June 26, 2002

Ferrari, Schumi, and Rubens fined US$1 million for Austrian GP.: The World Motor Sport Council held that Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro were each guilty of failure to observe Article 170 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations. In other words the WMSC did decide to punish Ferrari and their drivers for their behaviour on the Austrian podium.

posted by riffola to other at 08:04 AM - 6 comments

As I commented when this topic initially came up here, no way the WMSC could change the result of the race because they (Ferrari, Schumi, and Rubens) broke the rules only after the race was completed. For a team that is spending $30 million on a driver (yeah I know Marlboro pays the salary), can definitely afford to pay half a million fine due right now.

posted by riffola at 08:07 AM on June 26, 2002

This incident was exactly the sort of thing that is bringing F1, which should be (and used to be) the absolute pinnacle of motor sport, down in the estimation of the public. The races are becoming processional enough and the focus is so much on the money rather than the technology of the engineers and skill of the drivers, that the credibility of F1 is poor at best. To so blatantly flout the ideals of racing in this way was deplorable. It was clear that the drivers concerned were not happy about the team orders and I wonder if they executed them in such a way that it was obvious in order to bring this issue out in the open. I, for one, applaud the actions of the drivers after the race. The $1M is not a big amount for either the team or the drivers, but is a clear slap in the face for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, one that is richly deserved.

posted by dg at 05:40 PM on June 26, 2002

An hefty fine was the predictable and logical outcome of this hearing. On a related note, am I the only one feeling cheated by last Sunday's race ending? In Austria, Ferrari had made their objective very clear: driver's title to Schumi, at all cost. They have contradicted themselves now. Schumi and Todt were saying "It's not over till it's over, what if we didn't do it and we lose the championship by 2 points?" How have things changed now? What if Michael actually loses the championship by 2 points?

posted by qbert72 at 12:18 AM on June 27, 2002

Well Jean Todt and Michael were called in by Bernie a day or two before the Euro GP, and I believe that Bernie must have struck a deal with Ferrari. It did make the last ten laps of the race exciting because everyone was waiting to see when Rubens would pull over for Michael, very few thought that Ferrari would let Rubens win especially because Michael was reeling Rubens in every lap. That's good action as far as the entertainment aspect is concerned. Letting Rubens win might have been a part of a deal with Bernie or atleast a very transparent PR move to make themselves look good before the FIA hearing last Wednesday.

posted by riffola at 09:29 AM on June 28, 2002

The idealistic side of me thinks that a CART/IRL/NASCAR-type rule will come out within a few years that every car must have its own pit, pitcrew (restricted to a specific number of people of course), and pit chief, and this will help stop these shenanigans. The cynical bastard in me, though, know it ain't gonna happen.

posted by PeteyStock at 04:30 PM on June 28, 2002

riffola, deals made before the race over who is going to win hardly make for exciting racing, not by my description anyway. If these deals are to be made, why bother to run the race at all? Maybe it is being unfair to Ferrari, but the evidence is there that they were trying to make themselves look good prior to the hearing and that they have done their calculations to make sure that Schumacher will still win the title. What’s the bet that he will take the next round? The rest of the season seems to be simply a procession with Schumacher at the lead unless something dramatic happens. Sorry, forgot we were discussing F1 for a minute there ;-). I wonder if the trophy has been engraved already?

posted by dg at 06:22 PM on June 30, 2002

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