Massa ordered to hand win to Alonso

2010 German Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

Ferrari controversially instructed their drivers to change places while leading the German Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa allowed Fernando Alonso by into the lead on lap 48 after receiving a coded message from race engineer Rob Smedley.

Before the change of places Smedley was heard to say:

Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?
Rob Smedley

Not long after the message was broadcst Massa slowed at the exit of the hairpin and Alonso went pass. Afterwards Smedley told Massa:

OK mate, good lad. Stay with him now. Sorry.
Rob Smedley

The BBC’s Ted Kravitz reported a “flurry of discussion” in the 12 laps leading up to the change of position.

Ferrari clearly orchestrated the change of position and could find themselves in trouble with the sports’ governing body. Article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations says:

Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.

The rule was brought in when Ferrari did the same during the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix – when current FIA president Jean Todt was in charge of the team.

Two years ago Ferrari instructed Kimi R??ikk??nen to let Massa by for second place in China.

But significantly, that order came when R??ikk??nen was out of the running for the championship. Massa is not.

It’s a clear sign of the status of the two drivers at Ferrari, as it now seems Fernando Alonso is the favoured driver within the team.

Ordering Massa to give up the win today is especially poignant as it is one year to the day since he was badly injured during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Update: Ferrari have been summoned to see the German Grand Prix stewards.

Should Ferrari get a penalty for ordering Massa to let Alonso pass?

  • No opinion (2%)
  • No (21%)
  • Yes (78%)

Total Voters: 2,662

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2010 German Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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409 comments on “Massa ordered to hand win to Alonso”

  1. Never before have I so wanted a Ferrari to win, except this time, it’s the one that’s been robbed.

    1. yes it was needed for the f1 world and for mclaren to cut short vettel but Team orders are always going to step into f1 and every single race this year has been controlled by the teams when the cars pit when they jump to track on qualli if ferrari gets penalised would be a hypocritical move by the was obvious but it wasnt said word by word ferrari said that like mclaren does or red bull but a bit less disguised maybe cause it felt worse for ferrari massa and rob smedley if they wanted to go stealth they would done like other teams on the past few years by lapping others
      answer NO penalty

      1. sorry double posting i thought i had runed out of time

      2. all those are team strategies – they are still racing on the track!
        As Vettel was clearly faster should we have had Massa told to let him past?
        No once on the track the drivers should race – it is up to them to overtake. If they can’t they don’t win.
        Simple – this is a race and that is what we pay to see.
        The FIA will jeopardise the sport if they don’t penalise.
        Fans pay to see a race not a sham.

    2. Smedley – “I don’t expect any penalties whatsoever because Alonso was just faster and Massa made a small mistake when shifting up three gears at once,”


      1. Little mistake to get on the throttle for about half of the straight – LOL, honestly this is more than good enough evidence along with the radio messages before and after the ”overtake”.

      2. I do not know what race were you watching my friend!
        But it was very clear what Ferrari’s message was. He is faster than you! That means get out of the way!

    3. Ferrari should have learnt from Renault and just made Alonso pit before ordering Massa to crash his car into a wall on the next lap bringing out the safety car, which would have left Alonso in the lead to win the race.

      At least that way we would have found out about the cheating next season, rather than during the current race. School boy error Ferrari. :D

      1. I am utterly disgusted about Massa being forced to let Alonzo go past him on the straight. It was so obvious to even me who has only been following the sport a few years, that Massa let Alonzo pass him as commanded to do so because i could see his throttle was turned so so low, as if saying ok, pass me now. SO evil (I do not like him now!!! and love Massa now who i feel so so sorry for)Alonzo passed him. The drivers always have as full throttle as possible- especially on the straight. If Massa hadnt let Alonzo pass, i am told the ferrari garage could have reduced his throttle remotely, slowing him thus forcing him to let Alonzo pass. No wander Massa was so deflated and went slower, he would ahve been delighted with second if first had been earned by Alonzo overtaking correctly. This is BAD for the sport, totally disgusting. AGAINST THE RULES. until today i have followed the sport and even considered recommending it to many and following it in person, which would cost many thousands but now this corruption and cheating has put me off. It’ll be a different sport we follow around the world!

