Auto Racing

F1 drops controversial ban on team orders

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Associated Press
12/10/2010 1:06:06 PM
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PARIS -- Formula One's governing body dropped a controversial ban on team orders Friday, allowing for situations where a driver can let a teammate pass him during races next season.

Following a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council in Monaco on Friday, FIA said in a statement that the rule that banned team orders that could interfere with a race result will not be in place for next year.

Ferrari was handed a US$100,000 fine this season after driver Felipe Massa let teammate Fernando Alonso overtake him to win the German Grand Prix following Ferrari radio messages.

Alonso was ahead of Massa in the overall standings at the time, and the victory boosted his chances of winning the championship -- although he eventually fell short to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

However, FIA did not strip Alonso of the victory or dock the team points, and said it would review the ban on team orders, which was introduced following the 2002 season after Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello to hand victory to Michael Schumacher in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Massa led for 49 of 67 laps in Germany before allowing Alonso to pass him after the Brazilian driver received a message from race engineer Rob Smedley saying Alonso was faster than him.

The radio message was seen as a clear order to let his teammate overtake him, but Massa said after the race it was his decision to slow down.

The World Motor Sport council also approved the introduction of a new so-called green engine from 2013. After discussions between FIA and engine manufacturers, it was decided that the 2.4 litre V8s currently used would be replaced by four-cylinder 1.6 litre engines with high pressure injection and a maximum of 12,000 rpm.

"The engines will deliver a 35 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and will feature extensive energy management and energy recovery systems, while maintaining current levels of performance," FIA said. "In 2013, five engines will be permitted per driver, but each year after that the limit will be four."

FIA also decided to bring back intermediate tires for 2011.

Felipe Massa (Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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