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German Grand Prix shenanigans

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Jake Humphrey | 22:00 UK time, Monday, 26 July 2010

It's now Monday afternoon and I'm sitting on the sofa trying to carry out two difficult tasks. Firstly, trying not to get covered in six inches of dust as builders in the next room demolish the chimney breast, which is a job almost as messy as the one Ferrari carried out on the track at the weekend.

And that's my second job, trying to summarise a truly incredible German Grand Prix.

I've seen some remarkable scenes in the past 18 months from the Brawn miracle in Melbourne at the start of 2009, Felipe Massa's accident 12 months ago, Mark Webber's first win and Jenson Button's title celebrations.

One thing we've always strived to do, alongside David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan, is to transmit the atmosphere to you guys at home. To take you from the sofa to the pitlane and get you as close to the action as we are. I've spent the last couple of days asking myself if we managed that on Sunday. What do you think?

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Formula 1 highlights - German Grand Prix (UK users only)

The first thing to explain is what happened when the "swap" actually happened.

I was watching with Eddie and David upstairs in the Red Bull Energy Station, where DC had just got his hands on some chocolate raisins and waved farewell to a departing Boris Becker. I'd made some tea, and EJ was receiving texts from various people about his attire as usual... in other words it was a normal GP watching experience for us.

Suddenly the atmosphere changed beyond all comprehension. Eddie leapt in the air and declared it was "not at all on!" to anyone who would listen, DC shook his head and looked a little bewildered, while I got that kind of feeling you only experience when you feel a real sense of injustice.

I'm sure you can relate to the kind of feeling I had. Perhaps you felt it too at the time or maybe you got it when Frank Lampard's goal wasn't given at the World Cup or when Thierry Henry handballed France to the World Cup finals. The kind of outrage where you just know that something isn't right.

I've spoken to all our experts at length on this subject and whatever the argument for scrapping the team orders rule, the simple thing is that it is outlawed, therefore it is wrong, and it's clearly something many of you feel very strongly about too.

Our pundits all made the point that this goes on a lot, but we don't know it's happening. That may be the case, but only when it's as clear as it seemed on Sunday can we react to it, and it's clear from your reactions how strongly some of you detest a concocted race result.

All this led to a very odd atmosphere in the pitlane post-race. We usually head out to the pitlane as the cars are arriving under the podium, but instead of the usual party atmosphere it almost felt like people were embarrassed to celebrate a win that was undoubtedly a great boost to Ferrari's title chances on two fronts.

Eddie Jordan is many things, but predictable certainly isn't one of them. There are few people with more disregard for the discipline of live TV than Eddie so I shouldn't have been too surprised that he suddenly darted, whippet-like, away from David and myself to track down Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali. And all credit to him for that.

It would have been very easy for the Ferrari boss to disappear into his team motorhome and not entertain our wish for an interview, but EJ made that pretty much impossible for him.

It was also immediately abundantly clear that he felt his team had done nothing wrong and were not set for any action from the FIA.

Well we eventually finished on BBC One and headed off for our usual Red Button shenanigans which were equally entertaining. Whilst Sebastian Vettel threatened to drench DC in champagne and Eddie declared himself a 'fashion icon', we also got a real sense of the changing picture out in the paddock.

My apologies to Pete the cameraman for me suddenly asking him to spin round and film what was going on behind him... he did, however, manage it admirably!

We were live with Toro Rosso, and through the large windows we could see the world's media haring up and down the paddock as word emerged that Ferrari were indeed in hot water and they'd received a fine to start with and a more ominous referral to the World Motorsport Council.

And so now we turn our attention to the next Grand Prix, Harriet had a long face when I told her I wouldn't need to unpack everything from my weekend bag... we fly to Hungary in Wednesday!

We'll do our very best to get access to the main players in Budapest and rest assured that whether we are granted an audience with Stefano, Fernando or Felipe or not... we will be requesting them. These are kind of stories we won't shy away from. And there are plenty of questions that need answering.

My original intention was for this to be a video blog, however, after our 90 minute F1 Forum and then waiting for the stewards to confirm the result it was time to hotfoot it to the airport... you can guess the conversation on the plane.

It was a rather incredible end to a special weekend. A weekend where earlier I fulfilled a long term ambition to make it the site of Jim Clark's fatal crash in 1968.

What we didn't have time to explain on air was that Sarah the producer, Matt the cameraman and I had to have two bites at the apple. On the Thursday evening we set off to film the piece, however the weather closed in, it became very dark and rainy and despite our best efforts, two hours of searching proved fruitless. Sarah also regretted wearing a pair of black slip-on pumps! We had to return to the woods the following afternoon and at the second attempt we thankfully found the spot.

I love history and always tune in to Time Team, Who Do You Think You Are or the like, and to walk along the old track that is slowly being eaten up by the forest and returning to the lush greenery it once was, really touched me. In 20 or so years I imagine it will be almost impossible to see where the track ever flashed through the trees. One day that small wooden cross will just be in the middle of the woods. A shame.

Perhaps one day the decisions Ferrari made on the track on Sunday will be exactly the same as the old Hockenheimring. Swallowed up by the slow march of time and no longer seen as it once was.

For now though, it's hot on the agenda. There may well be a change of rules and team orders could most definitely return in the not too distant future, but for now, we will do what we did over the weekend when it came to the late Jim Clark... keep on searching for the answers we need.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    If team rules return, what about people betting on the race? I bet there was a lot of people annoyed as a result of betting on Massa!

    Good work Jake, always like your blogs

  • Comment number 2.

    Jake,

    Great blog. I was a first time viewer of the F1 forum. Is the forum that good every week? It was compelling viewing. It was pure drama.

    I think you are doing a great job and the BBC coverage has been outstanding. Keep up the good work.

    What are your feelings about the Ferrari response since Sunday?

  • Comment number 3.

    Great blog once again Jake. I do really enjoy the coverage and you do feel very much part of the action. That could be to do with the enthusiasm that you, DC and EJ have for the sport, it really is infectious!

    As for Ferrari. I agree that the no team orders ban should be scrapped, for one thing it clearly isn't working! That said when drivers are letting others through it stops being Motor Racing and becomes a farce. As a fan I want to see the best driver on the day win, that was Massa not Alonso.

  • Comment number 4.

    Great blog as usual Jake, I love your blog. Really appreciate EJ's dart to Stefano, F1 is more a sport than team interest in my view. Ferrari hurt fans and sportsmanship.

  • Comment number 5.

    Great blog Jake, as a long time Ferrari fan, Sunday was difficult to watch. I felt a bit embarrassed. Not an excuse at all, but with all the great minds in the team, someone could of thought of a better way to implement this plan.
    Having said that, as much as I want to see a Ferrari world champion again, there would of been something special about seeing Massa on the top step a year after the events of Hungary last year. I suppose F1 is a mix of sport and business but still, what a mess.

    Something I would like to see in pre-race build up is a look at the start of the race off the line. What the drivers have to do, what a good start looks like, what a bad start looks like and what causes it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Your coverage was excellent as always, even if the race result didn't live up to your quality! Real shame as I really lost interest in the race after "that move" and although i can really understand DC's comments post race, it really did feel like we had been cheated.

    Maybe once a season has started teams should have the option to "declare" a no.1 driver at a point where they feel it is numerically in their interest and then have the option to implement team rules? At least the fans would know what to expect - as would the driver!

    I have watched F1 for the last 22 odd years, and am loving the BBC's current coverage more than I ever have before. I feel so much part of the weekend, and i think it's a credit to you and all the team that you bring us so close into the action and reaction. Thanks!

  • Comment number 7.

    F1 on the BBC is just brilliant. BBC, don't break up this team, they know what we want as fans and deliver. The balance is just right. EJ gets away with murder, which is great for us. Keep it up.

    Thanks a lot.

  • Comment number 8.

    As they say Publicity is the fuel that drives motor racing. Ferrari missed a trick - big time. On the anniversay of Massa's dreadful accident for him to have had the opportunity to have won would have been such a fantastic story for them - and the sport. Equally, if he had been fairly and squarely beaten by Alonso, it woul dhave been a fantastic story too - one where a man has overcome such huge adversity and to come back fighting would have filled just as many column inches - for the right reasons this time. Massa deserved better - whether he won or lost to Alonso in a fair fight.

