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F1 should scrap team order ban – Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone thinks formula one should overturn its 2002 ban on team orders.

As the sporting world debates Ferrari’s order for Felipe Massa to hand Hockenheim victory to Fernando Alonso, there are those who believe teams should be free to run their businesses on track.

“I must confess I would agree with anyone who thinks that,” said the F1 chief executive.

Article 39.1 of the sporting regulations, added after Rubens Barrichello was crassly ordered to let Michael Schumacher win the 2002 Austrian grand prix, states that “team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.”

The Hockenheim stewards fined Ferrari the maximum $100,000 and directed the matter to the World Motor Sport Council.

Ecclestone is a member of the FIA body, but is not sure the overturning of the ban will be on the agenda.

“I don’t know, we’ll have to see,” said the Briton.  “It’s something that needs to be discussed.”

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo this week said team orders date back to Tazio Nuvolari’s days in the 30s and 40s, and Ecclestone agrees that the practice is part of the sport.

“I believe what people do when they are inside the team and how they run their team is up to them.  Of course, if a team does something that’s dangerous then they’re going to be in trouble.  Otherwise, get on with it,” he said.