Michael Schumacher says he supports Ferrari's decision to hand Fernando Alonso victory at the German Grand Prix.
"I have been criticized in the past for exactly that and I understand 100 percent and I would have done exactly the same if I were in their situation," Schumacher said. "At the end of the day, what we're here for is fighting for a championship and there's only one who can win the championship.
"By the end of the year, if you think you've lost the championship for exactly that point, you will ask yourself, not only yourself, all the fans and the journalists and so on, why didn't you do so?"
Schumacher was involved in a similar controversy over team orders back in 2002, when Ferrari asked then teammate Rubens Barrichello to let the German through during the Austrian Grand Prix. The move led to the FIA banning team orders.
The seven-time champion, now driving for Mercedes, says there have been clear team orders in previous races this year, with no controversy involved.
"In the last race, for example, there were clear team orders, and everyone accepts those," he said. "So, whether it's the last race or the second-to-last race or even earlier, what's the point?
"I can see in the years that we did it, because we were leading so much, people thought it was unnecessary. I can agree on that in a way. But in principal I fully cannot. I agree with what's going on – you have to do it in a way that's maybe nice and not too obvious, but there's only one target and that's winning the championship."
Former World Champion Niki Lauda was critical of Ferrari's decision, however, labeling the race a fraud for the fans.
"An obvious and unacceptable episode of team orders. People buy tickets to see the best man win. What has happened is a fraud against the spectators," Lauda told Gazzetta dello Sport. "The Ferrari team was providing a superlative performance. Why did they want to ruin this way what would have been a perfect victory? Fernando has talked such nonsense that I've never heard before. He has shown he has no character."