Jean Todt has played down suggestions that Ferrari put a dampener on Michael Schumacher’s hopes of further cutting into the championship lead in Turkey.
The German driver in Istanbul made key driving errors both in qualifying and the race, but it was an apparent wrong call from the pit wall that saw him lose position to Renault’s Alonso by having to queue in pit lane during the safety car.
But team boss Todt hinted that Ferrari learned its lesson about unpopular team orders after the furore in Austria a few years ago.
”I think there would be five times more people at this press conference if I had asked Felipe Massa to let Michael through,” the Frenchman told reporters in the paddock.
There is also the fact that overtaking is not allowed during safety car periods, meaning that the only option for Ferrari would have been to totally ruin Massa’s race by keeping him out for an extra lap.
It is almost undoubted, however, that had Massa and Schumacher been running consecutively at a later point, the young Brazilian would have been asked to move over.
But Todt insisted: ”You will never know. I have given my answer.”