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26 July 2010

F1 News: Cheating Ferrari Fined $110,000; Team Orders?, by Greg Tingle - 26th July 2010

The latest in a series of scandals has rocked the Grand Prix world, this time Ferrari being named as the "Turkey", a tag formally held by Australia's Mark Webber, but the Webber tag was more tongue in cheek and was a play on words, while the Turkey tag seems more at home with Team Ferrari, albeit with the actually incident occurring in Germany. Media Man and Gambling911 put you in the drivers seat with this special report...

Ferrari were fined a cool $US100,000 ($110,000), relative chicken feed aka turkey feed, this past Sunday for breaching sporting rules and regulations at the German Grand Prix where their victory was tarnished allegations of using the good old fashioned "team orders."

The sports powers that be, let's say the governing body, FIA said the result, which saw Fernando Alonso snatch victory after "team mate" Felipe Massa allowed him to pass, would stick, despite the mud accompany the matter.

However, the team will be summoned to appear before the FIA's world council at a date in the near future.

The Italian's denied ordering Massa, who was leading the charge on the track, to slow down and allow Alonso to overtake on lap 49.

"Team" orders were banned by the FIA eight years ago after the infamous incident at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix when Ferrari commanded race leader Rubens Barrichello to "pull over" and allow Michael Schumacher to pass and win the race.

On Sunday, Massa was effectively ordered by race engineer Rob Smedley to let Alonso through as the Spaniard was the quicker driver. Just what the power man "engineered" is being heavily discussed.

"OK, Fernando is faster than you," said Smedley.

"Can you confirm you have understood this message?"

Massa went on to react by letting Alonso pass him on the exit of turn six with only 18 laps remaining.

Following the controversial move and trigger point, Smedley was again on the radio apologising to Massa.

"Good lad - just stick with it now, sorry," he said.

Ferrari went on to secure the 1 - 2 victory.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali insisted that there were no "team orders" and that it was Massa's decision to let 2-time world champion Alonso past.

"We gave information to the driver and it was his decision to decide how to react," he said. Well, react he did. Well trained money or free thinker?

Domenicali added that Smedley's apology was simply due to the fact that Massa's car was "not as fast" as Alonso's.

"You have to consider that fact that he gave the information to Felipe to help him, and was sorry that his car was not as fast."

Massa clearly upset by the incident, bit his tongue and claimed that it was his decision.

"I didn't have a good pace on the hard tyres and Fernando was quicker," he said.

"It was my decision. You always need to know that we are working for the team and there were no team orders in the race.

"I made the decision because Fernando was faster than me."

Alonso reckons he thought Massa slowed down due to a gear problem.

"There are no team orders," pleaded Alonso.

"I was surprised when I saw Felipe having a problem - I thought it was a gear problem but after hearing Felipe, he was struggling with the hard tyres."

Australia's Mark Webber driving Red Bull scored unlucky 6th place. Some believe 6 is the devil's number!

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*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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