FIA President Max Mosley was surprised by the reaction from racing fans after Ferrari employed team orders in the Austrian Grand Prix but doesn't think what happened will damage Formula One or the team. Ferrari were booed by the crowds as Rubens...
FIA President Max Mosley was surprised by the reaction from racing fans after Ferrari employed team orders in the Austrian Grand Prix but doesn't think what happened will damage Formula One or the team. Ferrari were booed by the crowds as Rubens Barrichello moved over to let Michael Schumacher take the win but Mosley thinks it was an endorsement for the sport.
"I was surprised by the strength of the reaction but I don't think it is going to do any damage to the image of Formula One long term," he said. "I don't think it will do any long term damage to Ferrari either although it might do a little bit of damage in the short term. In fact the reaction was a tremendous endorsement for Formula One."
"If the same thing had happened at a motor cross meeting in lower Saxony I don't think there would be anything like the same kind of reaction. It is a reflection of the popularity of the sport."
"Many people were not happy with what went on and are saying things like we should ban team orders but that is not practical. We couldn't enforce it and there would only be arrangements made before the start of a race or in the pit stops."
"It is against the rules for two teams to collude but what Ferrari did is not against the rules at all. There are rules about interfering with competition but we established a long time ago that team orders are allowed."
Ferrari have been summoned to appear before the World Sports Council in June for the last lap team orders and also for Schumacher breaking protocol by allowing Barrichello to take the winner's step of the podium and the winner's trophy. Mosley is cautious about what punishment may be given out.
"It would not be right for me to talk now about what might happen at the hearing," he commented. "When you have a hearing and listen to all sides, things often tend to look very different to the way you had thought previously. That is why people have hearings. The hearing will first establish whether the rules were broken and then what the punishment might be if they were broken."
"Talking of a hypothetical case we could do anything from a reprimand, to a fine, a ban or even take away an entire championship. There is a wide spectrum of what we could do. But the punishment has to be in line with the offence."