Ferrari and Alonso should be disqualified from the German Grand Prix

Posted on July 25, 2010

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Fernando Alonso has been gifted victory in the German Grand Prix after Ferrari ordered Felipe Massa to pull aside and surrender the lead.

Fernando Alonso and Ferrari stole the race from Felipe Massa. Credit: BBC

In the most flagrant breach of rules banning team orders for years, Massa was told by his engineer Rob Smedley that Alonso was the faster car and if he understood. One lap later, the Brazilian came out of a corner slowly allowing the Spaniard to come straight passed. Smedley made a further comment, apologising for the situation.

This is a clear breach of regulations. Rule 39.1 of the sporting regulations says: “Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.”

Personally, I think both Ferrari cars should have been black flagged there and then. This is a travesty. Massa got the best start, passing both Alonso and pole sitter Sebastian Vettel off the line and led into turn one. He was trading fastest laps with Alonso through the race and at one stage opened up a 3.4 second lead. He was not the slower driver, Alonso could not have passed under normal conditions.

This is a relic from Ferrari’s bad old days in the early 2000s. They’ve done this before with Michael Schumacher and it’s why the rule was put in to stop this kind of thing. The FiA must act if they are to have any credibility.

Pending a final result, this leaves McLaren in control of both championships – just. The British squad is clearly off the pace at the moment but they’ve had a fortunate couple of races. They pulled off a miracle at Silverstone and assuming the result isn’t changed here, Ferrari have taken points off of Red Bull here.

UPDATE: Ferrari has been fined and referred to the World Motorsport Council following its actions with team orders at the German Grand Prix. Presumably this means the race result will stand for the moment, which is a shame.

It is reassuring the stewards have taken some action over such a blatant breach of the rules but $100,000 is not a lot of money to Ferrari. The WMSC has to consider carefully its next move.

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Posted in: Formula One, Race