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Austrian Grand Prix

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Austrian Grand Prix Page

Once again we've seen Ferrari apply team orders forcing Rubens Barrichello to move over for Michael Schumacher as he has more points in the championship. Michael publicly stated that he wasn't happy with the decision but is that good enough ? Do these actions make a mockery of the spirit of Formula 1 ?
Rubens had a fantastic weekend and managed to stay ahead of Michael in both Qualifying and the Race yet he was forced to yield. After Michael wins the Drivers title this year (and they is no reason to think otherwise) he will hand Rubens a win or two but is this what we want Formula 1 to be ? What should the FIA do about it ?

The last few meters of the race overshadowed the rest of the race. Luckily Takuma Sato and Nick Heidfeld emerged from their high speed accident without major injuries. Juan Pablo Montoya got the better of Ralf Schumacher. Giancarlo Fisichella scored the first points for Jordan. David Coulthard finishing 6th behind a Jordan, can they get any worse ?. Jacques Villeneuve getting a wake up call after qualifying in 17th.
What about Panis and Bernoldi who have yet to finish a race and Kimi Raikkonen who suffered his 5th retirement in a row ?

Your thoughts ? Of course you can comment on other aspects of the race - Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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Just a few words on the matter. 
The F1 is not for soccer fans type. Please stay out till Ferrari cycle end. (Couple of years) Then I would like to see how many of these fans are present after next 21 years of non victories. I like F1 rules as is, and I hope MS will soon become a McLaren driver leaving Rubens to us. So the peace will be back for the Ferrari fans. 
P.S. The only time I was a little upset for the position swapping was when Salo gave his unique chance to win a grand prix to the great Eddy Irvine.
Hi to everybody - Guido N - Italy

The team is first than the pilots. In fact I think that Ferrari did the right thing - Rafael S - Dominican Republic

It is true that F1 is a just business, but it is a business that needs the support of the public, and without the public how can they survive? What are they going to sell?. 
With that kind of actions performed by Ferrari, the team, the drivers, the race as a competition would lost its very reason to be (WIN THE RACE, ARRIVE IN THE FIRST PLACE). 
PD: The one who we have to blame is Barrichello, he is the one who let Ferrari do with him whatever they want, and then he cries in front of the camera, just hoping understanding ?. Sorry, THAT I cannot accept it - Elias E - Venezuela

This kind of incident is exactly why I don't like Schumi. I remember when he was on the championship hunt against Jacques Villeneuve a few years back and Schumi had his brother try to take Villeneuve out. 
Why can't Schumi win the races himself ?? - Juan L - USA

I wish everybody would stop bitching about what happened in Austria. What happened is part of the sport, always had been, always should be. 
Make a new rule to stop it if you like, go on, they will just do it anyway in the pits or on the track (though not so obviously) and put it down to some tech error or whatever and then Rubens would get all the sympathy for all his bad luck. 
Despite being a Schumacher fan I was thrilled that Rubens was going to win, he does/did afterall deserve it. But he played the team game to ensure long-term success, and it showed great personal character for him to do so. 
He didn't have to slow down did he? his foot could have got stuck on the pedal... It's part of the sport, if you don't like it go watch tiddlywinks - Kev S - Australia - (this comment was edited - Ed.)

In all of the motorsport I have seen over the years I have seen this happen many times before. You don't see it because it happens behind the cameras, because the TV directors always focus on the best in the race. 
Ferrari did make a bad call. They should have made RB slow done a second a lap before the end of the race then let MS thru and everybody would have thought RB had a problem. But I still reckon Ferrari did a good job. They don't want to lose that title again. You should give MS credit he has brought Ferrari back from being back markers say ten years ago. When a top team does something unthinkable, everybody has to scold them. MS is not the perfect driver in F1, but he has learnt what to do to get there. I think everybody does the same thing in life. FERRARI WIN THE TITLE. Look at my other comment - Nick A - Australia

