Team orders in F1? They're here to stay–get over it!

Just wanted to quickly chime in on the whole Ferrari one-two fiasco.

I basically agree with what David Coulthard kept saying on the BBC’s extended coverage–no matter what fans or press may shout, you can’t take the teams out of Formula 1.

They spend millions of pounds on research, design, manufacture, promotion and, of course, the drivers: so is it so bad when sometimes the drivers have to follow “team orders” to make their team happy?  It is their job to work to their team’s satisfaction after all.

Further, the now famous again rule 39.1, stating that any orders that affect the outcome of the race are prohibited, seems almost impossible to police.

Look at what’s happened so far: Alonso is saying that Massa happened to be slow and passed him.  Massa claims that it was his decision, not the team’s.  Smeadley (Massa’s race engineer), who apologised during the race to his driver after being passed by his team mate, suggests he did so because things hadn’t gone Massa’s way, rather than the conclusion many jumped to: that he had given a team order he wasn’t happy with.

Whilst the way it has all been handled seems to make the situation a painfully obvious case of team orders, there’s very little the stewards can actually do.  Like it was suggested in the extended coverage, they can’t just reject what they get told because they “don’t believe it”.  The evidence has to be more concrete than that.

Even Massa blatantly slowing down to let Alonso through doesn’t prove there were team orders–Massa said he made that decision, after all.

Although I do find something a bit unsettling about the whole scenario–not that this one has happened, but that it could happen a whole lot more in the future.

A sport where the results are largely governed by politics would probably be a heck of a lot less interesting than one where every point is fought for tooth and nail.

I hope things stay unknown.  The last few seasons have been great to watch, since the performance gap between teams–the top teams at least–is so small!