HomeAboutCalendarLinks
 
I can totally understand why Ferrari would have wanted Fernando Alonso to win ahead of Felipe Massa in the German Grand Prix. Having seen what happened to Red Bull in Turkey, and with Alonso quickly chasing Massa down, they simply wanted Fernando to pass Massa in a way that would not have seen them coming together and wrecking their race.

See the second of the World Touring Car Championship races at Brands Hatch last weekend. Augusto Farfus was leading BMW teammate Andy Priaulx, who is in a much better position in the championship, rather like Alonso at Ferrari. At the Druids hairpin, Farfus left the door open for Priaulx. Nobody minded this. Nobody claimed 'team orders'.

Ferrari would have wanted a similar situation today. All they wanted was Massa not to defend if Alonso attempted to overtake him for the lead. However, Massa did not do this, instead blatently lifting off the accelerator on the straight to let Alonso through. Had this happened, nobody would really have complained. This was a botched manoeuvre. Massa did not do what his team wanted him to do. As Ferrari have said since the race, it was Massa's decision to do what he did.

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying Felipe is to blame for this situation. However, an agreement should be in place for them to make such a manoeuvre in a way that would not be so blatent.
 
 
Ford have approached Citroen Junior driver Sebastien Ogier to drive for their team in 2011. Ogier has impressed in 2010, winning his first rally in Portugal. Furthermore, he will replace the disappointing Dani Sordo in the main Citroen team for the remaining gravel rallies this year. Ogier is expected to make a decision on which team he would like to drive for in the next couple of weeks.

There is the potential for quite a lot of movement in the driver market for 2011. New rules will see both Ford and Citroen introduce new cars, the Fiesta and DS3 respectively. In 2010, Citroen have run 4 C4s on each event across its two teams, plus a privately-entered car for Petter Solberg. Ford meanwhile have entered up to eight of its Focus WRCs on any one event this year across its teams. The new rules will cause a problem in 2011, as neither Ford nor Citroen will want to run that many of its new cars.

Ford have said that if Ogier joins them he will drive a third Fiesta alongside Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, who are already under contract for next year. A further complication is that Sebastien Loeb has yet to confirm his future in the WRC. Kimi Raikkonen is also yet to confirm his future. With Citroen disappointed with Dani Sordo's performances on gravel, they could end up with no drivers next year. Hopefully they will be able to give Petter Solberg a new DS3.

Ford meanwhile may have to run Khalid Al Qassimi in a Fiesta WRC in order to keep the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority happy, who are title sponsors of the team. Add to this son of the team boss, Matthew Wilson, and drivers such as Federico Villagra, Henning Solberg and Ken Block, who all bring sponsors money, Ford could have a headache running cars for all these drivers. The best solution may be to run one Stobart Fiesta for Wilson, who is developing the new car, plus another car that could be shared by Villagra, Solberg and Block across the season. A Fiesta S2000 could be provided for them to use on other events.

There is of course the chance of more manufacturers joining next year. Prodrive have been linked to a project with Mini, while Toyota Europe are looking at joining one of the WRC, WTCC or GT1. The VW group has also been rumoured, either with its main brand or with Skoda, who already run an S2000 programme in the IRC.