Ferrari Escapes Serious Penalties in Team Orders Scandal

fernandoalonsoFernando Alonso’s Formula 1 title hopes were spared on Wednesday when the sport’s governing body decided against imposing additional sanctions on his Ferrari for issuing team orders at the German Grand Prix. The team was fined $100,000 after the race on July 25 when it was determined that the team ordered Felipe Massa to let Alonso pass him for the race win in order to gain maximum points.

FIA’s World Motor Sport Council could have issued further sanctions against Ferrari for breaking the ban no team orders, including docking points from the team in the Constructors Championship or from Alonso in the Drivers Championship. However, the council decided that the fine was sufficient punishment. Renault driver Robert Kubica was quoted by the New York Times as saying that while he understands why team orders are banned, enforcing the rules can be very tricky.

“It’s kind of an FIA decision and it’s not my job or my business,” Kubica said. “About getting rid of the team-order rule, I think both ways it’s okay. We had the rule, and many times in the past there were team orders and no one noticed it, or it was not as obvious as in Hockenheim, and I think without the rule it would just be easier. You would not have to hide so much. There are many ways to swap the position with the teammates even if the rule is there.”