“I approve of the intelligent use of team orders and by that I mean those that come at key moments of the championship, not in the second race of the season,” said Massa. “They must be taken with the good of the team in mind.”
“I have helped many drivers, for example with Kimi [Raikkonen] when he won the championship with Ferrari and again last year with Fernando [Alonso], when he was fighting for the title. I have no problem with team orders that fit these criteria.”
Alonso said it was “difficult to comment or have an opinion on what Red Bull and Mercedes did in the last race, without knowing what discussions they had beforehand”, but believes the interests of the team should come first:
“When we come to F1, we enter an agreement with our team and we have a professional obligation towards that team and sometimes people confuse team orders with the obligation to do one?óÔé¼Ôäós job.”
In 2010 Massa was ordered to allow Alonso to pass him for the lead in the German Grand Prix at a point when Massa was still capable of winning the championship.
Last year Ferrari deliberately incurred a gearbox change penalty on Massa’s car at the United States Grand Prix which had the effect of moving Alonso forward one place on the grid. At this point Massa had long been out of contention for the championship.
That was the first of four consecutive races in which Massa has outqualified his team mate, but he denies he has drawn any particular satisfaction from that:
“Honestly I never thought about it. All I can say is that I?óÔé¼Ôäóm pleased with my start to the season and want to continue in this fashion. That statistic isn’t what gives me pleasure.”
“What I like is to go well and to feel confident in the car. These sorts of figures only give you problems. I just want to get on with doing a good job.”
2013 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Horner: Vettel and Webber have a “healthy rivalry”
- Webber wins Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend
- Red Bull gives up on team orders as Vettel admits he would defy them again
- Malaysia retirement no concern for Alonso
- Massa: Red Bull’s team orders not “intelligent”
Image ?é?® Ferrari/Ercole Colombo