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Modern obession against team orders and its roots


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#1 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 15:39

After a great start to a new F1 season, here is a topic about something underlying the sporting aspect of racing:

For many years (in fact, ever since the 2002 Austrian GP hysteria) I have wondered whaere is the root of the apparent modern-day dislike of team orders.

For many early decades the races were contested by a smaller number of teams but with usually more than two drivers within a team. Also, for decades the teams were known to develop and deploy team orders, ever since the earliest days of racing.

Everybody knew that sometimes a win was due to the team orders or explicitely against it (Wimille at Spa 1947). Indeed, the driver's acting against team orders could result in the driver being sacked from the team (e.g. Duncan Hamilton from Jaguar after the 1956 Reims 12 Hours). There were also world titles won because of team orders (e.g. in 1956, 1964, arguably 1978, 1979, and even as late as 2007 when Ferrari applied team orders over the last races while McLaren did not).

It used to be widely accepted that the team order are not just a part of the sport but also a perfectly normal, useful and common sense part of it. Back in mid-1978, Ronnie Peterson said about the team orders in the contract he signed with Lotus the following: "I gave my word on it before I came back to Lotus and there's no way I'll break it. Besides, Mario was quicker than me in the first half of the season, and he deserves to be World Champion".

Stirling Moss was willingly and (most probably) contractually playing the second fiddle to Fangio in 1955, Mercedes had no competitors and yet I've never read any report about people complaining that there was no intra-team competition inside the dominant team, as some would scream 5 decades on.

Lotus' management failure to implement team orders at Monza 1973 (because their most probable effect was zero) was a significant factor in Fittipaldi's decision to leave Lotus for McLaren.

Back in 1970s, it was still common to find the F1 races' results in magazines written in the form of the car/team first and then the driver name added in brackets, emphasizing the importance of team that won the race.

Williams was heavily criticised and even lost the Honda partnership for failing to implement team orders and consequently losing the 1986 WDC title (after they already lost in the same manner in 1981, the same strategy will bite them again n 2003).

IIRC, the FIA rulebook still uses the terms "first driver" and "second driver" of a team.

In other words, for decades it was acknowledged that F1 is a team sport and that any team has not only right but (in order to be successful) the obligation to manage their drivers on track successfully by the means of team strategy, orders and pre-determined code of behaviour on track.

And then the global climate changed and everyone was all over Ferrari for switching their drivers in Austria 2002. After the display of collective madness, the FIA reacted equally knee-jerky and banned(!) team orders forcing the teams to play silly excuse game whenever they wanted to excercise their legitimate right of telling their team members what to do. It was just as silly as, e.g., forbidding a footbal coach to establish tactics and player's roles on the field and having to tell them "just go out and play whatever you feel is the best for you". Thankfully, that idiotic rule was finally scrapped but the bitter taste it left is still being felt in my mouth.

I think I'm not exaggerating it a single bit if I write that the completely incomprehensible reactions (Germany 2010 being a prime example, despite it being absolutely logical and necessary) were simply not possible 2, 3 or 4 decades ago. What has changed? What did influence the general public so much that they collectively forgot that F1 is a team sport and that there must be no rule that will intentionally pit two team members against each other and against the best interests of their team?

My clear opinion is thet the lack of team orders may only be justified when a team is completely dominant so there's absolutely no threat to the ultimate title victories. Yet even then it's not necessary or justified to not implement them. And i't never, in any situation, justified to forbid them. Team orders are not unfair - they would be unfair if involving more than one team. They are a legitimate and completely fair sporting means.

What do you think?

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#2 DrProzac

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 16:02

I think it's simple. People want the faster driver to win, not loose due to team orders. People want to watch prober, fair battles not overtaking due to contract obligations. People usually root for the underdog, so if the number two driver suddenly becomes faster than the number one, they don't want to see his effort ruined.

A more valid question would be: what changed (if anything) over the years, that people find driver vs driver competition more important than team vs team one. I don't know, I haven't been around in the 50s, 60s, 70s etc.


I'm not a fan of team orders, but I acknowledge that they sometimes need to be applied (as long as F1 remain also a team sport). If I accept such an event as a motorsport fan, it depends on the circumstances.

Edited by DrProzac, 18 March 2012 - 16:24.


#3 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 16:11

At the end of the day, it depends on how you see the sport. If you see it as a team sport then TOs are ok I guess, but if you see it as a driver's sport, then they would be completely against the nature of competition. And also, if F1 was a team sport before and TOs were ok, that doesn't mean it should continue to be like that. Sports, like everything else, can change. As said, maybe the question should be, what do people want to see?

#4 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 16:31

At the end of the day, it depends on how you see the sport. If you see it as a team sport then TOs are ok I guess, but if you see it as a driver's sport, then they would be completely against the nature of competition. And also, if F1 was a team sport before and TOs were ok, that doesn't mean it should continue to be like that. Sports, like everything else, can change. As said, maybe the question should be, what do people want to see?

I think that today's universal trends towards globalization ask way too much what people would like instead of educating them. Just take a look on any commercial TV network or observe what has become of once dignified profession of journalism.

F1 does not need US-style artificial rules in order to make it stick with everyone. Indeed, many racing purists would insist that F1 must get ridof artificial spices such as mandatory use of two tyre compounds. The point is that insisting on having no team orders (aside from being unpoliceable) is also artificial and going against the spirit of F1.


#5 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:01

My clear opinion is thet the lack of team orders may only be justified when a team is completely dominant so there's absolutely no threat to the ultimate title victories. Yet even then it's not necessary or justified to not implement them. And i't never, in any situation, justified to forbid them. Team orders are not unfair - they would be unfair if involving more than one team. They are a legitimate and completely fair sporting means.

