Formula 1

Ferrari President Defends Hockenheim Team Orders

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Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari president, has hit back at those who criticised Ferrari’s use of team orders in the German Grand Prix last Sunday.

Speaking from Maranello, di Montezemolo said he was pleased to see Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finish first and second at Hockenheim last weekend after what has been a tricky half of the season for the Scuderia.

“I am very happy for all our fans who finally saw two Ferraris lead from start to finish as they dominated the race,” he said. “The result is down to the efforts of all our people, who never give up. Now we have to continue working like this, to improve the car so that is competitive at all the circuits we will encounter. Alonso and Massa also did very well, giving their all throughout the weekend.”

Ferrari were castigated by large sections of the F1 community on Sunday after ordering Felipe Massa, over the team radio, to hand the victory over to Fernando Alonso on Lap 49. However, di Montezemolo has little time for the critics.

“The polemics are of no interest to me,” he said. “I simply reaffirm what I have always maintained, which is that our drivers are very well aware, and it is something they have to stick to, that if one races for Ferrari, then the interests of the team come before those of the individual.

“In any case, these things have happened since the days of Nuvolari and I experienced it myself when I was Sporting Director, in the days of Niki Lauda and not just then…

“Therefore enough of this hypocrisy, even if I can well believe that some people might well have liked to see our two drivers eliminate one another, but that is definitely not the case for me or indeed for our fans.”

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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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