Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2010

Team orders ban scrapped for 2011

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2010
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2010

The FIA has scrapped the rule banning team orders from the FIA Sporting Regulations.

As of next year the rule stating “team orders which interfere with the result of a race” will no longer apply.

A statement released by the FIA said:

The article forbidding team orders (39.1) is deleted.

Teams will be reminded that any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code and any other relevant provisions

Ferrari were found to have used team orders during this year’s German Grand Prix.

But the World Motor Sport Council stopped short of imposing a penalty that would have stripped the team or its drivers of points.

Do you agree with the FIA lifting the team orders ban?

  • Yes, teams should be allowed to use team orders (54%)
  • No, teams should not be allowed to use team orders (46%)

Total Voters: 1,264

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159 comments on “Team orders ban scrapped for 2011”

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  1. My opinion is that these teams spend millions on their cars so they should have the right to do whats right for them

  2. 2 cars. 1 aim. whats so difficult to understand?

    1. the existance of a drivers championship.

      1. lol, nailed it ……………………

  3. Finally, some clarity. At least we can now move forward knowing exactly what the teams intentions are and aren’t.

  4. doesn’t mean much. Massa is still the only one in the top teams that will accept a team order. you won’t find lewis, jenson, sebastian or mark moving over if they are still in mathematical contention, no matter what they’re told.

    1. And they won’t have to be told if they are out of it. Which is why I think the repeal was silly. But we’ll have to see how it plays out.

  5. I thought the news of all team radio communications being made available to broadcasters from the 2012 season is quite good as well.

    1. That is definitely a good thing indeed, and I am looking forward to getting some good quotes, although I suppose it will also mean that teams will become more circumspect in discussing tactics and performance/testing plans.

  6. Hmmm, so is Jenson going to quit now? My guess is not as I’m sure McLaren will say nothing is changed in how they run their team, but I believe McLaren could now be his last team as I can see the majority of teams using team orders.

    1. why would mclaren decide to use team orders? red bull didn’t apparently use on track orders and came up trumps against ferrari this year.

      just because they are no longer banned doesn’t mean that they are obligatory.

      1. I would also hope that some sponsors might prefer a team that is sporting and thus refuses to live by team orders, as there is clearly a group of people who prefer that way of racing, like myself.

  7. Bad idea IMO. I just hope we won’t see something similar to Schumacher last lap pass on Barrichello. Why didn’t the FIA reformulate the rule, or make a new one to replace it ?
    I think a good idea would be to allow team race order, but during a limited time period. For instance in a 40 lap race, team order would be allowed from lap 20 to 30. After that, it would be forbidden to switch two drivers.

  8. Theres only one way to truly get rid of team orders.. one car per team and ban customer teams or collaborations of any kind! :)

  9. Great! Definitely the right decision, well done FIA.

    Interesting the general opinion is also changing, according to the vote so far.

  10. team orders aren’t a way of getting more points in a easier way?

    1. Switching drivers don’t give more points.

  11. If there is no ban on team orders what is the good of emphasizing rule 151C?

    How can anyone be punished for “violating” a rule that is no longer a rule????

    “Felipe, get your ass out of the way and allow Alonso to pass”, would no longer be punishable. Are the FIA now going to regulate the manner in which team orders are issued????

    Even more ridiculous than the ban on team orders, IMHO. What next, will the FIA issue a set pre-approved phrases for the teams to use in issuing team orders to fool the uninformed about what is really going on during the race?

    1. It seems to me that the reference to 151c is targetting Teams that lie to the public, race officials and the FIA about what they have done. Team orders are no longer banned and given Todt’s previous statement that he is in favor of their use as long as it is done openly and the FIA’s previous punishments under 151c, it is Teams that use Team Orders surreptitiously and then lie about it that will be under scrutiny.

      1. I suppose so – but given Todt’s comments about Barrichello and Massa making it so clear they didn’t like it, I worry slightly that it would have meant Smedley and Massa would have gotten a penalty under the rule because they didn’t go along silently. (Even before anyone at Ferrari started denying it was a case of TO.)

    2. But that would be punishable. All the bad language in that sentence would surely be judged to be bringing the sport into disrepute, justifying a ban from the sport for Ferrari :-D

  12. Making team orders legal is like saying ‘we know everybody cheats at exams, but since we can’t really stop students from doing so at every occasion, let’s make it even easier for them by legalising it.’

    Up to now the ‘spirit of the rules’ put the driver above the team. I for one think that’s good, as fans are primarily interested in the drivers rather than teams. Yes, teams did everything in their power to reverse that order, but at least in theory the ban made it risky to do so. Hence why Ferrari should get penalised for what they did in Hockenheim – they could have handled it differently, but they did not. They made it obvious that Massa was merely an employee rather than an equal who signed a contract which is based on mutual co-operation.

