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Ferrari escapes with no more F1 sanctions
The FIA said in a statement after a day-long meeting that its World Motor Sport Council upheld the $100,000 fine that was imposed on July 25 at Hockenheim when Ferrari driver Felipe Massa let teammate Fernando Alonso overtake him to win the race.
The council could have stripped Alonso of the victory or docked the team points or imposed another fine. However, the FIA said that “after an in-depth analysis of all reports, statements and documents submitted, the judging body has decided to confirm the stewards’ decision of a $100,000 fine.”
The FIA also said it would review the ban on team orders, which was introduced following the 2002 season after Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello to hand victory to Michael Schumacher in the Austrian Grand Prix.
In July, Massa led 49 of 67 laps in Germany before allowing Alonso to pass him following Ferrari radio messages. Had Alonso been stripped of the race victory, he would have fallen 66 points behind current leader Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali and team lawyers attended the hearing in Paris.
Domenicali has maintained that Ferrari didn’t give explicit orders to Massa at the German race, although the Brazilian driver received a message from race engineer Rob Smedley saying Alonso was faster than him.
The radio message was seen as a clear order to let his teammate pass him, but Massa said after the race it was his decision to slow down.
“In my opinion this was not a case of team orders. My engineer kept me constantly informed on what was going on behind me, especially when I was struggling a bit on the hard tires,” Massa said. “So I decided to do the best thing for the team.”
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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