>Time for team orders in F1?


By now everyone has heard the quite blatant team orders from Ferrari’s Rob Smedley, instructing Felipe Massa to move aside  for Fernando Alonso. The incident came a year after Massa nearly lost his life after cracking his skull in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa at Autódromo Internacional do Alg...Image via Wikipedia

If you have missed it, Smedley informs Massa that Alonso is faster. When Massa ignores this comment, Smedley says:

“Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand?” 
2 laps later Massa slowed down and allow Alonso to pass him at the hairpin turn 6, to which Smedley replied: 

“Good lad. Just stick with it now, sorry.”
Two things arise from this incident. Firstly, with the rules as they are, it is the demand for confirmation and the apology that make Smedley’s comments so damning. While Ferrari have accepted the $100,000 fine, VN can’t help thinking they will be thinking they got away with it. Just imagine if Button and Hamilton had a pulled a stunt like this, the podium finishes would almost certainly have been stripped by now, with multiple fines being handed out to senior McClaren staff. That Ferrari seem set to keep the maximum 43 from the race demonstrates just what power that team have within Formula One.

Secondly, after Mark Webber’s outburst after winning last week, perhaps we should be considering ending the notion of two individuals being in the same team but competing. By definition team mates should be working together. However this is not the case in Formula 1 and frequently tensions arise, leading to incidents like those in the last two races, which are no good for the sport. If team orders were allowed, more camaraderie could be generated between team mates, and the constructors championship would gain greater significance. 

Whatever you think, its clear the underhand behaviour of team Ferrari can’t be allowed to continue unchecked.

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