    The scrapping of the team order ban takes away the last bit of a driver’s autonomy in a sport that is primarily about driving. Effectively he is now fixed on the Great Chain of Being as an inferior to the team.

    1. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Its saddens me to see that the Sports leaders, the FIA, basically have no ‘cojones’ to enforce a rule to promote the spirit of fair competition, which is what racing is about I think.
      Just another black-eye for Formula1. I just wish we fans had more of an influence on how things were run in the sport.

    2. The scrapping of the team order ban takes away the last bit of a driver’s autonomy in a sport that is primarily about driving.

      The “purist” insist it’s primarily a team sport and drivers are ancillary, therefore, telling drivers to give up a position to their teammate without a fight is their job. How they feel as racers does not matter.

  13. Completely predictable decision – and I’m not convinced this will improve things one bit. I also don’t think this will mean teams won’t lie to the FIA or to the public anymore in regards to team orders. I just expect the lying to shift from “But we didn’t do team orders” to “But we didn’t damage the sport”. Even more so, without a ban in the rules, teams can resume their arguments from 2002 and prior that they just couldn’t possibly be asked to afford risking their drivers race each other. And finally, even if a case warranted disciplinary action from the FIA, teams can parade around stating that there is no rule saying they shouldn’t issue team orders, so they see no reason to be punished for it.

  14. Really disappointed to see this out come. Switching driver like that makes a mockery of racing. Surely if a driver is doing well he should be encouraged and congratulated not knocked back because it might help the other driver win the championship and better for the team. Each driver should be treated equally in my opinion.

  15. An expected decision. When Todt said, he is okay with TO, not okay with lying, it was clear this was going to happen.

    What is unexpected is that more than 50% of votes are in favor of Team orders. I think this is a sign that the viewer hates being lied to under the pretext of ‘save fuel, save brakes, save engine’ more than he hates a swap of places between drivers. Which I think is good.

    F1 is an intelligent sport, and such a sport should not make a fool of its fans. And above all, F1 is a team sport.
    Most F1 pundits agree that F1 these days is 90% car, 10% driver. So, if teams decide that they want Team orders, there is very little drivers can do anything about it. Yes, drivers are what bring popularity to the sport, but it is the teams who put in all the precious money. And the stakeholder must get to decide who benefits most out of its money.

    1. +1. Nail on head, really.

    2. Then it’s not a sport it’s a business. With that in mind, it will gradually lose it’s market appeal, then it’s television contracts, and finally it’s paying customers, highend and workers. All that will be left is the Tifosi.

  16. ‘A sport that is impossible to police?’

    Welcome to Pro Wrestling, anything goes. I look forward to following ‘Pro F1’ next year.

    The FIA is a joke.

    1. It has been since long time …

  17. Didnt Button say if team orders ban were to be lifted, he’d quit formula 1? :-?

    1. Good opportunity for Nico Hulkenberg to race next season. :)… naaahhh… I don’t think Jenson has the balls to stick with his words

      1. I hope somebody asks him this for his next interview. Would be fun to watch him that time :D

  18. The FIA can’t police it so they have decided to allow team orders.

  19. team

    — n
    1. a group of people organized to work together

    Team Sport

    A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective.

    Sense has prevailed.

    1. The shared objective being the WDC for Alonso? That’s a pretty crappy deal for Massa. Would you really want to compete like that? Working as a team so that only one of you gets the reward? Sorry, but if it’s a team sport in that way, then the WDC title would be shared between both drivers. Doesn’t work like that, though.

      1. Interesting bias in your post there.

        Working as a team in F1 could manifest itself in the form of avoiding collision, as Webber & Vettel failed to do in Turkey. It might also manifest itself in the preference for one driver over another such as the preference that was given to Vettel over Webber in Britain.

        Being a number two in a top team is only a bad deal if you’re faster than your team mate. If you’re not then you might as well count yourself lucky that you will get the chance to win a GP or two and drive a nice car which is more than most F1 drivers can say.

        Lets not kid ourselves, Massa is not in the same league as Alonso. That much was evident in their respective rookie seasons let alone now.

        F1 is a team sport.

    2. The shared objective or target here is the WCC. That is what they are working together to take. The WDC should be all down to the individual driver not about having a good rear gunner to keep the other drivers at bay while he storms to victory.

  20. i think it was the best option, although i don’t love TO.
    Team orders have more ethical than legal impact, it’s like ‘fair play’ in football. Public opinion is much more effective than article 39.1, in my view, so it was meaningless to keep that, considering the easy way a TO could be hidden behind code words. i believe the blatant “Fernando-is-faster-than-you” order was meant by Ferrari in order to reach this political result.

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