Were Red Bull & Mercedes right to use team orders?

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013The events of the closing laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix provoked huge debate and thousands of comments here.

Red Bull and Mercedes’ instructions to their drivers not to race each other during the final quarter of the race, and Sebastian Vettel’s refusal to comply, sparked fresh debate about when team orders should be issued.

Even one of the drivers who benefitted from the instructions given on Sunday had misgiving about them. Lewis Hamilton said after the race his team mate should have been on the podium instead of him.

He wasn’t the only person at Mercedes unhappy with the instruction: the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda said Rosberg should have been allowed to race Hamilton.

Bernie Ecclestone also voiced his displeasure over the use of team orders by Red Bull and Mercedes. But they aren’t the only teams to have used them so far this year.

Were they right to do so on Sunday?

For

Red Bull did not want their drivers racing each other after their last pit stops as they were concerned about tyre wear.

Mercedes had similar concerns but a more pressing problem was the shortage of fuel on Hamilton’s car. He and Rosberg swapped places more than once after their last pit stops but as Hamilton was repeatedly told to save fuel, Rosberg was ordered to stay behind him.

Both teams felt allowing their drivers to race for position put their chances to score points at risk. In Red Bull’s case they were heading for a one-two, and Mercedes were on course for their largest points haul since returning to Formula One.

Against

Had it not been for Vettel’s act of defiance the last quarter of the Malaysian Grand Prix would have consisted of four drivers at the front of the field following each other around being forbidden to race each other. Is this the sporting spectacle F1 is spending billions of pounds to produce?

Both teams imposed an arbitrary cut-off point of the last pit stop as the point at which their drivers were not allowed to race each other. If teams are to impose ‘hold position’ orders at this point then one-stop races will be particularly dull.

But the objections of Rosberg – who told his team to “remember this one” after the race – and the disobedience of Vettel shows the orders given were inappropriate and ineffective.

I say

It will come as no surprise to long-time F1 Fanatic readers that, as a fan of motor racing, I’m not keen on drivers being told not to race each other. But what struck me most about the messages broadcast on Sunday was how little faith the teams have in their drivers.

Ross Brawn tried to placate Rosberg by telling him Hamilton could go faster – yet his repeated urging of Hamilton to go slower showed that was not the case. Christian Horner’s message to Vettel telling him not to be “silly” was as patronising as it was impotent.

The teams tried to remove the drivers’ ability to judge for themselves how to drive their cars, with varying degrees of success. But Lewis Hamilton does not need a dozen radio messages per race telling him to save fuel – he needs a fuel gauge.

Both Red Bull drivers finishing despite pushing beyond the boundaries imposed by their teams, racing each other hard for the lead and putting on another burst of pace in the middle of the stint when Webber tried to catch Vettel.

As in Korea last year, it proved the men in the cockpits are best placed to judge the state of their tyres, not the prat perch dwellers who think they know better. So let them race.

You say

Did Red Bull and Mercedes get it right in Malaysia? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Were Red Bull right to order Vettel not to pass Webber?

  • Yes (49%)
  • No (46%)
  • No opinion (5%)

Total Voters: 747

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Were Mercedes right to order Rosberg not to pass Hamilton?

  • Yes (24%)
  • No (72%)
  • No opinion (4%)

Total Voters: 737

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352 comments on Were Red Bull & Mercedes right to use team orders?

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  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 11:48

    Funny how big the difference between those two votes is at this moment (6 votes cast – so its not really representative so far) – 2/3rds think Red Bull were right in standing their drivers (showing anger at Vettel not being a team player skewing judgement of whether it was right to ask them to do so in the first place?) while over 80% thinks Mercedes should have let their drivers drive!

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 27th March 2013, 12:18

      I noticed that too at once and I somehow expected that. For me it’s ‘double standards’ (and I will go that far to suggest that it’s mainly because Webber is more loved than Vettel over there).

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 27th March 2013, 17:27

        One battle was for the lead though, the other wasn’t. There was arguably more to lose in the RBR camp in this respect. Perhaps a factor in why it might make people think different for each team.

        • rick2k9 (@rick2k9) said on 28th March 2013, 8:16

          I don’t think there should have been any team orders here. But you have to consider that both teams had discussed these strategies before the race and had at that moment decided after the last pitstop if the only car near you was your teammate’s, you’d hold position and bring the cars in for the points…. I don’t agree with the strategy, but that’s what was decided and agreed upon before the race.
          In Reb Bull’s case, after the final stop, they were together, but Mark managed to pull ahead and open up a slight gap and he probably would have maintained it had he not been told to preserve the car. Seb was also told to look after the car and hold position. He ignored the order with full knowledge that Mark was slowing down as instructed (even though he denies it). It would have been fine if they were fighting for the lead on equal terms but that’s not what happened. Like many people are saying, Mark isn’t going to be helping Seb later in the season as a result. A situation that could have been avoided if there were no team orders at all.
          For Mercedes….Rosberg was much quicker at the end and I think he should have been allowed to pass. Lewis knows he wouldn’t have been able to hold him off as he had to coast just to finish.

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 27th March 2013, 17:31

        Also, let’s think about what Ross Brawn had seen go on up the road before his told Rosberg to hold position…

      • favomodo (@favomodo) said on 27th March 2013, 20:57

        In Red Bulls case it is about an agreement the team and the drivers made before the race started. That’s not a team order, it is a tactic everyone agreed on (so also Vettel and Webber). Vettel decided during the race to do otherwise. Again, this had nothing to do with team orders, and everything with an agreement beforehand.

        In Mercedes case it had everything to do with team orders, and it was plain stupid and unnecessary. It sounded really embarassing and silly on the board radio.

        • Nomore (@nomore) said on 27th March 2013, 21:23

          @favomodo
          +1 i said this on Sunday but people still think that what happened to Red Bull is a team order…i’m really surprised and shocked that people haven’t understand this yet…

        • Crackers (@crackers) said on 27th March 2013, 22:21

          +100
          If anything, Red Bull should be applauded for not issuing Team Orders at Vettel’s request earlier in the race. At that point it was the right thing to do, as Webber immediately set the fastest lap.

          Vettel is the villain, not Red Bull.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th March 2013, 1:08

            Vettel is the villain, not Red Bull.

            Red Bull shouldn’t be using team orders in the second race of the year.

            And Vettel set the fastest lap in the pitstop phase, closing up to Webber before the final stop.

