Still many remember the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix. It was that race of F1 in which Ferrari ordered the Brazilian Rubens Barrichello that he allowed himself to be overcome so that the victory would remain in the hands of his partner Michael Schumacher. This it was the only time that a victory for the Maranello team did not cause joy. In fact, all the spectators booed the attitude of the Scuderia, despite the fact that Schumi allowed his teammate to be on the highest step of the podium.
Due to that situation, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) prohibited team orders, which still continue since the teams are in charge of making it clear to their pilots what they should do using their own codes and without having to say it openly.
“I got to the last corner and decided not to let myself pass. But then I thought, 'I love what I do, what if I get fired?' So Schumacher won. Schumacher saw it wrong. But that day I did not attend the press conference after the trophy ceremony because I was very angry, I was very angry. If you had listened to the radio at that time, everyone would have been upset ", Barrichello recalled not long ago.
The other great protagonist of this story was the French Jean Todt, then head of Ferrari and who is currently the president of the FIA. Passing through Argentina, Todt recalled what happened that Sunday in Austria and also approved of this type of situation.
#JeanTodt revealed what happened in the #GPAustria de #F1 from 2002 when #RubensBarrichello raised so that the triumph remained for #MichaelSchumacher. You'll be surprised… ? https://t.co/L2YBIogztK pic.twitter.com/CHRND9UEYP
- Diego Durruty (@diegodurruty) 28 de julio de 2018
“As always happens before a competition we had a meeting in which the pilots and the engineers participated. There the strategy that we were going to use was defined, although it was clear that it would depend on the race situation. We had established that if our drivers were in the first two places after the last pit stop, the competition would be won by Michael. That was the decision and everyone knew it, even Rubens Barrichello ", Todt recalled during a meeting with the press that was held in the Automobile Club Argentino.
“But I think Barrichello forgot what we had talked about… After the last pit stop our cars were first and second and, how we were, Michael had to win, but Rubens did not give him the position. We had to remind him several times on the radio that this was the strategy until, finally, at the last corner Michael was able to overcome it ”, He added.
Automundo He asked his opinion on the team orders and his answer left no room for doubt: “I'm in favor… I respect the fans because they want to see a race. But on the other hand, at the end of the day what you also want is for your team to win. And if you want that to happen you have to make the best decisions and sometimes that is achieved with team orders ”.
Todt also took advantage of his time in our country to have an informal talk with the members of the ACA Board of Directors, chaired by the Dr. Jorge Rosales, to deal with sports, sustainable mobility and connectivity issues, among others.