What do you think?


I would agree.

In 1991, Senna slowed (gracelessly) to allow Berger win the Japanese Grand Prix. I don't think there was much reaction to that. At the end of 1997 and the beginning of 1998, there was disquiet about the McLaren team orders (and more worryingly, inter team orders with Williams - and possibly Sauber/Ferrari). I recall some negative reaction, but not on the scale that was to come. In the same period, Irvine was being used tactically by Ferrari to frustrate the strategies of other drivers for the benefit of MS. It was seen as part of the complexity of the sport.

In 2001, Barrichello yielded to MS at the Austrian GP so that he could finish 2nd. We were told that he would not have been asked to yield if it was for a win. In 2002, when Ferrari were totally dominant, they asked him to yield a rare and much deserved win when there was no real need in the context of the championship. In 2010, there clearly was a need.



#6 BlackCat

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:15

alas, the F1 spirit has long gone. for quite some time it's been entertainment just as any other program on TV. sure, it's artifical. as said, mandatory tyre changes. giving points to losers (7-10), making historical comparisions impossible. quali sessions as such - yes, this is creating an hour of sellable TV-time. but as seen even today, it does not sort the grid as it should - faster cars in front, slower to the back, to avoid first turn accidents. and so on.

banning team orders had something to do with eternal crybaby Rubens. that such a ... could have so long a career in F1 is also a sign about changes in F1 mentality.

#7 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:18

I think that today's universal trends towards globalization ask way too much what people would like instead of educating them. Just take a look on any commercial TV network or observe what has become of once dignified profession of journalism.

F1 does not need US-style artificial rules in order to make it stick with everyone. Indeed, many racing purists would insist that F1 must get ridof artificial spices such as mandatory use of two tyre compounds. The point is that insisting on having no team orders (aside from being unpoliceable) is also artificial and going against the spirit of F1.


I think you misunderstood me. I completely agree with your first paragraph. Basically, what most people want is not necessarily what is better.

On your second paragraph, I also 100% agree with getting rid of artificial elements, the mandatory use of 2 compounds being one of the most grotesque ones at the moment.

However, and if we continue with the "purity" of racing argument, what is more pure racing, two guys trying to beat each other on track no matter if they are on the same or different teams, or one of them being told to let the other through? So, as said, and this, I think, continues to be the point here, it all depends on what every person sees as "the spirit of F1". To me, personally, it should be a competition of driver talent. I don't give a damn if at the end of the year this or that team wins, or, even, if this or that driver wins. I'd rather see one race with great overtakings than a whole season with one team and/or driver domination. I enjoy more the moments an on-track fight lasts than the moment when a WDC and WCC are crowned at the end of the season. I cheer for a driver because he shows great talent on track, not because he belongs to a certain team and/or nationality...

#8 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:35

My clear opinion is thet the lack of team orders may only be justified when a team is completely dominant so there's absolutely no threat to the ultimate title victories. Yet even then it's not necessary or justified to not implement them. And i't never, in any situation, justified to forbid them. Team orders are not unfair - they would be unfair if involving more than one team. They are a legitimate and completely fair sporting means.

What do you think?


There are parallels between 1986 and 2007 on this issue. In 1986, Williams lost the WDC because they did not back Piquet (or Mansell, although it is difficult to see how they could have done that). In 2007, McLaren would have won the WDC if they had backed Alonso (with same caveat as above applying to Hamilton). In both situations, the team bosses thought they had a clear number one, but the other drivers showed career changing form. Mansell and Hamilton are now considered No. 1 drivers, but going into 1986 and 2007, they would not have been. Also, bith Piquet and Alonso had changed teams from set-ups where they were the longstanding and undisputed No. 1 driver, and expected the same treatment as a logical approach to winning the WDC for their teams (which, as MS also showed, it is).

Bottom line - championships were lost. Piquet and Alonso left and Williams and McLaren carried on with Mansell and Hamilton respectively, with each of them later becoming a 1xWDC in those teams.

#9 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:36

I would agree.

In 1991, Senna slowed (gracelessly) to allow Berger win the Japanese Grand Prix. I don't think there was much reaction to that. At the end of 1997 and the beginning of 1998, there was disquiet about the McLaren team orders (and more worryingly, inter team orders with Williams - and possibly Sauber/Ferrari). I recall some negative reaction, but not on the scale that was to come. In the same period, Irvine was being used tactically by Ferrari to frustrate the strategies of other drivers for the benefit of MS. It was seen as part of the complexity of the sport.

In 2001, Barrichello yielded to MS at the Austrian GP so that he could finish 2nd. We were told that he would not have been asked to yield if it was for a win. In 2002, when Ferrari were totally dominant, they asked him to yield a rare and much deserved win when there was no real need in the context of the championship. In 2010, there clearly was a need.

Yes, in 2002 there was no need for such a move and it was done clumsily and unnecesarily by Ferrari. Yet, I think it was not a big deal at all - it was one race, it was not an inter-team collusion and it was legal. So, while at the very moment some frustration was understandable (I was there booing at the heat of the moment but not much later I became - and remained - happy with the result), it was irrelevant. Yes, Ferrari wanted Schumacher to win, so what.

In 2010, I think that most people were thinking with their hearts and felt that somehow it would be fair to let Massa win. That's a nice display of compassion yet people forgot two important things:

1. Switching Massa and Alonso was the only that that made sense WDC-wise (Ferrari was fair enough letting Massa finishing ahead in the early part of the year).
2. Being ahead is not at all the same thing as being faster. Massa was ahead due to luck (starting from a clean side) and kept ahead due to overtaking the sister car being virtually impossible and due to very aggressive defence.