          • Crackers (@crackers) said on 28th March 2013, 4:06

            Correct. They shouldn’t, and they didn’t. They simply asked Vettel to adhere to an agreement which they have before the race. At the point where Webber defended Vettel at turn 3 after the pit stop, that should have been it, fight over. But Vettel deviated from that agreement, and that’s where the outrage is.

            I believe Perez actually set the fastest lap. However, when Vettel protested that Webber was too slow, Webber immediately went and set what was the fastest lap, vindicating RBR’s decision not to order Vettel past.

      • mike-e (@mike-e) said on 28th March 2013, 0:24

        Its a tuff one. I voted yes on the first one, not because I like one driver more than another, but because one of their drivers was under the impression that both drivers would obey orders, and was in a way duped out of a win.

        I voted no in the second one because its obvious the engineers of one of the cars had got it wrong and the other should not be punished for that.

        Overall, if left to their own devices for the whole race webber and vettle may still have had an epic battle with the finishing positions going the same as they did, but at least nobody would have felt tricked or cheated, just good old “may the best man win” stuff.

        I would in an ideal world ban team orders and punish any team using them, and let their drivers decide for themselves if they want to help their teammates out at the closing stages of the championship or not.

        I think what I am really looking for is a perfect racing series in an imperfect world. *sigh*

        • Puffy (@puffy) said on 28th March 2013, 8:44

          @mike-e While I agree with the sentiment expressed about the Red Bull incident, I think you voted answering the wrong question. The question was whether Red Bull were right to issue the team orders in the first place, so the fact that one of the drivers obeyed and one didn’t should have no bearing on the answer. My feeling is that it was simply innappropriate for the team to issue those orders to their drivers and as you say “may the best man win”.

      • Jeff Bird (@jedoublef91) said on 28th March 2013, 11:43

        I voted Red Bull right for team orders and Merc wrong. The basis I say that is the pace between the RB’s were simular and the pace between the Mercs were very different.

        As we all know Vettel racing Webber was tight, entertaining (imagine if he Webber didn’t have his engine settings turned down at all) and could have easily ended in disaster for the team, so I think that’s a good call for the teams sake that was broken (after all there is also a WCC).

        Mercedes on the other hand had one driver that pushed to much early on and was limited by his fuel when the team orders were called and the other who raced more strategically and would have been able to at least get close enough to the RB’s that if something did happen he could capitalize on it.

        My 2 cents

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 27th March 2013, 12:21

      @bascb This is a very good measure of showing how much hatred Vettel gets now!!!

      • Drop Valencia! said on 27th March 2013, 13:00

        I read if differently, I think people have displeasure with team orders that favour a #1, but not for team orders that make team logic. Clearly RBR were not favouring Webber for his WDC ambitions, whereas with Rosberg that is not nearly as clearcut….

      • GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 27th March 2013, 13:10

        @wsrgo Its definitely more about the situations of both events than the actual players involved.

      • @bascb Let’s get something straight,i voted yes on RBR and no on Mercedes.RBR are within their own right to instruct their employees (Vettel) how they want their work done,end of story.On the other hand what Mercedes did to Rosberg is basically lying to him.They told him that Hamilton could go faster,when in fact he couldn’t.Had Mercedes told Rosberg just to hold position,with no false explanations,they would have been well within their rights,they don’t need to explain themselves to their employees.Long story short Rosberg did the right thing,and Mercedes embarrassed themselves by lying on live tv.You either give team orders and embrace number one driver policy openly,or let them race.And i don’t hate Vettel at all,in fact until Kimi returned he was my favorite driver.

        • Sorry @bascb my relpay was to @wsrgo

        • tmax (@tmax) said on 27th March 2013, 13:24

          At this stage 53% vs 76% for NO RBR vs Merc with 169 votes. So bottom line is whatever Vettel does one can come up with an explanation as to why he is so wrong . he he.

        • jimscreechy (@) said on 27th March 2013, 13:50

          Rubbish, Hamilton had the pace just not the fuel. Even more reason for the team to tell them to hold station. Hamilton was entirely a victim of the teams agressive fuel strategy and as a consequence is entirely free from blame for his inability to turn up the engine and do fast lap times. Also he had been dicing with Rosberg previously and had come out on top. Why should he forfeit his position through no fault of his own.

          • 5150 (@) said on 27th March 2013, 14:16

            @jimscreechy
            No fuel = no pace.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 14:17

            I do not get your logic. The team must have known the race would run the distance, so letting him use the fuel early on, inevitably posed a risk later on in the race.
            Rosberg had likely used less fuel early on, so why couldn’t he be allowed to reap the profits of that when it mattered?

          • @jimscreechy That simply doesn’t make any sense.I could say he was ahead of Rosberg through the race because he had his engine turned up,and he got caught up by it in the end.

          • tmax (@tmax) said on 27th March 2013, 15:09

            This is getting better, Lewis was faster but he as no Fuel :) The last I heard was that, Race car needs fuel to Run and as @5150 mentioned No Fuel = No Pace.

            You can look at the argument the other way around too. The simple fact that Lewis was carrying lesser fuel was the reason eh was able to get ahead of Nico.

            As I said what ever be the reason, Vettel is at Fault. if the situation was other way round between Merc and RBR. Lewis would be hailed a Hero and Vettel as someone gets points gifted through team orders.

          • tmax (@tmax) said on 27th March 2013, 15:13

            @jimscreechy BTW if you look carefully at the question

            “Were Red Bull right to order Vettel not to pass Webber?”

            It is not a poll where it is being asked if Vettel is right or Wrong.

          • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 27th March 2013, 15:46

            It’s a very touchy situation with Mercedes – I think Ross Brawn’s solution was the best. He gave Rosberg a chance to pass and disappear but he failed to capitalize. Obviously, Hamilton should NOT have had to pay for the team’s mistake and I think it is silly to say that Rosber had more natural pace. Ross Brawn was perfectly honest when he said that Hamilton is being controlled and cannot go faster. The result were 27 points that Mercedes absolutely needs and a confidence that should help the team improve in China. I personally DON’T want to see inter-Mercedes carnage because it hurts the drivers and the team.

          • BJ (@beejis60) said on 27th March 2013, 23:04

            Yes, but the problem with the Merc was that Nico passed HAM, then HAM passed him immediately after. THEN Merc said to hold possition. If HAM actually cared about Nico’s pace, he should have stayed behind Nico. Simple as that.

        • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:21

          @kimster381 – So you’re fine with watching the last 12 laps of the GP with a faster Vettel holding station behind Webber coasting to the finish line, ending a spectacularly boring race? Wonder if you’d think the same if the roles were reversed.

