Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn believes the German Grand Prix furor proves that it is time to rethink the ban on team orders in Formula 1.
Ferrari was fined and referred to the FIA World Motor Sport Council after Felipe Massa moved aside to let his teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.
The exchange of places provoked censure both from some rival teams and sections of the media and public – especially as Ferrari had to avoid openly admitting that it was a case of team orders.
Brawn acknowledged the public anger, but is adamant that team orders have a place in F1 and should not have to be disguised.
"I understand how F1 fans might be disappointed by what they have seen on Sunday," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "The rule that bans team orders is not realistic anymore. The teams and the FIA must find together a transparent solution that maintains the integrity of the competition and safeguards the sport."
Brawn was at Ferrari when its instruction for Rubens Barrichello to hand victory to Michael Schumacher in the 2002 Austrian GP prompted the team orders ban. He added that his current team Mercedes would want to use team orders appropriately in the right circumstances.
"Our drivers are asked to avoid clashing against each other," said Brawn, "and if one has the chance to take the title while the other one doesn't, we want both of them to act in the interest of the team without throwing away that opportunity."