Ferrari appears to have avoided further sanction over its alleged deployment of team orders in the German Grand Prix.
The team was fined $100,000 by the Hockenheim race stewards and referred to the FIA World Motor Sport Council after Felipe Massa slowed and allowed Fernando Alonso to pass him for the lead – with the Spaniard going on to take a win that resurrected his title bid.
The WMSC hearing over the matter took place in Paris today, but Angelo Sticchi Damiani, head of Italian motorsport federation the CSAI, told reporters outside that the governing body had agreed unanimously not to impose any extra punishment, according to the Reuters news agency.
Team orders have been banned in Formula 1 since the outcry over Ferrari's handling of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, when Rubens Barrichello handed victory to teammate Michael Schumacher within sight of the checkered flag, even though the German already had a comfortable points lead.
Suspicions were aroused at Hockenheim when Ferrari informed Massa over the radio that Alonso was "faster" than him, and then asked if he "understood" the message. Shortly afterward, the Brazilian relinquished the lead and was subsequently thanked by his engineer Rob Smedley, who also said "sorry" in the same radio transmission.
Ferrari argued that it was Massa's own choice to cede the lead, and that it had simply presented the situation to him over the radio. Alonso had been the quicker of the Ferrari drivers for much of the weekend, but was passed by his teammate at the start.