Miguel wrote:The real issue is when a team order is no longer acceptable. Had this been the last lap, would it have been acceptable? Had this been ferrari, would it be acceptable? And finally, will McLaren keep their "no team orders here" stance?
You make a good point. The whole team order regulation is, surely, so very hard to adjudicate on in a sensible way. Let's for now assume that McLaren outright told Hekki to move aside. (I don't accept that this is the case but hang in there for now.) It would have been done because, presumably, Heikki and/or his car were manifestly slower at that time than Lewis and/or his car. And by virtue of Lewis being 'released' he was able, as we saw, to pass those in front and take the win. And equally manifestly, Heikki was unable to do that because he remained in 5th spot till the end.
The problem (with the team orders rule) comes when a car has a small problem or an incipient big problem that the team has seen via telemetry and it is slower than its team car behind. Clearly, if, say, its brakes are shot, letting the team mate through is a no brainer but where is the line to be drawn? What if, say, the leading car has a very minor, and not terminal problem... too much front wing for example. In that case, holding the second car back might result in competitors cruising up to the two team cars and getting by them.
Where's the cut-off point between okay and not okay?
Seems to me the whole reason for the team orders ruling stems from the not too pretty spectacle in the Styrian mountains 6 years ago! In that case, Ferrari had the race, and the season sewn up, just 5 races into a 17 race championship. The outrage, about which Michael seemed blissfully unaware on the podium, was about the cynicism surrounding the execution of the order to poor Rubens. Oh, and about the money those inclined to gamble on race results may have lost!
I attribute a quantum of common sense to Charlie Whiting and his band of helpers and I would be sure that they, like me, would see absolutely no reason to look askance at McLaren over the move at the Hockenheimring yesterday.
On the McLaren "No team orders" issue, I stand to be corrected but is that an accurate reflection of this team's long held position? Isn't it more accurate to say that they claim to provide each of their drivers with equal equipment and resources and to allow them to race each other? I'm no McLaren fan by the way but may I say that the team is made up of human beings (in some contrast to what their stainless steel corporate persona might suggest!) and they are capable, in small but telling ways, of 'loving' one driver more than the other, as David Coulthard found out.
That may be a less than wonderful characteristic, but team orders it ain't!