Two former F1 drivers on Tuesday said they thought Felipe Massa was wrong to have ignored Williams’ team orders in Malaysia.
Although Brazilian Massa has only just left Ferrari, where in 2010 he was ordered to give up a win to Fernando Alonso, Karl Wendlinger said he should have let Valtteri Bottas past at Sepang. “As a team boss I would not be pleased with him,” former Sauber driver Wendlinger told Austrian television Servus TV. “The reason was not just that they wanted Bottas ahead of Massa,” he added, explaining that Williams simply thought Bottas’ fresher tyres gave him a better chance of passing Jenson Button’s McLaren. “That would have given them more points, which can be extremely important at the end of the season,” said Wendlinger.
Likewise, German racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck admitted he was “surprised” by Massa’s obstinacy. “In my long career, I have been on both sides — benefitting from team orders, or being the one who has to go behind the other. But I always followed,” he said. Asked how he would feel if he was Williams’ team boss, Stuck admitted: “I would not be happy. He is an employee of the team and, quite simply, he needs to follow instructions.”