Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Can you confirm you understand that decision? - Have your say on the Ferrari team orders result

Published by Christine

Fernando Alonso enjoys a drop of champagne.
Fernando Alonso enjoys a drop of champagne.

The World Motorsport Council tried very hard to distract us with talk of the twenty-race calendar for next season, but in the end, we all wanted to know what was going to come out of their discussions regarding the Ferrari team orders debacle.

They waited until the prime moment - ie. when everybody was about to go home - to announce their findings - a $100,000 fine for the team, plus paying the legal costs involved.

The fine is what had already been announced by the stewards at Hockenheim, after they had reviewed the "overtake" between Massa and Alonso. They imposed the biggest sanction they could find, and moved onwards. This may have been their first mistake, as Leigh has commented:

Technically, Ferrari were already punished once by the stewards - the FIA would have a hard time justifying punishing them twice. Ideally the stewards should have simply referred to the WMSC and left punishment up to them in the first place.

- Leigh O'Gorman

However, there's no reason that the WMSC couldn't hand out another judgement, particularly when it comes to such a contentious issue as team orders. The FIA have confirmed they'll look into the ruling itself, but that won't reflect back on Ferrari. Or will it?

The judging body has also acknowledged that article 39.1 of the sporting regulations should be reviewed and has decided to refer this question to the Formula 1 Sporting Working Group.

- FIA Statement

The rule was only introduced because of Ferrari's behaviour and the first team penalised for breaking it was Ferrari and the punishment is a non-punishment.

- Steven Roy

It's a tricky situation, as many people have been discussing the fact that team orders happen. They have always happened, and to a certain extent, they are understandable. Where is the line to be drawn? The problem I have with today's ruling is that nothing has been achieved at all. The WMSC must have known they would have to think about the ruling itself, but all they've done is passed the buck to the Sporting Working Group. The matter is out of their minds and who knows what the SWG will come up with? This doesn't fill me with confidence at all. We need a decent regulation one way or the other that is definable and can be penalised when broken.

Otherwise, we end up in these situations where it looks like Ferrari have gotten away with it again.

When Lewis lied, they got DQ'd from the race and a suspended ban. When Renault's wheel fell off, they got a suspended ban. Now Ferrari break a fundamental and very public rule and only get a fine. Clearly they have been treated more lightly than McLaren and Renault have in the past.

- RubberGoat

Ferrari may have had a good day today, but it's down to the FIA to fix this so that we know where we are in the future. However, what do you think of the ruling today? Was it what you expected or a complete surprise?