Felipe Massa, Williams, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Massa defends decision to disobey team orders

2014 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Williams, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Felipe Massa defended his decision to ignore orders from Williams to let his team mate overtake him in the closing stages of the race.

Massa was leading Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages when Williams repeatedly told him to let his team mate past.

Among the messages given to Massa were “Valtteri’s got better tyres we need to let him go” and “Felipe you’re slower than Valtteri, let him past”. Meanwhile Bottas was being told “You’re faster than Felipe, overtake him.”

However Massa refused to give up the position and finished the race ahead of his team mate.

“I think I did the best I could with my race,” he told reporters afterwards. “I was fighting to the end and my target was to score as many points for the team and me. We’re only in the second race.”

The pair were following Jenson Button and Williams wanted to release Bottas so he could go after the McLaren.

“Valtteri couldn’t pass me so it was going to be difficult to pass Jenson as well,” said Massa. “I don’t think that would’ve changed.”

Bottas disagreed, saying “I think there was a really good chance for me to get Jenson”, but did not comment on Massa’s refusal to let him by.

Williams eventually told both drivers to cool their engines and instructed Bottas to hold position, telling him: “We really need to cool the car, no overtake.”

Asked whether it had been unfair of him to disobey the team’s instruction Massa said: “Is it fair to do the best we can?”

“We have two championships, I respect my job, we need to respect each other.”

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155 comments on “Massa defends decision to disobey team orders”

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  1. What kind of racing spirit is that? If the team mate has better pace, letting him pass? No, if you have far supperior pace, overtake..Congrats to Massa for his move. Team orders destroy the spirit. Let your drivers fight each other, and if they crash, punish them. Or tell them not to risk anything..Don’t ask from anyone to pull over.

  2. GB (@bgp001ruled)
    30th March 2014, 18:21

    massa was alonso’s carpet and now should understand that being bottas better than him the brazilian must be bottas carpet!
    im against team orders, but in this case williams should punish him hard, punish him good! massa destroyed the chance of getting buttons place, which bottas could have fought for! massa is a liar and a person with too many inferiority complexes! in ferreri he never complaint, now he disobeys orders from the get go. williams shouldnt have hired him!

  3. I always had sympathy for Massa when he was at Ferrari, when he kept playing #2 driver to Alonso. Not moving over for Bottas, however, was selfish and childish. The difference here is that no one is asking him to be a permanent #2 driver for the team. Remember earlier in the race, where the team told Valtteri to back off? Had this been Ferrari 2.0, they wouldn’t have told Bottas to back off there. The point is that Button was less than 2 seconds ahead of them, Bottas had the fresher tires, and the team obviously felt that he had a shot at passing Button, whereas Massa did not. Someone really needs to have a long talk with Felipe about this, or it’s going to be a long season for them….

  4. I am going to have to blame Button on this. Had he driven quicker we would have not had the DRS train or any team orders. If Massa had not been able use DRS when behind Button am sure Bottas would have passed him easily on those straights using his DRS when Massa had not been allowed to use his. So this Artificial Passing Device = team order to stay behind your teammate when he gets to use his own APD during the Trulli Train. Being a bit sarcastic but without APD Massa had been nowhere near Button, and maybe we would have had Felipe and Bottas fighting for the following places.

  5. Good! I’m very glad Massa did not take team orders.

  6. In a way I can’t fault him for doing this, and in a way I do, especially since he benefitted from team orders earlier in the race. Perhaps he’ll get away with it for now, but he can’t keep doing it or else he’ll be out of a job by the end of the season. I’m sure the engineer could’ve worded it differently, but would it really have made a difference?

  7. Gloves off for Williams and know we’re going to see if Massa will handle the heat.
    I can understand Massa’s situation if he didn’t asked anything to the team, i recon at the nexts venues Bottas will just passed him no matter what….

  8. Go Rubens GO! WILLIAMS used poor judgement and just opened an old wound in Rubens with this move over request. I totally understand all of the implications with points for the team but with a few laps left there was no chance that Buttons was going to be caught, much less passed by Bottas. Why didn’t Bottas pass Massa earlier when Rubens complained, this should be the question??? Thanks RnR

    1. you do know Rubens Barrichello isn’t in F1 anymore right…its been like 3 years

  9. Massa is a disgrace that’s all that can be said. There’s people that like him and when it comes to this it’s hard to say nice bad things about it, sky did a poor job again portraying the real Felipe, the real Felipe goes to brazilian tv play victim and then goes to world media with unrealistic prospects reality is that Massa is not F1 grade.

  10. Engineer: ”Ok Felipe, Valtteri is faster than you. Do not hold him up! Valtteri is faster than you, do not hold him up!”
    All the Williams crew turn their eyes upon him…
    Engineer(turns off the mic): I´m sorry, I forgot he…

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