Finally I understand why there are so many upset F1 fans out there. Fans around the world now can be group into 3 groups: 
Non-Ferrari fans – This group of fans criticize Ferrari because their favourite teams defeated by Ferrari most of the time. Now, with the team order, their team is double-lose. No way or little chance to win. They say “it is the most ugly and horrible F1 grand prix they ever seen”. If I am in this group, I will also criticize Ferrari and upset with the F1 sports. 
Ferrari fans (former) – Quiet a number of Ferrari fans criticize their favourite team. There 3 possibilities. First, they are fans from Brazil. Second, they follow the majority for their own good, they start criticizing Ferrari. Third, those writing in say that they are Ferrari fans and still criticize it, they MIGHT not be the actual Ferrari fans. They just write in and claim that they are Ferrari fans. 
Ferrari fans (now & forever) – This group of fans understands the meaning of team work, team mate and strategy and winning. What they say is “it is the best ever team work and strategy I ever seen in sports. It’s a winning formula and it doesn’t break any rules” 
For those who say that they will not want to watch F1 anymore due to the way Ferrari works, they are lying. They are just trying and hope FIA will punish Ferrari in order to win back F1 fans through out the world. They knew fans are important in F1. They want Ferrari to start at the back of the grid so that their favourite team will have to chance to win. 
Ferrari didn’t break any rules or cheated in Austria. Rubens understands it and says nothing about it. Even David Coulthard back Ferrari’s decision. 
If F1 is going to be a fan-rules sport, and FIA really thinks that way, watching F1 will be as exciting as watching WWF. You can smell someone cooking. So next time you see someone or team win a race, it is because of the fans, not the car and the driver. 
FIA will surely win back all fans so that the tickets sales will be as good as WWF - Jay W - Malaysia

Well all I can say about the Austrian GP is it's not what F1 should be about. I feel it was a complete farce! 
I don't think I will enjoy further races this season! 
I do think some sort of action against Ferrari should take place! taking off the points won in this race or some sort of ban for one or more races! - Dodge M - UK

There seems to be some confusion in some peoples minds when they compare what happened on Sunday with Fangio taking over a team-mate's car. In the days when Fangio was racing it was perfectly acceptable and within the rules for a driver to take over his team-mates car IF HIS OWN CAR HAD FAILED
When a driver took over his team-mates car his position in the race became that of the car and not of the position that he held prior to the failure of his own car. Thus Fangio may have been leading when his car failed but after taking over his team-mate's car he could then be in, say, 8th place. By sheer brilliant driving he would then make his way back to the front of the race. Rather different from Schumacher's hollow victory on Sunday! - Arthur W - USA

For those who still think that F1 is a fan-rule sports and Ferrari S****, immediately switch to WWF. Your hero will always win and never dies. You will always satisfy with the WWF Championship results. 
Stop criticizing Ferrari. It is not easy to have both car to the podium. No matter what, Ferrari still rules on the track. Catch them if YOU can - Jay M - Malaysia

What would you do if you the Ferrari bosses and one of your driver's were in the lead of the championship? I don't understand what all you F1 fan's are upset about. 
You have seen this happen before, Australia 98', Sepang 99' and various other times in the years of F1. 
In my view the FIA would have a rule already enforced that a team-mate is not allowed to yield to another team-mate. Then we would not see this happen at all. When MS thinks he has done all he can in F1 he might help his team-mate in wining an F1 title - Nick A - Australia

MS has enough luck without Ruby giving what little luck he has left away. Following qualifying it looked as though Ruby had the pace of MS, will we ever know. If all the team is about is making sure that the MS contract is followed, sounds more like a business contract than a sport contract - Stephen C - Australia

It was a sad day really for Ferrari to be once again put in a position where they have to make such a difficult decision. I am a Ferrari and MS fan and was very disappointed with the way things turn out but I wish people will stop being so self righteous. If this strategy is a definite no-no, why not make it a rule. Will the other teams make the same decision if put in such position? I am sure the answer is not a definite "no". At least Ferrari is upfront about it - they could have done something at the last pit stop - and nobody will know any better - Li - Singapore

shame shame bloody shame! sport is sport, how can you teach your child about being a good sport when his hero is winning and lets a villain past. 
Ferrari should be punished who do they think they are! I would like to see both F2002's start from the back of the grid for the next 4 races lets see how good they are when there not out in front in clean air - Brett - Australia

