  8. As far as crashes go – Schumacker and Liuzzi – that car seemed pretty darn close to Michael’s head!

  9. HounslowBusGarage
    1st December 2010, 20:37

    I’m not bothered about ‘team order’. I’m really not.
    As far as I’m concerned, F1 is a team sport and just like football, you have blokes designated to be at the front and blokes designated to be at the back. So if they get in the wrong position, the team manager is entitled to tell them to get back in the right order.
    No, the worst moment of the season for me was this stupid equivocation of the Powers That Be in declaring Ferrari guilty, but declining to enforce a sensible penalty and letting the points advantage stand. $100,000 equals 7 points, if I remember correctly. Stupid.

  10. If Ferrari had said to Massa “The crow flies at midnight, nudge nudge wink wink” that would of been one thing, but to say “Fernado is quicker than you” then for him too pull over was the most guiling thing ive seen in a long time. Then I had too shrug my shoulders as my non F1 friends ripped my past time ( notice I didn`t use sport ) too pieces.

    1. Well it’s not been a sport since Alonso said so a while ago. Someone remind me of the reason he said that. LOL

  11. They say that you get bad result when you rob someone, Alonso & Ferrari have got the result in Abu Dhabi.

    1. Cheats never prosper, and for both McLaren and Ferrari, that saying seems to be holding true.

      I can only see a RedBull/Mercedes battle next season being worthy of any interest for those that put integrity high on their list of reasons to watch F1.

      1. I would love to see Mclaren & Ferrari alone with Renault, Mercedes & Red Bull to fight but they got to play fair.You will earn more respect if you finishes second but play fair.

  12. I was at Mallory Park watching some classics Morgan & Jag races the day of the German grand prix. I had spent the afternoon making sure no-one would inadvertently tell me the result. Very dissapointed when I got home and watched it. I have downloaded every race in the last 4 years(I didn’t realise people capped F1 before that.) Except Germany 2010.

  13. Yes Keith and on it goes. Im sure if you took a poll in the English tabloids you’d get an even higher % saying it was “outrageous blah blah blah.” Doesnt make your argument right.

    Alonso is right, he shouldnt hide what he has done, Ferrari are right to do what they did. Ferrari is everything, the drivers are just a means to a goal. ( im not even close to being a ferrari fan )

    If you dont understand that then you are denying the sports history.

  14. Schumacher trying to kill Barichello in Canada.

    1. Schumacher trying to kill Barichello in Canada.

      LOL. What did he use? A barrage of maple leaves?

      1. I missed that too. Was it on the news?

    2. I was refering to the episode where he forces Barichello very close to the wall.

    3. It was in Hungary, sorry about that.

  15. The big difference here seems to be the small matter of $999,000,000.

    Of course, the real irony is that Pat Fry is now passing on lots of info back to Ferrari for no consequences at all.

    It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it that matters.LOL

    McLaren got it wrong with regards to information transference and were punished heavily. Ferrari got it wrong with regards to team orders and they weren’t.

  16. omg ! did alonso raise his fist at another driver!!! ???i’ll alert the village elders. jeez, its like a fish wives tea break on here sometimes.

    if people arent crying that the sport isnt a sport or that it doesnt match exactly their idea of whats fair and whats not; then they’re holding their petticoats and squealing at some drivers “dreadful” behaviour.

    Dennis Jenks would be turning in his grave

  17. My worst moment in the season has come well after the season ended.

    I was once an Alonso fan. I grew up in Spain and he was my favourite driver for a few years because of this and his excellent driving.

    I don’t know the man personally, of course, but the way he has behaved on and off the track this season has sickened me. I can’t stand him anymore. Sure, I am totally influenced by different forms of media – but that’s all I’ve got to go on.

    I think there were more moments but these are the four that really stand out in my mind:

    1) Crying “Ridiculous!” because his team mate wouldn’t move over for him.

    2) Not celebrating demurely after a win that was handed to him by his team mate.

    3) Waving his fists at Petrov.

    4) Not congratulating Vettel on his championship win, even several days later.

    And I’ll add a big one from a previous season:

    5) Not denouncing racism after some of the fans treated Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona.

    Realising what a spoilt little —- Alonso is, and how much I now despise him, is the low point of the season for me.

    1. It’s very interesting as to how the real Alonso and the ‘TV interview’ Alonso differ in character. LOL

      Maybe he has a clone that does the interviews?

      Still, the ‘Tifosi’ love him…for now.

      1. dyslexicbunny
        2nd December 2010, 17:50

        Why limit it to just Alonso? Is it because he played the role of villain in media this season?

        How different are all the drivers between real and TV? We talk up people for being standup chaps but these guys have all been coached on how to act in front of the cameras. You could build a persona in the media based on how you’re coached and what you want to display. How much involvement does the team have in their daily lives? This includes twitter/website/other interaction.

        Say I’m an F1 driver. I can be rather abrasive and blunt at times but I’m not on company time. Does the team get upset if I have my own twitter account and my posts reflect my personality?

        I’m racing and someone took me out by their own fault. PR wise I called it a racing incident in interviews but on twitter I called the guy something less tasteful. Would I get in trouble for it? Should I? Does it really matter?

        1. The unfortunate thing about Alonso is that sometimes he forgets that the cameras are still on him after he’s done his interviews.

          Anyway, the team principles have just voted Alonso their driver of the season. Which pretty much sums up what F1 is about these days.

          1. dyslexicbunny
            2nd December 2010, 18:32

            I actually thought he was the best driver of the season too. He was on a tear after Germany and Monaco was quite impressive. He got a lot out of what wasn’t the best car on the grid and stayed on fire in the second half.

            Lewis had his moments of brilliance but made a couple of massive blunders that knocked him out of contention.

            Though Vettel won the championship, he should have blown the field away given the number of poles he had.

            Webber had a fantastic season but I wonder how much of it was car vs him. I don’t mean to make it sound like an insult because he was fantastic at Silverstone. But I wonder how he would have done in a Ferrari or McLaren vs the king car of qualifying.

            Anyone else really isn’t worth talking about. Others had some fantastic drives of their own but honestly never stayed involved enough to stand out. I think Nico got a lot out of a lousy car and Kubica might have as well but it’s tough to tell with a rookie teammate.

      2. Who was it said that at Ferrari there is too much Schumacher and not enough Fernado? (meaning trophies,posters,paintings etc)

    2. And I’ll add a big one from a previous season:

      5) Not denouncing racism after some of the fans treated Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona.



      1. I never knew.

        Many thanks for that.

        1. No problem :) comment too short

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