Despite giving the green light to a reassessment of the rules currently team orders
and ignored by Ferrari, FIA President Jean Todt has rejected suggestions that he is bowing to pressure from his former employers.
The Ferrari team – which Todt headed from 1993 to 2008 – controversially escaped further sanction other than the $100,000 fine originally issued for swapping the running order of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso at the German Grand Prix. The World Motor Sport Council – the body which adjudicated the hearing in September – instead ruled that the laws be reconsidered.
The ban on team orders came into effect following the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, where Jean Todt threatened Rubens Barrichello with the sack unless he ceded the race victory to Michael Schumacher.
Describing team orders as “as old as racing [itself],” Todt told Argentina Clarin daily newspaper that he was “not for or against team orders; it depends on the situation.”
He added: “After what happened with Alonso and Massa in Germany, the issue was reopened and passed to a committee to make the rules clear. The idea is to find out what is most healthy and transparent.”
When asked to respond to suggestions that his authority as FIA President created a conflict of interest by dint of his previous role at Ferrari, the Frenchman referred to those complainants as “fools”.
“It is the same as when I was with Peugeot, and also Ferrari. Now as president of the FIA, I do my best for the organisation, regardless of the particular interests of others,” he insisted.
[Original image via RallyBuzz]