#10 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:38

I So, as said, and this, I think, continues to be the point here, it all depends on what every person sees as "the spirit of F1".


The spirit of F1 is not a new thing, and has been shaped by the long history and traditions of F1. It is not really a matter for personal interpretation. Team orders are part and parcel of the fabric of F1 history.

#11 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:44

There are parallels between 1986 and 2007 on this issue. In 1986, Williams lost the WDC because they did not back Piquet (or Mansell, although it is difficult to see how they could have done that). In 2007, McLaren would have won the WDC if they had backed Alonso (with same caveat as above applying to Hamilton). In both situations, the team bosses thought they had a clear number one, but the other drivers showed career changing form. Mansell and Hamilton are now considered No. 1 drivers, but going into 1986 and 2007, they would not have been. Also, bith Piquet and Alonso had changed teams from set-ups where they were the longstanding and undisputed No. 1 driver, and expected the same treatment as a logical approach to winning the WDC for their teams (which, as MS also showed, it is).

Bottom line - championships were lost. Piquet and Alonso left and Williams and McLaren carried on with Mansell and Hamilton respectively, with each of them later becoming a 1xWDC in those teams.


My question is, would you have rather seen Piquet and Williams win the championship in 1986 and Alonso and McLaren win it in 2007 than the great racing between teammates we saw on track? The answer to this question determines if, for you, TOs are ok or not. As said, it all depends of your ultimate vision of the sport.


#12 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:44

I think you misunderstood me. I completely agree with your first paragraph. Basically, what most people want is not necessarily what is better.

On your second paragraph, I also 100% agree with getting rid of artificial elements, the mandatory use of 2 compounds being one of the most grotesque ones at the moment.

However, and if we continue with the "purity" of racing argument, what is more pure racing, two guys trying to beat each other on track no matter if they are on the same or different teams, or one of them being told to let the other through? So, as said, and this, I think, continues to be the point here, it all depends on what every person sees as "the spirit of F1". To me, personally, it should be a competition of driver talent. I don't give a damn if at the end of the year this or that team wins, or, even, if this or that driver wins. I'd rather see one race with great overtakings than a whole season with one team and/or driver domination. I enjoy more the moments an on-track fight lasts than the moment when a WDC and WCC are crowned at the end of the season. I cheer for a driver because he shows great talent on track, not because he belongs to a certain team and/or nationality...

Yes, I agree.
But I think that the equality within a team is impossible to achieve, for a variety of reasons, and that every attempt to achieve it inevitably led to a team's self-destruction. It happened at Williams in 1986 (when they lost the WDC) and 1987 (when they lost the WDC driver and Honda engines), it happened at McLaren in 1989 (they had a superior car and a first rate driver in Senna so they did not lose much, but the team spirit), again at Williams in 2003 (when they lost the WDC and Montoya), then again at McLaren in 2007 (when they lost the WDC and Alonso), etc.

In fact, lack of team orders works fine in the midfield. When it comes to the World Championship fights, the egos become too powerful, the stakes are too high and it takes a really special level of domination to save the season.

#13 DrProzac

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:49

F1 does not need US-style artificial rules in order to make it stick with everyone. Indeed, many racing purists would insist that F1 must get ridof artificial spices such as mandatory use of two tyre compounds. The point is that insisting on having no team orders (aside from being unpoliceable) is also artificial and going against the spirit of F1.

Sorry, but while the team orders ban was a dead rule, I see no correlation at all with various artificial rules present in F1. DRS, for example, is quite a different story than team order ban.

And I cannot agree that team orders is the "spirit of F1" so banning them is against it's spirit. Mute argument, and not even close to being right imho. As far as the "spirit" is concerned, a very subjective manner, team strategy will be close to the bottom of most people's list.

I'm not a fan of gimmicks and stupid rules. I wasn't protesting when they've lifted the ban on team orders (though I don't like them). But I find that calling team orders the spirit of Formula 1 is quite absurd. Even worse, it's insulting to the great history of the sport, with all the dramatic and inspiring competition. Not because I think that TO are always unacceptable or a bad thing.
The fact that something was accepted for many years doesn't make it the core of the sport. Nor does it make it a good thing - miserable safety was also accepted for so many years.

I also fail to see how TO are beneficial for motorsport, apart from some rare specific situations. The bottom line is, I think, just a matter of applying common sense.

Interesting discussion BTW.

Edited by DrProzac, 18 March 2012 - 17:50.


#14 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:51

My question is, would you have rather seen Piquet and Williams win the championship in 1986 and Alonso and McLaren win it in 2007 than the great racing between teammates we saw on track? The answer to this question determines if, for you, TOs are ok or not. As said, it all depends of your ultimate vision of the sport.

It depends on who I were.

If I were in the management of Williams or McLaren (i.e. the person in charge of employing or not employing TO), I would have been absolutely gutted about losing and not caring about the great racing. Remember that the consequences of both the 1986 and 2007 mismanagement were very serious in both cases: in 1987, Williams lost their WDC driver and the Honda package, effectively donating all the titles until 1992 to McLaren. In 2007, McLaren lost the WDC title, possible 2008 WCC title and who knows what else.

If I were the Williams/McLaren/Piquet/Mansell/Alonso/Hamilton supporter in those years (and I was....you cannot imagine how I felt after the 1986 Adelaide race!), I would have also been absolutely gutted.

