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Team orders - more FIA confusion

THE FIA World Council added to the confusion over team orders last week by explaining that team orders were not actually banned when it met in March but that it had simply been pointing out that the rules prohibited acts "prejudicial to the interests of any competition".

In a media statement the FIA said that: "it is perfectly legitimate for a team to decide that one of its drivers is its World Championship contender and that the other will support him".

The announcement left the F1 circus wondering why there had been such a fuss over McLaren's manoeuvres in Melbourne while Ferrari was allowed to get away with a clear instance of team orders at the recent Austrian GP.

The World Council concluded that any future instance of team orders will be "judged on its facts and in the light of long-standing motor sport tradition".

Which means that the FIA is in a position to decide whatever it likes in the future, a situation which can only add to possible accusations of manipulation by the governing body. Even Ferrari boss Jean Todt admitted that using team orders in future would be "risky" because the rule was open to interpretation.

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