September 08, 2010

WMSC Pats Ferrari On Head... Again.

The World MotorSports Council met today to rule on the case of Ferrari and their use of team orders at the Grand Prix of Germany.  As you may remember, Felipe Massa was leading that race with his teammate HWMNBN trailing, when a radio call came from the guys on the pitlane: "Okay, (HWMNBN) is faster than you.  Can you confirm that you understand that message?"  Shortly thereafter, Massa did not accelerate coming out of a turn, allowing HWMNBN to blow into the lead and eventually take the victory. 

Immediately after the race, the Race Stewards called Ferrari onto the carpet, fined them $100000, and sent the matter up to the WMSC for further sanctions.  They had violated Articles 39.1 and 151.c of the Sporting Regulations, which states "team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited" and "any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition, or to the interests of motorsport generally."  Penalties could range from a fine, exclusion from the results of the race, a further race ban, to being booted from the championship, or anything in between in any combination. 

The WMSC's ruling in this rather clear-cut case?  They confirmed the Stewards' fine and decided not to take any further action in this case.  They then went on to say that "The Judging Body has also acknowledged that article 39.1 of the Sporting Regulations should be reviewed and has decided to refer this question to the Formula One Sporting Working Group."

In short, not only did Ferrari escape any noteworthy punishment (100 kilobucks is approximately 0.00025th of the Scuderia's annual budget... it's probably less than their team's windshield wiper allowance), but the WMSC may very well change the rule!  Now, nobody denies that team orders exist in F1 despite the ban, but teams are usually much more circumspect in their breaking of the rules.  Ferrari did their violating with a not-at-all subtle radio message for the entire world to hear, and Massa made sure everybody knew what had happened.

Understand, it's not like I'm surprised by the decision in the least.  After all, it's well known that "FIA" stands for "Ferrari International Assistance."  I'm just sick and tired of their flagrant rules violations always being winked at... "oh, you naughty scamps.  Run along and play now."

What will it take for the team to be actually penalized for an infraction?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:36 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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What will it take for the team to be actually penalized for an infraction?

For McLaren to do it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 08, 2010 08:35 PM (+rSRq)

2 Interesting report from AutoWeek  http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100909/F1/100909869
I think Ferrari is losing the PR battle.

Posted by: Tony von Krag at September 09, 2010 06:01 PM (VGXAE)

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