New radio evidence supports Ferrari team order charge

New radio evidence might indicate that Ferrari will have a difficult task convincing the FIA that it did not deploy illegal team orders at Hockenheim. The famous Italian team will face the governing body's new disciplinary panel in Paris in ...

New radio evidence might indicate that Ferrari will have a difficult task convincing the FIA that it did not deploy illegal team orders at Hockenheim.

The famous Italian team will face the governing body's new disciplinary panel in Paris in September, after Felipe Massa moved over for his teammate Fernando Alonso during the German race.

Until now, the only apparent evidence of the imposition of the team order was race engineer Rob Smedley's radio call to his Brazilian driver: "Fernando - is - faster - than - you -- can you confirm you understood that message".

Smedley later apologised to Massa, telling the 29-year-old he was "very, very magnanimous".

But new radio evidence would seem to reinforce suspicions that the "is faster than you" language was in fact a pre-arranged code that Massa understood as a direct order to pull over.

F1's official website has published a video edit of the German race that depicts Smedley relay a conventional message to Massa about Spaniard Alonso's superior pace.

"You need to pick up the pace, because Fernando is faster," the British engineer is heard to tell Massa.

And another message to Massa during their genuine on-track battle was: "Pretty close here, he's (Alonso) gonna go (through) -- you're going to have to defend".

It has also been suspected that Alonso requested the team order, after he said "this is ridiculous" whilst trying to conventionally overtake his teammate.

And he is heard to say during the official video edit: "I am much faster than Felipe."

His engineer Andrea Stella replied: "We got your message, we got your message."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari