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Friday in Belgium: FIA Press Conference

Joe Saward is one of the few F1 insiders I’ve seen who has expressed an opinion on team orders that doesn’t basically amount to “If you fans think it doesn’t happen all the time, you’re idiots — so let’s just make it legal YAY.” At the FIA press conference today, he brought the subject up once again and asked John Booth, Ross Brawn, Mike Gascoyne, and Martin Whitmarsh whether they thought Ferrari had done anything wrong and what the punishment ought to be. I was both happy and not surprised to see Saward ask the question. I was less happy — though still not surprised — about the four team representatives’ non-answers. They all amounted to “No comment,” but Whitmarsh’s lack of comment was a bit longer and more Clintonian than the others:

I don’t know if you can claim sub judice here but the fact is that there is a hearing, I don’t have any influence on that hearing and I think I said at the time my own views on it I wished to communicate to Ferrari personally which I did. I think me expressing a public view on it is inappropriate, particularly when there’s a hearing just coming up.

Also, did you know there’s going to be a hearing?  Well, in this response, Whitmarsh has been consistent; it’s what he’s been saying (more or less, possibly without the legalese) since the whole thing went down.

I suppose these guys might be looking at it this way: If they honestly have no problem with team orders, they would probably piss off a lot of fans by saying so on the record — so why say anything?  And if they honestly do have a problem with team orders, they would probably piss off the Horse Whisperer, who would then proceed to imperiously insult them on the Ferrari web site.  I don’t know.  That’s a tough call, there…  ;-)

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