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Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Is Ferrari fine fair?
Ferrari are fined $1m by the FIA over the controversial finish to last month's Austrian Grand Prix.
Should team orders be allowed?
This debate is now closed.
Controversy reigned after the Italian team's decision to make race leader Rubens Barrichello pull over and hand Schumacher victory at the A1 Ring.
Ferrari were effectively charged with bringing the sport into disrepute and will have to pay half of the amount immediately, with the other half suspended for one year.
Schumacher currently leads the Drivers' Championship by 46 points - and looks well on his way to another world title, regardless of Wednesday's ruling.
Are Ferrari a destructive force in F1?
If the roles were reversed and for example Button was up for the championship and he needed those extra few points, would people find it such a horror? Wake up. Ferrari have only done in plain view what Williams, McLaren and all other teams have done in the past and will continue to do in the future.
The reason Ferrari were fined was because of the irregularity on the podium not for what was done on the track. At the last race, Schumacher could have easily won the race but due to the "not so nice" press, would you want to go through that again?
Team orders like this do nothing for F1. They just leave a bad taste. If they are going to continue, the driver's championship should be abolished, points should then be awarded to the team for effort.
Team orders have always been part of Formula One. Ferrari's aim is to win the WDC not a popularity contest. What happened in Austria is far from extraordinary. F1 is a team sport!
Monetary fines are pointless to a team with virtually unlimited funds. The points should have been reversed or deducted. Barrichello won - we all saw it!
Ferrari should not be punished for their actions! Team orders have been seen in the past by other teams. Ferrari have been involved in formula one for an extremely long time, and have been a force to be reckoned with since 1951.
They also know too well how easily a championship can be won or lost. Things can change very easily in F1, and perhaps they felt that Schumacher needed those four points. Why should they be punished for trying to win? It just does not make any sense to me.
By giving team orders, at least we saw a car overtaking another on the track rather than in the pits. This is such a rare occurrence these days - perhaps Ferrari should be encouraged.
Fining Ferrari $1 million is about as effective as hitting Mike Tyson with a chicken feather!
It might well be 'team tactics' but this sport is about being the best driver in the world - if an individual cannot win fairly and squarely, he does not deserve to be called 'champion' at all.
Ferrari should not be punished at all. What they did was well within the FIA rules! Team orders exist in F1 and most people just overreacted. Ferrari and Michael should not be punished just because they are dominant in F1 now and the fans are getting bored.
People may argue that it's a team sport, but whether two Ferrari drivers finish 1-2 or 2-1 makes no difference to the team i.e. the constructors' championship, so it is not a team issue. As for the drivers, they should have to fight it out amongst themselves.
It is a team sport and the teams should be able to instruct their drivers as they see fit. It is not the first occasion on which this situation has arisen. Therefore, the ruling body should have clarified these rules prior to the start of the season.
Even if you wanted to, you could not stop team orders. The teams could still agree things in advance. Right now the system is set up to positively encourage team orders. As far as that farce on the podium is concerned? Yes, they deserve a million dollar fine for that. They both knew what the deal was when they went into the race, and to pretend otherwise on the podium when they realised the fans didn't like it was just sad.
Whilst there are two championships at stake there will always be different opinions. Those who condemn the tactics of Ferrari are obviously more interested in the drivers' results. Those who think no harm was done at Austria should consider following another sport. The sooner we have an alternative F1 with one team, one car, the better.
The name of the F1 game is winning, not coming second. With millions hanging in sponsorship it would have been a bad management decision NOT to try to maximise the advantage gained from the situation. I am not condoning what Ferrari did at all, but the bottom line is that Ferrari "played" within the rules. If the FIA did not like what they did, they should change the rules and stop it happening again.
It appears that there are a lot of people who have missed the point entirely. Ferrari and Schumacher did not break any regulations during the race. Schumacher did embarrass himself, his team and the race organisers with the post-race podium antics, but the did not break any rules.
I believe the FIA have got it right. Whilst Ferrari's use of team orders was implemented in a rather clumsy way, they broke none of the regulations governing the sport.
Paul Gulliver, England
The fine was the correct thing to do, though it would have been nice for Barrichello to be given the win and Schumacher second. I still think team orders should be scrapped. F1 is getting too predicable.
You have two individuals racing for one team and as long as we have this situation, there will be no solution.
This has always been the nature of F1 and most other sports. On Wednesday morning, Stirling Moss said that he lost a championship by 0.5 points because of team orders.
The fine is ridiculous. Look at a sport like cycling, where helping the main driver is common used tactics. So Formula One, grow up and accept the fact that all drivers are equal, some drivers are more equal!
Let's remember that every team helps design the rules for F1 and all of them have agreed that team orders can be imposed at any time during races.
Williams asked Ralf last year to let Montoya past him in two races. Was anyone incensed? The fine is large, but it wasn't for the team orders but for the podium farce. Life goes on!
