FIA president Max Mosley is determined to take a tough stance on team orders next year and teams could face a race suspension if caught out. Some have questioned how the new rule, that has banned team orders that affect the outcome of a race, can...
FIA president Max Mosley is determined to take a tough stance on team orders next year and teams could face a race suspension if caught out. Some have questioned how the new rule, that has banned team orders that affect the outcome of a race, can be effectively policed. Mosley said that anyone even suspected of using the unpopular tactic would be reported to the race stewards.
"If you're policing it you have to catch somebody," he told ITV-F1. "Obviously if it's an absolutely in-your-face thing like Austria, it is an open-and-shut case. But, if people try to do it subtly, if the public can see it, we can see it. If you see something suspicious like one of two drivers has been fast all through the weekend and he's been leading the race until two-thirds distance, comes in for his second pit stop and they lose one of the rear wheels, then the race director would probably report this to the stewards."
"The stewards would be tempted to draw the inference that this was deliberate and this was team orders being implemented secretly. The team would be given a hearing and we would listen to their defense and the stewards would then decide and if the team weren't happy with the decision they could go the court of appeal. In real life, most crimes are convicted because you can draw an inference from all the circumstances."
The reason no fixed penalty has been set for offenders is because in each case the circumstances would have to be considered. However, a race suspension would be appropriate: "They would get a race suspension," Mosley said of any team caught using team orders. "But that would be a matter for the stewards and then on to the court of appeal if there was one. But the most obvious thing would be a race suspension, depending on how serious the case was."
"That's why we don't have fixed penalties because it's very tempting to have them but then each case is different and there are often mitigating circumstances. To fix a race at the beginning of the season in favour of one driver is very different from fixing it at the end of the season when the championship is at stake."