Mike Stevens | Sep 10, 2010

Whilst many commentators and fans are angry at the outcome of Wednesday's Ferrari disciplinary hearing, others say the time is right to axe the ban on team orders.

The Telegraph observed that if the sport's governing body is reluctant to harshly punish a "blatant" rules breach like Ferrari's at Hockenheim, then "the rule really does need reviewing".

"By removing it, at least the hypocrisy of teams who practice it yet preach something else entirely would be removed," the broadsheet said.

The Guardian agrees that "most teams" pay only "lip service" to the ban that is "largely unworkable".

It is rumoured that the FIA considered imposing a five-second time penalty to winner Fernando Alonso, which would have installed the subordinate Felipe Massa as the official winner.

But the Council decided against it, meaning this verdict "is a precedent that will likely allow team orders to be continued to be used in the sport", a New York Times blogger wrote.

Brazilian columnist Livio Oricchio said the next step should be the axing of the ban, so "there is less theatre and more truth in formula one".

Germany's Bild agreed: "Either team orders are punished brutally, or they are officially allowed once again."

Said F1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone: "The rules need to be looked at again.

"If you swapped your drivers around with a few laps left, that is bringing the sport into disrepute. But if you do it earlier, I don't have a problem with team orders."

Enrico Gelpi, president of the Italian sanctioning body ACI and a FIA member, said: "The rule will be reviewed.

"For us it would be a good idea to remove it completely. The general attitude in the FIA towards this change is favourable."

He said the topic would be discussed at the next World Motor Sport Council meeting in November.

(GMM)

 

'Dangerous' to Make Webber Number 1: Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has rebuked his teammate's suggestion that the time is nearing for Red Bull to choose a number one driver.

Mark Webber, just 3 points off the Championship lead with six races to go, is 28 points clear of Vettel in the drivers' standings.

After finishing second at Spa two weeks ago, the Australian suggested that Red Bull might be wise to favour him if the team wants to win the 2010 title.

But German Vettel, 23, hit back at that plan in an email interview with the Associated Press published on Thursday.

"For a driver this makes no sense -- you don't give up trying to win the championship until it's mathematically impossible," he said.

"For the team it makes no sense to favour one if that means penalising the other because you need both drivers scoring maximum points to win the constructors' championship," Vettel added.

"With two drivers close in the championship it is too dangerous to choose."

The bad news for Vettel is that even Dr Helmut Marko, who is thought to get along with the young German more than with Webber, can see that it is in Red Bull's interests to eventually back the driver with the best Championship prospects.

"After Monza we will sit down all together and assess our championship chances," the team consultant is quoted by Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

(GMM)

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