          • @roberto I’m a Kimi fan myself,so it makes no difference to me in which order RB finishes,and it’s not like every race will have this kind of a situation,and yes i would be fine with Webber holding up Vettel,there’s more to F1 then Vettel and RBR,if only one cares to notice.But the fact remains that one who pays the bills calls the shots.

          • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:49

            @kimster381 – actually this sort of situation comes up more then you think (as Keith pointed out in one of his other articles) and is one of the main reasons why proper racing in F1 is becoming non-existent, and why FIA are resorting to fake ‘bossters’ such as DRS and KERS to inject some life into it..

          • @roberto I’m satisfied with amount of overtaking and wheel to wheel racing in F1 as it is,we saw some stunning movies last year,and they war all made outside DRS zones.Of course we always want more,but the fact that we don’t have even more has all to do with aerodynamics and physics,nothing else.

          • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 15:24

            @kimster381 – If you really feel that then I respect that, but all I know is that the move Vettel pulled on Webber was the highlight of the race, the fact he made it stick after Webber pushed him within a cm of the wall made my mouth fall wide open. I’m also a firm believer that there was absolutely no difference between the cars besides the fact that Vettel was on faster tyres. Mark had 2 laps time to push a few buttons on the steering wheel. And considering he was fighting for that place within an inch of both their lives wouldn’t suggest he was stupid enough to leave it turned down (if he changed it at all).

            If Vettel had obeyed the order we’d have been robbed of that amazing pass. Now asks yourself, what else similar to this could we have missed due to drivers obeying such orders?

          • I’m a Kimi fan myself,so it makes no difference to me in which order RB finishes

            What an odd remark. As a Kimi fan it makes a huge difference in which order RB finishes. You have a vested interest in Seb finishing behind Mark. Had he done so Seb would today lead Kimi by just two points instead of by nine.

            And in the interests of full disclosure, I tipped Kimi to win the WDC this year.

        • RBR are within their own right to instruct their employees (Vettel) how they want their work done,end of story.On the other hand what Mercedes did to Rosberg is basically lying to him.

          I don’t see the relevance of that. Don’t Mercedes likewise have the right to instruct their employee (Rosberg) how they want their work done, end of story ? In which case they don’t have to justify their decision to him at all. Whether they lied to him is neither here not there.

      • So people doesn’t get objective or they get double standars, I answered NO to both.

        Sad F1 fans deny their current champion.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 27th March 2013, 13:06

      I don’t think the discrepancy is about Vettel, I think it’s more about Hamilton….

    • McBride (@mcbride) said on 27th March 2013, 13:29

      I’m against teams orders overall and think that they should be banned, but in this case they are in the rulebook and teams will always push to the extremes of the rules.

      I voted two different ways however:

      Yes, RBR were right to order Vettel to stay put. The racing and pace between the Red Bulls was quite close and competitive, and they should have been left to race at full tilt – but they had a pre-race discussion, and WEB definitely earned his spot at the front. Red Bull’s decision said to me that they feel it’s way too early in the season to do the support driver thing (which is why they told VET to stay put).
      My main issue is that it was likely that VET did not turn his car down as WEB had done (when ordered to by the team). That leads me to believe that WEB could have put up a legitimate fight when VET attacked, but was handicapped with a low powered engine map (or whatever setting was involved).

      No, Mercedes were definitely wrong to hold ROS back. It was so clear that HAM was running on vapors that it was silly to keep ROS behind. If the Mercs had switched places the points for constructors would have been the same. I found it insulting to ROS considering just how slowly he was forced to go (and HAM seemed to agree).

      The fact that I voted two different ways for two different teams (with no bias or fanboyism), proves to me definitively that team orders muddy the waters and bring no value whatsoever to F1.

      • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:29

        That pre-race discussion and agreement I actually find quiet dumb, but it is also a TEAM ORDER btw.. if it was up to the drivers, do you think they would come up with such nonsense? It’s just an invitation for something like this to happen…

        • McBride (@mcbride) said on 27th March 2013, 22:30

          I agree that it was still a team order, and I wish that there weren’t any team orders at all. At least they were discussed before the race and were focused on bringing 2 cars home safe (not the ALO MAS #1 driver type).

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 27th March 2013, 14:41

        you nailed it !

      • My main issue is that it was likely that VET did not turn his car down as WEB had done (when ordered to by the team). That leads me to believe that WEB could have put up a legitimate fight when VET attacked, but was handicapped with a low powered engine map (or whatever setting was involved).

        I’s ask you what you base that belief on, but I already know that you have no basis for it.

        • McBride (@mcbride) said on 27th March 2013, 22:27

          I never said it was a fact. WEB said during the podium interviews that he had turned his car down and he seemed to imply that VET may not have. Obviously the telemetry would shoe it, but Red Bull would never show it. It seems plausible to me and the questions asked were about our opinions, not solving logic problems.

          • Crackers (@crackers) said on 27th March 2013, 22:54

            I believe in one of Keith’s articles, he mentioned RBR team radio telling Vettel to stop using KERS in Overtake mode. From my understanding, RBR have two KERS settings, regular and overtake, with regular being about 40kW and overtake being about 60kW. The Overtake mode can’t be used for too many laps in a row without risk of damaging the KERS system. RBR were pleading with Vettel to stop using the Overtake mode, and I woud suspect that given what Webber said on the podium about “bringing the cars home”, he was not using the Overtake Mode.

      • Bernard (@bernard) said on 27th March 2013, 18:44

        Rosberg was also marginal on fuel though, so challenging the red bulls was not an option for either at that point. Let’s not forget that Rosberg did actually pass Hamilton several times before the the lockdown, yet Hamilton was still able to regain his position repeatedly. Maybe at this stage Brawn thinks the extra points are better in Hamiltons pocket, that’s his and the teams decision.

        Also, the top teams don’t spend £5 million+ per week just so one of their drivers can risk it all for the sake of putting a few selfish points in their pocket. Mercedes and Red Bull stood to gain the same points haul (27 and 43) regardless of their drivers finishing order at a time when McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus could only manage 2, 10 and 14 respectively.

        • tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 29th March 2013, 1:09

          Also, the top teams don’t spend £5 million+ per week just so one of their drivers can risk it all for the sake of putting a few selfish points in their pocket.

          You could also Include the possibility of blowing an engine, a gearbox or maybe a shunt and losing valuable team points with one or both drivers retired. Losing an engine during the second race of the season is a sign of poor management. Brawn is not a poor manager.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th March 2013, 14:22

      Much as I hate these processions I don’t think the teams have any choice given the regulations regarding engine and gearbox reliability and particularly the tyres , allowing their drivers to race an extra twenty laps is likely to come back and bite them, either before the finish line with tyres going off that could cause 1 or both drivers not to finish, or at a following race with a grid penalty for a premature gearbox change, or at years end with engines past their best.

