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Domenicali votes ‘yes’ to scrap team order ban

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has admitted he would like to see formula one overturn its ban on team orders.

Germany’s Bild newspaper said the Italian answered with a clear ‘yes’, adding: “F1 is a team sport.”

Currently, article 39.1 of the sporting regulations explicitly prohibits team orders, but the subject is now the topic of hot debate, given Felipe Massa’s reluctant move to let Fernando Alonso win the recent German grand prix.

Peter Sauber agrees with Domenicali: “Team orders should be allowed, because in formula one, ultimately the interests of the team are at the fore.”

Mercedes’ Ross Brawn added: “We understand that the fans are unhappy.  But the teams need to work together with the FIA for a solution that takes into account the competition as well as the interests of the team.

Christian Horner’s stance against team orders is well known, and Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost agrees: “To have a fair sport, team orders must be prohibited.”

HRT’s Colin Kolles adds: “Team orders must stay banned.  Otherwise the sport aspect is damaged.”

Interestingly, McLaren declined to answer Bild’s team orders survey.

The bosses and drivers of the British team have been fervently referring to the philosophy of fairness and ethics within McLaren, but others recalled Hockenheim 2008, when Heikki Kovalainen moved over for Lewis Hamilton in much the same way as Massa did for Alonso.

Kovalainen, now driving for Lotus, did not want to talk about that incident in Hungary.

“I don’t remember that,” said the Finn.  “For me, there’s no point in going into the past, actually.  I’m just here to race with Lotus and that’s all I can say.”

Like McLaren, bosses for Lotus, Williams, Force India, Renault and Virgin also declined to answer Bild’s survey.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone insisted he is happy with the publicity being generated by the saga.

“Everyone is talking about formula one — what more could you want?” the 79-year-old told Blick newspaper.