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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » F1 team orders are wrong even if legal: Button

F1 team orders are wrong even if legal: Button

February 05, 2011 18:46 IST

So-called 'team orders' are unlikely to tarnish this season's Formula One title battle despite being made legal by the sport's governing body, according to McLaren's Jenson Button.

The Briton, world champion with Brawn GP in 2009, said last season he would consider his future in the sport if such blatant manipulation was allowed.

He spoke out again on Friday against teams favouring one driver over the other, as Ferrari did last season when they triggered an outcry for telling Brazilian Felipe Massa to move over and let Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso win in Germany.

However, he said he did not expect a sudden outbreak and was looking forward to a great season of racing with five champions on the starting grid.

"I don't think it (team orders from an early stage of the season) will happen, I really don't," he told Reuters in an interview.

"I think they (teams) will realise that two drivers are better than one.

"For setting a car up you need two experienced drivers. If you are putting all your eggs in one basket, the other driver's not going to feel like giving you feedback, is he?

"He's not going to feel like pushing the car to the limit. He's not going to qualify well and he's not going to race well," added Button.

"If I had a team I would have both drivers having a fair shot at it because they are going to push each other hard."


Button said he saw the rule change as more of a clarification by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to reduce the risk of the championship being decided in court rather than on the racetrack, and as an admission that such orders could not be policed effectively.

"I hope that drivers are allowed to race fairly," he declared.

"You do all this hard work of getting to Formula One and fighting your way through the lower ranks and you arrive and you should be given fair treatment," added the 31-year-old, who was a team mate at Brawn with Brazilian Rubens Barrichello.

Barrichello, now the most experienced Formula One driver of all time and with Williams, suffered at Ferrari as team mate to seven times world champion Michael Schumacher.

"You could say it (team orders) are great because all the points go to one driver but the morale within the team must be terrible because one driver always knows he is on the back foot," continued Button.

"It can't be positive for a team to be in that environment, to have one driver know that he's got to give a place up."

"I am happy with the position that we have in the team with no team orders, it's the way it should be when you are both world champions," he said.

"You both want to fight for a world championship again, you don't want to give each other an inch on the circuit."

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