September 15, 2010 by Bill Prosperi
When it comes to Formula One, one is hard stretched to find a more valuable entity than Ferrari. The most decorated and fan adorned team in the history of the sport. With this though has come a darker side. At least to the rest of us fans who choose to pull for one of the other teams.
For instance: breaking the rules, every team does it. If there is a team that says otherwise, don’t buy it. Race teams are just like politicians, if the lips are moving, the lies are flowing. This time around Ferrari were accused of breaking the rule that violates team orders. Which was put in place due to blatant team orders that Ferrari had used to let Schumacher past Barrichello in 2002. In Germany this year, poor Felipe Massa was told “Fernando is faster than you. Do you understand?” We all understood long before he slowed down to let Alonso pass. That is when things got ugly. Ferrari were eventually fined a mere $100,000.
The part that bothers me is that Ferrari would go on to lie to the race stewards and claim that Massa’s car had developed a problem and that is what let Alonso get by. Sure thing there Skippy. Hamilton and McLaren lied to the race stewards last season in Australia, where they were stripped of third place and given a suspended race ban of 3 races. How was McLaren caught? Radio transmissions. The World Motor Council appointed someone to investigate the case with Ferrari. A 160 page report was returned outlining all the steps that were taken to let Alonso leap frog Massa. Radio transmissions and car telemetry have nothing to hide and lay it all on the line. The smoking gun was in the hands of the FIA and then nothing.
I understand team orders. I do not care for them since it takes away from the race. If I want to watch theater, I will go see a play. When I sit down to watch a race, I want to see a fight to the end. If a teammate vows to help the other, then that is all good. This was not that case. Point wise, Massa was still in the hunt at that junction of the game. When you team up with Alonso though, you team up with his ego.
The claim on why Ferrari was let off was Jean Todt stating that there was not enough evidence. How is 160 pages not enough evidence? Todt would explain by saying that Ferrari provided examples of other teams using team orders, and nothing was done for those infractions. Those other teams were not blatant about it and were not caught. Once again the FIA prove they are the Ferrari International Assistance Organization. Over the last few years it has been proven time and time again that Ferrari seem to skirt the rules while others pay dearly. Is there anyone in the FIA willing to stand up to Luca di Montezemolo?
The FIA had a chance and do the right thing but once again backed down to the Prancing Horse. Since Ferrari would not admit to the claims, Todt let them go. How many criminals admit to the crime?
There is an amazing season unfolding before us but once again, the FIA is refusing to step up. If this had been McLaren or even Red Bull, the out come would have much different.
If you don’t know who the Tiffosi are, they are Ferrari’s rabid fan base. The Raider Nation of motor sports. It seems the FIA may not have wanted to deal with them this weekend either.
Like I stated before, my cat has bigger attachments and he has been neutered. Thanks again for nothing, FIA. Way to stand tall.