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Top 5: Team orders rows in F1

Mar 25, 2013, 6:38 AM EDT

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel

The explosive row over team orders yesterday is just the latest in a series of similar controversies. Here are some of the most famous.

1981 Brazilian Grand Prix

Williams’ drivers ran one-two throughout the soaked Brazilian Grand Prix in 1981. But reigning champion Alan Jones was behind team mate Carlos Reutemann on the track, and team principal Frank Williams wanted the order reversed.

Reutemann repeatedly ignored signals from his team to move over, an act of defiance which irrevocably soured relations between the pair.

1982 San Marino Grand Prix

Gilles Villeneuve believed Ferrari team orders ensured Didier Pironi would not challenge him for victory at Imola in 1982. So when Pironi came past him in the closing stages Villeneuve thought his team mate was just putting on a show.

He wasn’t, and an incensed Villeneuve lost the win. Two weeks later Villeneuve suffered an horrific crash during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix and was killed. The time he’d been trying to beat was Pironi’s.

1998 Australian Grand Prix

McLaren dominated the opening round of the 1998 world championship but Mika Hakkinen lost the lead by entering the pits when he wasn’t supposed to.

David Coulthard generously handed the race win back to his team mate and followed him home.

2002 Austrian Grand Prix

At the A1-Ring in 2001 Rubens Barrichello was ordered to let Michael Schumacher past into second place on the final lap. Afterwards he reassured reporters he would not be called upon to do the same had he been leading.

But twelve months later he was proved wrong, and Ferrari were pilloried for rigging the race. In response FIA president Max Mosley introduced rules banning team orders.

2010 German Grand Prix

Eight years later Mosley had been replaced at the FIA by Jean Todt – the man who’d given Barrichello his orders in Austria.

So when Ferrari orchestrated another change of positions – ordering Felipe Massa to let Fernando Alonso win at Hockenheim – the governing body stayed its hand. Ferrari were handed a token fine, and Todt scrapped the team orders ban at the end of the year.

  1. apexassassin - Mar 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    There’s always been team orders, whether legal or not. I don’t see what the big deal is, the faster driver won the race.

    As for Rosberg, well there’s no telling how much fuel he had either, is there? So until I hear otherwise, I’ll presume Brawn knows what he’s doing more than a fan sitting at home. ;)

    • drewsylvania - Mar 25, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      The faster driver was faster because only one of them was following team orders. Why this is hard to understand…

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