    4. Yes, it would have been a fantastic story one year on from his crash.

      Not only that, it would surely have given him the confidence boost he needs to lift his drivers.

      Its such a pity.

      1. I agree Ed. It really would have been something special. A heartfelt victory the whole F1 community could have rallied around. Now it’s just a shame, a let down, another selfish scandal. Shame on Domenicalli for letting it happen.

      2. And to add insult to injury, he dedicated the second place to his uncle who had died earlier in week, but said he was sorry it wasn’t a win he was dedicating. But lets face it, it should have been a win…
        I was told this by a friend who translated as he made the anouncement in Brazilian.

        1. He made the announcement in Brazilian?

          Did your friend himself translated it into AMERICAN?

    5. If the FIA do not act over this and award a penalty to Ferrari and disqualify Alonso then this ia a clear indication of them living up to the name of Ferrari Internationa Aid.

      1. I quite agree. people like me are new to enjoying the sport and even considering spending thousands to follow it in person, rather than just on telly. If the FIA do not act it will put me and many others off. i certainly wont spend thousands following it and disuade all my work colleagues- thousands of them, tol do like wise.

    6. How surprising to see 2 people with very spanish names: Juan and Miguel supporting a spanish driver. If McLaren had done the same thing Button and Hamilton would have been disqualifed from the race I guarantee it.

  2. I think they might lose this race!
    Could also be a no team points penalty, but i expect something to happend.

    1. Team orders are always going to step into f1 and every single race this year has been controlled by the teams when the cars pit when they jump to track on qualli if ferrari gets penalised would be a hypocritical move by the was obvious but it wasnt said word by word like mclaren does or red bull but a bit less disguised cause it felt worse for ferrari massa and rob smedley
      answer NO penalty

      1. There is surely a difference between the team favouring a driver on strategy, running one driver on a quicker pit stop strategy than what we have seen today.

        Today, the team switched the drivers on the track by having Massa slow down and allow Alonso passed.

        The former is the nature of team sport, the latter is anti-competitive and farcical.

        1. Tim, I think I am quite smart to say it is just the same thing – whether you pull your driver to longer pit stop – or you say your driver to back off. The difference is only in whether it is more diplomatic or not. In fact, if you let your driver to back off – based on who make the decision – it is more acceptable than if the team made decision on pit stop strategy.

      2. Electrolite
        25th July 2010, 15:23

        I don’t know why people are holding Mclaren and Red Bull to tell drivers to ‘save fuel’ on the same level as what happen today. Saving fuel is genuinely ALWAYS an issue for every driver at some point in a race, as the commentators explained clearly today there is a stage in the race where saving fuel becomes something to manage.

        And as for being British, that is extreme generalisation and we are not like that. What a dumb comment.

        1. i agree, and i’m not brit

        2. Even more so, because the majority of the readers and commentators are international-not British! Including me.

          1. And from what I’m seeing now, the repercussions on the Brazilian blogs are ENORMOUS. Interestingly, some of the blame for anti-sportmanship being attached to Massa too, for giving way. This needs explaining to some of those supporting Ferrari on this: they’re going to be hated now by a massive contingent who were loyal to them because of Massa and despite the past history with Barrichello.

        3. Well mate… rules have changed. They race with a full tank of fuel and one would think that teams running on the cutting edge would have allowed for such exigencies in the design of the car itself. Todat, it is mostly used to mean, “no more racing!” :P Yes, it is just a form of team order.

          About British… well, i’ve worked for them for 3 years. It was a wonderful time attending to them at various positions in Customer Service when i was doing it. However, there are rotten apples everywhere and you can’t contend that the media isn’t biased for one, and that there aren’t any biased fans who are British… Mind you, they are everywhere, but it becomes more significant when you consider than most of the F1 media is still British(which is biased mostly) and yes, most of the people commenting here have access to news mostly from that section of Media only. Here’s another fact for you, most people are sheep and would believe whatever they’re told/ sold…

          1. Before someone flames me… this is not to say that i’m any better… i’m just more aware of my weaknessess as a human being :)

          2. I am sure Alonso is a Catholic,probably Massa is too.So this is what a Catholic wrote many years ago :-

            “And when the one great scorer comes to write against your name,He writes not what you won or lost but how you played the game”

          3. Out of curiosity – that quote comes from an American sportswriter describing American football; how do you work Massa’s and Alonso’s religious denominations into it?

