Belfast Telegraph

Ferrari facing further rap over team orders row

Ferrari are to go before the World Motor Sport Council just four days prior to their home grand prix next month as they look to avoid further punishment over the recent team orders furore.

Motor sport's world governing body, the FIA, have confirmed Ferrari will face a disciplinary hearing in Paris on September 8, with the Italian Grand Prix the following Sunday.

However, due to an obvious conflict of interests, FIA president and former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt will not stand as chair, the position falling to Nick Craw, the FIA deputy president for sport.

The Maranello marque have already been fined 100,000 US dollars by the stewards who ruled over the German Grand Prix on July 25.

The stewards declared Ferrari in breach of article 39.1 of the FIA 2010 sporting regulations that states ‘team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited'.

They were also charged with a breach of article 151c of the FIA International Sporting Code. That relates to ‘any fraudulent conduct, or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally'.

The stewards were forced to investigate after Felipe Massa slowed on lap 49 of the 67-lap race at Hockenheim to allow by team-mate Fernando Alonso who went on to claim victory.

The manoeuvre followed what appeared to be a coded message from his race engineer Rob Smedley, who slowly stated to Massa "Fernando is quicker than you".

When Massa did nothing, Smedley then asked the 29-year-old whether he had heard the earlier message, shortly after which he then gave way.

Both drivers and team boss Stefano Domenicali had all declared their innocence prior to the stewards' verdict.

But following a judgment that stunned the team, Domenicali then expressed confidence "that the World Council will know how to evaluate the overall facts correctly".

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