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Ferrari can ‘relax’ ahead of World Council – Briatore

Flavio Briatore does not think Ferrari will be heavily punished by the FIA for the Hockenheim team orders affair.

The governing body is set to consider the matter no later than September 10 at its scheduled World Motor Sport Council meeting in Como, Italy.

Ferrari breached article 39.1 of the sporting regulations by ordering that Felipe Massa give way to German grand prix winner Fernando Alonso, and was also charged by the race stewards with bringing the sport into disrepute.

Former Renault boss Briatore was banned from F1 last year by the World Motor Sport Council for the Singapore crash scandal.

He told Italy’s Sky Sport 24: “This (team order) rule makes no sense and should be abolished.  Formula one is a team sport.

“I don’t believe Ferrari did anything wrong,” added the 60-year-old Italian.

“Fernando has more points than Massa and it is logical to bet on the driver with the best chance of winning the title.

“Could it have been better handled?  It’s easy to say so with hindsight, but during a race it’s different.

“It is however clear that Massa’s engineer (Rob Smedley) should not have made certain comments.  But only one guy can win the drivers’ championship.

“It is pointless to stand around being critical.  It is the rule that is completely absurd,” added Briatore.

He does not think Ferrari needs to worry about draconian penalties like exclusion from the world championship or race bans.

“The chairman of the World Council is Jean Todt, who managed Ferrari when in 2002 in Austria he ordered Barrichello to let Schumacher overtake at the chequered flag, so I think we can all relax,” laughed Briatore.