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Horner: FIA has given teams carte blanche to break team orders ban

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner reckons F1 teams are now effectively free to apply 'illegal' team orders to their heart's content - with the worst that will happen to them for doing so a paltry $100,000 fine
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner argues that F1 teams have now effectively been given carte blanche to manipulate the results of grands prix through ostensibly illegal team orders, following the FIA World Motor Sport Council's decision not to punish Ferrari any further over the Hockenheim furore earlier this week.

Whilst the governing body admitted after the verdict that it did believe Ferrari had breached the ban on team orders – in force in the top flight since 2002 – by employing coded information to engineer a switch in the positions of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in the closing stages of the 2010 German Grand Prix in July to boost the latter's world championship chances [see separate story – click here], an inability to prove as much due to insufficient evidence, allied to 'inconsistency' in the application of the regulation in recent years and 'ambiguities' in its wording made it impossible to mete out any further sanctions to the Scuderia [see separate story – click here].

Horner contends that the resolution means a fine similar to the $100,000 penalty that was handed down to Ferrari – a comparative drop in the ocean to a leading F1 outfit – is the heaviest punishment that can now effectively apply to the use of implied team orders in the sport, something that the Englishman opines is to set a dangerous precedent.

“If any team was in that situation...then a precedent has been set,” the 36-year-old reflected on the eve of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. “Based on what happened with Ferrari at Hockenheim, other than the financial penalty at the event, it didn't affect points. They (the WMSC) obviously didn't think there was enough clear evidence. The regulation is not particularly well-worded. It needs to be better-worded or abolished."

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Mark _

September 10, 2010 6:45 PM

There have been lots of precedents set this year. Such as don't trust the stewards/marshalls, just because you see a green flag and green lights does not mean that you can race. You can also be penalized for racing too close without any contact or blocking (but you can race side by side down a crowded pit lane without penalty). You can shut off your car on track to have an underweight qualifying lap. You can weave all the way down the front straight like a drunken sailor to prevent being overtaken. All in all it has been a very enlightening year.

DP - Unregistered

September 10, 2010 5:38 PM

Hey Christian, why don't you start with the team order to not drive like idiots and crash into each other since one of your drivers apparently has selfish disregard for the success of the team.

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