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Ecclestone has no problem with team orders

ESPNF1 Staff
July 27, 2010 « 'The polemics are of no interest to me' - Montezemolo | »
Bernie Ecclestone: "As far as I'm concerned a team is a team, and they should run it whichever way they want to run it" © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone has spoken out in favour of team orders after Ferrari was fined by the stewards at the German Grand Prix for ordering Felipe Massa to let Fernando Alonso pass.

The team took a huge amount of flak from the press for its actions, but whether a ban on team orders should exist in Formula One was also called into question.

When asked if he thought the ban should be lifted, Ecclestone told the Metro: "I must confess I would agree with anyone who thinks that. I believe what people do when they are inside the team, and how they run their team, is up to them."

Asked whether the rules would be changed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council on which he sits, Ecclestone said: "I don't know, we'll have to see. It's something that needs to be discussed. As far as I'm concerned a team is a team, and they should run it whichever way they want to run it."

Ex-Red Bull driver David Coulthard agrees with Ecclestone and said that all the outrage was based on a misunderstanding of how Formula One works.

"Team orders happen in F1," he said in his column in the Daily Telegraph. "They always have and they always will. Just because Ferrari were ham-fisted in breaking the rules, does it make their transgression any worse? I cannot believe some of the hypocrisy we've heard in the past couple of days.

"The only way to stop team orders would be to race with one car. As long as there are two (and some teams want three -- how difficult would it be then to control team orders?) the rule is unenforceable.

"Team principals should be allowed to do the best they can for their team, for their employees, for their owners. That is what they always used to do. At some point during the past 60 years we seem to have lost sight of that fact. The public furore is based on a fundamental misunderstanding, which is that Formula One is about the individual."