  • Comment number 9.

    If team orders are scrapped then there's no need to call it motor "racing" then is it?....might as well call it "an orchestrated procession of some fast cars driven by blokes that can't race."
    F1 can no longer be called "sport" but would struggle to attach a name to it really!

  • Comment number 10.

    What a great team. We get a driver's perspective, an owner's perspective, and then a proper fan's perspective from you Jake. Wonderful. Exactly why we pay for the license. Good job all round.

    As regards the "swap", think Mr Massa and Mr Smedley knew exactly what they were doing and to be honest we owe them for bringing this so clearly to our attention. A shame but not at all surprising. Its not "team orders", it's simple "team control" over their cars. If you don't want team orders then get rid of radios and leave them to only use pit-boards. Leave them to make their own decisions and let these egotistical maniacs race and entertain us. Bring on Hungary. Massa to win!

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Jake,loved the blog as always.Enjoyed the chat between yourself, DC and EJ.Loved the shirts.You make a great team.Ferrari spoilt the race,so unfair.Looking forward to next race.

  • Comment number 12.

    with the introduction of the new point system in place­ plus no fuelling during the race has made F1 a­ fantastic sport to watch again however this short­ fueling is causing major problems for the top teams­ this is evident in the last few races.I feel that the­ grand prixs we have seen so far have been amazing to­ watch specially Webber,Vettel Hamilton and Button­ battles were these drivers have been allowed to race­ each other.Ferrari finally got there cars sorted to­ compete with Red bull and McLaren only to go back to­ old tactics from the past and completly ruin the race.­ Poor Rob Smedley tells Massa that Alonso is faster than­ you thats funny i thought Massa was in front and­ winning.I,m a Mclaren fan myself but what Ferrari did­ to Massa was terrible and i felt for him and race­ engineer Rob Smedley you could hear it in his voice­ totally gutted.Alonso being inmature again couldn,t get­ what he wanted at Mclaren and now dictating at ferrari­ i hope he,s happy but just remember Alonso if massa not­ let you pass you would not have won. STOP SHORT­ FUELLING THEN THERE,S NO EXCUSES

  • Comment number 13.

    once again ferrari make the rules.. its making people at the top of F1 look weak rules are rules..im just glad i didnt make a bet on massa winning GP ANY OTHER SPORT FERRARI WOULD BE BOOTED OUT

  • Comment number 14.

    I think what happened is outrageous and cannot be excused. I no longer think so highly of Ferrari -- they've shown their true colours. They seem to think they are above the law, and that the fans do not know a rotten egg when shown one. If you break the rules that are in place *today* then you should be punished.

    I still have at least one unanswered question, so if anyone knows the answer that'd be great!

    Ferrari said to Massa over the radio during the race that Alonso was the quicker driver, i.e., "move over Massa". Would they have done this if Alonso didn't have any championship points and Massa was at near the top of the championship? I suspect not, and in which case Ferrari are altering championship results (which is not allowed with the current rules). If on the other hand, Ferrari just wanted the quicker driver on race day to win (without getting into any tangles, e.g., "do a Redbull"), regardless of championship standings then I'm not so against that. However, in my view it clearly all happened because Alonso had more championship points than Massa. If I were Massa, I'd expose Ferrari and leave -- Ok so Ferrari are a wonderful team with lots of history, but I think a truely GREAT team would embrace all changes to the sport, work with integrity and passion and NOT dictate.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Jake - nice article.
    I too have had a chimney breast removed so appreciate your problems - good luck!!!
    I lost interest in the race and didn't see the point of watching it to the end so went to hang out the washing. Came back for the post race and forum where I think the 3 of you did a great job.
    Why is the Ferrari PR so crass? Do they think they are above the law? - don't bother to answer that!

  • Comment number 16.

    Luca di Montezemolo says "Enough of the hypocrisy. This has always happened. If one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual."

    OK, so exactly WHAT has "always happened", Luca?

    We all know that he's talking about team orders, and one can easily infer it from the rest of his press release, but I'd like him to make it crystal clear that he's saying that Ferrari issued team orders on Sunday, in blatant contravention of the regulations, and then proceeded to lie to the viewing public and the race stewards in a farcical attempt to avoid censure.

    The prohibition on team orders is obviously unworkable and has to be scrapped (or teams limited to one car per race), but the fact remains that Ferrari crudely, wilfully and shambolically broke the rules pertaining to the sport that they voluntarily entered. They should be punished heavily.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Jake,

    What a weekend it was. Lets me honest the race was a disaster and yet again F1 has hit the buffers for all the wrong reasons thanks to Ferrari.

    10 minutes before the incident happened I actually said to myself, Ferrari will need to do a swap because of Alonso's position in the championship and about 10 minutes later sadly I was right.

    What I can't understand if Ferrari have been fined why then does the result still stand? Also if it had been McLaren or another team then I'm pretty sure they would have been given a much stronger penalty.

    I'm a massive F1 fan but have to admit the sport needs to tidy itself up FAST otherwise fans will leave the sport like they did back in 2002 when they saw Ferrari fix it again.

    I went to the Silverstone grand prix this year and for the fans, F1 is not a cheap sport for fans to fork out just to see a race been fixed by a team. Fans wants to see hardcore but fair racing.

    And another thing would miserable Alonso have let Massa through had it been the other way round - I don't think so. Also with Alonso he has driving talent but for a 2 time World Champion his persona is awful to say the least.

    I doubt Ferrari will be thrown out of the sport because they have too much of a say in the sport.

    On a good note the coverage was excellent once again and the forum was really good.

    Lets hope this weekend in Hungary Ferrari don't win and struggle again because they deserve it after the German race.

  • Comment number 18.

    Team orders have always been part of professional motor racing in all classes, not just F1. It's ridiculous to think that, if a driver is being robbed of points by his team mate, the team will leave them to sort it out on the track. Williams are probably cleanest in this respect because their priority has always been the manufacturers championship.

    The only stupid thing about this is that the FIA were dumb enough to think they could ban team orders. But then again, they also thought that grooved tyres were going to make things better.

  • Comment number 19.

    Jake, your blog epitomises the difference between the majority of the fans and those within the F1 bubble. David Coultard and martin Brundles point of view has been honed by years within the F1 bubble and makes a lot of sense from that perspective. What they do not truly understand is the feeling of those not within that bubble, something you can clearly align with. In their decision making process these feelings don't really come into the equation and scraping of rule 39.1 is just common sense.

    But the FIA realise the significance of this and that's why the rule was first introduced, along with severe warnings to Ferrari for the future. F1 is struggling to survive in these environmentally concious times and it will not take much to lame the "sport". I don't expect those within the F1 bubble to truly understand the disgust of the majority of the fans, but this is without a doubt a Pandora's box moment.

    Either way now the matter has to be addressed, either by scraping the rule or arming it with as much teeth as possible. It's impossible to close the door on further infringements, but the alternative could well cripple the "sport". I can fully understand for those within the F1 bubble how easily this can be cleared up by scraping the rule, but then just look at what you are left with and whether that will be acceptable to the fans. Teams wanting to run two independent drivers will be put under severe pressure when the opposition are maximising their points and with no law to even interfere with this process. You are going to be left with a shell of a "sport" that you have now.

    The feelings you have over injustice are prevalent in most fans, where most do not have your inside depth of knowledge of the "sport". Even those like myself that are aware of what goes on, put it to the back of the mind for the sake of the entertainment. Remove that thin veil and we are all confronted with reality, whether we like it or not. I don't believe David and Martin can fully understand what a Pandora's box moment this really is!

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Another case of not knowing why people will lose faith with Formula One!

    From the BBC website, this morning: Montezemolo replied: "Enough of the hypocrisy. This has always happened."

    "If one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual," he added.

    In this race, barring possible mechanical issues, Ferrari were assured of both first and second place. As it transpired, no mechanical issues happened. But regardless of this, there was no reason for Alonso and Massa not to have been allowed to race each other to the flag. For my money, Ferrari should have been black-flagged for the race for blatant breaking of the rules.

    OK, we have seen a couple of great races between team-mates in the top teams this year, notably Button and Hamilton having a great scrap or two, and Vettel and Webber taking themselves out when they got a tad hot-headed about it all.