Whilst I understand why a lot of fans will be upset by Ferrari's actions one has to accept a few realities of Grand Prix racing. 
Firstly, the drivers are entered by a TEAM. All of them. This is a team sport but we the fans tend to focus more on individual drivers and lose sight of that fact. 
Secondly, how many GP fans remember who finishes second in the world championship for drivers? How many even remember, or care, about the constructor's championship? Winning driver's championships is what it is all about. Thirdly, this sport is now a huge industry. Everyone knows it requires an enormous amount of money to run a team and that this must come from sponsors. A team's success will determine if they can raise the required sponsorship to remain at the head of the field. How is that success measured? See point two above. Rubens Barrichello has certainly stepped up and is, perhaps, ready to compete head to head with Schumacher. If he wishes to do that then maybe he should not have renewed his contract with Ferrari. It would be nice if we could turn the clock back to the sixties (apart from safety standards) but we cannot - Gavin H - Australia

Firstly Ferrari, Rubens is signed as a number 2 driver and must behave as his contract states, all very clinical. But the heart does say, Rubens should have been awarded his prize. 
It is only early days. Ferrari must by now feel confident of another win this year. Maybe there is some power play happening in the ranks? McLaren are in big trouble, I betcha David still wishes he was with Williams. No Hope this year. 
Montoya and Ralph will divide the points between themselves this year and take any opportunity to grasp the world championship. 
Jacques Villeneuve? Isn't he that guy that went out with Danni Minogue? 
Just remember that all good things must come to an end, how long will Ferrari reign supreme? And who will grasp the cup? - Ang - Australia

Although nothing can be Commented on the Race Results, Rubens is definitely a poor chap to work with Ferrari. I would rather prefer to call me as one useless person who seem to race only for money but not for the true sport. A real Strong Driver who is for racing will not work in a Team like that of Ferrari. If Rubens is a Genuine Racing Driver, he would have left Ferrari long back - Venkat - India

Since both drivers followed team orders, in one side it is part of the job to adhere to instructions, thus giving Big M the leg room to slide into number 1, completely giving out Rubens' effort of taking the pole. 
With over a million fans out there with different opinions and emotions, the argument of giving Big M the boo boo because of a very vivid, open selfish act is clearly unavoidable. And to those who think this way may also consider the team officers as selfish, not giving credit to Rubens' effort from the qualifying round to the race itself. 
Rubens, I think you're a great guy, succumbing to the no.2 spot because in a way I can relate to you in certain ways I give out to others. God has a plan for you even with just 12 points, you wait and see brother - Butchoy - Singapore

Whether I like it on any given day. It's a team sport and I understand that. 
Whether I feel Ferrari should have given Rubens the win, yes. 
I lost respect for them, and obviously others did as well. Respect is easy to lose and a much slower process to gain... 
You sleep in the bed the you make for yourself - John H - USA

I believe justice will be had. Too many fans around the world have voiced their opinions and FIA will have to respond. 
For what its worth, I tried to email Ferrari to give them my opinion but it appears they're not taking emails at the moment! 
Surprise, surprise. Ferrari, you're a bunch of losers... Blas A - USA

Not to take anything away from M.S., if Michael is as good as he suppose to be then he should do this without the help of others. 
Barrichello was robbed, and that is just not the way any sport is suppose to be played - Nick B - USA

Where to from here?
I have been an F1 fan since I was 8 years old, attending races at the old and new Kyalami circuit in South Africa and have always religiously followed the seasons every year watching and choosing my champion by his driving experience, gritt, will and sheer determination, that's how heroes are made and that's why they are called "Champions". That is also why I have been a Schummi fan for the past 8 years, but sadly "No more"
I have never been so appalled in my life, in fact the only thing that comes close to this for me is "September the 11th." 
I thought the reason they had (a) A drivers championship (b) A constructors championship etc was so that we could measure the best of all efforts applied, naaahh, its just about Ferrari (which should now be spelt "merde" or sh1t)
Imagine for a second you are an F1 driver, you have struggled through a promising career and eventually through sheer guts get that dream drive for your dream team, start a season off with nothing but bad luck and then finally after so many disappointments you see the light at the end of the tunnel, staring you in the face, finally your 2nd career win, SORRY BUD SOME TIME SOON, now hand it over and make a pratt of yourself. 
Michael Shumaker in my opinion is the best F1 driver to ever have graced this planet, he has more money than he could ever hope to spend in a lifetime, he could pick and choose whichever team he wants to drive for he had absolutely nothing to lose, Michael I thought you had big enough "Cahonnes" to show Ferrari the finger and let Rubens take the win on the track but I think your ego got the better of you, I always considered you a sportsman and a gentleman, your little brothers expression said it all, what has become of the feisty grand prix drivers of old??? 
Even though Rubens had more to lose having just extended his life at Ferrari for another 2 years, well I am sorry but all that bullshit about being a better person and growing and learning etc, etc well it was all in your eyes RUBY, you were crushed. Learning, growing and enlightenment are for "Tibetan monks" "RACING" is what makes GRAND PRIX CHAMPIONS, FORFEITING to your team makes you a company Bitch. 
"Jenson Button" you have just gained another fan I know you have it in you lad, Britains next hero - A C - UK