          4. Nice comment Dianna.

    2. Very unlikely. Can you imagine the current FIA president, Jean Todt, punishing Ferrari for doing the exactly same thing HE did 8 years ago?

      1. Well it wasn’t illegal then, nor is he in Ferrari anymore. I believe he is impartial now.

        1. In 2007 Massa also let Raikkonen win the Brazilian GP but that was a different circumstance, only one was contending the title, that’s acceptable, today was just dirty, it has to be punished in some form.

          Well I hated this, I have to ask you guys something: In cycling, only one rider is supposed to win, while the others are there just to help him, even though they can also win. How long until, in the culture of F1, will this become acceptable. Senna had in his Lotus contract that his teammate be “inferior”, for example…

          1. A very sad day for Massa. I have lost respect for ferrari on this one. They so want to prove they made the right move with Alonso, they will marginalize everyting they are to prove it.
            Massa should start looking for a new team. Maybe for 2012.

          2. You can’t say one kind of team orders is alright and another kind of team orders isn’t so bad. Where will the cut off point be? That would just lead to endless debate.

          3. NomadIndian
            25th July 2010, 22:27

            Is that true about Senna? Wow!

          4. Alonso did not say anything about Brazil 2007.. that possibility and its final result was very clear.
            Yesterday, he could not afford to make another mistake.
            The team decision is as obvious as 2007’s.
            Massa is slower than his teammate.Button is slower than his. That counts, point.

  3. I think Ferrari should get a punishment as opposed to the drivers…unless they wanna give Fernando second and Felipe 1st

    1. They have to punish Alonso in some way too, otherwise they still benefit from the crime.

      1. Alonso seemed to be asking why Massa slowed down post race.

      2. Which is kind of sad, because it probably wasn’t Alonso’s decision,

        That being said, Button or Rubens would have refused to take the place.

        1. “That being said, Button or Rubens would have refused to take the place.” Do you really beleave in that? Barrichello after what happened in Austria, perhaps, but anyone else? Sorry, I don’t think so.

  4. Ned Flanders
    25th July 2010, 14:28

    Absolute disgrace. This is exactly why I hate Ferrari

    1. I hate Ferrari too, But I hate them because they step on the little guy, or they try to bring three cars into a two car sport, but this, this is a disgrace, this is the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in F1 ever, bar Piquet’s crash.

      1. I agree completely Mike. It appears they have found Schumacher’s true heir, a driver who will resort to any manner of cheating, or allow those around him to do so if it guarantee’s him a win. And while doing so, they belittle one of the nicest, most honorable drivers on the grid. There used to be sportsmanship in this sport.

    2. So do you hate McLaren too, Ned, after Kovalainen ceded position to Hamilton in consecutive races in 2008?

      Thought not. The amount of hypocrisy in this case is unbelievable.

      1. @ Red Andy

        Thanks for bringing that one up mate… :)

        Seems like they would have their drivers repeat a “Red Bull!” from Turkey if they were running the team. Besides, Alonso is the only one who has a realistic chance at the title… So i can understand this one… I hate to sound negative, but i guess, it is the fact that all F1 Media is by and large British and well, McLaren is British and hence, they could do no wrong. Even with DC moving over more than once, and as did Kovi. Even with the Ferrari design document found in the possession of one of their lead engineers. Even with information on Ferrari of ’07 available on their internal servers. Even with Lewis and team being caught with their pants down as they lied through their teeth to FIA, who was merely playing rat and mouse. Sure, McLaren could do no wrong for these sort.

