Should team orders be allowed?

Should team orders be allowed?


  • Total voters
    58

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
cosicave said:
[[ This is a direct response to Brogan's original question and takes no account of any of the responses so far, since I have not yet read them ]]
___________________________________________________________________________________
Should team orders be allowed? - Absolutely not!: What we saw today was a DISGRACE, but I want to explain why:

*1. Formula 1 is 'sold' as entertainment.
*2. Those who are being 'entertained' are largely a relatively ignorant lot who simply enjoy the spectacle of motor-racing and for the most part, pay little heed to its intricacies.
*3. This means that it is inevitable that some things may go on behind closed doors, out of the public eye, just as when one visits a theatre, one does not expect to find the actors changing into their clothes on stage in full view.
*4. The 'No Team-Orders' rule is essential for Bernie's show to remain credible with his audience.
*5. What happened today, was effectively showing the customer that he/she had bought soiled goods, well past their sell-by date.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Conclusions
It is essential that this rule remains in place, and is seen to be policed properly, consistently and thoroughly, since without it, F1 loses its credibilty and ultimately its 'fan-base'.

If any team decides to do a bit of work 'behind-the-scenes', so be it; after all, we accept it in the theatre. - But to show it to the world in the manner we saw today, was as disgraceful as a dirty old man exposing himself to children.

-Utterly disgraceful and completely unacceptable…


Your point 2 is wrong. Research has been done that shows the vast majority of people at any big sporting event dont care at all about the actual event but are there for the fun, the side show, the day out. I think that figure was something like 80%. Of course there will always be people there for the sport, but thats a very small minority in fact.

This is the big point for having city races. People have another reason to go and shop.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
bogaTYR said: [quote:i7qf228t]cosicave said:
*1. Formula 1 is 'sold' as entertainment.
*2. Those who are being 'entertained' are largely a relatively ignorant lot who simply enjoy the spectacle of motor-racing and for the most part, pay little heed to its intricacies.
Your point 2 is wrong. Research has been done that shows the vast majority of people at any big sporting event dont care at all about the actual event but are there for the fun, the side show, the day out. I think that figure was something like 80%. Of course there will always be people there for the sport, but thats a very small minority in fact.
[/quote:i7qf228t]

bogaTYR; the audience, or those being entertained as cosicave puts it, is made up not just of those who attend the event in person, but also the TV audience around the world. I would argue that many of these viewers are:

a) very intelligent and knowledgeable about the intricacies of F1, not ignorant; after all, is that not why so many were incensed at the events at the end of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix?
b) very interested in the detail and the outcome of the sporting event itself, rather than just watching for some vague notion of 'entertainmment'. On the evidence of the crowd behaviour at the recent British Grand Prix, I would even challenge the assertion that the majority of those present at the event itself are motivated in the way you claim.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
bogaTYR; the audience, or those being entertained as cosicave puts it, is made up not just of those who attend the event in person, but also the TV audience around the world. I would argue that many of these viewers are:

a) very intelligent and knowledgeable about the intricacies of F1, not ignorant; after all, is that not why so many were incensed at the events at the end of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix?
b) very interested in the detail and the outcome of the sporting event itself, rather than just watching for some vague notion of 'entertainmment'. On the evidence of the crowd behaviour at the recent British Grand Prix, I would even challenge the assertion that the majority of those present at the event itself are motivated in the way you claim.[/quote]

Ah touchee...

You have a point. Although after the Schumi example in Germany (a massive drop in viewing figures) I dont think the viewing crowd is actually that knowledgeable. And maybe thats the problem. For people who know F1, team orders are part of reality. For the people who only watch their local GP or when they have a driver who does well, I think indeed this could be off putting. I think what happened in 2002 was indeed not what the average TV spectator would want. But for me, I was not surprised at all at the time.

Maybe the people who go and watch F1 are not the same as in other countries.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
bogaTYR said:
Again, I am with CaT here and I voted Yes.

Its been in F1 forever and every team has team orders, yes has cos all teams have some form of team order right now, the teams who say they dont are liars, simple as that. So dont try and pretend and all go 'ooohhhh'. The teams that went all yellow now and screamed are in my eyes even more despicable then Ferrari. Although the scenes afterwards were a tad ridiculous.

Yes it has been in F1 for ages, but since 2002 it has been banned. Plain an simple, to try and justify team orders in this instance is pointless as they are clearly illegal

bogaTYR said:
But another point: what is a team order and what does the rule mean? To me, both are totally unclear.

