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Berger, Piquet defend Ferrari over 'team orders' furore

In contrast to the overwhelming condemnation of Ferrari's tactics in last month's German Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger and Nelsinho Piquet contend that the Scuderia was entirely right to use team orders at Hockenheim
Whilst the majority of the F1 world was quick to condemn Ferrari over last month's crassly-handled Hockenheim 'team orders' controversy, the Prancing Horse has at least found two allies in the shape of former grand prix aces Gerhard Berger and Nelsinho Piquet, both of whom argue it was the only logical move to make.

Ferrari found itself fined $100,000 for having distinctly unsubtly manoeuvred race leader Felipe Massa out of the way in the German Grand Prix in order to enable team-mate Fernando Alonso to triumph, thereby boosting the Spaniard's chances of a third world championship crown at the highest level as the season sprints towards its last seven races – but in so doing clearly contravening the ban on team orders in the top flight that had been brought in back in 2002 for a similarly blatant crime, also committed by the Scuderia in Austria.

The team could yet face further sanctions in front of the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) at a disciplinary hearing in Paris early next month – but Piquet and Berger contend that in such a tight battle for glory as it is this year, it is only natural to favour the driver who is comfortably the better bet in terms of the title chase.

“It's hard for Massa that Alonso came into the team later but is faster,” acknowledged Piquet – who similarly 'helped' the Oviedo native to the top step of the podium in Singapore two years ago by so famously orchestrating a deliberate crash that brought out the safety car and almost earned Renault an outright ban from the sport – in an interview with Brazilian news magazine Istoe

“Ferrari will not miss an opportunity to give a driver the opportunity to close the gap to the championship leaders. If Massa doesn't want this to happen, then he has to work out a way to go faster than Alonso – there's nothing else he can do. If he had been ahead of Alonso in the championship, it would have been him going past.”

“Let's not kid ourselves – Alonso is clearly the better man in the team, their only chance for the world championship,” agreed ten-time grand prix-winner Berger, speaking to German publication Auto Motor und Sport as he hinted that the 2005 and 2006 title-winner would not have moved to Maranello on the understanding that he would be anything other than the number one driver there. “[Ferrari President Luca di] Montezemolo went shopping for him, and he is going to play this card as hard as he can.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Gerhard Berger (AUT) Team Owner Toro Rosso, Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal, 6th-8th, June, 2008
Gerhard Berger (AUT) Team Owner Toro Rosso, Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Sepang, Kuala Lumpar, 21st-23rd, March 2008
Nelson Piquet Jr [Pic credit: Renault]
Nelson Piquet (BRA) Renault R28, Hungarian F1, Hungaroring, 1st-3rd, August, 2008
Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Race, Press conference, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Race, Press conference,  Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 and Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 2nd position and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 3rd position
Race, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Singapore Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H

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Steve - Unregistered

August 18, 2010 8:39 AM

You cannot debate this issue, it is irrelevant what any of us think about team orders, the fact is they are banned, they are against the rules and Ferrari broke the rules. This is no difefrent than helping Alonso win the WDC by letting him have a 2.5 litre engine instead of everyone elses 2.4. Drivers should race for the WDC and teams race for the constuctors championship, that's why we have 2 championships.

sid - Unregistered

August 18, 2010 6:58 AM

Calvin ur such a loser mate...... wat makes u think alonso isnt good enuff to win it on his own..... so was 2005-06 a fluke or did all the other drivers move away to let him win????? Its a team sport and like any other team they have 2 work as one to win the ultimate prize..... if you dont get it watch tennis and golf which are individual sports!!!!!

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