Ex F1 drivers say Massa wrong to ignore team orders

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 30 March 2014.

Two ex Formula 1 drivers have said that they thought Felipe Massa was in the wrong to have ignored his Williams team’s orders during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Although Brazilian Massa has only just left Ferrari, where in 2010 he was ordered to give up a win to Fernando Alonso, Karl Wendlinger said he should have let Valtteri Bottas past at Sepang.

“As a team boss I would not be pleased with him,” former Sauber driver Wendlinger told Austrian television Servus TV.

“The reason was not just that they wanted Bottas ahead of Massa,” he added, explaining that Williams simply thought that Bottas’ fresher tyres gave him a better chance of passing Jenson Button’s McLaren.

“That would have given them more points, which can be extremely important at the end of the season,” said Wendlinger.

Likewise, German racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck admitted that he was “surprised” by Massa’s obstinacy.

“In my long career, I have been on both sides – benefitting from team orders, or being the one who has to go behind the other. But I always followed,” he said.

Asked how he would feel if he was Williams’ team boss, Stuck admitted: “I would not be happy. He is an employee of the team and, quite simply, he needs to follow instructions.” (GMM)

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