        Yes, it would have been just to let Filipe finish ahead of Alonso… but Ferrari have to think of the championship and Felipe has to think of Ferrari as a team member. If he didn’t believe in it, he wouldn’t have had done so. I’m sure Ferrari couldn’t have had remotely shut his car down, without facing a multi million dollar fine and some race bans. Felipe did what he did, as he knew that this is what the team needed. He could have been petty, like the world’s media by and large, but he chose not to. He is better than most of us. Here’s me saluting you Massa (if you ever got to reading this) and your dedication to cause mate.

        1. I agree with your opinion, there will always be people criticizing Ferrari but when other teams made wrong decisions, they kept mute… Anyway, I think Ferrari deserves a penalty, and Alonso too because he would made the pass from Massa not to show so obvious…

        2. STOP ON!
          Jus because McL is British, watever they do is OK! Ferrari is wrong here, not because they did this, but because they did not even try to tone it down!
          Alonso was faster anyway, he would ve caught up with massa within a lap or 2, but tht would be risking a crash and/or vetter gaining pace on both if them.

          They did what they had to do, i hated them at fisrt, but when vettel came so close to massa, i knew they had a reason.

          1. should ve been SPOT ON.
            sorry about tht.

          2. i’m sorry this is rubbish. I am british and like mclaren, but if they made jenson move over like this for lewis with both still mathamatically in the running for the championship i would be just as angry and outraged. I was when coulthard moved over for hakkinen in australia 11 or 12 years ago when they made an agreement whoever made it into the first corner first would win. I was horrified. It should never be acceptable, it should never be forced, it could be discussed pre race and if the driver wanted to help the team out he could do it off his own back, but never forced to…. its a disgrace and ferrari and alonso should get a penalty. Poor massa, i hoped barrichello was the last to suffer this disgusting tactic.

          3. But if it was any other car there they would have just had to race it, that is what its about isnt it, standing on the podium, and knowing on the day, that you are the one on there because of your actions and that everyone tried to win but you did.
            In this instance that could not be further from the truth. If they had raced and had a coming together, like the RB’s, then that wuld haave just been bad luck. Whilst I am sure Webber would rather not have had the crash with Vettel, I also equally think he would not under any circumstances wanted the win handed to him like was the case yeasterday.

        3. I’m not British, and I don’t like Mclaren either.

          Team orders are illegal.

          Maybe next year they can change that, but, unless you are suggesting that it was not an order, then, I don’t see how there can be anything but a penalty of some sport.

          Massa was clearly unhappy about it, I suggest you watch the race/interviews again if you missed that.

          Suggesting that the FIA is on Mclarens side, is, both stupid, and quite funny, because normally people say they are on Ferraris side (the whole Todt being the ex boss thing eh?).

          Ferrari have to think of the championship. but breaking rules or even being underhanded, is not the way to do it.

        4. Jesus what utter tripe.

          Ferrari get away with everything because the FIA is afraid of losing the Ferrari brand from F1.

          I guarantee if Hamilton and Button had done the same thing they’d have dropped placings in the race leaderboard.

          Hamilton has has some frankly absurd borderline penalties this year.

          I doubt Massa was happy letting Alonso through. Don’t believe the PR rubbish.

      2. I think when McLaren did it in Britain and Germany it was because Hamilton was faster than Kovi and when he caught up they just didn’t want him to put up a fight. In this case Alonso did catch Massa initially but once Massa had gotten up to speed with the new tyres he seemed to be OK, it wasn’t like Alonso was glued to his gearbox.

        If I’m wrong about the difference between the Ham/Kovi overtakes and this one then yes it is hypocritical to cry foul over this and not bat an eyelid over that. For me though this one just seems worse because while it did look like team orders in those instances, this time it was so obvious and it just seemed cruel taking the win away from Massa on the anniversary of his accident, which he hasn’t won a race since.

      3. Hypocrisy is as much a part of this blog as team orders are a part of F1. Fanboys run amok.

        Massa and Alonso are simply following orders and should not be punished (no Nuremberg defense please). 1-2 positions should be reversed and significant monetary penalty for Ferrari, hows 20 million sound.

