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Lowe: Team orders a terrible thing

NEWS STORY
07/04/2014

Despite his obvious concern during yesterday's Bahrain Grand Prix, Paddy Lowe says that team orders would be against the spirit of F1

Perhaps recalling some of the more controversial partnerships over the years, Lowe, whose Mercedes team this season could well enjoy the sort of dominance seen in 1988 when McLaren drivers Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna won all but one race, took to the team radio to warn his drivers shortly before the end of the Safety Car period yesterday.

Speaking slowly and clearly he told race leader Lewis Hamilton and then teammate Nico Rosberg: "There are ten laps remaining, let's bring both cars home."

Whilst some suggested that he was essentially telling the pair not to race he was in fact merely telling them not to get carried away and take each other out. Indeed, like the rest of us, he wants them to race.

"It's the spirit of Formula One and motor racing generally," he told reporters shortly after the race. "Team orders, putting in artificial constraints, is such a terrible thing for the entertainment, the spectacle.

"We believe we should let the guys race," he continued, "particularly in a situation where we have a pretty dominant car, which has become clear now. It's all the more important to keep providing that entertainment and excitement for all of us. That's what it's all about. In any case if you start putting in team orders, everybody gets unhappy and you just end up where everyone's a loser.

"Imagine if we had imposed team orders from lap two or something," he added, "what a terrible thing that would be for Formula One and the philosophy of Mercedes in motor sport. It's something we owe to ourselves, the sport and our drivers, and they are great drivers, professionals. You want to give them the opportunity to race, which is what they do. We determined from the outset we would want our drivers to race all the way through from lights to flag, and that's what we did."

Following the race, both drivers hugged one another, having clearly enjoyed the scrap, though during the race there were times one suspected things were getting a little too close for comfort.

Lowe, however, was quick to deny that his radio call was because he feared something bad would happen.

"I didn't get overly stressed about it because I know they are great professionals, experienced drivers, and they know what it takes," he said. "I gave them a little bit of a reminder during the safety car to just remember it's all about bringing the car home. But that didn't mean don't race. It just meant there's a line not to cross which is where you endanger the car, and they did a perfect job."

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Speedbump, 07/04/2014 17:44

"A wonderful race, and a great scrap to the end. Nice to see Lewis and Nico so thrilled after the race. We also finally got to hear a powerful engine with a great sound,... the Mercedes pace car."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by ape, 07/04/2014 14:32

"That is why i don't like Ferrari .... Fernando is faster than you ... do you understand Felipe do you understand.."

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