But if I were a Prost supporter in 1986 or a Räikkönen supporter in 2007, I would laugh my a@@ off at the stupidity of the competitors for weeks :-)

Edited by TitoPuente, 18 March 2012 - 17:53.


#15 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:52

The spirit of F1 is not a new thing, and has been shaped by the long history and traditions of F1. It is not really a matter for personal interpretation. Team orders are part and parcel of the fabric of F1 history.


Hmm, I believe it's faulty logic to say that something can't or shouldn't change because it has always been a certain way. Regarding the spirit of F1 not being a matter of personal interpretation, let's ask around in this forum what everyone thinks F1 is or should be. I believe the results would, at the least, put that assertion in doubt.


#16 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 17:56

Sorry, but while the team orders ban was a dead rule, I see no correlation at all with various artificial rules present in F1. DRS, for example, is quite a different story than team order ban.

And I cannot agree that team orders is the "spirit of F1" so banning them is against it's spirit. Mute argument, and not even close to being right imho. As far as the "spirit" is concerned, a very subjective manner, team strategy will be close to the bottom of most people's list.

I'm not a fan of gimmicks and stupid rules. I wasn't protesting when they've lifted the ban on team orders (though I don't like them). But I find that calling team orders the spirit of Formula 1 is quite absurd. Even worse, it's insulting to the great history of the sport, with all the dramatic and inspiring competition. Not because I think that TO are always unacceptable or a bad thing.
The fact that something was accepted for many years doesn't make it the core of the sport. Nor does it make it a good thing - miserable safety was also accepted for so many years.

I also fail to see how TO are beneficial for motorsport, apart from some rare specific situations. The bottom line is, I think, just a matter of applying common sense.

Interesting discussion BTW.

Basically I can agree but:

1. If a team want to favour a certain driver, there is a million ways to do it while at the same time acting straight (it took a decade to get the real truth about Melbourne 1998 - McLaren are a very hypocritical team).
2. Every team with the lack of team orders and two equal drivers fighting for the title self-destructed.

#17 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:10

Hmm, I believe it's faulty logic to say that something can't or shouldn't change because it has always been a certain way. Regarding the spirit of F1 not being a matter of personal interpretation, let's ask around in this forum what everyone thinks F1 is or should be. I believe the results would, at the least, put that assertion in doubt.

That what I would like to avoid - not everything should be governed by a popular opinion.

#18 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:10

It depends on who I were.

If I were in the management of Williams or McLaren (i.e. the person in charge of employing or not employing TO), I would have been absolutely gutted about losing and not caring about the great racing. Remember that the consequences of both the 1986 and 2007 mismanagement were very serious in both cases: in 1987, Williams lost their WDC driver and the Honda package, effectively donating all the titles until 1992 to McLaren. In 2007, McLaren lost the WDC title, possible 2008 WCC title and who knows what else.

If I were the Williams/McLaren/Piquet/Mansell/Alonso/Hamilton supporter in those years (and I was....you cannot imagine how I felt after the 1986 Adelaide race!), I would have also been absolutely gutted.

But if I were a Prost supporter in 1986 or a Räikkönen supporter in 2007, I would laugh my a@@ off at the stupidity of the competitors for weeks :-)


But again, it all comes back at how you look at F1 doesn't it? You have said it, "it all depends on who you are". Even in the case of team principals. Does the end justify the means? To take the most recent example. Suppose Ferrari had won the WDC and WCC in 2010. To a Ferrari fan or an Alonso supporter or both maybe this would have been great even when it came at the price of the team 1) cheating -because TOs were illegal then- and 2) making fools of themselves and the drivers -look at the reaction of drivers, press, fans, etc.-. But then again, even if you were a Ferrari/Alonso supporter, maybe you would have preferred to win the championship allowing racing to happen on track. Heck, maybe you would have preferred to lose the championship but to see that your favorite team and driver had integrity. So, yes, in the end it all comes down to who you are, but maybe the real question is, "who should you be"...

#19 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:14

My question is, would you have rather seen Piquet and Williams win the championship in 1986 and Alonso and McLaren win it in 2007 than the great racing between teammates we saw on track? The answer to this question determines if, for you, TOs are ok or not. As said, it all depends of your ultimate vision of the sport.


I am comfortable with team orders when the team is not dominant (i.e. could realistically lose the WDC to another team).

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#20 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:16

That what I would like to avoid - not everything should be governed by a popular opinion.


But my points are, 1) do we even know what popular opinion is in this matter 2) how should we decide on these matters and 3) shouldn't change be allowed?

#21 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:21

But again, it all comes back at how you look at F1 doesn't it? You have said it, "it all depends on who you are". Even in the case of team principals. Does the end justify the means? To take the most recent example. Suppose Ferrari had won the WDC and WCC in 2010. To a Ferrari fan or an Alonso supporter or both maybe this would have been great even when it came at the price of the team 1) cheating -because TOs were illegal then- and 2) making fools of themselves and the drivers -look at the reaction of drivers, press, fans, etc.-. But then again, even if you were a Ferrari/Alonso supporter, maybe you would have preferred to win the championship allowing racing to happen on track. Heck, maybe you would have preferred to lose the championship but to see that your favorite team and driver had integrity. So, yes, in the end it all comes down to who you are, but maybe the real question is, "who should you be"...

OK, but I think that a team that is allowed to tell their members what to do in order to keep up with the best interests of the team is absolutely keeping its integrity.

