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Your questions answered - Italian Grand Prix

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Murray Walker | 10:00 UK time, Friday, 17 September 2010

Did McLaren cost Jenson Button the Monza race by being so indiscreet over the radio? What do I think about Ferrari's lack of punishment for employing team orders? What will happen if two drivers or constructors finish the season on the same points? Could all five title contenders still be in contention in Abu Dhabi? Does Lewis Hamilton deserve this title more than the one he won in 2008?

Watch my answers below.

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  • Comment number 1.

    So basically everyone including the FIA knows Ferrari used team orders and then claimed they didn't, but the FIA didn't have the guts to accuse them of it; instead opting to say "well if you say you didn't use any then you didn't". I'd have kicked them out the championship for contempt of court and bringing the sport into disrepute.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Murray,
    I do hope it ends up with a poker game with Bernie and the five leading drivers.... good to hear your thoughts as always...

  • Comment number 3.

    Could the FIA not have used polygraph evidence? I know its not 100% but it may have been useful. Also there are so many reporters in the pits these days, surely they overheard the heated discussions that presumably happened between Rob Smedley and Stephano Domenicelli? (sorry if that is spelt incorrectly)
    I would like to say that just because that team orders have been present since F1's inception, it does NOT mean the continuation of the orders are for the good of the sport. I think that a reworking of the rule that would be useful would be the "fan test". If the majority of Fans of the sport think that the use of the team orders has brought the sport into disrepute then punishment should be enforced, if it has not then no punishment is necessary. This would differentiate between for example the Austria 02 incident and Kovalainen allowing Hamilton to pass in 08. I admit this could be open to abuse eg. what if the majority of fans are biased towards a team etc. and who's interpretation is it of what entails disrepute but on balance I would prefer this to a situation where every teammate pass is questionable no matter how convincing it may seem because there is a team orders free for all.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sorry Murray but the WMSC did say that Ferrari used team orders and that they did break the sporting regulations, otherwise they have had to hand back the fine. By accepting that Ferrari broke the rules and then letting them off with such a paltry fine ($100,000 is a huge amount of money to me and most people but to an F1 team of Ferrari's standing its less than a weeks salary for Fernando) they have said its alright for Ferrari to behave as they see fit.

    Even if they had chosen not to increase the fine for breaking a poor regulation (as I agree the team orders one is) they could have still imposed a significant penalty for bringing the sport into disrepute.... but it seems that only one team is capable of that - McLaren.

  • Comment number 5.

    @3 - Sorry but that just wouldn't work... How would you gauge the fans opinions?

    I think they should just scrap the regulation and instead ask teams to contractually agree and publish their position on team order with regards to their drivers, also that any team instructions should be clearly given as such by a 3rd party on the pit wall (not either of the race engineers).

  • Comment number 6.


    I'm not happy with a reply you gave me on the video sometime back. I asked what was the affect called where cars close right in on each other at corners under braking. You replied, "Its called breaking" Made me feel a bit of a fool especialy as I was trying to explain this affect to my wife!. Martin Brundel has now answered my question. The affect is know as the casscade affect. This is where cars catch up with each other at a corner only to revert back to the same disance when coming out of the corner.


  • Comment number 7.

    @6 Ken, I have been following F1 for many years and I always understood that effect to be known as the 'accordion' effect, as the cars close up and pull away just like how an accordion is played. It's probably just a different name for the same effect, but I thought you might like to know!

  • Comment number 8.

    Ferrari have a great knack of causing the biggest uproars in F1, and Germany 2010 was no different.

    I agree that the rule on team orders is silly. F1 is a team sport, just like football, and orders will have to be used.

    What I dislike about this business is Ferrari blatantly used team orders, and then proceeded to deny that. I don't know who they think the fans are, but we are certainly not stupid.

  • Comment number 9.

    murray has not done this question and answer session for a while. i wanted to see what his opions are races when hamilton stayed on the track and won races. hamilton has stayed on the track for longer than all champions of all time. sorry murray but statistics show that he has finished more races than all champions.

  • Comment number 10.

    it would have had been unfair to punish Ferrari further, as this rule is impossible to enforce. If they had punished Ferrari any further, there would be inconsistencies because if you look at it, a hold station call as once practised by McLaren earlier this season is also a team order as you are stopping two people from racing. Such cases would needs reviewing too in my opinion.

  • Comment number 11.