I though that if Schumacher "seems" so disappointed and unhappy with the decision (of Jean Todt?? I don't think so. It was the only GP he hasn't won...) he wouldn't pass so "sad" Rubens. What would have happen if he did do that? A penalty from the team? Lost the championship? please....  Jorge P-  Colombia

Sure Schumacher could have let Rubens win but he gets paid lots of money and he wants to keep it. Just a human emotion called greed. Ferrari as a company and team should be punished. *16 points taken from the constructors title *relegation to the back of the grid at the next two races *denied the the national anthem of the team; next race they win (instead maybe just a single boring tone for 20 seconds to remind them of that stupid decision at the A1 Ring) These penalty's may be unrealistic but the FIA and Formula One circuits should have rules and penalty's in place for this type of infringement. 
The world is outraged and disgusted. The host of my country's broadcast said he thought "it was the most bloody atrocious finish to a GP he has ever seen" This may sound harsh but what ever happened to Grace and humility in sport. Instead of the winner of a race feeling absolutely stoked and excited, he's embarrassed. The guy who comes second that thinks hey "I lost to the better man on the day he deserved it, but I'll beat him next time" thinks exactly the opposite and is confused because he knows he himself should have won - Jimmy H Extremely concerned fan - Australia

Todt and Brawn just don't get it. Formula 1 racing is there because of the fans. Without them there would not be any racing as there would be no point in sponsorship. They don't understand that F1 fans are, with the possible exception of GP motorcycle race fans, about the most knowledgeable motor racing fans that there are and that these fans do not attend races to see their hero win at all costs but instead to see fine driving and to cheer for the underdog. What we saw on Sunday was a brilliant, mistake-free drive on the part of Rubens Barrichello which had the essence of thumbing his nose at Schumacher and the Ferrari management who are perceived as having deliberately kept him down until now. 
No normal person will accept their move at the end of the race where they essentially said "we don't care how well you drove, we will decide who wins". It was interesting to see that even Michael's own brother Ralf gave him a stony stare in the post-race park and that the Ferrari mechanics initially did not want to take the champagne that Michael offered them. They can rationalise their move however much they wish and can point their fingers at incidents such as Coulthard giving Hakkinen the win in Australia (which was a pre-race agreement between the drivers) but they will never wash away the bad taste that they have left in the mouths of the vast majority of F1 fans - Arthur W - USA

Ferrari's contempt and Michael's compliance have turned drama into farce. Drivers in the same race are clearly risking their lives. Sato was hospitalised and Montoya missed a potentially fatal "T-bone" by millimetres. Schumacher took no risks "and just followed orders". For him to be given a win on a platter denigrates the entire sport and undermines Schumacher's place in F1 history as statistically the best driver ever.
But then there are statistics and damned lies! - D M - Australia

I believe team orders should be discouraged as it is unsportsmanship and not what satisfies the fans worldwide as without the fans being satisfied the sport would not be what it is today. I would like to put forward two obvious solutions as follows:- 
one-- deduct points from any driver who obeys team orders to his disadvantage. i.e.-no points for that race and a further deduction of six points from the total points collected for the season for that driver. 
Comment-- it is time to put the past team order policies into the history books and move forward with renewed policies with forward vision. 
two-- implement over a one year period, a one car per team ruling. A sideline advantage of this would be to elevate the rising cost of running a team and all teams would be on a level playing field. Regards Ian R - Gold coast - Queensland - Australia

Team orders have been around for along time. Some examples: . I recall Senna let Berger through for a win at McLaren, just to say thank you. . I am not sure but didn't Fangio take over a team mates car to go on and win? . Coulthard let Hakkinen through for a win. You may argue that Hakkinen had a brain fade, by going through the pits - but it was still his stuff-up. It is also purely hypothetical but Williams might have won the driver's championship in 1986, if they had focused their efforts behind one driver instead of letting Mansell and Piquet continue their in-house bickering? No one likes the decision, but Ross Brawn is right and you have to play the percentages. MS has a lead in the championship and had the opportunity to increase that gap - Mark - Australia