Let's take a look once more to the Germany 2010 case: option A (leaving the drivers to battle it out themselves) could have had three possible outcomes: 1-2 with Massa ahead, the crash between the teammates or (unlikely, considering everything) 1-2 with Alonso ahead. First two outcomes would directly work agains the best interests of the team as by the German race Alonso was 47 points behind the WDC leader while Massa was another 20 or so points behing with absolutely nothing to indicate he would be able to maintain any kind of winning form, let alone catch up the virtually uncatchable gap of around 70 points.

What integrity would Ferrari keep by eliminating their driver from the WDC battle?

#22 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:24

Hmm, I believe it's faulty logic to say that something can't or shouldn't change because it has always been a certain way. Regarding the spirit of F1 not being a matter of personal interpretation, let's ask around in this forum what everyone thinks F1 is or should be. I believe the results would, at the least, put that assertion in doubt.


Things can change, but if you make such changes you cannot then call them the "spirit of F1". Team orders have a long, and largely uncontroversial, history in F1. They cannot suddenly become contrary to the spirit of F1 just because some people on an F1 forum think so.

#23 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:26

That what I would like to avoid - not everything should be governed by a popular opinion.


I could not have put it better myself.

#24 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:33

The fact that something was accepted for many years doesn't make it the core of the sport. Nor does it make it a good thing - miserable safety was also accepted for so many years.


That is debatable. I would disagree. But mainly, I would say that the fact that team orders were long accepted does mean that they are not antithetical to the spirit of F1, which is what some claim.

Safety is a moral issue on a completely different plane.

#25 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:36

OK, but I think that a team that is allowed to tell their members what to do in order to keep up with the best interests of the team is absolutely keeping its integrity.

Let's take a look once more to the Germany 2010 case: option A (leaving the drivers to battle it out themselves) could have had three possible outcomes: 1-2 with Massa ahead, the crash between the teammates or (unlikely, considering everything) 1-2 with Alonso ahead. First two outcomes would directly work agains the best interests of the team as by the German race Alonso was 47 points behind the WDC leader while Massa was another 20 or so points behing with absolutely nothing to indicate he would be able to maintain any kind of winning form, let alone catch up the virtually uncatchable gap of around 70 points.

What integrity would Ferrari keep by eliminating their driver from the WDC battle?


I have allowed myself to reference a third party regarding the question of integrity>http://dictionary.re...owse/integrity. If we go by that, Ferrari went completely against it. What they really did is put results ahead of their integrity or, if you want to say it differently, they put the end before the means. Why did they do this? In an interesting way it ties up with what you were saying about popularity. They did it because they wanted to win the WDC and WCC. Why? Prestige, popularity, sales ultimately?

#26 Watkins74

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:54

That what I would like to avoid - not everything should be governed by a popular opinion.

:up:

The fans survey is how we got KERS, DRS and entertainment tires. How long before we have mandatory cautions with 10 laps to go so lil' Johnny can stay interested?

#27 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 18:54

What they really did is put results ahead of their integrity or, if you want to say it differently, they put the end before the means. Why did they do this? In an interesting way it ties up with what you were saying about popularity. They did it because they wanted to win the WDC and WCC. Why? Prestige, popularity, sales ultimately?


That is exactly right. That is what they, and all teams, are supposed to want to do and it is understood by all competitors. If they did not try as hard as possible to win these championships, then you could question their integrity.

#28 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:00

Things can change, but if you make such changes you cannot then call them the "spirit of F1". Team orders have a long, and largely uncontroversial, history in F1. They cannot suddenly become contrary to the spirit of F1 just because some people on an F1 forum think so.


Ok, I believe maybe we could be confusing "spirit" with "history". The history of F1 is, pretty much, factual (at the end of the day everything is subjective). The spirit of F1, I think, is, or should be, its essence and, by this very discussion, I can see that different people have different ideas about it. Because I don't have real data to back it up, I can't really tell you if that is the opinion of a few people on this thread, or this forum or F1 fans in general. That would be not only statistically wrong but also arrogant on my side. So, I believe we can, at a minimum, say that there are different opinions on what the spirit of F1 is or should be.

Now, regarding the history of the sport I believe we can also say: that it has been a certain way does not mean it can't or shouldn't be different now. In fact, things like TOs, refuelling, pit stops, among many, many others, have changed throughout the years.





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#29 discover23

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:03

The British press still has a chip on heir shoulder against Alonso and they blew this 2010 Ferrari incident out of proportion and a lot of people bought their none sense.

Had this incident happened with mclaren in 2008 when kovalainen was no match for Lewis this would have been swept under the carpet and no one would be talking about it.

Edited by discover23, 18 March 2012 - 19:03.


#30 ivanalesi

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:04

Tell you what, the way JEV was ordered today to easily let Red Bulls and be a bit harder on others wasn't pretty! It is a team sport before the lights go green and after the chequered flag, in between it's man vs man.

#31 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:07

That is exactly right. That is what they, and all teams, are supposed to want to do and it is understood by all competitors. If they did not try as hard as possible to win these championships, then you could question their integrity.

Exactly. For me, their integrity (and competence) would be seriously put into question if they failed to recognize the best interest of the team and acted accordingly.

One may argue that at the time the team orders were banned but that ban was so silly and unpoliceable and so many times ridiculed by many teams.

#32 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:16

Tell you what, the way JEV was ordered today to easily let Red Bulls and be a bit harder on others wasn't pretty! It is a team sport before the lights go green and after the chequered flag, in between it's man vs man.

It's always a team sport BUT.....Toro Rosso is not the same team as Red Bull (ownership notwithstanding)! So it's not team orders bit an inter-team collusion, something unacceptable.

