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Ferrari issued Massa team order three times

Felipe Massa received three team orders before he moved over for Fernando Alonso at Hockenheim, it has emerged.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport made the claim, as the controversy about prohibited team orders continues to rage days later in the Hungaroring paddock.

The report said Alonso, who was later heard on the radio to say the situation was “ridiculous”, began to complain to the Ferrari pitwall about Massa’s pace shortly after his pitstop.

The team replied that it could do nothing, so Spaniard Alonso, who turned 29 on Thursday, dropped back nearly four seconds.

His engineer Andrea Stella told Alonso he was worried about the growing gap, to which Alonso reportedly replied: “No problem, I will close up”.

It was this pace relative to leader Massa that moved Ferrari to issue the team order.

But some media have portrayed Alonso as a bully and complainer, suggesting that his reputation has been negatively dented by the affair, which could cost him the support of the spectators.

But he told reporters in Hungary: “Of course it doesn’t affect me, not at all.  I don’t think anything has changed for me or that anything will come back to me.

“Today when I arrived, the airport was full, also the hotel was full of people cheering for us, and these are the fans I saw so far,” added Alonso.

He said if the shoe was on the other foot, he would also play the team game.

“If the conditions were the same, with the tyres not working correcting etcetera … I would surely do the same, the team is the most important thing,” Alonso said.

Meanwhile, Massa was fending off claims that – particularly in his native Brazil – his reputation is in tatters.

“People believed in him,” said Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio.  “He was considered a winner and thousands of fans saw him as a future champion.

“This image is gone,” he added.