Ferrari does not deserve large penalty, says Hill
8 September 2010 – Damon Hill does not believe that Ferrari should earn a heavy sentence following Wednesday’s FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing in Paris, with the opinion of the 1996 World Champion being that the Formula 1 governing body should first tidy up rules surrounding team orders.
Direct team instructions which modify the outcome of a Grand Prix have been officially barred since the start of the 2003 season, following the previous year’s Austrian Grand Prix which featured massive outcry from fans after Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello was instructed to hand victory to team-mate Michael Schumacher in the closing stages.
However, with it being common knowledge amongst fans and F1 insiders alike that team orders of some degree take place on a regular basis, Hill believes that a strong penalty for Ferrari – which is subject to a docking of championship points or a ban after being found guilty of implying that Felipe Massa should yield to Fernando Alonso in Germany – would be inappropriate.
“Flexing their muscles because they can is not necessarily wise,” BRDC Chairman Hill told The Daily Telegraph. “I don't think a punishment that big would fit this particular crime.
“Teams say they are not implementing team orders but we all suspect that what they are doing is indicating to the driver how they would like them to perform, which can't be construed as an order.
"It is an issue which has been creeping up for some time, has not been addressed and I think Ferrari might get off because the rules aren't clear.
“This is where the sport doesn't do itself any favours; it needs a media circus to make the necessary changes - I mean, this is happening four days before the Italian Grand Prix.”