He sido aficionado a Ferrari y de M. Schumacher desde sus días en Benneton, pero lo que pasó el domingo en Austria me decepcionó de tal modo que ojalá que le quiten los puntos a ambos corredores por arruinar la carrera y al equipo por propiciar tal desastre. No me quedaron ganas de ver a Ferrari por mucho tiempo. Michael es demasiado bueno como para que haya necesidad de hacer eso, es mejor que gane el campeonato porque se lo merece y no por una decisión de equipo. En estos momentos Ferrari perdió muchos fans - Mario A - Guatemala
(to translate, copy the above text, go to this web site and paste the text into the translation window)

It could have been a magnificent day, but instead it was a shame! Don't this team need the support of the public????? They could have the best car but they are far to be the best team! 
From now on, I'm a Williams BMW fan! - Jorge - USA

Why is everyone getting so hot under the collar about this particular fix? It happened last year - same race. It's happened in other races over the years (I've been a follower since the early sixties). 
Following F1 is a permanent day- dream (forlorn hope) that something like the days of Mansell, Senna & Prost will return. It seems to me they were the last days that represented good head-to-head racing where the outcome couldn't be predicted in advance (how about Ferrari will win 10 of the remaining 12 (11) races, and if Michael is running he'll win all 10 - they just won't be so obvious)). 
Getting their collective knuckles wrapped for reversing the 1-2 finish seems stupid, 1-2 is 1-2 . I'll bet Rubens new two year contract he signed had a clause about following team orders. 
So back to fixes, why is everyone so hot up about 12th May 2002. Didn't anybody but me see what Ferrari did to Irvine when Michael was out, (injured). To me it was blatantly clear that they were not about to let Eddie carry the number 1 to Jaguar the following year. I think I remember Fuelling problems, wheels falling off, and 'lost wheels' in a pit stop - Mike S - Canada

After looking thru a lot of the messages from the fans I have noticed that MS and RB have been getting a lot of the blame for the debacle in Austria. I think this is unfair to both drivers. They have a responsibility to follow directions from their boss, it doesn't matter if they agree with them or not. When you work for someone, work for them, especially in a team effort. 
This is NOT to excuse Ferrari for putting both drivers in that kind of position. Ferrari should have some kind of action taken against them. Take away constructors points? it would not have mattered who finished first or second, they would have gotten the same points. Paul S. quotes article #48 and suggests that Ferrari be banned for the rest of the season. This seems a little extreme to me, one race maybe, but not the rest of the season. The most tragic thing is that a good race is being over shadowed by a big mistake by some bone-head. 
JV had a brilliant drive starting way at the back and getting to a points position before his car went south. The battle for fifth thru eighth was great. But the only thing people seem to remember is the last hundred yards. A lot of people, myself included, have the delusion that if you work hard and play by the rules and are the best on a given day you will win. Well, we just had our delusion exposed for what it is. People react negatively to that. There are a lot of improvements to be made to F-1, but the only way to get them done is if we, the fans, vote with our wallets. Write Ferrari sponsors and tell them you won't use their products and services until this mess is fixed. Otherwise nothing will change. There will be a lot of hoopla and bally-hoing but it will be back to business as usual very quickly - Jeff S - USA

I have been a big fan of F1 for over 15 years, including going to most of the events in Australia, in both Adelaide and now Melbourne. I also sit up a watch the broadcast on Channel 9 when every possible, but after the Austrian G.P. last Sunday, I will be thinking very carefully before wasting my time. 
I enjoy the skill levels required by both drivers and their pit crews to put these cars in the positions they are but to turn around and give up at the last corner is a joke. 
Michael Schumacher will probably win the Championship on his own merits, he doesn't need the help of Team orders. 
Didn't Rubens recently sign an extension to his contract, was this part of his contract? Ferrari should wake up an take a good look at themselves. I truly hope the governing body punish them in some way. - Robert P - Australia

That's not racing - that's follow the leader. F1 is all about the best car, not the best driver. Team orders - kind of like WWF Wrestling, where the winner is always prearranged. Very disappointed - Karl - USA

Ferrari's decision was repugnant. I was a great fan of Ferrari, but now I feel ashamed. I can no longer be proud of owning a Ferrari, which is on sale from yesterday on - J.R. - Colombia

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