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Williams, Sauber, backed Ferrari in team orders hearing

Owner-bosses of the Williams and Sauber teams provided letters of support for Ferrari’s team orders hearing in Paris earlier this week.

The existence of the letters emerged after the FIA released the full reasoning for its decision not to further penalise the famous Italian team.

According to reports, the letters – written by Sir Frank Williams and Peter Sauber – were presented to the session by a Ferrari lawyer.

“The judging body of the World Motor Sport Council was made aware that there was clear support for team orders in some quarters,” confirmed F1’s governing body.

The letters contributed to the Council’s decision to order the review of Article 39.1 of the sporting regulations because of the “uncertainty and complexity” that surrounds the issue.

And the FIA admitted there are difficulties in “detecting and policing” the deployment of team orders.

1992 world champion and former Williams driver Nigel Mansell, now occasionally a F1 steward, backed the review.

“Team orders were in F1 from the start and they exist in sports cars and at Le Mans, where a team can switch drivers if one of their cars breaks down,” he is quoted by the Express.

“If it is all out in the open, everyone will know what’s going on and that’s better for F1,” said Mansell.

Renault’s Robert Kubica agrees: “At least then teams would not need to make strange comments on the radio.”

Asked if he would move over if ordered by his team, the Pole told Spain’s El Pais: “I don’t see a problem.

“Sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t like.  Many kids don’t want to do their homework, but they have to.”

Sauber driver Pedro de la Rosa has a similar opinion.

“Team orders have always existed, they still exist and everyone has been using them when they were banned.  For me it’s important that we’re telling the truth because at the moment we’re deceiving people,” he said at Monza.