#33 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:18

Tell you what, the way JEV was ordered today to easily let Red Bulls and be a bit harder on others wasn't pretty! It is a team sport before the lights go green and after the chequered flag, in between it's man vs man.

I think a statement like that really needs to be backed up by a quote from a reliable source.

#34 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 19:21

Tell you what, the way JEV was ordered today to easily let Red Bulls and be a bit harder on others wasn't pretty! It is a team sport before the lights go green and after the chequered flag, in between it's man vs man.


Nobody here has advocated or even discussed inter-team orders.

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 18 March 2012 - 19:23.


#35 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 20:03

Exactly. For me, their integrity (and competence) would be seriously put into question if they failed to recognize the best interest of the team and acted accordingly.

One may argue that at the time the team orders were banned but that ban was so silly and unpoliceable and so many times ridiculed by many teams.


Ok, again, from the source quoted before, "Integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty." So, from this definition and by the fact that TOs were forbidden in 2010 (the disagreement with a law or rule does not excuse its disobedience), they did not act with integrity in 2010.

I hope people recognize we are way past arguing a specific episode of TOs now, but are rather discussing if TOs, or, for that matter, other rules that have been in and out of F1 throughout time, go against the spirit of F1. Since the spirit of F1 means different things to different people, it really can't be determined. Do people think of F1 as a team sport? Then maybe TOs are ok. Or do they think of F1 as a driver's sport? In that case, they are not. Of course there are grays between these two but those would be the general tendencies.

#36 Mario5

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 20:15

I think that today's universal trends towards globalization ask way too much what people would like instead of educating them. Just take a look on any commercial TV network or observe what has become of once dignified profession of journalism.

F1 does not need US-style artificial rules in order to make it stick with everyone. Indeed, many racing purists would insist that F1 must get ridof artificial spices such as mandatory use of two tyre compounds. The point is that insisting on having no team orders (aside from being unpoliceable) is also artificial and going against the spirit of F1.

I would love to know what "US-style artificial rules" you are alluding to. NASCAR has none; the best driver with the fastest car on the day wins the race. Here you are talking about a sport with DRS and you're criticizing "US-style artificial rules". That takes the cake.

And PS - Mario was a quicker driver in 1978 than Ronnie Peterson was. I watched the races and there is no controversy about the title. Were team rules enforced that year? Yes. Did they decide who won the championship? Absolutely not.

#37 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 20:42

I would love to know what "US-style artificial rules" you are alluding to. NASCAR has none; the best driver with the fastest car on the day wins the race. Here you are talking about a sport with DRS and you're criticizing "US-style artificial rules". That takes the cake.

And PS - Mario was a quicker driver in 1978 than Ronnie Peterson was. I watched the races and there is no controversy about the title. Were team rules enforced that year? Yes. Did they decide who won the championship? Absolutely not.

About US-style: please don't take it as an offence. I wasn't referring to NASCAR but to American way of doing things in general: everything is subject to commercialization. Anyway, it's not much different here but I thought mostly about (from the times I used to follow CART) many unnecessary full course yellows/pace car periods obviously intended to bunch up the field and "reset" the race.

About Mario: I fully agree, my point was that Ronnie signed as #2 and would have acted accordingly, if it proved necessary (in fact, he probably followed Andretti home on some occasions obeying the #2 status). My point was also that even if Ronnie was quicker, at that era there would have been no controversies over the team orders.

Edited by TitoPuente, 18 March 2012 - 20:48.


#38 TitoPuente

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 20:47

Ok, again, from the source quoted before, "Integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty." So, from this definition and by the fact that TOs were forbidden in 2010 (the disagreement with a law or rule does not excuse its disobedience), they did not act with integrity in 2010.

I hope people recognize we are way past arguing a specific episode of TOs now, but are rather discussing if TOs, or, for that matter, other rules that have been in and out of F1 throughout time, go against the spirit of F1. Since the spirit of F1 means different things to different people, it really can't be determined. Do people think of F1 as a team sport? Then maybe TOs are ok. Or do they think of F1 as a driver's sport? In that case, they are not. Of course there are grays between these two but those would be the general tendencies.

It was against the rules in 2010 but it finally helped remove the silly and unnecessary rule. The anarchist in me felt happy :)
But....I did not resent Ferrari - other teams also did it when it suited them.

About the principal view, my opening post explains my views, of course.

#39 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 21:10

Ok, again, from the source quoted before, "Integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty." So, from this definition and by the fact that TOs were forbidden in 2010 (the disagreement with a law or rule does not excuse its disobedience), they did not act with integrity in 2010.


Ethics and laws are not the same thing. They were completely open about what they were doing and accepted punishment. There could have been much more sleight of hand about it, as had happened in the past (e.g. Rio 2007). Their actions highlighted the fact that the rule was ludicrous, and led to its being withdrawn.

I hope people recognize we are way past arguing a specific episode of TOs now, but are rather discussing if TOs, or, for that matter, other rules that have been in and out of F1 throughout time, go against the spirit of F1. Since the spirit of F1 means different things to different people, it really can't be determined. Do people think of F1 as a team sport? Then maybe TOs are ok. Or do they think of F1 as a driver's sport? In that case, they are not. Of course there are grays between these two but those would be the general tendencies.


It is a combination of the two. The freedom of teams to apply orders has a long tradition over many decades, and therefore cannot be considered contrary to the principles or spirit of F1 (as they might be expressed by someone with a long knowledge of F1). They could be banned or reinstated as a matter of choice* but they are not an afront to core principles of F1.

* But the problem is the difficulty of policing them.

Edited by garoidb, 18 March 2012 - 21:17.


