The Reuters global sports blog
Any Formula One team wishing to manipulate the outcome of a race in favour of one or other of their drivers at least now knows the going rate after this week’s hearing in Paris into the recent Ferrari furore.
Team orders? That will be $100,000 — at least until the end of the season, after which there may well be no charge at all.
In fact, there may not be any more charges this year either because we are now approaching the point in the season where drivers will be ruled out of contention and expected to support their team mates.
That will be strategy, of course.
And by next season the rule will have been re-written, or ‘clarified’.
Felipe Massa won a lot of respect in Brazil a year ago when, having missed out on the Formula One championship by a single point after winning his home grand prix, he proved gracious in defeat.
“I know how to win, I know how to lose,” he said.
The Ferrari driver returns to Interlagos as a spectator and special guest this weekend after suffering life-threatening head injuries in Hungary in July.
Giancarlo Fisichella and Ferrari would appear to be a marriage made in heaven, as well as good box office for Monza next week.
The little Roman gets to live out the dream he thought would never come true while Ferrari get a driver who is demonstrably quick as well as being a safe and completely loyal pair of hands.
For 20 euros you can buy a Michael Schumacher ‘Comeback’ cap from the official Formula One merchandise stands at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The longed-for return will not happen this season, with the retired seven times world champion thwarted by a neck injury from replacing injured Brazilian Felipe Massa at Ferrari, but his manager Willi Weber never misses a trick.
Who will replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari?
The question was asked in the immediate aftermath of the Brazilian’s life-threatening crash in Hungary last month and is now being asked again.
Luca Badoer got the nod for Valencia at the weekend but unless the 38-year-old Italian stand-in pulls something big out of the hat in Belgium this weekend the tifosi will be clamouring to have him out of the car before Ferrari’s home race at Monza.
A disappointing day for fans of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, with news that the German has had to call off his proposed F1 comeback.
As the seven-times world champion said on his website:
“Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I’m not able to step in for Felipe (Massa). I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn’t work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.
As Ferrari have just confirmed, Schumacher is poised to make a comeback after Massa fractured his skull in an accident at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
With seven times champion Michael Schumacher seemingly in no rush to come out of retirement to stand in for his friend and former team mate Felipe Massa, Ferrari will have to resign themselves to looking elsewhere.
Massa appears to be on the mend, thankfully, but it has to be doubtful whether last year’s overall runner-up will race again this season after the serious head injuries sustained in Hungary.