…And the winner for this years Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix is… none of the usual 11 teams that make the starting line up but instead it’s, Team Orders! Who?
In fact, let me take that one step further and say that the entire podium was filled with drivers from Team Orders.
The unsavory side to Formula 1 once again reared it’s ugly head yesterday not once, but twice. Team Red Bull Racing and Team Petronas Mercedes (home race) both decided to ‘fix’ the results to ensure maximum benefit to themselves at the expense of the racing spectacle and paying racing fan. Both teams had different reasons and different ways of going about it but the results were the same, the drivers placed on the podium were not the most deserving.
To the credit of Hamilton, he openly acknowledged that the 3rd place spot that he secured should have been Rosberg’s but that’s where the humility ended.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel came 2nd and 1st respectively but those positions should have at least been reversed and if not, Vettel should have been disqualified. The rules of the sport are clear, team orders are allowed BUT racing is to take place on the racing track – not off! But that’s precisely where Vettel gained his advantage… by passing Webber off the track. Mark had covered the inside line into turn 1 but Sebastian drove off the track and in doing so gained the advantage into the corner which eventually led to his passing maneuver being successful. However all of this was overshadowed by the fact that Sebastian and Mark had been briefed to hold their positions in the closing stages of the race (code 21), so when Mark was told to ‘turn his engine down‘ by the team and coast home, Sebastian ignored code 21 and simply overtook the ‘sacrificial lamb’ in Mark Webber.
Perhaps the most depressing part to all of this is the fact that we (the public) heard over the team radios not once, not twice but numerous times, the drivers requesting their respective teams to ‘get the other driver out of the way‘! Basically telling the team to allow them to pass another driver without having to make the effort themselves and do their job and overtake the other driver on merit alone! That’s the worst part about off of this, the fact that so much of the racing that we see is not in fact racing but in fact a carefully choreographer display of bright shiny cars…
Now the situation is a collection of hurt egos and wounded pride all mixed up with childish petulance and the inevitable ‘tit for tat’, all of which will overshadow the next race and any other race this season where anything remotely similar comes to the for. So the 2013 season which was billed as being ‘anyone’s championship‘ is in fact nothing of the sort and is rather just ‘business as usual‘. Red Bull wishes to continue their dominance and sees Vettel as their best option and Mercedes Petronas for their part, wanted a clean finish for their major sponsor Petronas and a justification for their most expensive signing in Lewis Hamilton.
I can feel the excitement for the next race… disappearing fast.