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#40 Hippo

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 21:19

Imho this issue flips back and forth over the time. During a time when TO are allowed it doesn't really bother people until teams are starting to use them in every conceivable way. Then everyone, especially the media, are furiously complaining about the unsportsmanlike behavior. Whoopdidoo the general attitude or even rules change and after the initial public and media scrutiny everyone loses focus and nobody cares about it again. Until a WDC or two are lost hilariously because no TO were administered. Everyone, especially the media, runs around fingerpointing at the losers and soon the general opinion is created, that those WDCs were lost because of a stupid, outdated rule/attitude. And whoopdidoo it's back to the old ways.

People are stupid.


For what it's worth, I'm strictly against team orders. The "team part" in motorsports should only apply off the track. The team is supposed to develop a bike or car together. They are supposed to share setups if they think it's helpful. They are supposed to share mechanics if required for an over-night rebuild or something. But they should never ever race slower than they could. Racing means to drive as fast and finish as good as possible, not to doctor results by swapping positions or acting as a moderating block. Everyone is entitled to his opinion though, of course.

#41 RealRacing

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 23:17

Ethics and laws are not the same thing. They were completely open about what they were doing and accepted punishment. There could have been much more sleight of hand about it, as had happened in the past (e.g. Rio 2007). Their actions highlighted the fact that the rule was ludicrous, and led to its being withdrawn.


Agree, but given the definition of integrity and what they did in 2010, you can't say they acted with integrity.



It is a combination of the two. The freedom of teams to apply orders has a long tradition over many decades, and therefore cannot be considered contrary to the principles or spirit of F1 (as they might be expressed by someone with a long knowledge of F1). They could be banned or reinstated as a matter of choice* but they are not an afront to core principles of F1.

* But the problem is the difficulty of policing them.


There may have been TOs before, but for some people whose principles of F1 are that it should be a race between drivers, they were always wrong. So again, for some people, the fact that TOs have existed before, does not make them part of the principles or spirit of F1. Maybe for them, the time when they were banned, the rules of F1 were finally running in parallel to its principles.

Just as a matter of debate, like it has already been stated here, if intra-team TOs are ok, why aren't inter-team TOs? They would help the team win both championships, i.e., according to some, accomplish the ultimate objective of a team participating in F1, so why not?

#42 garoidb

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 23:27

Agree, but given the definition of integrity and what they did in 2010, you can't say they acted with integrity.


I do say they acted with integrity.

There may have been TOs before, but for some people whose principles of F1 are that it should be a race between drivers, they were always wrong. So again, for some people, the fact that TOs have existed before, does not make them part of the principles or spirit of F1. Maybe for them, the time when they were banned, the rules of F1 were finally running in parallel to its principles.


Then those are not the principles of F1, but the principles of those people. They cannot impose them on others just because they happen to believe them.

Just as a matter of debate, like it has already been stated here, if intra-team TOs are ok, why aren't inter-team TOs? They would help the team win both championships, i.e., according to some, accomplish the ultimate objective of a team participating in F1, so why not?


All teams have two drivers, and if team orders are legal then everyone knows where they stand. If inter-team orders are accepted, then the picture is unclear. Who is aligned with who? It could eventually amount to race fixing.

#43 Zippel

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 00:17

Thinking back, I'd guess the modern backlash against orders goes back to when Schumacher joined Ferrari and it was openly known Eddie Irvine was the 2nd driver who was to get out of Schumi's way. However during that 4 year partnership I don't recall many controversies, even in races like Japan 1997 they were used to great effect. Some controversy about Jerez 97 and Australia 98, however there was some sympathy for Mika Hakkinen in those races due to his bad luck in winning a race in 97 and mishearing a pit communication call in OZ 98. I don't think it really started heating up until Ferrari started deploying team orders very early in the 2001 and 2002 seasons when they were already looking dominant, so the FIA made a rule for 2003.

#44 travbrad

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:09

F1 is clearly a team sport so I'm not sure what the big deal is. The teams actually design and build their own cars and have hundreds of people working very long hours to get the cars competitive. That doesn't sound like a 1man operation to me.

A ban on team orders is virtually impossible to police anyway, so all that really does is make the team orders more "sneaky". Unless you have a radio transmission saying "I order you to let your teammate past" there will always be some doubt. A driver can just say they missed a gear, had a brake problem, etc, etc.

Edited by travbrad, 19 March 2012 - 01:09.


#45 IceSkyrim

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:09

The #1 and #2 scheme is an optimization to clinch the WDC, bcs as for WCC it doesn't matter who comes ahead.

People say we can't compare diferent eras of F1, which I think it is absolutelly right.

In the 50's, drivers were allowed to take the cars of their team mates [2nd drivers] in case of crash or mechanical problems.
I don't know how many times Fangio did it, but compared to nowadays it would make it hard to compare.
That is one of the reason people say Stirling Moss is a kind of Rubens, bcs he could have been WDC if he wasn't one of Fangio's second.

In the 70's, there were team orders in a more friendly way, but most of second drivers would do it based on technical/experience dominance.
The 1st drivers often had some influence in the choice of their #2.
Cevert agreed to support Stewart with goodwill and after Stewart got some WDC, he promised to support Cevert in a title bid.
Fittipaldi also supported Jochen Rindt as retribution for coaching his progress in the series.

My guess is since racing became broadcasted on TV, the average moral of population started make some influence in the team order threatment and it became secretive.
It is clear that everybody likes to be threated with equality and have fair competiton and they expect team mates to get it too.

People condemn attitudes like Schumy trading places at Austria, parking his car at Monaco or crashing Hill and Villeneuve.

