No prizes for guessing the worst moment of 2010

2010 F1 season review

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.
morningview66

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

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.
Enigma

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.
Electrolite

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.
BasCB

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.
Casanova

Undoubtedly the team orders debacle at Hockenheim.
SundarF1

Massa pulling over in Germany
Xenon2

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!”
LAK

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”).
US_Peter

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.
Girts

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

…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.
Bullfrog

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.
Electrolite

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.
Todfod

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

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

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

  1. snowman said on 1st December 2010, 13:12

    Lets look at what Ferrari did Hockenheim another way. Massa was heading for his best result in over a year.
    What if ferrari had of just let him have it for the sake of 7 points. Massa’s head & morale dropped after that
    and he was no longer there to take points away from Alonso’s rivals which could have been a lot more than the
    dreaded 7 points. It was Massa probably more than anyone cost Alonso the championship in Abu Dhabi by not covering
    Webber so Alonso wouldn’t have to. Not saying would have happened buts its a realistic probability.

    • BasCB said on 1st December 2010, 15:33

      I hope Massa is able to get out of that state of mind, but I agree it would have ment an enormous boost to his confidence and spirit and he might have been able to drive like a devil to help get Ferrari both the WCC and the WDC for the team and a driver.

    • I dont understand the logic behind the team paid someone to be no. 2, what kind of person is that accepting his racing role is to support no. 1? I’m interested to know the personality of no. 1!

  2. TommyB said on 1st December 2010, 14:33

    Now I look back on the season ‘team orders gate’ wasn’t that bad. I was at Hockenheim for the Grand Prix and it made a rather dull race into an unforgettable one.

    • I dunno, if Massa won I would’ve celebrated that race. As others have said his victory would’ve been a very sentimental win, a year to the day after his skull fracture and his first win since 2008.

      • BasCB said on 1st December 2010, 15:35

        Exactly, it might have been THE highlight of the season with Massa winning his first race again, exactly a year after the accident. That would have been an amazing feelgood story.

        • Gusto said on 2nd December 2010, 3:07

          Who knows this could off been the begining of a resurgent all conquering Massa ,but No , He left there deflated and broken.

  3. DaveW said on 1st December 2010, 14:50

    I can only agree with Keith’s estimation. And reason why this incident burns so much is because of Alonso’s persitent attitude. Give him his due; he is likely the most complete if not the absolute quickest racer today, but his megalomania grates.

    In an interview yesterday Alonso was crowing about how he took Massa to the woodshed this year. Greatest margin to a teammate ever, he said. No humility, or respect for a man who has bona fide speed who came back from a brain injury to be your footstool.

    Of course there will always be an tin-lining to Alonso’s self-congratulations: However much one says he deserved his #1 status at Renault and Ferrari, the one time when he didn’t get the official status, he was dealt with—by a rookie.

    • BasCB said on 1st December 2010, 15:35

      It must be the teammate complex he still carries with him from 2007.

    • Atleast we get to hear the exact toughts of a man. HE says what he thinks and he was right in thinking so.
      He was happy that he beat Massa by so much margin and he made it public.
      This site has so many bunch of hypocrites taking their fire out of their belly on Alonso.
      On one instance , bloggers say that drivers are all programmed and always say goddie things abt their team mates and teams.
      And if someone (in this case Alonso) speaks his mind, you criticize him.

      Yes Alonso isnt very humble but do u watch F1 to see his humility or his ruthless racing. I certalinly watch F1 to see the racing but I think u r more into interviews and blogs.
      Grow up .

  4. sato113 (@sato113) said on 1st December 2010, 14:52

    Bahrain was the worst weekend of racing i’ve ever seen.

  5. Dangarcia said on 1st December 2010, 15:00

    While I really do not like what Ferrari did, it actually gave me one of the funniest moments of the year. Rob Smedley talking to Massa on the way in to the pits at the end of the race and telling him he would explain what magnanamous meant later. Give that man a stand-up show.

  6. antonyob said on 1st December 2010, 15:25

    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.

  7. David BR said on 1st December 2010, 15:44

    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

  8. antonyob said on 1st December 2010, 15:57

    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.

  9. antonyob said on 1st December 2010, 16:31

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

  10. 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.

  11. the edge said on 1st December 2010, 17:58

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

  12. 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.

  13. Bryan said on 1st December 2010, 18:42

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

  14. HounslowBusGarage said on 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.

  15. Gusto said on 2nd December 2010, 2:17

    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.

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

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