The World Motor Sport Council chose to ignore a recommendation from its own investigator to hand the German GP win back to Felipe Massa.
Swedish FIA veteran Lars Osterlind was appointed as the ‘Reporter’ in the case and personally investigated all aspects of it. His conclusion was that the $100,000 fine should stand, five seconds be added to Alonso’s time (which would have changed the result), and there should be a loss of both driver and constructor points – but suspended unless there was another offence.
Although Osterlind presented a compelling case – and clearly was not swayed by Ferrari’s claims that team orders were not involved – the WMSC chose not to change the original penalty.
Its reasoning was in essence that the FIA’s own rule, which has been in place for eight years, was difficult to police. Ferrari’s evidence included other cases that it alleged were team orders, involving McLaren in Germany in 2008 and Turkey this year, and it also referred to RBR in Turkey this year.
It also insisted that Massa was not subject to team orders, but had made his own decision based on evidence that was presented to him. “Fernando is faster than you,” etc…
Intruingly Osterlind determined that was not necessarily the case and found that both drivers had been asked to turn their engines down – before Alonso turned his revs up again “without Mr Felipe Massa’s being informed.”
Osterlind’s report also covered the question of sports ethics, saying, “Motor racing ought to be unpredictable, as it has been to date. Part of that competitive element is to take equal interest in all competitors. Irrespective of their fitness, talent or position in the race, competitors should be able to rely on themselves for purposes of winning the race without any form of external aid influencing their sporting performance.”
I think most fans would agree with that assessment…