SUNDAY’S GERMAN grand prix ended on a note of drama, after Ferrari’s Felipe Massa appeared to slow down and allow his teammate through to win.
It was a year to the day since Massa’s serious accident, but the driver forsook the opportunity to take first place. Two laps after receiving a call from his team to say that Alonso was running faster, Massa seemed to slow down and allow Alonso out in front.
Here’s the manoeuvre from the camera on Massa’s car:
Was he ordered to pull over? The sport’s rules state that team orders cannot interfere with the race result. The rule was introduced after the Austrian GP in 2002, when Rubens Barrichello clearly pulled over to allow his Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher through.
The team’s president said that this has always happened, and that team interests come above an individual’s.
Ferrari was immediately fined $100,000 and the issue is being referred to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council for further consideration. The team could be expelled from the championship, or could face no punishment whatsoever. The Council gets to decide what, if any, punishment the team receives.
If Alonso and Massa have their results for the race eliminated, third-placed Sebastien Vettel will be awarded the win for his home track. It would also see extra points for championship contenders Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, and Mark Webber.
A hearing on the matter is not expected to take place until after the Hungarian GP this weekend.