For instance, if I set up one car other then the other so that one wins and the other not and hey presto, the right car does win, isnt that a "mechanical team order"? Why is this form of team order OK and the other not?

A mechanical team order? I'm afraid I disagree. In the examples you listed, these are team decisions, not team orders. The rule in the context it was brought in was to discourage teams ordering one of their drivers to let the other through, not to stop them making decisions through the weekend

bogaTYR said:
Let me make myself unpopular. I would love to see Button in a car as made for him as the Macca right now, and the whole team actually, is tailor made to fit LH. Isnt that a "season long team order"?

No its not. Its a consequence of Jenson having only joined the team this season. I think its fairly obvious that Jenson is getting everything he desires at McLaren, that McLaren has the greatest parity between the drivers of all the top teams. One further point. I find it ridiculous that people believe a car is built to suit one driver over another. An F1 team builds a car for one reason, and that is for it to be the fastest. The rules and regulations may effect which drivers it will suit, but nothing else.

bogaTYR said:
Another example, what about one car going slow on purpose and blocking all competitors? Isnt that a "negative team order"? And again, this is allowed and even seen as a valid part of a strategy, sometimes even applauded, but in theory its exactly the same. One driver gives another driver, his team mate, an advantage.

Seems to me there is serious room for improvement. Or even better, drop the rule.

I do agree with you on this point. Ordering a driver to hold up the field, has the effect "of directly altering the result of the race" and so technically goes against the wording of the law, if not the spirit in which it was intended.

Does the regulation need to be reviewed? Yes of course. Should it be dropped? In my opinion, No. Clear or unclear, questionable or not, we have seen the decline of the number 2 driver in recent years since the rule was bought in, and long may it continue.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
Ferrari handled the situation badly, they had plenty of chances to do the switch while the cars were in traffic, the actual 'coded' order was a joke. It reminded me of an Allo Allo sketch. surely they could of used a pre-determined code like "Go to G8". The way the management tried to cover it up was laughable, I wouldn't trust Domenicali as far as I could throw him.

This is almost as bad as Singapore 2008. (Alonso again! A pattern could be emerging!)

The punishment does not really fit the crime, I know the constructors title wasn't affected by the result but what if some italian based organisation had put large sums of money on Alonso to win.

Fixing sporting events is nothing new in Italy, look at what happened to Juventus and other major serie A teams a few seasons ago. Corruption is rife in italian sport and $100,000 is small change compared to the sums involved when it comes to sports betting.

What other options do the stewards have? McLaren were fined the equivalent of a constructors title win for the spying scandal, surely they could of handed over a larger fine to Ferrari?

As it has been said many times before. F1 doesn't need Ferrari but Ferrari needs F1.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
There is no rule against the deliberate holding up of another team's driver (as long as no illegal blocking or weaving is used), therefore it is a perfectly legitimate tactic. I think that is getting away from the point somewhat.

'Team orders', in my understanding, relates only to those orders or instructions from within a team which directly affect the outcome of the race between the two drivers within that team. After all, that is the only thing which is in the direct control of the team.

Furthermore, I believe there is really only one team order which fans find so distasteful, and that is the deliberate and unnecessary switching of places as witnessed yesterday at Hockenheim and in Austria in 2002. If just this specific team order were to be banned, would it not be easier to enforce and would it not largely remove the problem of perceived unfairness?
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Anyone else wonder whether Smedley deliberately phrased and emphasised it the way he did? Almost as though he were whistle blowing...
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
fat_jez said:
Anyone else wonder whether Smedley deliberately phrased and emphasised it the way he did? Almost as though he were whistle blowing...
That's the impression I got.

I wonder if there will be any repercussions?
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
fat_jez said:
Anyone else wonder whether Smedley deliberately phrased and emphasised it the way he did? Almost as though he were whistle blowing...

My thoughts precisely! He couldn't really have made what was going on, or his distaste at having to be part of it, any clearer could he?
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
Another thought that crossed my mind is who from FOM is responsible for airing the snippets of radio comms?

I wonder if Bernie's happy about what went on and whether that person is in trouble?

Let's face it, if it hadn't been aired we would have been none the wiser.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Also, his explanation afterwards of what he meant by 'sorry', smacked of rear-end covering.
By that time he had presumably either already been 'advised' by his team, or realised himself, that he needed to backtrack if he was going to keep his own job.
 

ramilas1

Podium Finisher
The problem with team orders is not the rule, but the fact that the rule has been circumvented with better coded messages up until yesterday and the FIA haven't had the balls to take any action on the other "plain as the nose on your face" examples.