    But this is the racing that the fans pay extortionate amounts of money to watch at the circuit, that the TV companies pay millions for to bring to the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 22.

    I've got to say Eddie is great for TV, sometimes i hate him sometimes i love him but he's always good to watch. You three guys really do put on a cracking Per race/qualifying show every time well done. Although my favorite part of the weekend is always watching Martin run up and down the grid bumping other journalists out of the way to get a few words, not seen him talk to Rosburg in a while though ;)

    What Ferrari did in Germany was just terrible for us viewing public it really spoilt a otherwise good race. I really hope someone puts a big punishment on this, after 2002 we all said this can't happen again and now it has. Ferrari need a big punishment to show everyone that this is not going to be tolerated. The team orders rule should stay, its like the diving rule in football, yes Team orders will still happen just as diving does in football we will minimize it by punishing those who do it so obviously as to be caught.

  • Comment number 23.

    The feelings I have towards team orders are based on a sense of "British Fair Play" (so probably out dated). If a team favours one driver over another, then that driver should get all the upgrades and developments etc, first, not by destroying a team mates moment of glory for the sake of a few extra points. Team orders are ethically wrong and will drive spectators and viewers away from sport.

    What annoyed me was Ferrari's total arrogance in believing that the rules don't apply to them and that accepting the stewards paultry fine was worth it.

    Unfortunately, the result of the WMC referral will only prove that Formula 1 needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs Formula 1, and the unpleasant taste of result fixing will be left to linger on.

  • Comment number 24.

    See you on the flight on Wednesday then Jake, I will be hunting you for an autograph!!

  • Comment number 25.

    great blog jake, the BBC coverage is fantasitic. You're direct, viewer orientated approach, when interegating top guys is refreshing. Eddie Jordan has similarly been great fun this season!
    Couple of points re coverage....
    in previous seasons the BBC paid greater attention to team/driver battles down the order. Identifying tiers of competition, cultivating team rivalries....there are three lose tiers emerging, ferrari, mclaren and red bull.....mercedes have dropped into the bunch......and the new teams, it is the competition coverage of the bunch that is slightly lacking.
    And can someone get DC off of the fence, I would really like to hear his opinion, uninhibited by tries to red bull

    once again, great job looking forward to hungary.
    Wouldnt it be great if McLaren could bridge the performance gap, and we could see who emerges from teams seperated by a maximum couple of tenths.

  • Comment number 26.

    HI Jake, Interesting to hear your thoughts on this subject. I am surprised though that Eddie Jordan, having called for the result to be expunged also called for the law to be scrapped. I read with no little disgust Domenicale's response to what he called hypocrisy. He may well be right in speaking about the other F1 teams, but if he is calling the fans hypocrites then he needs to change his tune. His team cheated, and then lied. Any body language expert will tell you that.

    F1 is for the fans, for the spectators who pay huge sums to watch a grand prix. Let's not forget it is more expensive than a premiership football match at times. What we therefore have every right to expect is that we will witness a contest and not a procession. It makes no difference if it used to be done; times have changed and so have fans' expectations.

    I'm also dubious about the use of the word team in this context. If it is about the team, then it is about the constructors championship, surely. I know this sounds naive and simplistic but what Ferrari did was in the interests of Fernando Alonso, and not the scuderia as a unit. If they wanted to maximise Alonso's chances they should simply have withdrawn Massa's car from the race. Then they have a choice to make - the team, or an individual driver.

    Perhaps if this law is to be reviewed, it should be changed along those lines. If a team wants to promote a driver then it has to be at the expense of the other driver finishing the race. This is harsh on one of the drivers but it would certainly make teams think twice about trying to con the (paying) fans, lying to them, and then pleading a feeble innocence.

  • Comment number 27.

    The Team orders rule is a totally unenforecable rule ... Ferrari saw nothing wrong with their tactical decision.

    For Massa, it's a tough call but is behind in point and it makes sense tactically. I've got no problem with their call at all.

    What turns me off, is the ugly way it was done.

    FIA have a problem, some of their own making. Team Orders exist and trying to ban them is futile. Austria 2002 was ugly. Germany 2010 was again ugly.

    There's a conflict as each team is required to run two cars so there's always going to be this conflict.

    Just keep the ugly off the race track.

  • Comment number 28.

    G.B.J!!!
    Does anyone else feel that, the Ferrari shuffle aside, this was a fairly mundane race, it settled into a two by two processiion early on and didn't really light up again.
    However even with boring races, 2010 is panning out to be a cracker.

  • Comment number 29.

    The BBC have stepped up to the mark with the coverage of Formula 1, of that i have no doubt, Brundle is as always, a class act.

    Whilst at the start of last season, DC and EJ seemed quite stilted in their contribution, this year they have really gelled (although Eddie is quite clearly a lunatic) and you can see how much DC is taking pride in his role (probably helped in no small part by messrs brundle and croft, who is excellent on 5 live)

    Jake, im quite surprised how well you have handled the jump to what is probably the BBC's jewel in the sporting crown, when you first appeared I (as a watcher of F1 since the early 80's) thought you would be out of your depth and a little wooden, not so.
    Im really very impressed, your enthusiasm for the sport is palpable and its clear you research a lot of your information so as not to get wrong footed, also taking a different line of questioning with major players is getting good answers, rather than the usual blah blah blah that most sportspeople trot out.

    One criticism i would have, if you could call it that, would be to curb your enthusiasm. Sometimes it comes across (to me at least) that the BBC is being a little too friendly with teams/drivers and that the British contingent sometimes get too much coverage (although i understand that this gets people to tune in)
    If the Beeb can stay a little more objective, i think the coverage would be all the better for it.

    As has been commented previously, i think a piece on how drivers get their cars off the line good or bad would make for very interesting viewing, especially if one of the teams would give you a loaner for DC or Brundle to play with.

    I also think a bit of insight into how they make the core parts of the car (Engine, Gearbox etc) factory visits etc is always welcomed.

    Other than that keep up the good work, as for Ferrari, they got caught, tough.

    The rule is unworkable, its a team sport with the option of a drivers title, the teams run two cars and should be allowed to do what they see fit for their team. Its upto the other teams to compete.

  • Comment number 30.

    Jake your doing a great job as well as Dc and Eddie.I would like to highlight the problem of short fuelling in the grand prixs this is causing to many problems and the teams are starting to use this as an excuse for in houses battles as well as racing other teams. we have seen drivers have to go into fuel saving mode how this helping has the drivers cant race each other the way the sport was designed to be.has a F1 fan i feel that the drivers are being robbed because they cant race the way they want to race which is has fast as possible and to the best of there ablities.regards to the Greman grand prix you only have to watch any of the interviews with massa to know he was covering for Ferrari deep down he was fuming and with good reason.I,m a Mclaren Hamilton fan but i really felt for massa and rob smedley on sunday.these two probally have the best driver/engineer partership in F1.A fine simply isnt good enough and the fia should stop tresating the fans as idiots.if this incendent was done by mclaren or red bull the punishment would have been more. bring on hungary

  • Comment number 31.

    Jake,

    I agree with DC on this one, it is not just Ferrari making the rules everybody gives team orders.
    Although it is banned I think that you have got to do what is best for the team. Although I am not Fernando's biggest fan he was a lot quicker than Massa at the weekend (perhaps this was to do with the harder compound?) I will be in Spa for the Grand prix at the end of August and I will cancel the trip if Ferrari are banned!

    Regards
    Will

  • Comment number 32.

    You guys at the BBC do such a great job, and should be proud of yourselves. Jake, Eddie and David (along with, of course, Martin, Ted, Jonathan and the team) make watching F1 a delight.

    Even with Ferrari being their usual unsporting selves. We know Ferrari are a dastardly team, and the Fernando Alonso is a bad looser. That's twice he's cried out for the team now to help him win the race. If he's worth his salt, he would do the overtaking himself - it was HOCKENHEIM after all! One of the best tracks for overtaking.

    At least McLaren have the right attitude;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/7911480/McLaren-chief-insist-he-would-rather-forfeit-the-championship-than-use-team-orders.html

  • Comment number 33.

