Ferrari fined 100,000 dollars for GP rule breach

Ferrari were fined 100,000 dollars on Sunday for breaching sporting regulations at the German Grand Prix where their victory was overshadowed by allegations of using team orders.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 25 Jul 2010, 10:52 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:49 AM

The sports governing body the FIA said the result, which saw Fernando Alonso take victory after teammate Felipe Massa allowed him to pass, would stand.

However, the team will be summoned to appear before the FIA’s world council at a date to be set.

The Italian stable denied ordering Massa, who was leading the race, to slow down and allow Alonso to overtake on lap 49.

Team orders were banned by the FIA eight years ago after the infamous incident at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix when Ferrari instructed race leader Rubens Barrichello to pull over and allow Michael Schumacher to pass and win the race.

On Sunday, Massa was effectively ordered by race engineer Rob Smedley to let Alonso through as the Spaniard was the quicker driver.

“Ok, Fernando is faster than you,” said Smedley. “Can you confirm you have understood this message?”

Massa reacted by letting Alonso pass him on the exit of turn six with only 18 laps remaining.

Following the controversial move, Smedley was again on the radio apologising to Massa.

“Good lad - just stick with it now, sorry,” he said.

Ferrari went on to secure the one-two victory.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali insisted that there were no team orders and that it was Massa’s decision to let two-time world champion Alonso past.

“We gave information to the driver and it was his decision to decide how to react” he said.

Domenicali added that Smedley’s apology was simply due to the fact that Massa’s car was not as fast as Alonso’s.

“You have to consider that fact that he gave the information to Felipe to help him, and was sorry that his car was not as fast.”

Massa clearly upset by the incident, bit his tongue and claimed that it was his decision.

“I didn’t have a good pace on the hard tyres and Fernando was quicker,” he said. “It was my decision.

“You always need to know that we are working for the team and there were no team orders in the race. I made the decision because Fernando was faster than me.”

Alonso said there were no team orders, but admitted that he was surprised to see Massa slow down and claimed he thought it was due to a gear problem.

“There are no team orders,” said Alonso.

“I was suprised when I saw Felipe having a problem - I thought it was a gear problem but after hearing Felipe, he was struggling with the hard tyres.”

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