Negative reaction to Ferrari 'cynicism'.

Negative reaction to Ferrari 'cynicism'.

The fans were not the only ones who took a dim view of Ferrari's team orders in the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend as F1 notables voiced their opinions. Rubens Barrichello pulling over in the last metres of the race to allow Michael Schumacher...

The fans were not the only ones who took a dim view of Ferrari's team orders in the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend as F1 notables voiced their opinions. Rubens Barrichello pulling over in the last metres of the race to allow Michael Schumacher to take the win was greeted with boos and jeers of derision -- many from Ferrari's own previously devoted Tifosi.

Patrick Head.
Photo by WilliamsF1.
BMW Williams technical director Patrick Head said it was the most cynical event he'd witnessed in his years in the sport: "I feel very sorry for Rubens and I have to say that that was the most cynical event that I've experienced in 27 years in Formula One," he said. "We are trying to deliver motor sport but what Ferrari showed today was disgusting cinema. I think for a team like Ferrari, when you have produced a car as brilliant as they have done, you have an obligation to Formula One and to the spectators and that is to provide a motor race."

"When we produced a car that was ahead of the others we provided some motor racing. We have an obligation to motor sport and the public and it was ignored today. That obligation is against anything they might have in a contract with Michael Schumacher. This is the first time I have ever heard anyone booing a winner in Formula One. It was the most cynical end to a Grand Prix I have seen."

Fellow Williams man Gerhard Berger, BMW motorsport director, was equally dismayed and suggested the FIA should take action: "It's a terrible decision," Berger remarked. "I can understand it if you are fighting for the championship but there was no need for this so early in the season and the FIA should look into it. If you were a betting man, you wouldn't be happy."

Flavio Briatore.
Photo by Renault F1.
Renault boss Flavio Briatore said that Ferrari had basically manipulated the results of the race. He believes that if the FIA fail to investigate, it would appear that the sport's governing body are no longer in control: Ferrari are.

"The sport of motor-racing is more important than Ferrari," Briatore said. "We can live without them. What happened here today is totally unacceptable. Ferrari took the spectators for imbeciles and manipulated the result. I hope the international governing body won't let this pass without doing anything. If that happened it would mean Ferrari are running Formula One."

Ferrari have employed team orders before, as have other teams, but this time they appear to have over-estimated their own importance. Michael Schumacher said in the press conference after the race that he realised it would not be a popular decision -- when previously die-hard fans of the Maranello team are booing them on the podium that would seem something of an understatement.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Gerhard Berger , Patrick Head , Flavio Briatore
Teams Ferrari , Williams