    @9 You misinterpret what Murray said. He only agreed with what Hamilton himself has said, which is that consistency and finishing are paramount at this stage. Disagree with Murray if you like, but you're disagreeing with Lewis too. He knows that winning a couple and not finishing a couple is not the behaviour of a world champion. Better to come second every time. Do the sums.

    On the team orders topic: If people lie in court and you can't prove that they lied, then they're not punished. The team orders rule should be repealed. F1 is a team sport. Always was and always will be.

  • Comment number 12.

    Brilliant as ever murray. I think we've all missed some Q.A with the voice of grand prix.

    P.S I do hope the poker game between bernie lewis and mark will be televised. I wouldn't want to miss the real last round. But what happens if bernie wins does he then become the oldest formula one world champion? ;)

  • Comment number 13.

    Bernie would be the house, and you know what they say... the house always wins.

    Team Orders - Ferrari WERE found guilty of breaching the regulations, otherwise they would have been cleared and the $100,000 would have been handed back. The WMSC decided not to punish them further because it seems they were scared about Ferrari appealing against the punishment for being found guilty.

    I couldn't careless if the reg itself is flawed, its still a statute on the rule book and Ferrari broke the rule so they should have received a punishment that fits the crime.

    As for the reg itself yes it needs changing.

  • Comment number 14.

    what made the race a cracking race murray? all i found exciting was when button took the lead and kept it. alonso passed button in the pits, that wasn't exciting. so what makes it a cracking race?

  • Comment number 15.

    murray knows that hamilton doesn't go racing with the intention of not staying on the track. he also know that that was hamilton's only mistake this season, taking him out of the race. murray also knows that hamilton is the most consistent f1 champion of all time. so why make such a remark?

  • Comment number 16.

    If Mclaren had issued a team order in turkey, than it should have been favouring button, as if he had won, he would have been leading the championship.

  • Comment number 17.

    Jenson deserves the title for consistency(no mistakes) as being so cool and relaxed behind the wheel he brings something so different to the other contenders. Lewis is the most exciting driver and would be miles ahead in the championship if he had only finished those races where he either broke down or crashed out. Webber is a nice guy in a fast car! Either of these three I would like to see win this year.....
    Alonso is super talented but also a super Narna and has no class to support his talent.... he will never for that point be an all time legend... oh how I wish massa could finish the season head of him on those "extra" points!!
    Vettel I like as I think he is a decent guy and a pretty quick driver at that, but he is rash a lot of times and needs to learn a bit more and I feel he has not done as much as the other drivers this year to warrant the title.....

    Murray I think you missed the point of all of this ferrari debacle and that is that we all know team orders are older than you! But ferrari have made all us (non ferrari) fans feel like dirt and for that reason I only wished the FIA swapped massa and alonsos points for that germany race. It would have put the whole matter to bed swiftly and would have also made a mockery of ferrari like they have done to this years championship.

    Question for you though murray... Is this not one of the most enthralling seasons EVER???? (well apart from the ferrari debacle!)

  • Comment number 18.

    I really struggle to see how the ban on team orders can work. Its a team sport and anyone who can't see that is delusional. Team orders are absolutely necessary to be successful and there is no way it can be regulated.
    Remember Damon Hill's first win for Eddie Jordan in Belgium. The race was a crash fest which left Hill and Ralph Schumacher one and two on the track. Ralph wanted to race Hill (in wet conditions) but team orders were given that the drivers hold station in order to get the first race win for the Jordan team as well as a second place - a huge achievement.
    Was that wrong? No of course it wasn't, it was common sense!!
    What if the Alonso/Massa incident had been in the last race of the season with Alonso needing the win for the Championship?
    The ban on team orders is a farce. Teams should be free to order their employees as they see fit!!

  • Comment number 19.


    See lots of posts but no comments from Murray.
    Am I missing something??

  • Comment number 20.

    Why is everyone so surprised about the non punishment of Ferrari? Remember... FIA - 'Ferrari Interests Always'. If they ren't guilty of Team Orders then give them the fine back... if they are, and their own headman admitted it by saying that 'everyone did it' during the week after Germany then remove the points for that race... Having said that, scrap the rule... and give the FIA some gonads.. at least then we'd have a proper sport instead of 'stage show'...

  • Comment number 21.

    I find some of the comments re team orders interesting. If they bring back team orders then should they abandon the drivers championship? After all, isn't it for the best driver, not the one with the best team orders?

    I can understand team orders being used for the teams championship, although how that would help by simply swapping two drivers positions escapes me.......

  • Comment number 22.