    What's the difference bewtween what Ferrari and and a trainer with 2 horses in a race telling his jockeys what order to finish in? A trainer caught doing that would be instantly warned off for life! Probably the jockeys too.

  • Comment number 34.

    This whole debarkle is just stupid, as is so many peoples reaction, especaly DC's. The repeated argument that this is a team sport, and using analogies such as football is just insane. There is a team element to this, which is the WCC. Only one driver gets to stand on the top step of the podium. Only one driver gets his name on the title at the end of the year. Brawn GP/Mercedes are not able to tell people they hold the WDC title this year, because they do not. As for talking about keeping Roony on the bench etc, this is a red herring. A better analogie would be the olympics. Imagin if Paula Radcliff demanded that another runner slowed down to let her win gold. The olympics is, after all, about the team medels, and getting a high profile person wining is better for the team.

    However, what realy stinks about the whole thing is not what was done, but the way Ferrari have time and again shown there unsporting attitude, and there fans have shown this too. The beleave that they are above the rules, and have shown a complete contempt for the fans and for the sport.

    Finaly the idea that a rule that is dificult to enforce should be binned is just a little odd. We could say the same about speed limits etc.

    Personaly I think we should get rid of radios, and get rid of telematry and teams messing with cars, and we should go back to the cars we see being raced as classics, like Sennas car we saw on Top Gear. Not in terms of safty, but in terms of keeping the car running. I think we would have much closer racing if the cars were not build to need mollicodeling, but could be started with an external starter and run, not warmed up gently and run like they are in an intensive care ward. Basicly change the rules so there is no radio, either for the driver or the car, and that the cars have to be started from cold on the grid, with nothing more than a sandard issue starter. This would reduce costs and increase raceing, and make the cars much closer to what we all drive, as we don't all have a team of engineres fiddleing with our fuel maps or oil pressures everywhere we drive. This would also remove most team orders.

    Fanialy, again F1 could take a lead from motoGP. Can you see Rossi giving a single inch to Lorenzo, even though Rossi has no chance now? If anything he would ride harder if asked to back off.

  • Comment number 35.

    Excellent article and coverage Jake

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    A friend of mine posted this on his facebook page.
    "I was in Cameron Toll just now and the bloke behind me in the queue had a Ferrari hat on. He saw me looking at his hat and I said "The store manager wants me to let you past but not be too obvious about it." I've never seen anyone so embarassed in my life."

    I think that sums up how the Ferrari fans feel about the German GP!

  • Comment number 38.

    Jake,
    In amongst all the feedback on team orders...
    I just wanted to say thanks for the piece on Jim Clark. It was great to see the programme continue to try to connect/link with the great history of the sport, and great also to see someone not born when Jimmy died have a sense of the aura of the man and want to pay tribute.
    I had read other articles that alluded to how hard it was to find the memorial, but that was the first video footage I’d seen. When you pointed to the green field and said “the track used to run through here” frankly I couldn’t believe it – have they actually re-seeded it or is that simply nature at work?!
    Wow...

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Jake, excellent coverage as usual, and I too felt cheated by what happened on Sunday, but enough has already been said about that (check out all the comments on Andrew Benson's blog - probably more than the controversy surrounding the London 2012 Olympic mascots!!)

    I wanted to share something funny with you - on Sunday, my daughter (who turned 3 at the weekend) pointed at Eddie on the screen and said "I can't like that man!" I asked her why not, and she replied "because he's boring....and he's got a white beard!"

    That was before the race, but top marks to EJ for pursuing Stefano Domenicali. It was obvious that the Ferrari team boss was having to devise his PR strategy on the spot, after pacing up and down on his phone receiving instructions from on high. Uncomfortable to watch, but great TV.

  • Comment number 40.

    I always enjoy reading your insightful blogs, Jake. I wasn't able to watch the F1 forum live as I usually do, but I've just caught up with the ever useful BBC iPlayer and I thought you covered the Ferrari furore well.

    I, like so many others, are exasperated at the way Ferrari are handling this mess they got themselves into. Not just that they illegally manipulated the result of the race, but at the way they dealt with it after. None of us were born yesterday, and if Ferrari continues to insult viewers' intelligence in this way, nobody will support them.

    I'll try my best to watch the forum live next week! All in all, keep up the splendid work!

  • Comment number 41.

    Jake,

    I've had time to digest Sunday's race and I'm disgusted at the actions of Ferrari and at their attitude towards the fans and the sport.

    They all claim that there were no instructions yet it's obvious from the reactions of the drivers and Domenicali that there were. They may as well publicly declare that the fans do not know what they are talking about and deem us all as stupid! I am outraged.

    Massa deserved the win, he started brilliantly to get to where he was by turn 1 and if the Spaniard can't beat him on the track, the pit wall shouldn't interfere. We watch F1 to see drivers and cars compete, if I wanted to watch a choreographed race I’d put Steve McQueen's movie "Le Mans" in the DVD.

    Ferrari has been fined $100k already, despite Massa's noble but frankly irresponsible suggestion that he made the decision to allow the spoilt brat through. At best Alonso should receive a drive through penalty much like the one Hamilton was awarded in Spa 2007 at worst he should banned from this Championship.

    I am getting tired of Alonso's tantrums, he's not a deserved world champion in my opinion, not any more.



  • Comment number 42.

    Great blog. Great race coverage as always.
    I was appalled at the shambles Ferrari made of manipulating the race result - if you're going to bend, ney break the team orders rule, then at least be subtle.

    If the rule has to be changed, I would suggest that you allow team orders, only when it is mathematically impossible for the passee to beat the passer in the championship.

  • Comment number 43.

    Can you ask EJ to ask Stefano whether they will refund my losing bet of a tenner on Massa? I had a sneaky suspicion that Vettel would take Alonso out at the first corner leaving Massa free to win the race - You can imagine how blue the air was on Sunday afternoon in my house!!!!!

    In all honesty it should mean a race ban - not only are they messing with the history of the sport (when Massa comes to retire and his grandkinds ask him how many races he won - how is he going to tell them with pride that it would have been one more but he was asked to pull over and let his team mate past) but also in terms of Massa's own mental health - talk about taking away the opportunity for Massa to banish his demons a year on from last year's accident and to steal victory from him.

    An absolute disgrace - it says a lot that there is no contrition from Ferrari - they don't give a monkey about the fans - not only of Ferrari and how embarassed they are - but of motorsport in general. They should make a donation to institute Ayrton Senna by way of an apology.

  • Comment number 44.

    This latest situation illustrates quite well the need for Ferrari to have a star driver and a subordinate as support in order to win championships.
    It also explains why an ex Ferrari driver is struggling without this situation and has until 2011 to change the status quo within the Merc team !

  • Comment number 45.

    Great Blog as always and great coverage it just gets better.
    The team orders issue is something that has always and will always be there in Formula 1. I just think that Ferrari could have handled this in a much better way and there attitude and arrogance leaves alot to be desired and in that respect they deserve all the flak that will come there way. They also deserve to be punished for the way that they broke the rules but i believe that the team and not the drivers should be punished by taking away the constructors points for the race. It is a team sport and lets all be honest it does and will always have team orders it just needs to handled better so that the fans dont feel like they are getting ripped off. The only possible way is to get rid of team orders but then you can be left with an incident like Austria 2002 and that is not what we want or need as a sport,so what is the answer? To let the drivers race and let the best man win is what we want as fans but the teams and certainly Ferrari will always do what is best for them and not the fans or sport or business to them.

  • Comment number 46.

    Ok, how about this.

    Consistency is the thing many fans want. If the rules say one thing, ensure teams respect them. It's not good enough to say, "team orders are the foundation of F1". This may be true, so scrap the banning of team orders rule -- but deal with the fact that this rule is there right now and it has not been respected by Ferrari; remove points from them as they've shaped the Championship standings. Unfortunately they've cheated, and frankly it stinks.

    I suggest to get around this you can take two options:

    1. Retain the rule to ban team orders. But add another rule to say that if a team transmits a clear message like "let Alonso overtake you", then dock from points from Massa (e.g., he cannot score any points in that race). This would discourage teams to do use team orders, and would provide the opportunity to drivers like Massa to keep racing -- which is what we want to see.
    2. Allow team orders (in which case the sport becomes less driver oriented, but more team + favourite driver oriented).