      4. I agree with Red Andy. What the hell do you think McLaren’s “conserve fuel” is decoded to interpret?!? What did you think Christian Horner was trying to do in Turkey by controlling Webber’s engine revs?!? Team orders have always existed, some just mask it better than others.

        Team orders between the RB drivers and Mclaren drivers will not take place unless one of them has a considerable lead on the other. Just like Alonso has on Massa. I really dont see Massa coming from 80 points down on the leaders and fighting for the WDC, although it might still be mathematically possible. Ferrari could realistically, only have Alonso battle for the WDC this year.

        Instead of risking a Vettel/Webber crash they decided to just ask Massa to move over. I guess they learn’t from RBs mistakes.

        I agree it sucks for the fans. And I definitely didn’t want Alonso to win this way, but to penalise Alonso or Ferrari would just be unfair.

  5. The timing sheets tell the real story. Alonso had been consistently faster than Massa lap after lap (at one point taking .5 in single laps) and it was only a matter of time before he passed him. Up to then Massa was not exactly sleep-walking as they both were reeling off the fastest times lap after lap. If there cheated then the stewards are going to investigate and we will see.

    1. Are you serious?

      1. So the thought that the “flurry of discussion”in the laps leading up to the lead change could have included a few “Felipe conserve fuel” messages? In the early stages of the race Massa showed he had the pace to keep Alonso at bay, and he was manageing fine until the “flurry of discussion” began.

        I’m not a huge fan of Massa’s but I am gutted for the guy. This win, given the significance of the day, would have given him his spark back and would have spurred him on for the remainder of the season. He relies more than most F1 drivers on building momentum and really does build on big results, but I fear Ferrari may have extinguished his spark for good with that move.

        1. I agree with you. Today could have been a turning point for Felipe. He would have built up confidence and would be assured that the team took him seriously. Now he is gone, not only for this season but for good. Ferrari has chosen to pander to the spanish brat and humiliate Felipe in the process. And since he is not getting a drive outside Ferrari in a team that can make him win any time soon, he might as well collect the money till the end of his contract and stop a year or two from now.

      2. If Ferrari broke any rules then the FIA should investigate and hand down a punishment as per my last sentence. So far I haven’t heard anything about any investigation so I it is what it is.

    2. That’s not true. Massa had the gap up over three seconds at one point.

      1. but he was able to close the gap again after that, felt like he was giving him some air

        1. or he was furiously debating on the radio that the team should tell Massa to let him past …

      2. But not because Alonso couldnt keep up with him…

      3. True but Alonso caught up in both cases. Overall Alonso was always faster. Maybe we might have a more fruitful discussion if all lap times are available.

        In any way, I am sure that Ferrari will get a penalty for this. They should have, at least, be a bit more creative.

        1. Actually if you look at it objectevly, its Massa who dint do his job well… he must have let him somewhere else, not by not accalerating. And every other team would probably do tha same… so i would suggest droping the team orders ban rule… They are gonna happen if you like it or not.

      4. I’m sure you will post a chart soon showing the lap times.

      5. Alonso is a faster and better driver than massa and its made F1 more exciting overall today, Massa is lucky to be driving for Ferrari and this kind of thing must be written in his contract.

        Hamilton was favoured in 2008, Schumi his whole career, Vettel over webber, the best drivers are favoured

        1. That is not right. Webber is an amazing driver and it is WRONG to favour one driver over another. you make it sound like you agree with it. The rules are there for a reason, it is a race not a con, once they are on the track. or did they put money on Alonzo winning and are racking in millions now, as the gangs and mob did once in boxing etc. It is against the rules to ask a driver to move aside. Massa, i feel so so sad for him – was ordered to move aside. He overtook Alonzo legitimately earlier on and was faster. Of coures statistics will say he is slower now, wouldnt you give up and think whats the point? after letting Alonzo passed. Alonzo seems a big mouthed bully, always arguing. Massa is a quiet nice guy who gets on with the job.
          We know Red Bull and our British guys would NEVER let each other pass,hence the times Webber and Vettel overtook each other.
          Massa was clearly bullied into it. In my job bullying is a discipliniary offence.

