Mike Stevens | Nov 4, 2010

Ferrari on Wednesday threw a barb back at Red Bull, after Christian Horner said the Italian team winning the 2010 Championship would be "frustrating".

The comment was a referral to July's German Grand Prix, when current points leader Fernando Alonso gained an additional seven points because his teammate Felipe Massa was ordered to give up the win - a practice that is illegal and earned Ferrari a $100,000 fine.

"It would be frustrating because we've obviously worked under the auspices that team orders have been illegal," Horner told BBC radio.

Comments attributed to Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali on Wednesday could be seen as a rejoinder to Horner's jibe.

"When you consider the car Red Bull have had this year, in my eyes it's a miracle that we are fighting for this title at all," he is quoted by the German news agency SID.

"If we had that advantage, the Championship would be decided already," the Italian said.

Also in the media on Wednesday is McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh, amid suggestions Jenson Button should surely now be supporting the charge of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Button has declared that, notwithstanding his 42 point deficit to the head of the standings with only two races to spare, he is still aiming for the title.

"I think the right thing is that if he's getting his car in front of all our competitors, then that's the absolute right target and we'll see what happens in the course of the weekend," Whitmarsh said.

But he seemed not to rule out the deployment of a team strategy in Brazil or Abu Dhabi.

"There's a good relationship between the two drivers. I'm sure they're going to cooperate with each other," Whitmarsh said.

"I'm sure he (Button) will do everything he can to fulfil the ambitions of the team," he added.

(GMM)

 

Massa Confirms He Will Help Alonso In Brazil

Felipe Massa has confirmed that if he can help Fernando Alonso to reinforce his lead in the drivers' World Championship this weekend, he will.

"If it depends on me, then for sure (I will help)," he is quoted as saying in Brazil by the news agency EFE.

Massa, who was controversially ordered aside for his Ferrari teammate at Hockenheim in July, is a specialist of his local Interlagos circuit and a crowd favourite.

But he concedes the Italian team's desire to put its full weight behind Alonso's title charge.

"I'm a professional. I did it already in 2007," added Massa, referring to his then teammate Kimi Raikkonen's successful championship campaign alongside him three years ago.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali has confirmed this week that Alonso and Massa will return to a position of equality in 2011.

When asked if Spaniard Alonso is the best teammate he has had at Ferrari, he answered emphatically: "No. I've had three (teammates) all at the same highest level.

"I don't need to say anything about Schumacher because his career speaks for itself. Kimi was also excellent. I see all three of them on the same level.

"Alonso has had a better season than me and has been more competitive. It has not been my best year, not only with the results but also the problems I have had in qualifying warming up the tyres.

"For me, 2011 will be better than 2010," he said.

In additional comments published by the Globo newspaper, Massa said he thinks his Brazilian fans will understand his position at Interlagos this weekend.

"I think the public has always treated me very well, not only the day before what happened in Germany, but also the day after.

"The journalists, no. But the public, yes -- always. I am sure the fans will be great and I will do my best to give them a good result," added Massa.

(GMM)

 

Webber Not Worried Teammate Vettel Is The 'Superstar'

Mark Webber insists he is not concerned that it is Sebastian Vettel, and not himself, who is regarded as the star of the Red Bull team.

Webber is better placed in the points standings than his German colleague Vettel, but team figures are insisting upon a situation of driver equality for the remaining two races of 2010.

Some commentators believe the situation is a reflection of the fact that it is 23-year-old Vettel who is the darling of the Austrian team.

"It doesn't bother me at all," Webber said in an interview with the Italian magazine Autosprint.

"I am 34 years old and I think it's great that I'm still at the top level and as competitive as I am," he added.

"If I was ten years younger and was getting the same results, I'm sure you'd all think I'm the superstar.

"I think the only difference is that Vettel is young. I don't really see him working any differently than, say, Heikki (Kovalainen) at Lotus," Webber said.

"I think the best way to judge someone is to consider the consistency of their results," he added.

(GMM)

 

Red Bull Unlikely To Have Ruled Out Team Strategy: Wendlinger

Karl Wendlinger insists it is "hard to imagine" that Red Bull has ruled out the possibility of deploying a team strategy at the final two races of 2010.

Following suggestions Sebastian Vettel might play a supportive role to boost teammate Mark Webber's chance of winning the drivers' title, Red Bull bosses insisted the pair will enjoy strict equality in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

But according to Austrian Wendlinger, a former Sauber driver, it is "difficult to imagine" that Red Bull has "totally ruled out" the concept of using team orders.

He also noted on Austrian television Servus TV that Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that if there is a lack of spare or new parts in Brazil, it will be Webber who is offered them first.

That is a "psychological advantage" for the Australian, Wendlinger said.

"He (Webber) knows he is better placed in terms of points and that the team wants one of its drivers to be World Champion," he added.

Niki Lauda reinforced the view that "intelligence is not the same as team orders".

He was very critical of Ferrari's infamous strategy at Hockenheim, but insists that Red Bull should now be fully behind Webber.

"I've never said anything about (Red Bull using) team orders. Just that they have to be sensible," the triple World Champion told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"What Ferrari did at Hockenheim for example was an affront to the spectators."

When asked if that means, for example, that Vettel should not try to overtake Webber at Interlagos this weekend, he answered: "Exactly. But this is nothing to do with team orders."

(GMM)

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