• German Grand Prix

Ferrari to face FIA over Hockenheim

ESPNF1 Staff
July 25, 2010 « Vettel surprised at poor start | »

Ferrari has been fined $100,000 for implementing team orders at the German Grand Prix and the FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) will consider whether a heavier sanction should be imposed.

Fernando Alonso took victory at Hockenheim but only after Felipe Massa moved over with 17 laps remaining. Massa was not told directly to cede position, but before the incident his race engineer Rob Smedley told him: "Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?"

Smedley later said, "Good lad, just stick with it. Sorry." But after the race claimed that was due to Massa's struggles on hard tyres.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali, team manager Massimo Rivola, Alonso and Massa were all summoned by the stewards, who then ruled that Article 39.1, which bans team orders, and Article 151c, which forbids teams bringing the sport into disrepute, had been breached.

"The case will also be referred to the FIA World Motorsport Council for further consideration," read the statement.

Team orders are banned under the regulations after Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello to let Michael Schumacher pass at the Austrian Grand Prix in 2002. However, no team has been found guilty under the rule until now, and there is no indication in the regulations what the punishment should be.

After the race Ferrari's press officer Luca Colajanni denied his team ordered a position swap.

He claimed it was "a driver decision" made by Felipe Massa, before adding: "We didn't give any instruction at all. I don't think anything wrong has been done, or regulation breached.

"Fernando was slightly quicker at that stage, and we informed the drivers."