I've been a Suderia Ferrari fan all my life (well, only the part of my life from where I knew about F1, obviously) and I was only surprised by the lack of finesse used by Smedley in his contact with Massa.

Surely, he could have used the "save fuel" or "conserve brakes" or "protect tyres" or "switch to setting Z" wording to get his message across . . . . . . like everybody else has done since this non-rule was brought in!

SF have put themselves (and the FIA) in the dock now, just like they did in 2002, by forgetting to join in with the collusion of keeping the punters in the dark about what they're ALL up to.

The fine is large, but insignificant in real terms, while any points deduction would be ridiculous because of the many examples allowed to go unchallenged previously.

Personally, if the rule stays, I think that SF should be given a suspended race ban; alongside an announcement from the FIA that the rule in question will be applied with zero-tolerance from now on.

Alternatively, they should own up that it is not enforcible and scrap it.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It all depends how big a problem you think it is, really. If the punishments remain relatively trivial, teams will continue to use team orders (as they always have), albeit perhaps with better concealment than Ferrari managed yesterday. So the same process is in operation, but the fans are less likely to spot it. An improvement? I don't think so.

On the other hand you can throw the book at Ferrari, which will send out a signal to the rest. But you also give yourself a problem, because what evidence do they actually have? All parties concerned can deny it, and ultimately only they know. There's the throttle trace from Massa's car, and perhaps that's enough to convict in this case, but in other cases it may not be so clear.

And then there's the question of what happens in the later stages of championships. You can say that when a driver is mathematically out of the equation that team orders then become valid, fine. But many times, in reality, a driver is no longer a championship contender some time before it becomes mathematically impossible for him. What to do in such a case?

Finally, the drivers are employees of the team. They have a responsibility to the sport, of course, but not a contractual one. Isn't it up to the employer to organise their internal structures as they see fit?

I don't like team orders, and I was very disappointed with what happened yesterday. I just worry that swingeing penalties will lead to accusations of double standards, and problems with setting precedent for the future. Perhaps natural justice will be served in this case through the reaction of the media and fans?
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Galahad said:
There's the throttle trace from Massa's car, and perhaps that's enough to convict in this case, but in other cases it may not be so clear.

Even that would implicate only Massa, not the team, since he has stated that it was his decision alone to allow Alonso through; and as there is no rule against a driver unilaterally deciding to give up his place to his teammate, there would be no offence on which to convict.

It would not be enough on its own to convict the team of having given an order, unless the stewards decided (as they would appear to have done) that the 'information' given about the drivers' relative speeds was in itself a coded order. In other words, for what other purpose could the information, "Alonso is faster than you" have been relayed to Massa? He could see Alonso in his mirrors, for goodness' sake! The message can only have been given for the purpose of requesting that Massa allow Alonso through.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
What we need is Witness X to come forward again.

I doubt he will this time though considering he once again benefited* ;)






*For any lawyers reading, that's a satirical comment and in no way intended to imply that Alonso was Witness X
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
A little late to the party, but here are the votes of the MuddyTalker jury.

The main issue, is that the FIA, in their readiness to cede to FOM's desire for money have dug themselves into a hole. As F1 has grown into a larger (and wealthier) sport, this has led to rules and regulations that answer only to the money men.

For example - Teams have to commit to a full F1 season, and (I think?) risk a fine if they don't see it through.
Why? It's not for sporting reasons, it's so that the F1 branding is set, and can be marketed as a defined product. Likewise team liveries - They must remain the same, and cannot be different from one car to the next. Again, there is no sporting benefit to the FIA, it's purely a branding exercise. The freedoms of the teams to run their own business is being eroded further and further (witness the ongoing motorhome/trailer advertising spat), just so that the FIA can have their homogenised and hermetically sealed circus to sell.

So you now get to a situation where the FIA has brought in a rule that it cannot police. As CaT, Rufus and Boga state, team orders have existed for ever, and will continue to exist. Would there have been the furore had Alonso passed Massa through pitstops, or on the track soon after the stops when Massa was locking up his tyres? Let's consider that Massa locked up, ran wide, and was passed. Was it a genuine pass, or was Massa instructed to 'make it look good, or we'll get hammered by the FIA'. We wouldn't know, but would happily believe no team orders were involved, when it could be the total opposite. In that case, which is the more distasteful, the faked pass, or the visible pass?

