• German Grand Prix

Horner accuses Ferrari of team orders

ESPNF1 Staff
July 25, 2010 « Massa frustrated by events | »
Christian Horner thinks Ferrari implemented team orders © Getty Images

Red Bull boss Christian Horner accused Ferrari of implementing illegal team orders at the German Grand Prix, after Felipe Massa moved over and let Fernando Alonso win with 17 laps remaining.

Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley came over the radio and told his driver that Alonso was faster than him, before asking the Brazilian if he understood. Several laps later Massa backed off the throttle coming out of turn six, allowing Alonso to slip by. Smedley later said "sorry" to Massa as he congratulated him on his drive.

When asked by the BBC after the race for his thoughts on the issue, Horner said: "I have to say, that was probably the clearest team order I've ever seen, especially when you've got the team apologising to a driver."

Team orders were made illegal after the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix when Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello to move over and let Michael Schumacher win. Horner said the German Grand Prix echoed that incident.

"It will be interesting to see what the stewards make of it, because it was as clear as 2002, which was why the regulation was brought in," Horner added. "The regulations are pretty clear that team orders aren't allowed and it looked like a team order."

Horner said Red Bull would not have done the same.

"No, we let our drivers race," he said. "Massa's still in this championship, or maybe he's signed a contract that says he's a number two driver, but I think that it's wrong for the sport. The drivers should've been allowed to race. Massa did the better job. He was in the lead."