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Ferrari has been fined $100,000 (£65,000) by Formula 1 governing body the FIA for the use of team orders and bringing the sport into disrepute at Hockenheim on Sunday afternoon. At present, the results of the race remain unchanged although the matter has now been referred to the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC).
The situation stems back to Lap 48 of the German Grand Prix, when leader Felipe Massa was clearly told by Race Engineer Rob Smedley that second-placed team-mate Fernando Alonso was quicker – the Brazilian was then asked to confirm the message.
A lap after the communication was broadcast on live television worldwide, Massa yielded exiting the hairpin as Alonso took the lead before going on to win.
Ferrari were called to the stewards at approximately 4:30pm local time at Hockenheim, with a decision then being revealed shortly after 6 o’clock.
Team Principal Stefano Domenicali, Team Manager Massimo Rivola and the two drivers were summoned to Race Control, where it is believed the team stated that the message to Massa had been information only, as opposed to a command, with team orders having been banned in the sport since 2003 (following the highly controversial Ferrari place swap in the previous season’s Austrian Grand Prix).
With Smedley having also been broadcast as saying ‘Sorry’ to Massa, stewards confirmed that Article 39.1 of the international sporting code – the ban on team orders – and Article 151c – bringing the sport into disrepute – have both been broken.
The case will also be referred to the WMSC in Paris although for the time being the race result stands, with Alonso having finished just over four seconds ahead.
Reaction: Ferrari not appealing stewards’ decision
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