Even father-son love can be criticized.
Once at Indianapolis 500, when Mario Andretti was out of race win range and was informed that Michael was a lap down and needed a yellow flag, Mario parked his car in the access lane.
People knew it through the radio scan and boed him.

All in all, Race fans like fair and equal threatment.

Edited by IceSkyrim, 19 March 2012 - 01:13.


#46 RealRacing

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:03

I do say they acted with integrity.


Ok, I tried to present some evidence to back my opinion but apparently there's nothing more to say here.



Then those are not the principles of F1, but the principles of those people. They cannot impose them on others just because they happen to believe them.


And why can the other side impose THEIR principles on others then? Maybe for the majority of F1's history TOs have existed, but that should not be an argument of why they should continue to exist. As someone pointed out, everything can change and with the advancement of people's recognition and demand for fairness in sports, so too can F1. I don't see a F1 constitution or bible where it says, "Because TOs have been prevalent in F1 for a long time they should continue to be there forever because THAT is the spirit of F1..." That they are difficult to police and can sometimes have beneficial effects for example, are different arguments altogether.



All teams have two drivers, and if team orders are legal then everyone knows where they stand. If inter-team orders are accepted, then the picture is unclear. Who is aligned with who? It could eventually amount to race fixing.


Ok, let's say every team had one other "No. 2" team, would inter-team TOs be ok then? Where do you draw the line? Is it not the same in terms of unfairness if one team starts supporting one of their drivers right away or from earlier in the championship vs. another team than has no No. 1 driver policy and therefore lets their drivers race? For example, if Ferrari has a clear No. 1, No. 2 policy from the beginning of the year, does this not negatively affect Button and Hamilton, who are allowed to race until at least one of them has no mathematical chance at the championship? Wouldn't this force all of the teams to have a clear No. 1, No. 2 policy if they want to have an equal chance at the WDC? What do you think is the effect of this on the quality of racing and the experience of the spectator? Instead of having 24 potential battles on track, we would have only 12. Is this better racing, is F1 better for it? Food for thought...

#47 garoidb

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:11

Ok, I tried to present some evidence to back my opinion but apparently there's nothing more to say here.


You just presented a dictionary definition. You didn't counter any of what I said.

And why can the other side impose THEIR principles on others then? Maybe for the majority of F1's history TOs have existed, but that should not be an argument of why they should continue to exist. As someone pointed out, everything can change and with the advancement of people's recognition and demand for fairness in sports, so too can F1. I don't see a F1 constitution or bible where it says, "Because TOs have been prevalent in F1 for a long time they should continue to be there forever because THAT is the spirit of F1..." That they are difficult to police and can sometimes have beneficial effects for example, are different arguments altogether.


Formula 1 has a heritage that is a big part of its appeal. Ferrari, McLaren, Monte Carlo, Spa, Monza etc etc. The drama of previous F1 seasons is part of the backdrop to the current F1, part of the reason why it has prestige, glamour, television coverage and fans. Multi car teams (now down to two cars) are part of that tradition. Team orders, whether in the open or behind closed doors, are inevitable if you have more than one car per team. That is why they have traditionally been accepted, and in fact often add to the intrigue (tactically and in other ways).

Ok, let's say every team had one other "No. 2" team, would inter-team TOs be ok then? Where do you draw the line? Is it not the same in terms of unfairness if one team starts supporting one of their drivers right away or from earlier in the championship vs. another team than has no No. 1 driver policy and therefore lets their drivers race? For example, if Ferrari has a clear No. 1, No. 2 policy from the beginning of the year, does this not negatively affect Button and Hamilton, who are allowed to race until at least one of them has no mathematical chance at the championship? Wouldn't this force all of the teams to have a clear No. 1, No. 2 policy if they want to have an equal chance at the WDC? What do you think is the effect of this on the quality of racing and the experience of the spectator? Instead of having 24 potential battles on track, we would have only 12. Is this better racing, is F1 better for it? Food for thought...


It could, but Massa is not in the same race these days. This concept of Massa as the number 2 was not the original plan in 2010, but he has not performed to the same level as Alonso. It would serve Ferrari better if he were able to take points off the McLarens and Red Bulls but not Alonso. However, that is not what is happening.

There are far more than 24 potential battles possible on track by the way. Each driver has 23 possible opponents, and having full blown team orders would reduce this by 1.

#48 MickStephenson

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:39

I think it's simple.
Sponsors. Back in the day teams weren't so eager to foster a squeaky clean image.
Now everything that happens will be scrutinised by marketing departments, and clearly team orders will annoy the fan of whoever is on the receiving end of an order.
PR people from Vodafone or Marlboro or whoever get upset, and the team bosses are ordered to profess publicly that they don't do team orders, so they avoid it as much as possible until they don't have any choice.

#49 Taxi

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:04

Team rules are rational when my driver benefits from them. :p

Team rules are generally bad for the sport. I can accept them in the end of the championship, but not everytime like at Ferrari. Fans don't take the intra team battle seriously, and feel that does guys should fight everyone, like men.

#50 karlzy1

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 13:39

F1 is a competative sport. that is what people want to see - competition, not circus. Boxing is a sport. WWF, or whatever its called today - is a circus, is a show, is not a competative sport.
People want to see the best driver win. Would you you accpet a team deliberatly losing a soccer match just to get a better (worse, in fact) oponenet team in the next match?
We had team orders in F1 prior to Austria 2002, but it was never that obvious. Maybe Mclaren in 1991 is an exception, but that case did not affect anything. In 2002 Ferrari brought the sport into disripute. They should have been banned for that.