        2. I totally disagree. Alonzo was not faster and that doesn’t mean he should win. Button got stuck behind a slower driver – Schumacker -, but did he let him pass, of course not it was up to Button to pass him.

          What you said is not right. Webber is an amazing driver. Besides, it is WRONG to favour one driver over another. You make it sound like you agree with it. The rules are there for a reason, it is a race not a con. or did they bet money on Alonzo winning and have millions now, as the gangs and mob did once in boxing etc.

          It is against the rules to ask a driver to move aside. I feel so sorry for Massa. He overtook Alonzo legitimately earlier on and was faster. Of course statistics will say he is slower now, wouldnt you give up and think whats the point?
          We know Red Bull and our British guys would NEVER let each other pass, hence the times Webber and Vettel overtook each other.
          Massa was clearly bullied into it. In my job bullying is a discipliniary offence

          1. Ferrari favor one driver over the other – based on current championship rank and race for title. McLaren and Redbull favor one driver over the other based on their rank in marketing and dollars made. I still loved ferrari for being honest in pursuing the title.

      6. NomadIndian
        25th July 2010, 19:31

        Hi Keith,
        Just wanted to know from you – how is today’s Ferrari action different from Kovi moving over for Lewis in 2008 (coz he was slower)? The ones Red Andy is referring to, above? (although I ecall it was just one race but can’t remember which one it was)

    3. If it was only a matter of time, then why did they order Massa to yield his position? The answer is simple: it wasn’t a matter of time. Without this order Felipe would win.

      Of course the decision of the team was logical, but it was against the rules. The team should be penalized, but not the drivers, as they were just doing their job.

    4. if Alonso had the ability to pass Massa on the track, then Ferrari wouldn’t have taken this risky decision

      1. That is also my feeling – Alonso talking about risky moves in press conference confirmed to me that he was aware, and active in making this happen. Real Champion to take the least risky, most sure method, but not the best racer then, I guess.

        Similar to Red Bull Turkey situation, except that here Vettel wasn’t even yet very close, nor clearly making up time before the swap. So why not just tell the two Ferrari drivers to remember the RBR rule of “give each other space and race fair” and trust Alonso to be able to do it.

        These days TV money is important – so respect that the cost is that you can’t switch drivers like they did today as it robs spectators of a spectacular fight for the win.

        1. Agree 100%, all they had to say was “Fernando is closing fast, remember give each other room pleas” & all is said!

          1. Although Massa can mathematically still contend for the WDC, it just does not seem realistic. Even if Felipe finishes on the podium on every race, he might still not be within striking distance in Abu Dhabi.

            Ferrari have kissed the Constructors title goodbye this year, however, Alonso still has a slim chance of winning the WDC.

            There is just too much at risk by letting them fight it out on track. One Vettel/Webber crash ends the hopes of the WDC as well.

            As a fan, I hate seeing team orders, but every team does it every year. I can understand if the drivers are evenly matched in the points standing but Felipe is over 30 points behind Alonso, and Ferrari made the right decision. It would be a shame to see Ferrari or Alonso penalised for this race, as the same has been done McLaren and Renault over the past few years.

    5. You cant be serious. Alonso would not have passed him in a thousand of laps. So much so that Ferrari had ask Felipe to let him through. There is a big difference between get to the guy in front and overtaking him – just as an ilustration, Massa kept Vettel behind even though Vettel was running much faster than him in the last 10 laps.

      1. Massa also let Alonso pass him that way to show that it was a team order. In Austria 2002 Barrichello did the same thing, giving Schumi the lead within 100m of the finishing line. He could have done elsewhere, but he wanted people to see the farce.

        1. Interesting comparison though. Barrichello has NEVER recovered from the consequences of that decision, particularly in Brazil where his reputation sank for being seen to give way. And Felipe? He’s always been held in some esteem – rightly I think – despite perhaps not being so ‘naturally talented’ as some, whatever that comes down to. Massa had almost as much chance as Alonso to win this year. Particularly by Alonso’s own reckoning – which was to win everything from here on in and not rely on the other teams making mistakes. But apparently relying on Massa giving him wins. This guy (Alonso) is corrosive for Formula 1 as a sport.

