Button says team orders confusion must end

Jenson Button was among the drivers who yesterday called for clarification of the rules regarding team orders, as the FIA president Jean Todt was forced to admit that there had simply not been sufficient evidence to punish Ferrari further after they instructed Fernando Alonso to overtake team-mate Felipe Massa to win the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July.

Afterwards, Ferrari were fined $100,000 (£65,000) for employing team orders and thus bringing the sport into disrepute, and it was telling that the fines were not rescinded at the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

"Before you say you are guilty, you need to be able to prove that you are guilty," Todt said. "And if you understand all the parts that have been asked, everyone has denied that it was a team order."

Ferrari's team chief Stefano Domenicali said yesterday: "We take notice of the decision of the World Council who have confirmed the decision of the stewards and appreciate the fact that the World Council have taken into consideration the fact that the team orders rule has to be amended to make it much clearer." Button said it was crucial that the governing body clarified the rule, so that everybody operated under the same understanding and interpretation.

"Obviously it was not down to us, so our opinion doesn't matter in this situation, the decision was down to FIA," he said yesterday. "But the important thing is we get a clarification, so we are all working with the same regulations."

Alonso, once again the beneficiary at the epicentre of controversy, after he was involved in the race-rigging scandal in Singapore in 2008, was more interested in drawing a line under his German victory, believed by many to have been gifted to him by a reluctant Massa, and was in truculent form.

"We are aware of the decision of the FIA and just have to respect it," he said. "I think we talked already too much in the August break about the Germany incident – as my colleagues said, I am happy that the FIA will try to go into the rules and try to clarify if there is any sort of something that is not completely clear in the rules. We can then be all more clear – there is no special feeling."

"Playing team strategy is something which is part of this business and part of this sport. In my opinion, I don't think the federation should impede the teams playing with team orders. It's true that it is a sport, but it's turned into a business, and there are teams that are spending a lot of money to develop a car, to make the drivers win, and to promote their sponsors."

He added: "It's true it's sad for the supporters to see what happened at Hockenheim. But this is part of the business, and you can see it in every sport anyway – probably in a different way, not so obvious as it was at Hockenheim, but it's still happening."

News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence