New evidence in Ferrari team orders scandal

By Gareth Llewellyn


New evidence has emerged which suggests Ferrari will have a difficult time convincing the FIA they did not deploy team orders during the German Grand Prix.

The Italian team will face a World Motor Sport Council hearing on 8 September, just days before their home race at Monza, in respect of breaching regulations during the race at Hockenheim.

Ferrari have denied deploying team orders by asking Felipe Massa to let team-mate Fernando Alonso through as they headed to a one-two finish.

Team orders are currently prohibited under regulation 39.1, an act which could be considered prejudicial to the interests of the competition or motorsport generally, which would breach 151c.

The only evidence against Ferrari had been Massa’s team radio messages from race engineer Rob Smedley who could be heard telling the Brazilian: “Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?” just moments before the move happened.

Smedley was later heard telling Massa he was “very, very magnanimous” as Alonso took the chequered flag, but it now appears that the “faster than you” message was Ferrari’s pre-arranged code for ‘move over’.

F1’s official website has published a video edit of the race which sheds new light on radio transmission prior to the move.

Smedley is heard saying to his driver: “You need to pick up the pace, because Fernando is faster.”

As Alonso came close to genuinely overtaking Massa during an on-track battle, Smedley said: “Pretty close here, he’s gonna go–you’re going to have to defend”.

Alonso could be heard throwing his toys out of the car, complaining that his inability to overtake his team-mate was “ridiculous.”

He was also heard to say during the official video edit: “I am much faster than Felipe,” with his race engineer Andrea Stella replying: “We got your message.”

If Ferrari are found guilty they could have the points won by Alonso and Massa deducted, be banned for a number of races, or even thrown out of the championship.


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