The arguments for team orders are transparency, but what you get is more opacity. Before rule 39.1, in teams where there were clear no.1 and no.2 drivers, we knew who they were, and changes in position like the one we saw yesterday weren't a surprise. Now, are we to believe that all teams have drivers of equal status? Of course not, but the teams cannot say so, for fear of falling foul of the FIA (that's easier to type than say!).

This is not to say I agree with what happened yesterday. But the once the WMSC arrive at their conclusion (and as is likely decide on the punishment), they should then direct the FIA to consider where their sporting obligations lie.

As a slight digression, the comparison has been drawn to racing in the US, in particularly whether JPM/Jamie McMurray would have swapped positions. I understand that the NASCAR teams have franchises relating to car numbers, and their rewards/fines/decisions from NASCAR relate to that car, rather than the team. They are individual teams within an organisation. I'm not sure that this would work in F1, certainly not whilst the FIA hold such a tight reign over the rules and teams.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
I agree with a lot of the points raised here about the way the whole issue was handled from Ferrari's POV. Why for example do it on an open channel and in a way that could almost be construed as a team order?

Smedley's comments to Massa could not be read in any other way than a team order no matter how much he later tried to explain them away. "Can you confirm you understood that message", "Good lad, just stick with him now. Sorry" and the "you've been very, very magnanimous" are hardly disguising the issue are they?

All that does beg the question, do Ferrari believe they are above the law and would have got away with it, or was it done in such a way that a disgruntled race engineer given a task he didn't agree with made it about as obvious as he could with out spelling it out?

The next question is, are these team orders any different from "Ok, *insert name of driver here and add next line as required*, go to fuel saving mode, cool tyres, we have heating issues." On at least two occasion that I can recall this season there have been calls to teams running one/two to say "go to fuel saving mode" now if that isn't a call to hold station I don't know what is.

Casting our minds back to Monaco 07, Lewis had his boxers in a twist because McLaren wouldn't let him attack Alonso even though Lewis believed he was faster. Well, there you go, a team order if ever there was one.

Remember Rubens in (if I remember correctly) Spain last year when he was comfortably ahead of Jenson until all of a sudden he was called in early and inexplicably in his eyes, and Jenson went on to win the race. At the time Rubens was fuming and banging on about team orders. A quick zap with the M.I.B team PR zapper and 24 hours later its all about "heat of the moment and loving the team" etc.

As I said when I initially posted in this thread, team orders should be allowed. It's part of the game and all rule 39.1 did was push it underground but its still there. Get rid of that rule, allow team orders and deal with any ridiculous calls under 151.c. Bringing the sport into disrepute. Nobody could deny that what Ferrari did at Austria in 02 was absolutely shocking but the knee jerk reaction to it by implementing this rule has left the team aspect of the sport as a hotbed of accusation and protest.

Allow team orders and let the teams face the PR consequences of their own actions. That is more damaging to a team than a fine. Image is a very important thing in F1.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
I will just say that the fuel saving issue this season is genuine from what I understand so may be confusing the issue somewhat.

Most teams under-fill the cars in the hope that there is a quiet period where they can conserve fuel.

The problem is, if there is a car in front of another one, then it will burn more fuel, whereas the car behind will use less fuel.
Hence why Lewis was told to use G8 yesterday after being in front of Mark and Jenson for 20 odd laps.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
Brogan said:
I will just say that the fuel saving issue this season is genuine from what I understand so may be confusing the issue somewhat.

Most teams under-fill the cars in the hope that there is a quiet period where they can conserve fuel.

The problem is, if there is a car in front of another one, then it will burn more fuel, whereas the car behind will use less fuel.
Hence why Lewis was told to use G8 yesterday after being in front of Mark and Jenson for 20 odd laps.

Yep, agree and understand all that Bro however the issue earlier this season where Lewis reacted with surprise that Jenson attempted to muscle his way past Lewis (which from a fan perspective was superb) was based on the fact that Lewis believed they were both supposed to be in fuel saving mode. Maybe I'm reading too much into the situation but I'm pretty sure that Lewis took it that they were going to hold station.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I see a very distinct difference between asking drivers to hold station during a race (rather than run the risk running into one another, breaking the car due to pushing too hard or running out of fuel) and asking a driver in a healthy car, leading a race, to move over and let his teammate through.

One I believe to be acceptable team orders, the other not so I suppose I fall into the "sometimes" camp. I suppose both are manipulating the result to a greater or lesser extent though...
 
Top Bottom