    Team orders would be almost unusable if the following rule was implemented -
    Whenever 2 drivers from the same team finish together ie 1,2 or 4,5 the drivers would be awarded the points for both positions shared equally between the drivers.

    Consequently there would be much less incentive for the team to fiddle the results and the fans would see the winning driver on the top step who desrved to come in first.

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

    Interesting idea Bill. But then how do you address (hypothetical) things like a team taking the front wing from its "number 2" drivers car and putting it on its "number 1" drivers car?

    Isn't this a (hypothetically failed) attempt to alter the outcome of a race by the team?

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    @22 Bill - What would happen when Ferrari not only got Massa to give his lead to Alonso, but then also to drop down to 3rd to give Fernado maximum points....

    @21 stevejab - Why? Are you saying that no WDC awarded prior to 2002 was worth it? I really struggle to understand this chucking the baby out with the bathwater attitude that some have espoused regarding allowing team orders to exist legitimately in the sport again.... I just think the FIA needs to come up with some clear WORKABLE guidelines to manage team orders, which allows for fair competition between drivers within those guidelines and is open and honest with us fans.

    Personally I think they should be allowed, that the terms and conditions under which team orders will apply to a driver should be spelled out in their contract, that these conditions should be registered with the FIA and made public. Also that teams orders in the race should be handled by a 3rd person on the pit wall so that its clear to us fans when they are being implemented.

  • Comment number 27.

    The whole ferrari affair was to be expected with Todt (ex ferrari chief) as head of the F(errari) I(nternational) A(ssistance). Have been watching F1 since 1951 and have seen Ascari, Fangio and Villoresi in action. They were great men but the current escuderia is making a mockerie out of the whole issue and, in my humble opinion, that is not what one should expect from a scuderia that claims to be among the world finest. Am still waiting for a clarification on the rules by the FIA but doubt they will do so.

  • Comment number 28.

    @27 - Wasn't Fangio driving for Ferrari in 56 when he took his team mates car 3 times when his conked out... Allowing Fangio to beat his team mate into 2nd place in the WDC? Surely thats much worse than what has happened in Germany this season...

    I could also point out the Todt didn't so much leave Ferrari as get kicked out rather acrimoniously, that Todt recused himself from the WMSC because of a possible conflict of interests, that Todt had made a few comments to the media prior to the hearing that suggested he was very much in favour of Ferrari being punished and didn't he re-iterate that even more strongly after the hearing by expressing his disappointment.

    To me it seems that the WMSC quailed at the threats from Ferrari (and no doubt some backroom influence exerted by Bernie who made his thoughts on the matter clear), that any fines/ penalties would entail Ferrari dragging the whole sport through the courts in one major hissy fit with the desired outcome of ruining the sport. I just wish the WMSC had had the balls to punish Ferrari, even if they had given a slapped wrist for the team orders they still could have given them a hefty fine for bringing the sport into disrepute... but like they did with Renault over crashgate they opted out of punishing a team for bringing sport into disrepute.... it seems that only McLaren are capable of doing that.

  • Comment number 29.

    Communication can also be used for emanating disformation to competitors. Strategist from McLaren should keep this in mind when dealing with situations like the one that faced Jenson Button in Monza. Let's hope that both Mclarens are faster in Singapore.

  • Comment number 30.

    @19. The Q&A part of this page is refering to the video of Murray not the comments area. The posts you're seeing are post-video comments.

    Tempted to insert a link to 'Internet for Dummies' on Amazon in this post. But that's a bit cheeky, is it not.

  • Comment number 31.

    Regardless of Murray's comments in the video, and I respect his opinion greatly, what we saw in Germany (and what needs to be banned) is team favouritism, and not team orders. The case of Bandini moving over to help Surtees in the final round is nothing like Felipe Massa - still within shouting distance of the championship lead - being indiscreetly told to let Alonso win.
    It was fundamentally disrespectful to Felipe, who had seriously raised his game during his time at Ferrari, and was very nearly champion in 2008. I believe that is the real reason people were so upset by both that move and Austria 2002 - that it showed complete contempt for the man who'd driven the better race. Of course team orders need to be implemented in certain cases (e.g. Kovalainen getting out of Hamilton's way when he was tooling round in 4th in Germany 2008, which Hamilton went on to win), but there was no benefit to the team in Ferrari's actions.

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    it is unatural to try to control and dictate to others. the laws of nature strongly support fairness so f1 should operate accordin to the laws of nature and respect everyone equally.

  • Comment number 34.

    Murray you are still magic. BBC & Bernie please bring him back to do the commentary you will get an extra 1 million viewers !

