Teams and drivers seek rules clarification

ESPNF1 Staff
September 10, 2010 « Jenson Button buoyed by McLaren gains | »

Formula One drivers and team bosses have called for clarity over the issue of team orders after Ferrari escaped further punishment following Wednesday's FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing in Paris.

Although the FIA remains convinced that Ferrari did use illegal team orders to fix the result of the German Grand Prix, a lack of evidence meant that the team escaped with a fine issued in the wake of the race. Acording to Red Bull boss Christian Horner, it has set a dangerous prededent.

"The penalty for what happened at Hockenheim was $100,000," said Horner. "Does that therefore mean that you could do that in the remaining five or six races this year? As we have seen, based on what happened with Ferrari in Hockenheim, then there was - other than the financial penalty at the event - no effect on their performance.

"So theoretically if any team was in that situation and wished to move their cars around, or needed to, then a precedent has been set."

Jenson Button echoed Horner's sentiments, saying that it is important that the rules are clarified quickly so that all teams can operate on a level playing field.

"Obviously it was not down to us, so our opinion [as drivers] doesn't matter in this situation, the decision was down to FIA who is the governing body," said Button. "But the important thing is we get a clarification of the rules, so we are all working with the same regulations. That is the key."

And Lotus driver Jarno Trulli thinks that a ban on team orders is the only fair way forward.

"Playing team strategy is something which is part of this business and part of this sport. In my opinion, I don't think the federation should impede the teams playing with team orders. It's true that it is a sport, but it's turned into a business, and there are teams that are spending a lot of money to develop a car, to make the drivers win, and to promote their sponsors."

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