      • tharris19 (@tharris19) said on 29th March 2013, 1:14

        Just noticed your post and wholeheartedly agree. If I were a manager knowing I only have four or five engines per car to last me the entire season without penalty I would be careful with the equipment too.

    • @bascb – at the time of writing it’s 43/50 Red Bull and 21/76 Mercedes: it just goes to show how clouded people’s judgment becomes because of petty hatreds. If there was just a general poll for whether team orders should be imposed this early in the season, I think the numbers would be far closer to Mercedes’ current tally than Red Bull’s.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 27th March 2013, 21:41

        @vettel1, I voted yes in both cases much as I would rather see all the drivers racing all the time, but if I were a team manager I would be looking at the big picture and I would not want unnecessary wear and tear let alone potential DNF’s when my drivers had no-one to race but themselves.
        Until the regulations and the tyres change that is the way it has to be.

        • @hohum – if I put myself on the Red Bull pit wall I can entirely understand why they wouldn’t have wanted those events to transpire, but I’m a fan sitting on my couch; therefore I would support “disobedience” in any case as there is no doubting that was an exciting battle!

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 27th March 2013, 16:17

      The two situations are not comparable.

      1) Webber was told to slow down by the pitwall and so he did. Had this order not come through, then Vettel might not have even been able to catch him, never mind overtake him. By the time Webber realised Vettel was going against their agreement, Vettel already had DRS and a higher engine mode. Webber would have had to try set fast laps while toggling his wheel to turn all the speed-generators up again.

      Compare that to:

      2) Lewis had a fuel problem. We dont know if it was brought on by using higher rev’s during the earlier parts of the race, while Nico conserved fuel for the latter part, or if it was an underfueling mistake. As we all know it is common practice for teams to under-fuel their cars at each race and then conserve fuel at certain periods in order to finish, I dont believe Merc made a mistake at all. Their drivers simply used their fuel at different times and it just so happened that Lewis had to save fuel later in the race because he did not save it during the middle stint. Nico on the other hand most likely did save fuel earlier in order to have the opportunity to fight at the end.
      So in my opinion, I feel Nico had a strategy in place where he planned to go faster at the end and because he was not allowed to overtake Lewis, he was also not allowed to take advantage of his strategy.
      For me the big issue with the Merc orders is the precedent it sets for the two of them. From now on they will not be racing until the end to try beat eachother. They know that the driver ahead after the final pitstops will remain ahead. So we will see compromised strategies to pit first ahead of the final pitstops to get the undercut. Their race effectively ends after the final stops.

      So yeah, a poll like this takes a complex 3D situation and only looks at one side.

      • By the time Webber realised Vettel was going against their agreement, Vettel already had DRS and a higher engine mode. Webber would have had to try set fast laps while toggling his wheel to turn all the speed-generators up again.

        None of that is actually true.

    • plushpile (@plushpile) said on 28th March 2013, 3:26

      Here I am voting now with 603 votes cast and the discrepancy still remains.

      As I see it there’s simply a difference in perception.
      As some people have noted if Webber had been the one to pass Vettel then he would have been lauded.

      The difference as I see it is Red Bull were intending to both stroke their car home going easy on the tyres while Mercedes seemed to have a more dire fuel situation on Hamilton’s car than Rosberg who appeared to be able to run faster.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 11:49

    Ha even during writing that comment, its 50/50 for the Red Bull and 15/75 for Mercedes being wrong with their call!

    • James (@iamjamm) said on 27th March 2013, 11:52

      50/44 for RBR now, 17/78 for Mercedes.

      Team orders are either right or wrong, not dependant on team or reasons for deploying them.

      • timi (@timi) said on 27th March 2013, 11:55

        @iamjamm

        Team orders are either right or wrong, not dependant on team or reasons for deploying them.

        Oh really? Let’s say you think team orders are wrong. For example’s sake, Caterham have been having financial difficulties and look like they won’t last until 2014. Towards the end of the race late in the season they are running high up in the order. This triggers a certain clause in one of their sponsorship contracts, which means they will receive some sort of a bonus, ultimately allowing them to stay in F1, hundreds of jobs to be kept, and keeps a team on the grid. Would you say them using team orders then, to ensure nothing goes awry, is wrong?

        It’s easy to say it’s either A or B, but it just isn’t that simple.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 12:45

          There is one very big – even critical – flaw in your argument there @timi

          Would you say them using team orders then, to ensure nothing goes awry, is wrong?

          – team orders do not change the amount of points the team gets, they change which driver gets more.

          • timi (@timi) said on 27th March 2013, 13:10

            @bascb Yes, but my point is that they also prevent incidents such as Turkey ’10, Canada ’11. On one occasion one car couldn’t complete the race, and on the other occasion both cars were out.

            Team orders do end up dictating which driver gets more points, but the point I was trying to make is that if you look at it from the team’s perspective, it’s two cars brought home, period. Two cars = more money than one car, or no car. My comment above clearly stated my point was about money, not points anyway.

          • timi (@timi) said on 27th March 2013, 13:12

            [Sorry, just one driver was unable to complete the race in the two examples I gave]

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 13:17

            my point is that they also prevent incidents such as Turkey ’10, Canada ’11.

            but that is not true @timi.

            Turkey 2010 happened then, but not now, not because of team orders, but because both drivers were more carefull not to crash. If you remember, then Webber was also told to put the wick down, and maybe Vettel was told the same (although I am not too sure of that). Its more team orders upsetting the results than helping. Sure enough, without team orders Vettel could have passed too, without crashing, but Webber would not have been as upset because he just got beaten fair and square.

          • timi (@timi) said on 27th March 2013, 14:24

            @bascb Yes they were more careful ont to crash, but it was still a possibility, plus the de-lamination of tyres.

            I’m just saying team orders eliminates risk. It’s unsurprising the teams might have agendas to eliminate the risk (not certainty) of something affecting the outcome/guarantee of the cars finishing the race.

          • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:36

            Team orders do end up dictating which driver gets more points, but the point I was trying to make is that if you look at it from the team’s perspective , it’s two cars brought home, period. Two cars = more money than one car, or no car. My comment above clearly stated my point was about money, not points anyway.

