Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner described Ferrari's exchange of positions in the German Grand Prix as "the clearest team order" he had seen, after his driver Sebastian Vettel finished third behind Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa at Hockenheim.
Massa led the majority of the German Grand Prix, before lifting off and allowing Alonso to pass him with 17 laps to go. Shortly beforehand, he had received a radio message from his engineer Rob Smedley informing him that Alonso was 'faster'. Smedley later added "good lad" and "sorry" after Massa had fallen to second.
Horner said there was no doubt in his mind that it was a team order, comparing it to Rubens Barrichello allowing Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher to pass him to win the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix -- the incident that prompted the ban on such tactics.
"I have to say, that was probably the clearest team order I've ever seen, especially when you've got the team apologising to a driver," Horner said. "It will be interesting to see what the stewards make of it, because it was as clear as 2002, which was why the regulation was brought in."
He added: "The regulations are pretty clear that team orders aren't allowed and it looked like a team order."
Horner was adamant that Red Bull would not have acted in the same manner.
"No, we let our drivers race," he said. "Massa's still in this championship, or maybe he's signed a contract that says he's a number two driver, but I think that it's wrong for the sport. The drivers should've been allowed to race. Massa did the better job. He was in the lead."