It makes the sport very dull and boring when one team dominates on so many levels - then rubs the fans noses in it. F1 is trying to get a fan base in the US, but they may head to NASCAR which would never allow such tactics as sponsors would complain.
Why not have two sponsors for the cars so the drivers can more equally compete and we really see if Schumacher earns his money?
It's a joke - just petty cash for Ferrari. Schumacher earns more than that in a month and Barrichello and Ross Brawn aren't a million quid away.
The fact remains that if Barrichello had moved over when the team told him to (i.e. three laps out) there would have been no row. What Coulthard and Hakkinen did in Australia a few years back was much worse.
They actually fixed the race before it began but got off scot free. If Coulthard or Button had been involved in what happened at the A-1 ring we wouldn't have heard a word of dissent from the British press. This is only a 'big' story because it's Schumacher.
I think that everyone is forgetting the reason for this fine. It was because of the podium procedure and not the race result. Schumacher was placed in a position (not of his choice - winning the race) and was subsequently jeered and booed by thousands of fans.
In that situation, embarrassed and under intense pressure he moved Rubens to his rightful place - the top step of the podium.... I defy anyone under that amount of pressure to not do the same in the heat of the moment.
Maybe the FIA need to review their rules to ensure that what happened on the track in Austria does not happen again. Though I am a big fan of Schumacher and Ferrari, I was greatly embarrassed by the whole event and feel that something more significant than a $1m fine should've been meted out.
It is well within the rights of the governing body to reverse the drivers' points (for that race) if Michael was 'magnanimous' enough to offer Rubens the top podium and trophy!
While Ferrari's behaviour was deplorable it was not against the rules. It's up to the FIA to change the rules, rather than Ferrari to follow some higher moral code.
Schumacher should not have been punished for what was a quite honest and impulsive act on the podium, and the FIA should not be using that as a way of getting around their own weak rule making.
Ferrari are by far the best team with the best organisation and the best drivers. What are the fans complaining about? Be happy there is a team like Ferrari!!
If Ferrari had been docked points this would have been very, very wrong, as team orders are part of F1.
Pathetic, once again we see that Ferrari can just about get away with anything in F1. What sort of signal does this send out to the world about F1 after the debacle of Austria considering there seems to be a cash crisis in the sport?
Where else do fans pay £100 for the basic ticket price; leave home early in the morning and sit in the car for three hours trying to park; queue at the front gate and then run two miles round the edge of the circuit to find a seat?
Nick Ingram, UK
I think it is more than fair. The strategy Ferrari took was the worst one, it made a mockery out of the sport.
Why fine a company like Ferrari - what good will that do? Surely the way to hit them is with the docking of points for the team and Schumi. The FIA has always gone soft of them, as they want them to win.
If you can have team orders it must be a team game - why not scrap the notion of an F1 champion and make it a team championship?
Michael and Rubens are both brave men who are also great sportsmen. I suspect that they find the team orders incident as unpalatable as everyone else.
Talk about unfair. Not only does Barrichello have to obey team orders and move over and let Michael win, he also gets fined for the privilege. Ferrari should do the honourable thing and pay his fine for him.
I can't believe it? Team orders are within the rules, even if it doesn't make for a good race finish. Either ban such things outright or don't complain when people use the rules to help the team.
The FIA really should change the rules so as not to let this farce happen again. £500,000 GBP is peanuts to Ferrari, both drivers should have had points deducted, although not their fault, this would of had more of an effect on Ferrari as a team, and indirectly cost them more in lost revenue via its sponsors.
The trouble is any publicity these days seems to be good publicity regardless of the offence.
If, as Ferrari say, F1 is a team sport, what's the point of having a driver's championship? If teams can deliberately manipulate race results it's not a true reflection of driver skill.
Anywhere else in any other sport the person who committed the misdemeanour would be expelled from the sport for a period of time. Here it's money that talks. Ferrari should be banned for the rest of the season at the very least as the same thing very nearly happened at the European GP this last weekend.
If you want to remove the spectre of team orders simply cut the number of cars to one per team! This has the added benefit of reducing costs as well. It would reduce the field I know, but I for one am completely uninterested in the fight for 19th position!
What do these rules have to do with racing? This is embarrassing for the team, the sponsors and the governing body. It just shows that the rules are there to support fat cats and not ordinary fans interested in racing.
The punishment is fair; they can't call it sport if they go around 'fixing' results. Maybe they will think twice next time!
$1m is a drop in the ocean to a company like Ferrari. It would have hurt more if they had taken away the points, not the cash!
Michael was only trying to make up for the Ferrari decision and allowing Ruben his just place on the podium. As there are no rules prohibiting ream tactics in Formula 1 I think no action should take place. In the past other teams & drivers have employed tactics i.e. McLaren in Australia.