    Ferrari. You stink. Please have some integrity and apologise.

  • Comment number 47.

    There is / was apparently a lot of talk in the paddock by the teams and Martin and DC that " This is motor racing etc. etc. " and and that its a stupid and unworkable rule ,That is as maybe BUT it IS a rule ! , If the teams don't like certain rules then by all means campaign for change , Until then obey them or expect to be very very severely punished .Ferrari broke this rule , And by not appealing presumably admit their guilt , This punishment has not gone anyway far enough and I for one hope they loose all points from this race at least .
    Then and only then should there be talks to see what should and could be done about this rule . .

  • Comment number 48.

    Whatever position you take on this (cheating or not cheating), i certainly believe that this was Ferrari shooting themselves in the foot in the biggest way possible. And not just from the atrocious publicity they're now receiving.

    All year Massa has been in recovery mode. He's been behind Alonso since Day 1 and we've seen his confidence drop throughout the season. However, on Sunday he finally had a sniff. One year to the day from that horrendous accident he took the fight to Alonso, passed him and then held him off with relative ease and pulled away from him. His confidence would have been skyhigh had the race positions stayed as it was and suddenly Ferrari would have had two drivers that would be up to speed and at the front every race for the rest of the season.

    Now though, Massa's head will have dropped again. His confidence in his own ability will be back but his confidence in the team will be at an all time low. Coming to the first corner in Hungary, will he really be throwing the car in, taking that little bit of extra risk to gain that place? I doubt it. He will look at it and see that if Alonso is in front of him, he will never be allowed to pass him, and if Alonso is behind him, he'll be forced to let him through again. So whats the point of trying that little bit harder?

    Ferrari could have had two drivers back in top form from now until the end of the season and so could have put a charge in for the constructors championship. Now i see Massa falling back and finishing 6+ every race because there is no longer an incentive for him to put the effort in. And can anyone possibly blame him for that?

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi,
    I have been searching everywhere on the Internet and can't seem to find any stats, so just wondering if someone could tell me how many engines each of the main drivers have used? Because I keep hearing how Alonso is low on his allocation for the rest of the season
    Thanks

  • Comment number 50.

    Jake - great blogging.

    That inner sense of injustice (you so eloquently described) led me to immediately leave the TV alone and sulk. I couldn't bring myself to watch the end. It reminded me of why I fell out of love with the sport during the later Schumacher Ferrari years. No equal competition. It also reminded me of Senna's comments about Prost wanting everyone to race against him wearing lead shoes when he blocked a move to Williams (1993 I think).

    I returned for the red button conversations, and I can fully understand the reasons for having team orders.

    But the ban on team instructions must stay. The drivers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to assist or hinder their team-mate. It is in those actions, at those times, that a driver's personality and character is determined. It distinguishes the great from the elite. It provides the story - the human element - the romance of F1. Grudge matches are on display for all to see rather than simmering below the surface. Respect and bravado are there to be watched and enjoyed. The drivers bath themselves in glory or wallow in disrepute.

  • Comment number 51.

    Bit of a strange request but would it be possible to show the forum on BBC3 or late at night on any BBC channel so I can Sky+. Due to work commitments and a young baby I often don't get to watch F1 until days after the event and am always gutted I've missed the forum (on the very rare occasion I manage to watch it its always extremely entertaining and informative). I'm aware its available on the 'Red Button' but only for a few days after and if you happen to get to it when its half way through you've got to time your next 'Red Button' visit and hope you catch the start.

    P.S. Has EJ been knighted yet for his services to F1 and if not can it be arranged! I believe its possible despite Irish status (although they can't refer to themselves as Sir which would probably put him off).

  • Comment number 52.

    First a big congratulations to you and the team (DC-EJ)for an outstanding job three days of great information and atmosphere  I have really enjoyed this year’s racing never a dull moment and a great advertisement for the car – rule changes at the beginning of the season.

    So Why Why Why do we have to accept this shameful display again ... can you imagine the Olympic sprint final and the faster underdog slowing in the last 20 meters to allow his more favoured team mate to come through for the gold medal ???? what would the world say ???? what we have seen this weekend is race fixing and we do not accept that in any other sport people have gone to jail or been banned for life from the sport because of it.

    I understand that teams have to perform for the sponsors and the team itself but when Stefano said “we needed a 1-2 finish” did they not already have that .... what he meant was we needed Alonso to win ... I think that team orders should stay banned and that Alonso should lose his points, let him keep the 1st place but lose the points as should any driver who benefits from such a move in the future then they might think twice before acting that way or just get a little more sneaky in the way they do it ..... all in all a sad day for us and Massa ... KiwiBaz

  • Comment number 53.

    I don't know what all the fuss is about?! I've been associated with F1 since the 80's and team orders have always existed.

    In my book, I see team orders as nothing more than game play strategy, with the main aim being to get one of your drivers crowned world champion at the end of the season.

    This is because F1 is a team sport. Not an individual one. The drivers are just a small part of a team of hundreds. Most people who have been outraged by Ferrari's actions last weekend seem to have forgotten this.

    I for one have also been outraged - by the hypocrisy! I can understand this sort of reaction from a general public who don't follow F1 and don't understand the sport. However to read/hear the sort of comments from the likes of Christian Horner and Eddie Jordan, reeks of double standards!

    Christian Horner is playing the "butter wouldn't melt" card to a tee and I see Martin Whitmarsh has also donned a halo today if the interview in the Telegraph is anything to go by. Of course neither of these gents would ever issue a team order would they? Front wings, spygate, Hamilton in Australia last year aside.....

    I think the fact that a lot of people (including Eddie Jordan) are now looking for the "ban" on team orders to be lifted just goes to show that everyone knows it is unenforceable and ridiculous. Because it goes on day after day - whatever the team.

    Enough is enough.

    Let's drop it and move on to the next GP.

  • Comment number 54.

    Rules are made to assist a fair and clear F1 race. If the rules are incorrect, then they should be altered, if they are correct they must be adhered to.
    The rules were blatantly broken on Sunday and should be punished accordingly. Fining Ferrari £100,000 produces no pain or intention to alter their objectives. The did it for Points and Prestige and not money. So, to make sure this does not happen in the future and to show any team that they cannot blatantly break rules the points won by default on Sunday should be taken away.

  • Comment number 55.

    Thankyou for an illuminating post, Jake.

    I have registered here because I just wanted to thank you and the whole team for your coverage so far this season. Everyone (Martin, EJ, Dc..etc) seems to be coming into their own just as the season gets more and more riveting. I never used to bother watching quali, but find myself getting hooked into it because of the fantastic coverage - also evidenced by the honest, critical discussions following *that* incident on Sunday!

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Team orders have always been a fundamental part of formula 1 and motorsport in general and I was very surprised indeed when they were banned after the Austrian debacle. However, banned they were and as someone once said, 'rules are rules'.

    On Sunday it wasn't so much the breaking of the rule as the way in which it was done. Rob Smedley was very obvious in the way he passed he message to Massa. I therefore can not help but wonder if there was method in his seeming madness. Clearly he has a very close bond with Massa and clearly he did not want his 'boy' to condcede the position. Indeed earlier radio messages had him encouraging Massa to pick up the pace and go for the win.

    So, if it was always the plan for Massa to concede why did he defend his position from Alonso so vehemently earlier in the race? Had he let Alonso slip through during that battle no one would have been any the wiser. It would have looked like great racing.

    Presumably at some point after their post pitstop dice Smedley must have been given the instruction to tell Massa to move over. The instruction would have certainly rankled with him and he probably would have argued the case, eventually being overruled by the powers that be.

    I therefore wonder if Smedley's delivery of a crystal clear 'team order' and his subsequent apology was his way of bringing the whole thing out into the open? In other words a deliberate act to protect his driver. And this has proved to be the case as subsequent events have ensured that Ferrari will have to be squeeky clean for the rest of the season.

    Ipso facto, Smedley has protected Massa. There is NO WAY Ferrari can afford to ask him to move over again.

    A final word on the BBC coverage from Hockenheim. In short it was superb. The excellent pitlane reporting, EJ ferreting and the delightful informality of the Red Button Forum served to provide coverage that, for the second race in succession, was BAFTA material in my opinion.