            @timi Yes, let’s all look at the team perspective, the one which orders the drivers to coast to the finish line in formation and gives the viewers the spectacular racing they came to see…*rolls eyes*

          • timi (@timi) said on 27th March 2013, 17:34

            @roberto You think the teams will care about a spectacular race because the fans were bored towards the end?

            Honestly, did it put you off enough to not watch the next race? I highly doubt it, thus the viewing figures will be about the same, as will revenue for the tv audience. Thus it’s a no-brainer for a team. If however it caused lower tv rating, less attendance etc. then their perspective might change.

            Fans seem to think the teams should care about their decision which may have lessened the action on track, but why should they care? You’re still going to watch the races, I doubt you’ll get in contact with the FIA or something. So, having a go at teams for team orders as if “exciting racing” is their job, is naiive. It’s a business at the end of the day, move on.

          • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 23:36

            You think the teams will care about a spectacular race because the fans were bored towards the end?

            ..and that’s exactly the problem and what’s wrong with this whole thing.. teams SHOULD care about fans..

            and I personally couldn’t care less where the money comes from, I watch f1 to see racing.. not debate economic structures of teams..
            and the fact so many people are siding with this ‘logic’ is quite troubling actually (or is it more because it involves a specific German, hmm)

        • @timi – another huge flaw also is that your proposed scenario is towards the endof the season, not the second race. That is where my major gripe with team orders is – both drivers are able to win the title, so why handicap them in their efforts? It’s boring for the fans and puts a damper on the races and the championship no less.

          • timi (@timi) said on 28th March 2013, 0:21

            @vettel1 Yes, it’s a huge flaw with regards to

            your

            opinion on the matter, but my comment was aimed at someone else’s post/opinion on the matter, not yours.
            Your gripes are different to his, and thus my points more relevant to his gripes than yours. HAving said that, I think my points can still demonstrate a quite-realistic teams’ view of the situation. Note the points I made about it being boring for the fans.

          • @timi – I don’t see how it really chnages things: you were replying to the issue of double standards through an annecdote that proposed a situation towards the end of the season, in stark contrast to this issue of the second race in the season. In that situaton I may actually support team orders, as then it is likely one driver may be in contention but the other not.

          • timi (@timi) said on 28th March 2013, 10:37

            @timi Re-reading it, you’re right it doesn’t change things. A team can still be under huge money pressure at the second race of the season.. Do you think Marussia and Caterham are care-free with regards to money at the moment?

            My issue, as said before, was aimed primarily at the blanket statement by @iamjamm;

            Team orders are either right or wrong, not dependant on team or reasons for deploying them.

            I was pointing out a situation in which team orders may be understandable. This same situation can be applied at the beginning of the season as well. Money problems don’t start at the tail-end of seasons.. My point is still valid. I just don’t get why so many people are so opposed to looking at it from the teams’ perspectives.

          • timi (@timi) said on 28th March 2013, 10:38

            @vettel1 Teams can and are still under huge money pressure at the second race of the season.. Do you think Marussia and Caterham are care-free with regards to money at the moment? Please.

            My issue, as said before, was aimed primarily at the blanket statement by @iamjamm;

            Team orders are either right or wrong, not dependant on team or reasons for deploying them.

            I was pointing out a situation in which team orders may be understandable, – it is a grey area not just A or B. This same situation can be applied at the beginning of the season as well. Money problems don’t start at the tail-end of seasons.. My point is still valid. I just don’t get why so many people are so opposed to looking at it from the teams’ perspectives.

          • @timi I was pointing out a situation in which team orders may be understandable

            I accept that: there are situations where although I may not like team orders I could understand why they were imposed (such as one I had particular distaste at, Massa’s gearbox seal being broken in Austin last year).

            I just don’t get why so many people are so opposed to looking at it from the teams’ perspectives.

            I have the perspective of an F1 fan who although interested in the team-play aspect watches F1 to see the best drivers in the world slugging it out, not formation one-two finishes. That is why I supported Vettel’s decision to break them – it is exciting – whereas with Rosberg I didn’t (as obedience is boring)!

          • timi (@timi) said on 28th March 2013, 16:00

            @vettel1 Exactly! That was my point, it’s not black and white.

            I get what you mean. I too, while interested in the team aspects, prefer interesting races. I also supported Vettel’s decision and Nico’s not so much.

            I was simply adding a dimension to the original blanket statement, by using team’s views on money as the main case in point. Most other cases for the teams use the easily rebutted “team points/driver points” argument

          • @timi – I apologise for the italics and blockquote fail; no idea what happened there!

            I think we’re on a similar page now: I don’t believe it is correct to enforce team orders at such an early stage (when the drivers championship is still very much alive), but there are circumstances in which I could understand their use.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 27th March 2013, 12:03

        Not sure about this, I think as @toothpickbandit says below you might plausibly think that Red Bull should have held their drivers in position to secure the 1-2, but allowed Rosberg to pass Hamilton to give him a fighting chance of taking second place. (Though I don’t actually think Rosberg had a prayer of taking second in any case).

        You might hold an extreme position and suggest that team orders are wrong in all circumstances, or that teams should be allowed to instruct their drivers however they like, but there are certainly grey areas. Though perhaps some of the difference is down to “I like Rosberg, but I don’t like Vettel,” which is obviously not a rational position to hold, and perhaps what you were getting at.

        • Though perhaps some of the difference is down to “I like Rosberg, but I don’t like Vettel,”

          Yeah, maybe just a tiny bit.

        • James (@iamjamm) said on 27th March 2013, 12:26

          Though perhaps some of the difference is down to “I like Rosberg, but I don’t like Vettel,” which is obviously not a rational position to hold, and perhaps what you were getting at

          @red-andy It is partly what I was getting at. But I do think that if you think team orders are wrong, you can’t justify one team using them, but not another. Regardless of the ramifications for the team. In any case, there was no good reason for keeping Vettel behind Webber, imo. Vettel was clearly quicker in the closing stages, whether that was down to engine settings or whatever. He was as entitled to go for the win as Rosberg was for 3rd or 2nd. Although, Rosberg was supposed to be saving fuel too, so it’s not likely he’d have caught Webber.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 12:51

            I think its not so much about

            justify one team using them, but not another

            @iamjamm, but more about taking each situation on its own and feel ok with their use, or not feel ok with them (if you are not against ALL team orders that is).

            Its the discussion of where to draw the line and it should be on the merits of the situation. It should be about weighting Hamilton being critical on fuel, the reasons for that and what Rosberg can still achieve in the race, as much as the biggest points scoring finish for the team in ages. Its like justice – the judge has to look at each individual case, so there CAN be different perceptions of these orders.

