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  Monday, 13 May, 2002, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
FIA summons Ferrari
Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello followed team orders
Schumacher and Barrichello followed team orders
  Were Ferrari wrong? Have your say

Michael Schumacher could lose the points he won for finishing first in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix after team-mate Rubens Barrichello was ordered to slow yards before the line.

The Ferrari team orders sparked a wave of protest worldwide and the drivers and officials from the Italian constructor have been summoned to appear before the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on 26 June.

Brazilian Barrichello had led for much of the race at the A-1 ring at Zeltweg but was ordered to make way for championship leader Schumacher to take the chequered flag.

Technically, Ferrari did not break any rules but sources close to the FIA believe the incident was against the spirit of competition.

An FIA statement said: "Following an incident during the last lap of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix .... the FIA has summoned the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and the drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello to appear before the World Motor Sports."


It would have been easy to orchestrate some scam in the pit stops to make it look different but we don't want to operate like that
Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn

But the FIA are also up in arms with Schumacher for pushing Barrichello onto the top of the podium and handing him the trophy, in clear contravention of the governing body's procedure.

Penalties available to the FIA include docking Schumacher's points or banning both drivers from a race or future races.

In 1997, the FIA removed the European Grand Prix from Jerez after the Mayor of the town upstaged the podium ceremony which saw Jacques Villeneuve crowned world champion after Schumacher unsuccessfully tried to force him off the track.

  Legard's verdict: Ferrari farce shames F1

Schumacher later said he took "no joy" from the result in Austria, although the victory extended his lead in the drivers' championship to 27 points.

The most similar recent example of a driver giving away victory came at the Australian Grand Prix in 1998, when David Coulthard pulled over to hand Mika Hakkinen victory in the final straight.

But it was not the result of team orders, rather an agreement between the drivers that whoever was in the lead after the first corner could pass at the end to win.

Mika Hakkinen (right) hails David Coulthard after the Finn's win in Australia
Hakkinen won in Australia in 1998 when Coulthard moved over
The FIA decided such a move would only be allowed if the drivers' championship was at stake.

"There is no prohibition of team orders as such," the FIA said in a reminder dated 26 August, 1999.

But it added that "any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition" was prohibited and would be penalised.

Team sport

Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn insisted that the team would continue to invoke race orders until they had secured the world championship.

"Until mathematically the championship is sorted either way then that decision can be repeated," said Manchester-born Brawn.

"The decision was as tough as they get but at the end of the day Michael had 44 points and Rubens had six, it's not a difficult decision in that respect.

"Too many championships have been lost in the past when teams haven't given their support to their number one driver. We don't operate like that.

"We controlled the race today. We told the drivers we didn't want them racing.

"That's the nature of formula one, that is the nature of the business we are in.

"I realise this is going to raise a lot of opinion but we did what we feel is right. It is a team sport.

"It would have been easy to orchestrate some scam in the pit stops to make it look different but we don't want to operate like that."

The next round of the F1 season is in Moncao on 26 May.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Jonathan Legard
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