Former FIA President Max Mosley has admitted that he was relieved Fernando Alonso did not ultimately claim the F1 2010 World Championship crown in the wake of the Hockenheim team orders controversy back in the summer.
Several weeks ago, Mosley expressed his opinion that were Alonso to lift the laurels by fewer than the seven points he 'illegitimately' inherited from Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in the German Grand Prix, 'it would devalue the championship' – adding that the extra points the Spaniard benefitted from due to his team's dubious and ill-concealed tactics 'should have been taken away' [see separate story – click here
As things turned out in the Abu Dhabi finale, of course – with Ferrari badly fudging the strategy and Alonso subsequently proving unable to find a way past Renault rookie Vitaly Petrov – the debate never needed to take place, as Sebastian Vettel swept to the drivers' title following a peerless performance in the Middle East.
Mosley – the man who banned team orders from the top flight in the first place following the Scuderia's
shamelessly blatant switch on the approach to the chequered flag in the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, has revealed that he is 'happy' Alonso did not win, as such an outcome 'would have given the world another unpleasant discussion about team orders'.
“I doubt whether that would have been good for F1,” the Englishman told German newspaper Die Welt
, “so thank God we are instead talking about the strategy mistake of the last race, and not whether Ferrari really deserved the title. That is one less problem for F1.”
Mosley was quick, nonetheless, to praise the Maranello-based outfit's tremendous recovery over the second half of the 2010 campaign – “Ferrari did an excellent job from the middle of the season to the end; they were almost out of the hunt and they managed to bring themselves back,” he mused – and effusive in his adulation for new world champion Vettel, at just 23, the youngest in the sport's history.
“Sebastian deserved to win and in every respect is an excellent world champion,” the 70-year-old reflected. “He is a likeable, relaxed and natural personality, so for F1 it's a win as well.”