            Mine is clear – I am not in favour of using them, even if I can fully understand (or maybe BECAUSE I can fully understand?) the reason why teams like to use them.

    • James (@jimmyd13) said on 27th March 2013, 22:14

      I think that wit RBR both drivers were roughly equal on pace and there was nothing to gain, so half of people think that team orders shouldn’t happen anyway and the other half think that this situation was fine.
      Merc though got it wrong as it was blindingly obvious that Rosberg was faster so he could have gone on scared the Red Bulls forced them into an error steal 2nd, a bit like Buttons win in Canada a few years ago.

  3. Andy G (@toothpickbandit) said on 27th March 2013, 11:49

    Teams need to maximise their points haul from the weekend.

    Red Bull ordering their drivers to hold station, not wreck their tyres racing each other and pickup the 1-2 was the safest way of doing this. I would have ordered the same thing in that situation.

    Mercedes also had similar thoughts, thinking of guaranteeing the 3-4. What I think they failed to see was that 2nd place might have been there for the taking for Rosberg. They should have let him go, in an attempt to get a 2-4 rather than a 3-4.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 27th March 2013, 13:13

      @toothpickbandit

      2nd place might have been there for the taking for Rosberg

      In fuel-saving mode??

    • JimG (@jimg) said on 27th March 2013, 14:23

      Thinking of something that @keithcollantine wrote in the article, the team orders do show a lack of trust. Vettel seems to have shed his “crash kid” problems and both he and Webber showed that they were able to race without taking each other out, as were Hamilton and Rosberg. If you can trust your drivers not to crash into each other, why not give them their heads? Their separate support teams can keep an eye on tyre wear and fuel levels and let them know when they’re in danger of not finishing the race.

      On the other hand every overtake is a risk and I can understand the team not wanting to take any extra risks, especially when the risk involves both of their cars instead of just one as it would in a normal overtake on another team’s car.

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 27th March 2013, 14:47

        I think the reason red bull were so “cautious” was beacause they do not have a “grip” over the tyres yet and they don’t wan’t some last minute pirelli magic degradation to hamper their best chances of leading the championship . I think both of them should be allowed to race on even terms till a particular lap beyond which they cannot afford to continue because of the nonsense tyres and regulations which is what red bull do . About ” crash kid ” , true they mature with age .

    • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:39

      Red Bull ordering their drivers to hold station, not wreck their tyres racing each other and pickup the 1-2 was the safest way of doing this. I would have ordered the same thing in that situation.

      @toothpickbandit – What spectacular way to make me go to sleep watching a race.. tyre preservation and lower engine maps..

      • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 27th March 2013, 14:50

        What spectacular way to make me go to sleep watching a race.. tyre preservation and lower engine maps..

        Very true, but that’s the consequence of having limited engines/gearboxes and the current generation of tyres. There will always be problems to fix with the series…

        • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 15:43

          Fact is though, that it all worked out for RBR in the end. The risk was worth it. Tyres were fine and the viewers got to see some proper racing. I haven’t seen two drivers go that aggressive in a LONG time, maybe Schumi blocking Barichello 2 years back (and getting a penalty for the same thing Webber got away with btw). It just reminded me what we’re missing nowadays with all the politics and team orders ********.

          • Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 27th March 2013, 16:03

            @roberto

            “The risk was worth it. Tyres were fine and the viewers got to see some proper racing”.

            I agree with you on this. Any one watching the race could have seen that the tyre situation was over hyped. They were never going to fall off the cliff in my opinion. Plus the Merc’s were far too behind to take any advantage.

            The only question I would like to ask Webber is: why not try and take back the position? Okay I can understand he was taken aback by Vettel’s sudden urge to get past. But instead of brooding over his future in the cockpit for the last 15 laps, he could have attacked Vettel. Or at least tried. Of course Horner would have ******* his pants in anxiety, but the racing would have been epic.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th March 2013, 16:11

            @sankalp88

            The only question I would like to ask Webber is: why not try and take back the position?

            He did, as I mentioned in the article. You can see the dip in his times around lap 50. It’s also referred to here.

          • Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 27th March 2013, 16:26

            @keithcollantine

            Thanks for the quick reference. The argument of the people supporting Webber was that he was quicker than Vettel on race pace, hence deserved the win. But as can be seen Vettel had it under control after he made his move. So am I to conclude that on average Vettel was quicker than Webber? Of course I have no idea how one would factor in Webber’s laps on “reduced engine power”.

  4. Alexander (@alexanderfin) said on 27th March 2013, 11:50

    I think this early in the season you should let them race, later on when someone has a greater chance of a championship it is OK with team orders.

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 27th March 2013, 14:24

      +1…what the teams are basically saying is that its wrong to let teammates race each other,even if its only the first or second race of the season which we are talking about…

  5. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 27th March 2013, 11:50

    I agree with you Keith. Its sometimes hard to realise that F1 is a form of motor racing *shock* *horror* not just Bernie’s cash machine.

    • Which is true – but ignores the fact that a major source of the teams’ revenue (prize money) is entirely dependent on the results of the constructors’ championship, and not at all on the drivers’.

      One might also consider that there are circumstances (similar to those of last weekend) where two teammates will race to the finish even if they know there is a very good chance of its costing them both in terms of finishing in the points.
      In those circumstances, team orders are entirely reasonable – even if I don’t like them.

      • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:44

        Which is true – but ignores the fact that a major source of the teams’ revenue (prize money) is entirely dependent on the results of the constructors’ championship, and not at all on the drivers’.

        Since when do we as fans need to worry about this? I turn on the TV, open a beer and sit to watch a RACE, not debate and think about where the teams get their money and what each driver has to do to maximise this glorious achievement..

  6. Speedmatters (@speedmatters) said on 27th March 2013, 11:51

    It’s race two for goodness sake, of course there should be no team orders! Even if both sets of drivers had swapped position it wouldn’t have change team points! Vettel & Webber should have been allowed to race at least until it was obvious who was going to be the quickest, and if Lewis had no fuel left then it’s obvious that Rosberg should have been allowed to push on at a faster pace to run the RedBulls down.

    Never mind. At least we got the immortal ‘Multi-21 Seb’ line from the fiasco!

  7. timi (@timi) said on 27th March 2013, 11:52

    Meh, I’m not fussed either way here. It’s allowed in the rules so that’s that really. Since there has been such a huge uproar, maybe the FIA should look at that ruling.

