Former FIA president, and part-time companion of hookers in Nazi regalia, Max Moley, believes that, should Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso capture the world championship by seven points or less, the title would be tainted. It will be remembered that Ferrari ordered Alonso’s team mate Felipe Massa to move over for the Spaniard at this German Grand Prix, granting Alonso the win. The gap between first and second is a margin of seven points.
As Mosley recently told BBC Radio, “I did feel at the very least that the extra points that Alonso got by overtaking Massa under team orders should have been taken away. That’s the absolute minimum, because if by any chance Alonso were to win the Championship with a margin less than the seven points that he picked up, I would say illegitimately in Hockenheim, it would devalue the Championship. But that’s just a personal view.”
Mosley has been part of the Formula 1 world for quite a long time, much longer than the ban against team orders has existed. He should know better. Team orders have been part of the sport for as long as, well, the sport has been comprised of teams. The team orders ban came about as a reaction to the enormous success of Ferrari in the middle of the previous decade. Virtually all the legacy teams currently in the sport have used team orders.
McLaren routinely required David Coultard to support Mika Hakkinen’s title efforts when the Finn was in contention. Renault’s number two drivers consistently supported Fernando Alonso’s races when he was a part of that team. And Williams hasn’t been afraid to use team orders when it was considered prudent to do so. Damon Hill has admitted to supporting Alain Prost’s races with that team in the 1993 season. The list goes on.
OF course, one might argue that the difference between then and now is that team orders weren’t illegal then. It’s also true that the team orders ban has been consistently violated. There are countless ways of employing team orders without actually barking commands over the radio. Ferrari’s chief sin was in doing it so clumsily. Kimi Raikkonen won the title in 2007 with the help of Felipe Massa, who moved aside to the let the Finn through late in the year, when it became necessary for the Finn to garner points. If he hadn’t, Raikkonen never would have won his long coveted title.
Formula 1 is structured as a team sport, and in virtually every other team sport on the planet, a team sport begets teams, and teams beget team orders. But in Mosley’s mind, the justness of the law doesn’t matter as much as one’s adherence to that law.