At the end of the Austrian Grand Prix which produced a one- two finish for the Prancing Horse, Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn met the press and naturally the first question related to team orders handing the win to Michael Schumacher. "For...
At the end of the Austrian Grand Prix which produced a one- two finish for the Prancing Horse, Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn met the press and naturally the first question related to team orders handing the win to Michael Schumacher. "For three years in a row we lost the title at the final race," said Brawn. "We simply did not want to run the risk of finding ourselves in the same situation again."
"I can understand the public's reaction up to a certain point," he continued, "but the race result did not take away anything away from Rubens' performance, as he ran a fantastic race. People have to understand that Ferrari's main aim is to win both championships. I can see that some people might find that hard to grasp but that is the reasoning behind what happened. We feel this decision puts us in a better position in the fight for the title. FIA knows that Formula 1 is a team sport and accepts that as can be seen from the fact that team orders have always been part of motor sport."
"The situation would have been different if Rubens was ahead in the points table, but the reality is that, prior to this race, Michael had 38 points more and that is why we have focussed on him to take the title. Rubens understands this and if he finds himself in a similar situation in a future season then he will be able to fight for the title."
Brawn does not feel the sport has been damaged by this decision. "This is just part of Formula 1," he maintained. "We could have called Rubens in for a pit stop which was not strictly necessary, but we chose to act honestly, so that everyone could see this was Rubens' race and that he handed victory to Michael, simply for the points involved. Michael rates Rubens and even for him it was difficult to see his team-mate having to accept this sort of decision. He definitely did not ask for it to him, but he doesn't run the team."