    Sporting drama at it's very best. Well done.

  • Comment number 58.

    I loved the Jim Clark tribute, it was lovely - very emotional. Jake, you looked as if you had a lump in your throat when you saw the memorial cross and I did too...

    As for the Ferrari team orders, well words fail me. This does not do Alonso's reputation any good whatsoever...will he be remembered as the Champion who could only win thanks to a "lap dog" team mate? Alonso is not even in the same league as Jim Clark, that's for sure.

  • Comment number 59.

    First of all I would like to say that I think you guys are doing a fantastic job! I've been watching F1 since the mid 80's when Murray and James Hunt were commentating. This coverage is by far the best that there has ever been. Keep it up!
    As far as I can understand it there are two titles up for grabs in this championship, the driver’s title, which the best driver should win, and the constructor’s championship, i.e. the best team.
    Now, Ferrari was the best team in the race; they had both drivers in front from the first corner to the finish, maximum points for the constructor’s title. However Massa was the best driver on the day. He bolted through from third on the grid, capitalising on Vettel's mistake of thinking that Alonso was the only threat, and got to the first corner first. It is for Alonso to prove that he is the better driver by passing Massa or forcing Massa into a mistake and to win the race on his own merit and therefore get the maximum points from the race for the driver’s title.
    Ferrari or any other team should not be allowed to directly influence the outcome of races. It diminishes the whole aspect of racing.

  • Comment number 60.

    I wrote a while back to complain about the inane 'background' music to the features items prior to races. I am pleased to say that someone must have read it, but anyway it has been toned down somewhat, so thanks for that. You could get rid of it altogether as far as I am concerned.

    Your list of 'team order' situations omitted Mika Salo moving over for Eddie Irvine in 1999 for the same reasons that happened on Sunday. That was a magnificent drive by Salo and it doesn't matter what he did for the team. What a lot of pathetic hand-wringing we've heard since Sunday.

    We enthusiasts are aware we follow a team sport and the drivers championship is a side show for us. So is the constructors one actually as we enjoy each race as a separate team event and leave the razzmatazz to those who indulge in that sort of thing. I think the best driver at present is Kubica, based on what he achieves with the material at his disposal. But it's all so close at present and highly enjoyable. W
    ho cares about the statistics history books?

  • Comment number 61.

    Sorry Kiwibaz, your reference to athletics is misguided - they've had pacemakers for years!!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    As we are told so many times by Martin, a driver can only be measured by his position with the other driver within the team.
    Once this equal opportunity is taken away, you loose all respect for the drivers and teams involved. This rule was put in place to give the sport back some cred so lets see some proper retribution on the people who want to mess with it.

  • Comment number 63.

    Wonder what percentage of people complaining about Ferrari's actions here, are the same ones who slated Button for his move to McLaren, ie: a bit self righteous. If Alonso was to lose out on the championship by 5 point, or less, would Ferrari not look daft as..? Maybe a little 'patriotism' over boiling here?!
    Sure, the Ferrari story of events was nothing short of crap, but, was it not more than a little entertaining to see Alonso and Massa look so awkward in the conference?

    I am not an Alonso fan, and hope that the victory he scored in Germany feels as hollow as it in essence was. Massa should also shoulder some blame here. Martin talks about this on his blog; he should have ignored the order and dealt with the fallout after

    Still, let's revel in having 5 contenders for the championship

    Go Mark!

  • Comment number 64.

    Once again Alonso has got to keep his ill-gotten gains in spite of his managers being found guilty. It must be obvious that his position should revert to what it was before the rules were broken. Perhaps his name should be changed to TEFLON as nothing seems to stick to him.
    It is time that the FIA stopped insulting our intelligence.

  • Comment number 65.

    Well I tried to give my opinions on Andrew's blog but it got deleted - so take 2(a bit more restrained).

    Back in '05, Fernando Alonso was a breath of fresh air but once he got his two world titles he started expecting everyone to bend over backwards to make sure that he got the glory. In my book this is immoral.

    Even as a Lewis Hamilton fan, I have to admit that Massa was a last lap overtake away from beating my guy to the 2008 world championship. And he did so in a Ferrari. This deserves respect. Pre-season I expected Massa to be one of six drivers to compete for the championship. Instead, he is being made to bow down to Alonso. In my book this is dishonourable and the most sickening thing about the whole incident at Hockenheim.

    Those who talk about the constructors championship...as an F1 fan I support drivers, as a Brit, I support British drivers. I have never supported a "team" long term. Other than Ferrari's tifosi, I suspect that most F1 fans support drivers rather than teams.

    And either way, Ferrari were one-two in the race and Massa was still in with a chance of mathematically winning the drivers championship.

    What went down was wrong on so many levels.

  • Comment number 66.

    great blog as always jack. loved the way you all had a different view on it and tried to stay on air till the meeting with the stewarts was over.

    $100k(?) is nothing to a team like Ferrari, think the FIA/stewarts should increase the fines so the team "may" think twice about breaking the rules. somethin in the region of say $4million? i hope the WMSC hand down something to the team, a couple of race bans or kicked of the championship

    nice to see the BBC getting the key players straight after the fact even if it is EJ the one getting them!!!!

    my brain cell have been over time today, it have worked out that Alonso have been in teams which have been brought to WMSC attention since 2207. first was "spygate" when he was at maclaren. "crashgate" when he was at Renault the following year (which didnt come out till the year after(2009)). and now this, what shell we call it - "liegate version 2"??.
    Although it wasnt proved that he was involed in the matters regarding the first two itself, he was still in the teams.

    Alonso have changed for the worst i think, yes he WAS good driver when he won the two years. Sadly i wont be able to watch the next race as i am away in poole but it will b recorded on my sky box so i will watch both quali and race when i get back either the sunday night or the next day.

  • Comment number 67.

    Good Blog Jake

    My thoughts.

    For the second race running, Eddie Jordan was inspired. After taking on Christian Horner post race at Silverstone, he did the same to Ferrari at Hocekenheim. Although he can be the subject of many jokes, we should never forget he is an essential part of the coverage and is always willing to ask the questions that others dare not ask. I don't care that its not 'polished' broadcasting, everyone i've spoken to loves the sort of thing he got up to after the race at Hockenheim and, to answer your original question, it DOES really make the viewer feel like they are part of the coverage and seeing things unfold infront of them in a raw fashion.

    I enjoyed your piece on Jim Clark. I too would love to find that cross in the middle of the forest but have yet to have a go. Such a shame that the old circuit has been torn up and swallowed by the forest. I believe it was part of the condition of them building the new track that they had to dig up the old one and leave it to nature, but, in my opinion we lost one of the stand out, unusual circuits on the Calender that was still as safe as any other circuit, up to F1 standards and provided great racing. What do we have now? A Go-Cart track. What a joke.

    Team Orders? Well, i'd rather have 5 Drivers in the mix at the end of the season than 4, so if Fernando is thereabouts towards the end it should be interesting and was the right thing to do, though it was illegal in my opinion. Its not nice to look at, but i can see the reasoning. What i got more upset about is that Fernando is one of the 3 Drivers who are acknowledged as being the best in the field, and yet he couldn't execute a genuine overtake on his team mate on a track that was designed for overtaking. It made him look like he didn't want to get his hands dirty. He had one go, then gave up and got on the radio. Very Poor Performance from someone who has the ability. (and i don't want to hear his usual excuse about one car not being able to follow another. Hamilton and Vettel almost never mention that fact and will have a go).

    Great Coverage as usual

  • Comment number 68.

    Firstly, I have to say that, I find that people complaining that they bet on Massa to win and lost money a bit silly. Gambling by it's very nature is risking your money.

    I personally do not have a problem with team orders. However:

    The problem I see with this weekend has two parts.
    1. Whatever your view on team orders, they are banned, as is refueling, flexable wings (hello christian and adrain), etc etc. I am a Ferrari fan, but I can understand why people are so annoyed as it seems Ferrari do see themselves above the regulations. Shame, but I fear this to be true.

    2. Everyone could hear/see what was happening. Watching the post race interviews and drivers press conferance was cringe worthy.
    People do not like having their intelligence insulted.

