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Team orders can be part of Formula One, say FIA

The FIA have stripped the regulation banning team orders from their rulebook following this year's controversy in Germany.

Ferrari were fined £65,000 by race stewards at the German Grand Prix after being accused of implementing a team order.

Following coded messages over the team radio, Felipe Massa eventually ceded a potential victory to team-mate Fernando Alonso, a move that sparked outrage at the time.

After meeting with the stewards, Ferrari were deemed in breach of article 39.1 of the FIA 2010 sporting regulations that states 'team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited'.

But following yesterday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Monaco, the body has confirmed the rule has now been “deleted”.

In a WMSC statement, it added: “Teams will be reminded any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under article 151c of the International Sporting Code and any other relevant provisions.”

Article 151c is effectively the FIA's catch-all regulation that relates to 'any fraudulent conduct, or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally'.

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It was a rule that resulted in McLaren being fined almost £50million in 2007 over the 'spy-gate' saga.

The omission of the team orders regulation headlines a raft of other changes that have been made to the Sporting and Technical Regulations for 2011.

The WMSC has rubber-stamped amendments to the list of penalties stewards are permitted to apply, made revisions to driving and driver conduct, reintroduced intermediate tyres for 2011 and stipulated that gearboxes must be used for five consecutive races rather than the current four.

They have also introduced a regulation that allows race director Charlie Whiting to close the pit lane during a race for safety reasons, as well as providing a clarification on when cars can overtake the safety car.

Meanwhile, The FIA yesterday confirmed their intention for a greener Formula One with the introduction of radical new engine regulations from 2013.

Following dialogue with the four engine manufacturers — Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and Cosworth — the powerplants will be 1.6-litre, four-cylinder units with high-pressure fuel injection, and with a maximum 12,000rpm.

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