    One must remember that there are performance clauses in sponsor contracts, as well as the fact that one race where a team’s drivers might not finish could end up costing millions by the way of revenue.
    It isn’t just points at stake, it’s next year’s development/R&D budget, it’s much much bigger than fans think it is. We just want all the drivers racing eachother, no team orders. While great in a perfect world, one must remember that teams depend on money from outside sources, and team orders will and have kept teams’ sponsorship terms intact, which at the end of the day is the most important thing to a team,- funding. So I have no problem with it.

  8. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 27th March 2013, 11:52

    Without such orders teams would make one car faster or just fake some problems on another car. So this is the best we have. Solution would be not to race for Championship, but for only individual GP victories! I would like that. No talk about “we’ll see in the end of the year” etc. You start, you race, you finish. Done!

  9. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 27th March 2013, 11:55

    Yes to both. Why should a team principal be expected to sit impotently on the pit wall and watch his drivers run each other off the road? If he calculates that it’s a real risk, he should intervene.

    Ultimately this is about a conflict between what fans want and what the teams want. Fans might want to see drivers going hell-for-leather until the chequered flag drops – but teams are more interested in preserving a good result, which is why they are more risk-averse. Unless you do something drastic, like ban pit-to-car communication or just have single-car teams, there’s no real way of avoiding that.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 12:52

      Ultimately this is about a conflict between what fans want and what the teams want.

      I agree, that is the key issue here @red-andy

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 27th March 2013, 21:50

      (@red-andy) Nicely summarised. I also think people forget Vettel and Webber have crashed before when racing together – by comparison Mclaren allowed their drivers to race because Hamilton and Jensen had proven themselves more accomodating to one another. I don’t really like team orders for 99% of scenarios, but I think people are forgetting that Webber will give little quarter and Vettel is desperately clumsy wheel to wheel, despite his raw pace.

      • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 28th March 2013, 10:39

        Excuse me, both VET/WEB and HAM/BUT have crashed into each other once – at Turkey 2010 and Canada 2011, respectively. In both cases, the one trying to overtake was out of the race and the other one could continue.

  10. gatekiller (@gatekiller) said on 27th March 2013, 11:56

    Here’s a question for all to discuss. How do team orders differ from match fixing in other sports?

    • Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 27th March 2013, 11:59

      Because they’re legal in F1, they’re not legal in other sports. Its that simple, really.

    • clay (@clay) said on 27th March 2013, 12:15

      Teams generally only use team orders (certainly in the case of this weekend) to hold position after the final stops, in order not to stress the cars in the final part of the race. I get that. Especially when, as has been discussed earlier, tyres have been so marginal in 2013, and in the case of both RBR and Mercedes, their cars were in the clear in big points paying positions.

      As I said in a post yesterday, if Vettel was a man about it, he would have said pre-race he would ignore team orders and have urged Mark to do the same, he would have replied on the radio to Horner that he was going to ignore the order (as he would have said in the pre-race briefing), and would have celebrated the win all the way as he would have done what he said he was going to do. He would not have looked like a naughty boy and apologised.

      The situation is quite different to match fixing as match fixing involves two different teams. Team orders are used in Cycling where a team helps one main rider to win – that is not match fixing either.

      The argument here is not the merit or otherwise of team orders. The issue is that of sportsmanship. Vettel clearly was told of team orders pre-race. He obviously did not disagree with the idea at the time. However the fact is that he did not like them being imposed to allow Mark to cruise to victory, so as it suited him he ignored them. This caused the issue, Vettel’s ignoring of the pre-race agreement, nothing else.

      Should he have been allowed to race to the end? Sure, however as the team requested that a certain course of action should take place in the event of the cars being 1-2 after the final stop and he blatantly ignored that instruction RBR are now placed in the unenviable position of being faced with a disobedient driver and what to do with him? Do nothing and back down, looking weak as p#@s in the process, or do something and potentially lose one of the three best drivers in the championship?

      Vettel is a tool. RBR need to do something. Mark needs to ignore every team instruction for the rest of the season then go elsewhere, although I fear his Ferrari opportunity has gone. I hope it hasn’t…

    • Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 27th March 2013, 12:23

      Team orders in F1 are like football team game on 85th minute, when you are leading by 1:0. You just kill the game, freeze the situation and wait till the whistle blows. Fans hate it, but you and bring home the win! Would make sens to risk it and end up losing.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2013, 12:54

        Team orders in F1 are like football team game on 85th minute, when you are leading by 1:0. You just kill the game, freeze the situation and wait till the whistle blows.

        Funny that, but we would object if the losing team just went along with that, wouldn’t we? And I am pretty sure the governing bodies would look at it much in the same way they look at match fixing

      • JimG (@jimg) said on 27th March 2013, 14:58

        I wouldn’t say that’s really the same. To stretch your football analogy to breaking point, the situation in F1 is more like having two star strikers who are trying to out-score each other as well as the other side. When it gets to the 85th minute in your example, instead of passing the ball between themselves to kill time one of them decides to make a glory run to score another goal for himself, risking losing the game for his own personal gain. Except that in football there isn’t as much to gain.

        I think that this is the essential dilemma in Formula 1: it’s a team sport, but within each team there are two sub-teams who are competing against each other as well as the rest of the field.

        • Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 27th March 2013, 18:58

          Ok. But then lets compare F1 with cycling. It is a team sport with some superstars. And every member knows he drives for the team. Fans still cheer for individuals, not teams. So I’d say F1 is team sport with couple of superstars :)

  11. GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 27th March 2013, 11:59

    I´m completely against team orders. Drivers should just race no matter what! But the discussion shouldn´t be “should there be team orders” but instead “what can be done to effectively erase team orders for ever”!!!

    • Drop Valencia! said on 27th March 2013, 13:06

      Easy, one way comms.

      • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 27th March 2013, 23:58

        Removing radios will not fix it as you can do it via pit board info, holding them in the pit for a few seconds longer, a pre arranged finishing order etc etc. I think the team s are too smart to enforce it

        Remove the driver championship from the sport or only having one car per team is the only way it can be done with absolute certainty. No driver championship would make it irrelevant on finishing order.

        But thats not going to happen so team orders will always exist.

        • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 29th March 2013, 12:45

          Both are things I´ve thought about, too. One way communication and removing the WDC. But I also don´t think they would be very effective. I´ve also thought of giving way much more money for the WCC than for the WDC, but it wouldn´t assure that teams don´t give orders.
          What if the teams had two cars, but would be run in every aspect as independent cars? No sharing of information during the race, no communication between crews/engineers, barriers between the sides of the pits. Really having the only link between the cars be that the points awarded go to the same team in the WCC, but otherwise each car is free to race as if it were a one-car team! Don´t know if it could be possible, but is the best I can think of…

  12. James (@iamjamm) said on 27th March 2013, 12:01

    Rosberg was being told to save fuel as well, and would not have been able to push fast enough or long enough to catch either Red Bull. As far as I know, Red Bull weren’t marginal on fuel so could have instructed Webber to turn his engine back up to negate any threat from Rosberg, too.