    Still,
    2010 Formula One World Champion,Fernando Alonso
    2010 Constructors Champions, Scuderia Ferrari

    Does have a quite a nice ring to it doesn't it?




  • Comment number 69.

    Great blog Jake keep it up.
    I am an advid fan of f1, I love it, but what happened on sunday just made get up and leave, there is no point watching a race if nobody is going to race keep the rule and throw the book at ferrari.

  • Comment number 70.

    As a long time Ferrari fan, I am very disappointed in the way the team conducted themselves this weekend. Not so much that they used team orders, but the fact that they made it so obvious that it was taking place.
    I have no doubts that coded messages are used by ALL of the big teams at key points in the race - on several occasions this season we have seen drivers get perilously close to a team mate, only to be told "We need to save fuel"...

    However, many fans on here seem to have short memories: Yes Ferrari broke the rules and should pay the penalty. However, to suggest that they are alone in this behaviour is more than a little blinkered. I have seen calls above for bans and docked points - this just for asking a driver to move over. When put into perspective against some of the other team's transgressions in recent years (I'm thinking particularly of McLaren and Renault) then a ban goes against the precedent, wouldn't you agree?

    I'm not defending Ferrari's actions - they were out of line - but we need keep things in perspective.

  • Comment number 71.

    Ok so everyone is going on about what is best for the team but surely if Massa had come 1st and Alonso had come 2nd then Ferrari would have got the same number of points. In my oppinion this is Alonso saying he is more important to the team than Massa and I don't blame Massa for being annoyed.

  • Comment number 72.

    "If one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual,"

    ok then, does this mean that they shouldnt have "swap" the drivers around then they wouldnt have been in the situation they are in now as they would still have a 1 2 finsh, end up with same amount of points and the fans would have been happy, the media would have reported on the fact it a year since Massa had his crash etc instead of them breaking the rules etc.

  • Comment number 73.

    Jake, based on your description of injustice I should have burst out laughing when Alonso made his great pass on Sunday...

    Seriously though, I haven't felt that annoyed after an F1 race since the days when Barichello was on the wrong end of these calls. What would Ferrari do if Massa just ignored the order?

    The defence for these orders appears to be that F1 is a team sport - I wonder how much Massa felt part of the Ferrari team on Sunday evening??

  • Comment number 74.

    Firstly great coverage! Watched the british GP on french television and made me appreciate just how much time and effort goes into the Beeb's coverage.

    Team orders have their place, but not at the expense of ruining the sporting spectacle of F1, in Turkey I have no doubt the Jenson and Lewis were effectively stopped from racing after that incident. Or that in the briefing for a race it is made clear to a driver that he should let his team mate through to maximise the championship possibilities.

    But essentially emotionally blackmailing a racing driver to accept that he should not win the race is ridiculous. Then to say that this form of blackmail constituted Felipe's decision is offensive to the fans and to the detriment of the sport.

    At the end of the day people watch it bcoz it is, or appears to be, a sport. People don't want to watch investment banks on wheels.

  • Comment number 75.


    Totally unamazed by the ferrari tactic, but there are more subtle ways...'jammed' wheel nut, 'missed' gear change, engine management 'glitch' etc.
    However, the event seems to have over-shadowed something much more sinister...Vettel's latest start line tactic to push the opposition into the pit wall. He is now 2 for 2 and needs to be stopped!

  • Comment number 76.

    Great blog as always, Jake... tell Harriet that soon you'll have three weeks to clean up after the builders :D

  • Comment number 77.

    What a conceited person Luca di Montezemolo is! The rules apply to everyone except for Ferrari. Just what gives Ferrari he right to decide which rules to obey and which to ignore?
    It is not often that I disagree with DC but on this occassion I do. There are TWO separate championships. ONE for the teams and ONE for the drivers. They should not be linked in any way. i.e. the drivers ALL race each other for the championship. For their championship they are on their own, irrespective of which team they drive for. It Sunday's case the position of the drivers had no effect on the team championship. If we allow team orders back in then it will be a very sad day for F1 and will probably see me lose interest. I want to see the best DRIVER win the DRIVER's championship and the best TEAM win the TEAM championship. Let us not mix the two up.

  • Comment number 78.

    Great blog as usual Jake - will you be posting the film on Jim Clark some time? would love to see that.
    Did you see the tribute that Top Gear did on Senna, excellent, am sure you guys will have nejoyed it.
    Felt cheated by Sunday, Felipe finally gets it together and then the team pulls rug out, how long can he stay loyal to Ferrari?
    And did you see the footie result - we gave Newcastle a good hammering ... well 2-1 anyway, on the ball City!!
    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers mate,
    Chris

  • Comment number 79.

    A good GP show again Jake. I would like to put in a word for Rubens Barrichello. He is always a good interviewee. He was very informative when he was chatting to Martin Brundle on the grid. If/when he decides to hang up the helmet I do hope he can form part of the BBC's coverage.

  • Comment number 80.

    This whole situation is a bit of a farce and I am willing to admit I may be a bit bias as Massa is one of my favourite drivers on the grid. However, I just find Ferrari's attitude wrong and maybe the whole grid have the wrong attitude and we just haven't seen it. I often hear no driver is bigger than the team and I accept that, but Ferrari (and anyone else on the grid who wishes to break the rules) must accept that no team is bigger than the sport.

    I think it's wonderful that FOTA are putting in effort to make the sport better and more entertaining for the fans by looking for our opinions year on year in how to achieve this. "We want to make the sport better for the fans" they keep reminding us. But as of Sunday I no longer believe their words because as soon as their greed gets in the way they forget all about the fans they "care" so much about. Their justification? "We spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year and we cant afford not to win". Well I pay hundreds of pounds a year for my TV License to watch these teams fix results and and crown false winners and champions.

    If you can't win fair Ferrari, go home!

    Also a nice little side note as I missed the build up to the race on Sunday I was watching some pieces on the website and I found Sebastian Vettel's answer when asked by David about how to deal with the relationship with your team mate. He said "If you are a sportsman there is one rule you live by and thats to win fair". Obviously something Ferrari do not live by...

  • Comment number 81.

    Sorry usedtobefast but pacemakers are something totaly diffrent.For a start they are normaly employed by race organisers, and also they are there to stop tactical running. They are not part of the race, and more than the safty care is.

  • Comment number 82.

    Massa has been about long enough to know the score, and should remember who just gave him a new contract off the back of some very average displays. If he had any chance of the title this wouldn't have happened - and the only reason for that are his own under-par displays. He has held Alonso up a few times this year when Alonso has clearly been faster.

    This sort of thing happens a lot - see the recent BBC article for a snapshot of the most obvious ones:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8856761.stm

    But in reality it happens all the time. When it happens further down the grid people don't bat an eyelid. The level of outrage is definitely over the top. Those saying Massa deserved it because he had the better race - what are they basing that on? The fact that he started on the clean side of the track and Vettel blocked Alonso at the start? If it wasn't for Alonso, Massa wouldn't have even been ahead - he only got into the lead due to Vettel's fixation on Alonso.

    Alonso was quicker overall, however slightly, during the race. If Massa had been cute about the pass people would still be upset, but I imagine things would have worked out differently for everyone.

  • Comment number 83.

    I wonder if all you righteously angry contributors on here can point me to your similarly outraged comments this time last year when Heikki Kovalainen leapt out of the way to let Lewis Hamilton through.

    No? Didn't think so.

    And yes Jake, clearly it's against the rules, but let's face it, every team breaks this rule, and everyone knows it. The main bone of contention here seems to be that Ferrari weren't subtle enough about it.

    Surely the lesson to be learned from this is that the rule is unworkable and unenforceable and should therefore be abolished.

  • Comment number 84.

    To be perfectly honest, apart from one corner of one lap, that was possibly the most dull race I've seen since Bahrain.

    So on one hand, good work for Ferrari for adding at least a bit of 'excitement' to the race, but on the other I hope they have the book thrown at them for not just the blatent disregard for the rules (and currently, it is still a rule) but also the blatent and quite cringeworthy way the whole team lied about it all after the race.

    Also, the press conference transcript is an enjoyable read on the Formula One website. Great question from Ian Gordon from News of the World:

    "Fernando, you said after Valencia that the race had been manipulated in favour of Lewis. Those words seem a bit hollow now. Where will this victory rank in your career, is it up there with Singapore 2008?"

