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Team comes first, insist principals

It's team before drivers when it comes down to championship sucess, admit F1 team bosses.

Almost without fail, Formula One team principals have underlined the belief that the sport is built around squads and not individuals, even if some of them are happy to allow their drivers to continue battling on track.

The subject of team orders remained a hot topic as the Hungarian Grand Prix got underway in Budapest, the race coming just days after Ferrari issued thinly-veiled instructions for Felipe Massa to allow team-mate Fernando Alonso through to take victory at Hockenheim. However, despite the condemnation that followed the German race, most admitted that they would like to be able to use their drivers in the best interest of the team.

"We have to work for the team's interests first," Renault's Eric Boullier confirmed, "It is very clear that the team has to come first. It can happen when both your drivers are first row or clearly fighting for the lead of the race, [but] I don't think there is a need to have a clear team order as, normally, common sense should be predominant on the situation."

"At the end of the day, the team should be bigger than any individual," Red Bull's Christian Horner agreed, "Everybody works for the team, everybody works for the interests of the team. Drivers, all members - whether that is technicians, mechanics, engineers, team principals, technical directors - no one individual should be bigger than the team."

That point of view naturally led to suggestions that the drivers' championship would be rendered worthless because the teams would have the power to influence its outcome, but the principals involved in Friday's press conference at the Hungaroring insisted that both rankings should continue to be valid.

"I think we've made it very clear that we let both of our drivers compete for that championship, so rightly or wrongly, we've let our drivers race," Horner continued, "We will continue to employ that strategy, but you do have two championships and drivers' and teams' both carry the same significance."

HRT's Colin Kolles countered the argument, perhaps because his drivers have no chance of claiming the individual crown.

"I think the constructors' championship is a very crucial one, as it's very important from a financial point of view," he insisted, "You don't gain anything out of the drivers' championship, [other than] a lot of reputation and maybe indirect sponsorship or whatever. The fact is that the constructors' championship is more valuable for a team than the drivers' championship."

Red Bull's policy of allowing its two drivers to pursue the individual crown has got the team into hot water on a couple of occasions this year, firstly when they collided while disputing the lead of the Turkish Grand Prix and, then, when Sebastian Vettel was given the remaining front wing at Silverstone by dint of heading team-mate Mark Webber in the standings.

"Our strategy in Istanbul, rightly or wrongly, was we let the drivers race," he confirmed, "A lot has been made [of team orders] over the last week and, obviously, it has not been the most comfortable of weeks for [Ferrari principal] Stefano [Domenicali], but what happened, happened and we will continue to work in a way to try and support the drivers as fairly as we can.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Colin Kolles, Team Principal, Hispania Racing F1 Team
Saturday Practice, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Head of the Gestione Sportiva and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Qualifying, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
27.04.2017 - Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Third Driver
27.04.2017 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
27.04.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.04.2017 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
27.04.2017 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
27.04.2017 - Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Third Driver
27.04.2017 - Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Third Driver
27.04.2017 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
27.04.2017 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
27.04.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.04.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.04.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.04.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.04.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.04.2017 - Press conference, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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Readrocket - Unregistered

July 31, 2010 3:38 PM

The only "team" prize available to Ferrari & others manufacturers is the constructors title, and the points gained on Sunday past, would have been the same (ie. 1st & 2nd)regardless of which driver finished 1st. The individual "drivers" title race was artificially altered by Ferrari giving illegal team orders, favouring Alonso over Massa. Clearly Ferrari are dressing up their individual favouritism towards Alonso, as a benefit to the "team". :?

Oliver - Unregistered

July 31, 2010 5:47 PM

Ok the F1 principals have spoken and insisted that F1 is a team sport. That being said it is now time to abolish the drivers championship then. It can't be both a team sport and an individual sport at the same time while maintaining credibility and support from the fans. Continuing with two championships is what causes the problem. Either its a team sport and we can abolish the drivers chamnpionship or its an individual sport in which case "team orders" must remain banned but with severe punishments up to and including point deductions. Make up your mind f1. The status quo isn't working. Individual sport or team sport. You can't be both.

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