I used to be an F1 fanatic, but it's so boring now. Why not have a drivers' pool where all teams have to use all drivers through the season and the driver's earnings are based on points?
I don't agree with those who say "it's perfectly acceptable behaviour to take team orders because it's been done in the past by other teams". Just because something has been done before, does not make it right. The fact is that the majority of F1 fans don't care about the teams. They want to see who the best drivers are but they are being denied this because of team politics.
The fine is the most ridiculous thing the FIA could have done. They might as well fine themselves. The event is a sport played to be won. They will still be celebrating a victory at the end of the year.
What's $1 million to Ferrari! Probably about the same as me buying a chocolate bar! If the FIA felt they had to punish them, why not do it where it hurts - points! That way Ferrari/Michael suffer and we get a bit more excitement in the season as they have to work harder to ensure victory! Next year the FIA should introduce a 'blatant' team order ruling - or demand teams declare their intentions at the start of the race.
What Ferrari did is no different than McLaren, when Coulthard let Hakkinen pass him. The FIA needs to review their rules if they wish to prevent another incident like this. Point deductions are the only way to punish the teams and drivers, and therefore prevent this kind of behaviour in the future.
This type of "fixing" needs to be stamped out, otherwise the paying public, from the point of enjoyment and excitement, and the sponsors, from the point of reputation, will start to reconsider their interest in the sport.
What happens to the people who will have placed bets on the winner of this race? Is there any recourse for them? Surely Ferrari should compensate them?
You cannot punish Schumi and Ferrari for something that any other team would do if they were in that situation.
This is racing, sorry, but if a driver isn't good enough to win without help from his team mate, he does not deserve to be world champion.
Ferrari were summoned before the FIA because of the way Schumacher and Barrichello behaved on the podium in Austria. Yet they have been fined because of the team tactics used. What a total waste of time. The team should be docked points not money. What's $1 million to Ferrari -pathetic!
It is the rules which are at fault, although Ferrari are guilty of following the letter rather than the spirit of the rules while other teams are more sporting (if less competitive). The podium fiasco was a disgrace however and Schumacher should be punished with a loss of 10 points. If he had the gall to take the win he should have stood on the top and faced the flak like a man instead of trying to appear magnanimous.
While unpopular, Ferrari's tactics were not illegal. Team orders are part of F1 and those who complained, such as McLaren and Williams, have employed them in the past.
The only thing Ferrari were guilty of was stupidity in the manner they implemented the team's orders. We all know they are used, but the way it was done showed a huge lack of respect for the sport and all the spectators.
If the other teams in the Championship were more competitive then Ferrari would not be able to perform these antics. As it is they are so far ahead in performance that they are free to dictate the tactics and finishing position of their cars. Seems Ferrari are being asked to say sorry for being successful.
Ferrari can't be punished because they didn't do anything wrong. The FIA should consider a rule change if they don't want similar incidents taking place in the future.
The podium was an absolute farce and both drivers looked very embarrassed. A race is there to be won, not to have a winner chosen depending on a team's one-two formation.
David Credgington, UK
Ferrari's actions are perfectly understandable. They are simply making sure that their best placed driver secures the title. Other teams have done the same in the past!
Imagine two football teams - owned by the same person - meeting in a league match. What would happen if one team let the other win, allowing one to gain promotion or survive relegation? Ferrari should be punished.
Ferrari did a very professional job. They got the maximum benefit out of the race in terms of both drivers and team. I see only unsporting losers whining about Ferrari!
Spectators pay good money to watch a race and do not expect to watch cars whipping around a circuit following their respective team members. Ferrari should be penalised in both races for the obvious fixing and the points awarded to both drivers should be deducted.
Ferrari should not be punished. The rule has always been that the leader in the team should win and until this rule is altered Ferrari are not doing anything wrong.
Jean Cullen, England
They are allowed to do it; it's a TEAM sport. They should at least get a slap on the knuckles for the the podium debacle though. It would certainly make the Championship interesting if they had points taken away!
Why should Ferrari be punished for protecting their championship hopes? It's just the nature of sport today.
Give them a ticking-off if you like, but to fine, ban or deduction of points!
Just because what Ferrari did was not illegal, does not mean that they should be allowed to get away with obvious cheating. Barrichello should be given the win, Schumacher second, and Ferrari stripped of at least 20 points.
Anyone who believes they will get anything other than (at most) a slap on the wrist is kidding themselves.
Ferrari broke no rules, so should not be punished. But the rules should be changed to prevent such unsporting behaviour in future.
In any other sport this would be cheating. Imagine pulling up a horse in the Grand National to let your stable mate win. Michael is a spoilt brat who hates to lose, and Ferrari are encouraging this infantile behaviour.
F1 isn't the same anymore, it is a boring procession. Please bring back the excitement we had in the days of Senna.
Try rigging a result in public in any other sport and see what the reaction is. Do Ferrari sponsor WWF bouts as well?
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