    Ouch.

  • Comment number 85.

    I have to agree with EJ. The rules are there, and all teams have signed up to 'em by entering. That doesn't give any team the right to trash them when it doesn't suit them - there's a proper way to achieve rule changes, and it isn't by denying millions of race fans an on-track duel between two team drivers through veiled orders. No one is seeking accidents between them - just fair racing. The sport is nothing without its fans. Who do you think is influenced most by the goods and services advertised on the cars?

  • Comment number 86.

    Team orders = Race Fixing
    Team order = Non-race, racing means overtaking etc not being let through.
    Team orders = Me not watching F1 and I'm sure many more feel the same.

    You are doing great job though Jake!

  • Comment number 87.

    Having read all the statements justifying team orders in F1 (and from a commercial point of view I can see why it happens), surely a Driver’s Championship is a farce or at best a lie pre-determined by the teams themselves. Therefore there should only be a Team Championship with points awarded only to the highest placed car in each team.

    I do also wonder about the legality of race-fixing; as stated by others it is a sport where bets are placed on the finishing position of individual drivers, boxers, jockeys or football teams who throw matches are subject to judicial courts, why should F1 be any different.

    Great coverage as always – I’m now a red button devotee and think the forum is superb.

  • Comment number 88.

    F1 has put itself in a difficult position with team orders. I know it's gone on for years, but, as Jake implies with his comparison of this case to Thierry Henry vs Rep. Of Ireland, team orders are essentially deliberate foul play for your own benefit. No other sport in the world allows deliberate foul play. Rob Smedley's apology to Massa over the radio was telling, he knew they'd done something they shouldn't have. At least Massa and Smedley showed it up for what it was by making the request and the eventual move so blatant.

  • Comment number 89.

    Where I think we go wrong is to kid ourselves that F1 is a sport. It isn't. It is commerce. If it were a sport, it would be invested with notions of honesty, fair play, sportsmanship and honour. These attributes did I believe characterise F1 in the old days, but they have not done so for many years. As EJ said, the Ferrari debacle denied us a potentially thrilling climax to the race, and the time spent watching it up to that point was simply wasted. In my opinion it was despicable. I don't think I will be watching F1 again this season.

  • Comment number 90.

    If a driver wins via an 'unnatural event' he should be disqualified. Ordering a team mate to crash/pull over = same thing.

  • Comment number 91.

    Cheating ferrari means a sad day for the sport. Fans cheated out of what was turning out to be a decent race .the same fans that pay these thieves their super star pay.do ferrari think that the world is so stupid
    they could'nt see the blatant team order...that's high arrogance.
    sad day. But SOOO happy Formula 1 is back on BBC instead of the awful ITV. And The commentators including Martin Brundle are as good as it's gonna get.And.... JAKE.....nice one!

  • Comment number 92.

    Fully applaud the way Fellipe Massa and his Engineer Rob Smedley dealt with this, they were obviously not happy about being requested to cede position to FA by team management (they probably felt they had the beating of Alonso) and so chose to make the biggest statement possible in the way they gave up the place. This has bought the whole team orders debacle into the public domain so the public can make their feelings felt over the event. I personally feel we were denied a corking race between the Ferrari cars (Massa would have won, because all the toys falling out of FA's pram would have spoilt his cars aerodynamics).

    Several people have cried foul because they had bet on Massa to win, if you think you have a greivance, take it up with the HMRC, as race/match fixing is completely illegal in this country, you may well have a valid case.

  • Comment number 93.

    At the time of the german GP the rules state no time orders, who is running F1 ?. Does FIA stand for Ferrari Internal Affairs !! Why spoil a sport that has just got back from a previous scandle and is in the middle of what was going to be a fantastic season. Another point about the start and that is that if Vettal had concsentrated on getting a good start the chances are that he would have taken the lead, instead he tried a blocking move, how many times can he turn into other people before he causes a serious accident.

  • Comment number 94.

    Jake great Blog read it every week but never commented, but after the weekend I was so dissapointed after Ferraris actions I felt I had to voice my opinion.
    Team orders were banned for a reason and rightly so.
    Ferrari made a complete farce of the FIA and the sport by choosing to ignore the rules! If team orders come back I will be a very dissapointed F1 fan!

  • Comment number 95.

    Great blog but didn't no-one think to take a GPS reading of the crash site? With all these new mobile phones, I'm sure one could provide a GPS reading - or even take a GPS reader with you.

  • Comment number 96.

    good work by you jake and the team at bbc for bringing us the best commentary on f1, pity ferrari fixed the finish ????? why did they do it to spoil a good race

  • Comment number 97.

    Literally thousands of comments, probably an unprecedented number, have been posted since Sunday's Grand Prix, a race which - honestly - should have been consigned to the "hardly a classic" category along with Bahrain. Apart from Vettel's murderous lunge at Alonso at the beginning and Massa'a flying through the subsequent open door, Hockenheim 2010 should have remembered only for the long-awaited resurgence of Felipe Massa, a year to the day since he cheated death in Budapest. And what a PR coup for Ferrari that would have been! Instead, well, we all know what happened and the race will be mentioned in the same breath as the farce in Austria in 2002.
    Some have commented that F1 should be fought and won on the track and not on the pit wall. A point has been missed. This was a race sponsored by Spain's Santander. Ferrari's principal sponsor is Santander. Santander's CEO was in the royal box. And Spaniard Fernando Alonso was in SECOND place. A certain Brazilian had not read the script.
    The race was not decided on the pit wall but in the boardroom of Ferrari. And, in keeping with cowardly management style the world over, Luca di Montezemelo did not have the gonads to tell the driver himself that he was to throw a race he not only deserved to win but one he was never meant to win.

  • Comment number 98.

    I guess that the season will go on and by September all this fuss will have cooled down. It's obvious so many teams do the same but Ferrari always seems to find a way to do it worst. To be honest I guess we'll only see the true effects of this when the season arrives in Brazil. As a Brazilian I've been following the press there and people totally lost respect for Massa, which is an enormous shame. He built himself as an honest guy, limited but hard working, and now we have serious journalists calling him a clown, or worst. We've been through this before with Barrichello and his reputation was damaged for good in Brazil after Austria 02. Unfortunately he is portrayed by most as a loser back home, and now it seems like people are even more crossed with Massa for doing the same. Don't expect too much love for Alonso as well after he managed to humiliate Piquet Jr and Massa in such a public way. Very unfortunate for a country that loves the sport so much.

  • Comment number 99.

    Think you miss the point I'm making Paul about pacemakers - we all know they are put in the race to stop tactical battles (tell that to the winner of the Rome Marathon in 2009 though!) however we do not watch formula 1 to see the fastest times and for team mates to pull aside and let their 'faster' team mates through - we watch it for the overtaking, the drama, the battles of skill against bravery in defense and attack. Sure, the result didn't affect Ferrari's constructors points and yes they would have been worried about them taking each other off but I do believe that if Fernando had persisted closely to Massa'a wing - instead of throwing his toys out of the pram and slowing down - Massa would have made a mistake, run wide, and allowed Alonso through without any chance of a scrape.

    The fact that Ferrari blatantly flouted the rules shows a complete lack of respect for FIA, the world of motorsport, Massa and the fans. They should be punished accordingly. Yes Heiki let Lewis overtake him on a corner very easily last year but there was no way team orders could have been proven - we had the same access to radio last year so there was clearly no instruction for Heiki to move over otherwise we'd have heard about it and that was more down to Heiki's acknowledgement that Lewis was faster and more likely to catch those in front - there was no one in front of Massa this time and it wasn't as if Vettel was all over the back of Alonso and going to get past him if Massa didn't let him through. It is easy to get into Alonso bashing though when his all round behaviour and petulance leaves him open to criticism - that isn't our fault!

  • Comment number 100.

    Just want to say I much prefer Martin Brundle's punditry to EJ's, in the same way I prefer Simon Highes to Boycott on the cricket. Boycott and EJ are both knowledgeable, been-there-done-that guys, but they always seem to want to make it about them. The guys that really add the value are the balance, reasoned facts and views of people like Brundle.

 

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