    I can see Ross’ point about wanting to bring the cars home in one piece, for all we know, if they’d allowed Rosberg to pass Hamilton and push on, he could have had another gearbox failure or some other mechanical failure and that would be 12 points lost for the team.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t agree with team orders (this is supposed to be RACING, afterall), but can understand why the teams want and use them. I voted no to both, you can’t have them applied by one team but not another…

    • TdM (@tdm) said on 27th March 2013, 13:19

      I basically agree with this.

      I can’t say whether it was right in either case because I can’t see what each driver had/didn’t have.

      However, the drivers do not have all the information that the pit wall does. The drivers HAVE to trust the pit wall to make calls on fuel at least. It is right (currently, at least) for teams to tell drivers to drive to targets if the fuel is at risk.

      Hamilton COULD have gone faster, just as Rosberg COULD have gone faster. Hamilton was asked to drive to a target and he was hitting that target. Rosberg was asked to drive to a target.

      If Rosberg ignored his target then Hamilton may have ignored HIS target and one or both may have run out of fuel. Why wouldn’t the pit wall tell them to hold station? It makes sense AND they weren’t lying.

      In other news, Rosberg learned very slowly in that race… Several times overtaking on the first DRS straight and Hami taking the place back on the second… Hamilton won the mental battle there…

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 27th March 2013, 15:37

      you can’t have them applied by one team but not another…

      But if Vettel is allowed to pass webber it’ll basically be team orders – Webber would’ve been told to slow down only for Vettel to pass. I’d call Horner’s call to Vettel an antithesis to Vettel catching up Weber, the latter told to save fuel and that Vettel was also doing the same, when from what I know Vettel wasn’t.

  13. Slr (@slr) said on 27th March 2013, 12:01

    If they want to use team orders then that’s fine in my opinion. I personally don’t care about morals and sportsmanship in sport, so I don’t really mind when teams push the boundaries of what is morally right and wrong as long as their not cheating.

  14. pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 27th March 2013, 12:01

    Change it to team advice, allow both sides of the garage to know each others information.

    Then, let them race.

    Mark may not have ‘backed off’, the pass may not have come about so ‘easy’.

    Lewis may have driven more conservatively or paced himself to Nico. Oh and stop underfueling so marginally. Either the Merc engine is terribly inefficient or the other teams don’t underfuel so marginal.

    Basically, give them the tools and let them race. Up to the driver to accept or ignore team ‘advice’.

  15. MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 27th March 2013, 12:02

    The double standard among some F1 fans is astonishing… I don’t see how anyone could with a clear conscience say it was OK in one case and not OK in the other. It’s a “no” from me.

    • James (@iamjamm) said on 27th March 2013, 12:32

      I could not agree more @maroonjack

    • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 27th March 2013, 12:38

      Completely agree here!

      • DASMAN (@dasman) said on 27th March 2013, 13:10

        You have to look at each case separately. In RBR’s case, Webber was fast enough to keep Seb behind, and had up unitl then, beaten Vettel on merit and could have sped up to fend off Vettel(had the team not told him to turn down the engine and bring it home). In this case, I have no problem with team orders to save the points haul for the team.

        In Mercedes case, Lewis had raced too aggressively in the early part of the race, requiring him to save fuel. I don’t see why Nico had to pay for this error in judgment, when he was clearly faster and had the possibility of chasing down the RBR’s?

        So quite easily I vote differently depending on the situation.

        • V. Chris (@vasschu) said on 27th March 2013, 13:37

          @dasman

          So in one case you have problem that the team told the drivers to save tires and fuel and bring the cars to the finish in same order, but in the other case you don’t see anything wrong whit this. Yes. That make sense.

          • DASMAN (@dasman) said on 27th March 2013, 13:55

            Yes, as in the RBR case, you had 2 drivers of similar pace, being told to bring the cars home.
            In the other case you had 1 driver with a problem(fuel) and another able to pressure the cars in front.

            Makes sense when you think about it.

          • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:13

            Yes, as in the RBR case, you had 2 drivers of similar pace, being told to bring the cars home.

            @dasman all the more reason to let them race!

        • TdM (@tdm) said on 27th March 2013, 14:54

          Do you honestly think that early on in the race it is purely up to Hamilton if he pushed? The fuel levels throughout the race are monitored by his engineer. He has NO idea what his fuel levels are.

          The way around all this is to give them a fuel gauge. Unless they are willing to do that, then there will be team orders. Any pushing at the beginning by Ham will have been encouraged by the team – it is not his ‘error of judgement’.

          This is the problem with the team orders argument. As long as a large proportion of the information and decision making of the DRIVING is away from the driver then there are going to be (and have to be) team orders.

          I’m not saying that’s a good thing BTW… Give them a fuel gauge and let them work it out themselves!

        • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 28th March 2013, 0:16

          The fueling of the Mercs was as a result of two things. The race started out wet so they took an assumption that more of the race would be done on a wet track which requires less fuel. Secondly i don’t think Merc anticipated that they would be in a position to push for a podium finish. Both the Ferrari’s had qualified in front of them who would have though Alonso would be out after one lap and that the Ferrari pace would be much slower with Mass fading quickly.

          So the Wet start and unexpected pace caught Merc out. Hamilton may have driven harder, but her said he was fuel saving from lap 25, that’s less than half distance and even with fuel saving Rosberg didn’t catch and pass him. That’s his own problem.

          After that last stop Hams fuel was critical but still in front of Rosberg, but the distance to the Bulls were then beyond reach so Rosberg was never going to catch them considering he two was marginal on fuel.

          So Hamilton was going to be disadvantaged buy team strategy and not carrying the fuel for the resultant weather and pace. Rosberg wanted to take a risk to add unnecessary wear on the car. Without careful management they could have had two cars DNF instead of the 3 -4.

          Either way neither Mercs were going to reach P2 from that stage of the race.

    • Roberto (@roberto) said on 27th March 2013, 14:56

      +1 for the statistics…

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 27th March 2013, 15:34

      @maroonjack
      Because the cases are different? I can’t see why the only options should be to either approve or categorically denounce all team orders.

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