Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Team Orders Kinda Illegal

In a perverse way, you just have to admire the FIA. Given an impossible situation, they will never fail to find some solution which nobody thought about ahead of time which will make matters worse.

Take this team orders thing. The German Grand Prix stewards fined Ferrari $100000 for interfering with the result of an event and referred the matter to the World Motor Sport Council. The WMSC's options appeared limited to two opposite findings: they could back the Stewards' call and then find Ferrari guilty of bringing the sport into disrepute; or they could find that the team-orders regulations were unenforcable, and vacate Ferrari's fine.

Based with these options, the WMSC bravely found a third option:
The WMSC hearing over the matter took place in Paris today, but Angelo Sticchi Damiani, head of Italian motorsport federation the CSAI, told reporters outside that the governing body had agreed unanimously not to impose any extra punishment, according to the Reuters news agency.
That is to say, yes they used team orders, but no, it didn't bring the sport into disrepute.

This is a decision along the lines of Hamilton's knuckle rapping from Malaysia, in that Hamilton's weaving was considered bad, but not so bad as to require punishment, but future incidents of this sort would be punished.

So, are team orders still illegal? The WMSC's decision would tend to suggest that yes they are illegal.

I don't think that this decision will do anything to prevent it from happening again in the future, though.