    6. SO – Why not leave it be and let them race and Alonso would have passed anyway according to this theory! This is what stinks in F1 – all about the team not the driver -this is why we do not see intensive driving and overtaking–yet all we do is moan about it!

  6. No, Ferrari is thinking in the championship. Massa had some problems with the tyres (you can notice it clearly) and they could lose the victory if Vettel keep getting closer so Alonso must take the victory. Also Alonso has more points than Massa so they must help him.

    A few months ago we had this kind of issue with Vettel – Webber and because they fight for the position Red Bull lost a lot of points, a team must think in the championship, as simple as that.

    1. Letting your drivers fight clearly (not like Seb & Mark fought in Turkey) is the fair thing to do. They were gonna get a 1-2 anyway. The rule is clear: team orders are prohibited. Good for the team or not, it was an obvious team order.

  7. Alex Cooper
    25th July 2010, 14:31

    Regardless of the right and wrongs, I’m with Martin Brundle: if you were Ferrari management what would you have done?

    By the end of the season people will look at where the highest-ranking Ferrari finished in the Drivers’ Championship. They won’t remember that Massa was told to pull over for Alonso at the German GP.

    1. Alex Cooper
      25th July 2010, 14:38

      You also have to bear in mind that, from a regulatory point of view, the ‘No Team Orders’ rule is very grey. F1’s been about team orders since the very beginning and they are necessary for later in the season when only one driver in your team is in with a shout for the Drivers’ title.

      Ferrari took the mick with it in Austria 2002 (very early in the season; Schumacher had a massive lead already) so now you get this situation over a rule that cannot be properly policed and where the circumstances change throughout the course of a season.

      1. Sometimes I think that they make the wording of the rules vague so that they can apply it (or not) according to what is most convenient at the time (specialy from a commercial point of view — ya know, this is Bernies’ show). I would not be surprised for a minute if Alonso gets to keep the victory, because 5 fighing for the championship means better money than 4 – even though this one was an in-your-face sort of rule breaking. Ferrari might get a token penalty, just for appearances.

    2. Exactly.

      Also FIA allows team orders in WRC and no one complains about them. I don`t know why this rules is not allowed in F1. Ferrari has a huge disadvantage in the championship, is not like Schumacher times that they won easily.

      1. The WRC situation is a complete disgrace to the sport and is one of the reasons I no longer follow the series closely.

    3. I completly desagree. Anyone have forgetten Austria 2002?

      1. Totally different – then, Schumacher had the championship in the bag regardless; that’s what made it so tasteless (+ it was yet one more example of Schumacher having first dibs). Here, they’re trying to push all the chips towards the guy with the best chances. Doesn’t make it right, but every team would act like this in the same situation.

    4. I am with this too. I’m not going to lie that I wanted Alonso to win badly, but its not the best way to win of course. Alonso was faster, he’s been 0.5s quicker all weekend.

      Brundle is right, what would you do? If Alonso tried a genuine move round Massa, which I believe would have eventually come, Ferrari ran the risk of 3 outcomes:

      a) Massa and Alonso take each other out ala. Webber and Vettel in Turkey
      b) Loose time and let Vettel reel them in
      c) Clean pass by Alonso who goes on to win

      As you can see, the outcomes suggests that racing each other would have been a lot more risky. Ferrari were battling for max points which they so badly needed, and if Massa couldn’t up the pace, from a management standpoint, it seemed to be the right thing to do, reduced risk and guaranteed result, a win at least.

      I think the FIA should relook at the rules. This was not as blatant as Schumi at the A1-Ring in 02, Felipe was holding Fernando up.

      The FIA cant punish Ferrari because they have no proof, unless Massa or Rob Smedley decide to spill the beans.

      So how is this different from Jenson being asked to “hold position” after trying a move on Lewis in Turkey (I think)?

