Team orders fit for ‘team sport’ – Wurz

Tue, 21 October 2008, 09:47

Oct.21 (GMM) Alex Wurz has played down the use of team orders in formula one, as the latest controversy continues to simmer

Kimi Raikkonen slowed to let his championship contending teammate Felipe Massa finish second in last Sunday’s Chinese grand prix

The move caused some to recall the FIA’s ban, dating back to the furore of the Austrian grand prix six years ago, on team orders

“It is a team sport; the drivers work for the team,” Wurz, a grand prix veteran and now Honda test driver, told the Austrian broadcaster ORF

“If you ask for my opinion, it is not a topic we need to discuss,” he said

Because of the rule, however, team orders is a delicate topic. Massa reacted awkwardly when questioned in Shanghai, labelling the moment at which he passed the sister Ferrari as the “good part of the race”

Interestingly, McLaren-Mercedes chiefs hinted they were not comfortable with their championship challengers’ actions in China

Chief executive Martin Whitmarsh said: “I think they have to take a view on what is right. That is all in can say on the matter.”nnNorbert Haug added: “I am with Mercedes-Benz, not with the FIA, so it’s not for me to say.”nnIn July of this year at Hockenheim, Heikki Kovalainen pulled over to let his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton past — a moment then described as a “tremendous sporting gesture” by team boss Ron Dennis

“You don’t remember what happened in Germany between Kovalainen and Hamilton?” Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali pointed out when asked about his drivers’ similar Shanghai swap

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