Webber Backs Ferrari's Team Orders

Mark Webber detached himself from his team manager Christian Horner on Ferrari's team orders saga in Germany, arguing that the Italian team made the right call by letting Fernando Alonso win the race at Hockenheim. According to the 33-year old Australian driver, Felipe Mass was given a fair shot at winning his first race of the 2010 season, but he was unable to impress while leading last weekend's Grand Prix.

They gave Felipe a good opportunity to win the grand prix as well. They gave him the chance to win the race up to the point where he couldn't pull away from Fernando. Obviously they had a decision in the team where the fastest guy in the team wins the race. The fastest guy on that day won the race,” said Webber, according to Autosport.

Indeed, in the German Grand Prix, it was Fernando Alonso who outpaced his teammate in the qualifying session, while also setting consecutive fastest laps when trying to close the gap on Massa (in the race) for 1st place. However, team orders were needed in order to make it clear enough for Massa that Alonso must win the race so, with 18 laps to go, the Brazilian listened to his team and watched his teammate pass him for victory.

His first stint at Hockenheim was incredible, a very good first stint. The second stint obviously just wasn't quite fast enough to avoid the positions being moved around because they wanted the faster guy to win the grand prix,” added Webber.

Being himself in a very fragile situation at Red Bull – where he is believed to be treated as a No 2 driver by the Austrian squad – Webber echoed Luca di Montezemolo's (Ferrari boss) call for less hypocrisy in the sport, saying that not only team orders are hard to police, but they happen constantly in the series.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) first introduced the team orders ban following the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, when Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello let Michael Schumacher pass him for glory in the last hundreds of meters of the race. Needless to say, that triggered some immense booing in the grandstands. However, Webber insists team orders have continued after 2002, but were carefully disguised.

Very, very, very difficult to control team orders. They've been happening for 40 years in the sport and they'll happen in the future,” added Webber.

That's the way it is. If you have a two-car team, three-car team, four-car team, there's always going to be certain situations at certain tracks and certain points in championships where one car is going to need to be in a definite position and the team can influence that - so they will.

"It's better than doing a deliberate bad pit stop, or whatever. You can do so many things to make it hard, so to try and have a rule which says that you cannot manipulate or have a team order in a grand prix is virtually impossible. I could (agree) something tonight between you and me in the hotel and it would be done."

"Much better to do something like [in Germany] than something that's hidden from everyone. In this case, this team got the maximum result. Obviously for the fans, you can understand it was a different thing.”

"But it's happened so many times since '02. For the victory it's a different thing, but the people who think it's the first time it's happened are absolutely dreaming. It's not the only time.”
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