      1. Felipe should be allowed to hold anybody up – this is racing, you don’t have to roll over to the guy behind you. I don’t know what you find so risky about outcome (c), but that would have been the only one in which Alonso would deserve a victory today. After the Piquet Jr. thing came out, people asked Alonso whether he thought that his win under the light of those revelations was still a worthy one. His emphatically response was: yes! This is a guy that if he cannot win by his own abilities, has no problems in getting it by less than honest moves – I hope he a Ferrari go down into the mud from now on.

  8. If the FIA treat that as anything other than team orders then they themselves are bringing the sport in to disrepute.
    The actions leading up to, and after the move clearly demonstrate team orders. If Alonso can’t get past the car in front then surely he should try harder or accept the place. This is after all a race and NOT a time trial.

    All Ferrari have done is rob us of a race, they should consider themselves a disgrace to the sport, as should any team who gives the same order.

    as a fan of motorsport I am extremely dissapointed.

    1. But how could Jean Todt of all people criticise the team? He was the worst offender of the lot. I’m not happy, but I’ll be amazed if there’s any fallout… Perhaps if Christian Horner had complained, but he didn’t.

      One thing’s for sure, the podium ceremony looked more like a wake.

      1. When Todt did it, it wasn’t against the rules. Now it is.

        1. Todt did it so badly they had to bring the new rule in – he’s not going to want to be dragged into this row.

          1. But he is not anymore the one to do the investigating, he put himself at a distance from that, did he not? Good job, I think he will agree now :)

          2. From 2003 it was illegal and in bad taste, before, it was just in bad taste.

            As long as it judged that is was team orders, a reprimand must apply.

    2. I have to nominaly disagree Duane. What they avoided was a possible Vettel-Webber type confrontation and potential collision where no Ferrari would win.

      I disagree with the team order ban when championships are on the line. Rubens having to gift a win to Schumi, when it meant everything to Rubens WAS a disgrace, because there was nothing gained but another meaningless win for Schumi.

      But a team should have the right to dictate finishing orders in their own best interests.

      1. and this win didn’t mean the world to Massa? His troublesome season, his major injury. He recovers from all that and dominantly takes the lead.

        Now they order him to let Alonso past, that must be such a slap in the face

  9. Well at least Fernando’s finally ended up in his kind of team… it must feel like he’s back at Renault.

  10. Teams should be able to give team orders. To me, it’s all about how they do it. This was not a situation where I feel that it was justified. Massa was ahead on merit and it was a straight run to the finish. If Fernando wanted to win, he should’ve passed his team mate by himself. In terms of the championship, there’s still so many races left to go. Two bad results for Alonso and a few big hauls for Felipe and the situation in the championship is completely reversed between them. With 3-4-5 races to go, I’d agree with team orders. Right now? No.

    Now, should they be penalised for it? Well, I don’t know. Mainly because I think that this rule is stupid to start with. Because of this rule, whenever you have a legitimate and understandable reason to enforce team orders (China 2008), you should be able to do so without having to pretend that it was an actual pass just because of the rules. On the other hand, it IS against the rules. Everyone knows, regardless of what was said, that it was a team order. You might not be able to prove it to the letter of the law, but everyone knows that it was. In that case, if they can prove it, penalise them – just for my own Schadenfreude. I don’t think it will happen, though.

    I’m just gutted because, once again, all the attention is on the politics and not the racing. And I’m fed up with that.

    1. Is the rule correct…..probably not. Its very grey and there will always be team orders (pit order etc) that will affect the result.

      However, the rule is very clear, and the breach is very very clear. As a result, the FIA must take action for this very clear breach………

    2. I agree Mag Geoff, the sad thing is that this was a fantastic race until then, right or wrong it has changed it from Ferrari’s glorious come back, to a rather bitter end of a great race…

      The rule shouldn’t exist, but it does exist to stop just this. So I think for now, it is still important.

  11. Rubbish Dave
    25th July 2010, 14:35

    Good to see Ferrari still know how to cheat.

  12. It’s a shame what Ferrari did against championship regulations! I just don’t care about F1 anymore.

  13. I thought this sort of stuff would never happen again, at least Red Bull and McLaren are still RACING teams.