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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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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.


September 10, 2010 7:41 PM

Frank Williams says he supported Ferrari in its FIA disciplinary hearing this week not to help his rivals but because he believes team orders should be allowed in F1. Amid ongoing controversy about team orders in F1, with a review on their ban due to be undertaken later this year, Williams says the sport has to get more real Speaking in Monza about why he wrote a letter of support for Ferrari to the FIA, Williams said Because we supported, not necessarily Ferrari's particular move, but the principle of team orders being permitted. We wrote the letter because we were sincere we're no friends of Ferrari but we just thought that the restriction on team orders is not necessary.

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