  • Comment number 35.

    Re. Team Orders.
    If the powers that be thought that Ferrari broke the rules enough to fine them, then why did they not take the illegally gained points away from Alonso and give them to back to Massa?
    Team Orders are wrong. Spectators want to see drivers competing against each other and not have the drivers to succumb to the whims of their bosses. Team Orders should be completely abolished (they are like match fixing in Cricket) and if a team disobeys the rules then they should be thrown out of the sport as Ferrari should have been.

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

    Hi all,

    We are filming Murray's next video blogs on Monday so if you have any questions about the Japanese Grand Prix or F1 in general then please post them here.

    We will pick the best and ask Murray to answer them.


  • Comment number 38.

    My question to murray, glad to see this feature it back.

    Do you think that Lewis Hamilton has the professionalism, composure and ability to keep his cool and get his title challenge back on track with 75 points left on offer?

  • Comment number 39.

    Dear Murray,

    a very simple question: do you recall any season when so many 'big' teams had so much trouble with troublesome tyres and/or suspension? Kubica and Rosberg this race, Buemi in China, Rosberg in Hungary, and so forth; this is a vital and elementary aspect of the F1 car, surely the number of incidents this year is worrying?

    Pedro Franco

  • Comment number 40.

    Hi Murray, just a quick question:
    Excluding Vettel, which of the current drivers who have not yet won a championship do you think will win one in the future?

    And: Who would you like to win the championship, and who do you think will actually win it?


  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Murray - been a while and good to see you back...

    Is it good for motorsport that a soft drinks company wins the F1 championship?

    take care...

  • Comment number 42.

    With the way this season has gone, and the fact we've had some of the most dramatic, exciting racing I can possibly remember. Is there a chance the final race in Abu Dhabi could possibly eclipse Australia '86 for a pure brilliant finish?

  • Comment number 43.

    Bernie has said that he thinks 20 races is the maximum the sport can handle, and next season has 20 races on the calender, but Bernie has signed a deal for a USA GP in2013, also a deal with Moscow/Russia and Rome are also on the tables... Which races do you think will go to make space and which do you think SHOULD go?

  • Comment number 44.

    Murray will we get a chance to listen you and Martin in Comentary Box once again? As example in British GP in 2011?

  • Comment number 45.

    hey murray, love your blogs

    my question is who do you think has been the best new team (Lotus, Virgin, HRT) this year and who out of the drivers who have driven for them has impressed you the most?


  • Comment number 46.

    Murray, should the drivers have gone out on Saturday in Japan? And could we have a one-off commentary with Martin in Britain 2011, for example?

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi murray

    Do you think Nigel Mansell should make a comeback and show Michael how it's done?

  • Comment number 48.

    Hello Murray,

    A quick question about Michael Schumacher, who has been at the receiving end of a lot of flak this season, at times rightly so, at times a bit unfairly.

    I would like to flag up a couple of indicators:

    In drivers' tracks such as Monaco, Spa and Suzuka, Michael - in a car that admittedly does not suit him - has performed at the same level (or actually better) than Nico, who himself is no slouch.

    He (Michael) is able to do so in spite of the age gap, after 3 years out, without the benefit of lenghty tests in a car radically different from the ones he was used to - as further proven by DC in his recent Red Bull test. That in itself is no mean feat either.

    Does the above give a different perspective on his comeback and an idea of the kind of awesome driving force he must have been in his prime?

    Cheers! :-)

  • Comment number 49.

    Question About Japan: did the wheels fall off two cars because european equipment does not work at full efficiency when plugged into the very different Japanese electricity system?

    BTW: could we have a clear space/list to post questions for the next GP -it foxed me having to do this under a heading for comments on the last GP?

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Murray,

    After an absoloute corking drive this weekend and some banzai performances this season, do you think a top team (ie. McLaren/Ferrari etc.) should take a chance on having Kobayashi as their driver?

    I acknowledge he maybe needs to improve a bit in qualifying, but he could be insanely aggeressive and quick if given the right equipment, he seems to be quite shrewd with his strategy given his low grid position(e.g. starting on primes in Valencia and Suzuka before switching to the options towards the end)

    Also, it may be a bit early to say, but do you think Kobayashi is the best export from Japan that F1 has ever had?



  • Comment number 51.

    I think they should just scrap the regulation and instead ask teams to contractually agree and publish their position on team order with regards to their drivers, also that any team instructions should be clearly given as such by a 3rd party on the pit wall.

  • Comment number 52.

    How did this get to remain open for a year?


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