Ferrari will not be punished further for their use of team orders at this year’s German Grand Prix. The team were brought before an FIA disciplinary hearing today, but their original $100,000 fine will not be increased, and nor will the Italian team or its drivers face a points deduction.
The controversy stemmed from a poorly coded message to race leader Felipe Massa to let teammate Fernando Alonso through in to the lead of the German race. This breached the rule banning team orders (article 39.1), which itself had been brought in after the Italian squad told Rubens Barrichello to allow Michael Schumacher into the lead of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.
The FIA released the follwoing statement on the matter:
After an in depth analysis of all reports, statements and documents submitted, the judging body has decided to confirm the stewards’ decision of a $100,000 fine for infringing article 39.1 of the sporting regulations and to impose the payment of the costs incurred by the FIA.
The judging body has also acknowledged that article 39.1 of the sporting regulations should be reviewed and has decided to refer this question to the Formula 1 Sporting Working Group.
The FIA had little choice but to consider revising or scraping the team orders rule, with today’s judgement making the current rule effectively meaningless.
On a busy day for the FIA it was also confirmed that neither Epsilon nor Villeneuve Racing would be grated the 13th F1 grid slot, as neither outfit was felt to meet the combined financial and technical requirements needed to join the F1 circus. As such the field will remain 24 cars strong next year, assuming no one drops out.
The sport’s governing body also confirmed a 20 race calender for the 2011 season, with the championship kicking off in Bahrain on March 13th and concluding at Interlagos, Brazil, on November 27th. As such F1 folk have less than a month to do their Christmas shopping, though we don’t reckon that’ll bother them too much.
But, let’s be honest, today was all about the Ferrari judgement. We’re absolutely certain you’ll have an opinion on the FIA’s ruling- or lack of- so why not let us know what you think in the comments section below.