“Ferrari a Disgrace” seethes Nicki Lauda
Nicki Lauda, the former Formula One world champion, has branded Ferrari a disgrace following their controversial move on Sunday to employ barely disguised team orders in order to hand victory to Fernando Alonso and to relegate Felipe Massa to second place. He added that it had been the most stupid thing he had ever seen Ferrari do.
Lauda also reminded us that it was a year ago that Massa nearly gave his life to the sport when he had that dreadful collision with a suspension component that had come adrift from Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn GP and that he should have been given a chance to win this race in order to underpin the fact of his comeback.
It is unlikely that Ferrari has heard the last of the controversy. Although the race stewards at Hockenheim fined the Italian team £100,000 this is seen as a mere symbolic fine issued to demonstrate that, in the stewards’ opinion, the team had broken the rules.
Next it will be up to the FIA to decide if the team has brought the sport into disrepute. If so, then they could face a much heavier fine and possibly be deprived of the points they won this weekend. Some commentators are suggesting that they could face a three race ban which would remove all chances of their winning this year’s championship.
Team orders have no place in a sport that is based on individual drivers. Punters who had bet on Massa will be justifiably very angry. Just imagine if it had been a horse racing stable and one of its jockeys had deliberately slowed his ride in order to pass victory to its sable mate.
Ferrari remains the third favourite for the constructors championship with odds of 9/1 with Extrabet. This is some way behind both Red Bull and McLaren which are bothe more or less evens with a number of bookmakers.