Sunday, July 25, 2010

Team orders

As I write this, the stewards are scrutinizing Fernando Alonso's win at the German GP. Team orders and so on.

Can we not get rid of this "team orders" stupidity already? F1 is a team sport. The constructors' championship, which determines the money teams get at the end of the season, is a team sport. In a situation like the one facing Ferrari at yesterday's GP, letting Alonso and Massa change places means that the driver who's still in the hunt for the drivers' championship gets more points, but the team gets the same amount. It just makes sense. Why, in the name of "sport", do we have rules that try to force teams to make irrational decisions?

Get rid of the whole rule. It doesn't actually affect anything, and only adds some camouflage to what teams are doing anyway. If the way Alonso won at Germany is wrong, then isn't Red Bull giving Vettel Webber's front wing also wrong? There was no penalty on that. What about when McLaren ran Kovalainen's car with a huge fuel load and gave Hamilton a more competitive amount of fuel? Wasn't that wrong too?

If teams want to favor one driver over another, they're going to. For teams to favor a driver who's way ahead of his teammate in the standings not only makes sense, but is universally acknowledged to be the way things are done in F1. Why do we have a silly rule that forces teams to pretend they're not doing what they're doing?

It's things like this that make F1 look so stupid.


What's just funny is Red Bull's Christian Horner.

Autosport: Horner: Ferrari move clear team orders
Horner was adamant that Red Bull would not have acted in the same manner.

"No, we let our drivers race," he said. "Massa's still in this championship, or maybe he's signed a contract that says he's a number two driver, but I think that it's wrong for the sport."

Remember that one race when Vettel and Webber crashed? When Mark Webber's engineer told him that "Sebastian is faster"? Using the exact same words as Ferrari's "clear team orders"? Of course, Red Bull would never do something they already did this season.

Is Horner going to turn into another holier-than-thou "we would never do that, except when we do" manager? As if we need another one.

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