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These may not be the words Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa wanted to hear in just his second outing with his new employer but in today’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the haunting radio message received by the Brazilian was very familiar indeed:

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In the Malaysian Grand Prix, Massa’s teammate was quicker and the Brazilian was ordered to let him through. What a difference a regulation makes. In the first video it was sated for Ferrari’s call and now Mass is being asked why he didn’t obey team orders. My how things changed:

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Massa feels he did the right thing and had said earlier in the week that he wasn’t going to be a servant any longer (alluding to the Ferrari team order incident) but the team asked him to move over and he didn’t. Massa told AUTOSPORT:

“I heard everything but it was not clear,” said Massa told AUTOSPORT.

“What I did was correct. I am trying to do my best for the team and that’s the most important thing.

“I’m sure the result would not have changed even if I had let him by, so it’s the same.

“The team respects me 100 per cent and they showed they respect me after the race, so I have no problem at all.

“What’s happened today was maybe not what I expected, but what I did was correct.”

The question remains as to if Bottas could have caught and passed McLaren’s Jenson Button with both Williams driver of differing opinion on the likelihood of that happening. How did you see the incident? Bottas was told to hold station earlier in the race and countered with a call to the team to tell Massa to pass Magnussen or let him through as he had more pace. I wonder if Eddie Jordan is quite as animated about the lack of obeying the order from Massa as he was in the first video about Ferrari instigating team orders?

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Rapierman

    I can hear this in my head: “I left Ferrari and came to you because I didn’t want to have to deal with team orders, and now you do this to me!?”

    • sylvio

      That’s not why he left Ferrari. He left Ferrari because Ferrari didn’t want him anymore.

  • F1derbar

    Yeah, if I were Massa I would take a strong stand here – Valtteri if you’re quicker then pass me.

    • As much as I support both the Williams and McLaren teams, this is exactly how I feel. I unerstand what the wall was saying to him, but in that frame I agree with what you say. Honestly if these are the best in the world, then let them race and go at it. You’re racing (boy that’s an ambigous term these days). Race guys, if one is faster than the other then prove it.

  • Clay

    His whining (damn near crying) about being passed by Bottas earlier in the race, his not following orders, and his pit lane white line incident in Brazil, where his cost Ferrari very valuable championship points… I don’t see Massa being worth his attitude. It’s one thing to expect being treated like a team leader, but his results have better be clearly superior to Bottas. I don’t think we will see these results but I could be wrong.

    • smedley

      Thanks…just what i was thinking.

      Although, you really have to wonder about the engineer’s choice of wording.

      It was pretty stupid but seeing how everyone in Formula 1 are “always looking forward…we don’t want to worry about the past..what matter’s today is all that matters” (I think I covered all the “buzz” phrases)…so, there for, I guess remembering the row about the first Ferrari/Fernando “Who’s faster than who” incident a couple of years back, just doesn’t happen with all the brain trust at Williams Engineering on the pitwall…WOW!

  • If ya can’t pass your teammate, ya ain’t gonna get Button.

    • Phil

      …and that’s a fact, Jack.

  • Matthew Snyder

    Obviously, the easy answer here is for Felipe to stop getting himself in situations where his teammate is faster.

    Massa could well have cost his team points today.

    When one driver is driving to one set of instructions from the team, and the other is driving to the beat of his own drum…. well, all this talk of not being able to pass your teammate rings hollow. Bottas was told to not take chances because Massa was being told to move aside. Massa did not do this. This should not be held against Bottas…. this time. Next time (and we’re talking about Massa here, so you know there will be a next time), Bottas will know what he’s dealing with and drive accordingly. I see no positive endgame here for Massa.

    I have a pretty stern view of this stuff, I admit. To my mind, I’d sit Massa for a race for insubordination. (As I would’ve done to Vettel for Multi 2-1) F1 is a team sport, and Massa fired a shot across the bow of the 300 or whatever people back at Grove and declared Williams to be his own personal wish fulfillment service.

    • Willis C

      exactly what Mr. Snyder said

    • Rapierman

      So, to play “Devil’s Advocate”, if a superior that you worked for told you to jump off a high cliff, would you do it?

      • Willis C

        jumping off a cliff and letting your quicker teammate take a crack at Button aren’t exactly comparable. I do understand what you mean though and there has be a judgement call made by the driver at the time.

        All I’m saying is that this doesn’t look great for Massa. I think Bottas is eventually going to run circles around him this year.

      • Hench

        Well, if you are Nelson Piquet Jr. you do.

    • F1derbar

      A quick bit of research shows that Felipe scored more points today than Williams scored ALL OF LAST SEASON. Do you suppose it was because Valtteri was chasing him? Or because he’s every bit as good a driver as the car he’s (once again) driving?

  • Tim C

    Williams is as much to blame for this incident as Massa is for ignoring the team order. Come on Williams, you know Massa’s past history at Ferrari. Why would you issue an order almost identical to the one he received at Ferrari. Know your drivers better than that and choose your words more carefully. There was no reason for this to even be an issue.

    • Agree. Well said. When a team is in the heat of battle they better have well thought out, non-confrontational messaging in hand. “Get the &$%^ of out of the way, Kimi!” didn’t work very well for Lotus last year, either. Teams could all use a Ross Brawn-esque figure to communicate clearly when needed.

    • Brody

      It wouldn’t have, if Smedley had given the call.

      • Brody

        sorry……wrong posting

  • Max Smoot

    Regardless of the possibility of Bottas dispatching Button if given the chance, which seemed unlikely given the time remaining, the team practically guaranteed everyone disappointment when they callously allowed those fateful words to be broadcast to the world. Can you imagine the reaction in car 19 when he heard that? Mind you, no question that Massa needed to hustle more as he was clearly no threat to Button, but he could have played the long game and earned even greater respect from his team and his many supporters. Live to fight another day.

  • jiji the cat

    well i for one was glad he didn’t yield.
    Like Alan Jones i believe drivers should ignore these calls from the team (when needed) and sort it out after the race. i know i would.

  • Dave

    When Bottas finally out qualifies Massa, this won’t be an issue. So far, he seems to have more pace. If the (very poorly phrased) transmission had said “Give Bottas 2 laps to attack Jenson, if he can’t overtake him he’ll give back the position” then Massa would have had no reason not to comply, and Williams might have scored a few more precious points.

    Perhaps the team felt there was only enough tire for one battle, not two – or they felt Massa wouldn’t reasonably yield to his teammate in a scrap without risking losing all the points based on his bleating and blocking earlier in the race.

    Claire should put him on notice- one more incident and you’ve breached your contract. Grow up.

    • UAN

      I agree, Bottas needs to out qualify Massa and it won’t be an issue – and his blocking penalty on RIC in Q2 was his own fault (apparently it was pretty egregious according to what Sky reported from their talk with the driver’s steward). So his poor starting position was down to his own driving.

      Re Claire putting him on notice, Massa did bring quite a few $$ to the team with some nice Brazilian sponsorship.

      I think Bottas should’ve just passed Massa as he was trying (and thinking he could do) earlier in the race.

      In modern F1, it’s easy to close the gap to the car in front, much harder to just pass them. I’m reminded that Massa ignored the Ferrari team order in Japan last year to let Alonso pass. Alonso took a couple of laps but got the job down in the DRS zone. Yesterday, VET did the same on RIC at the beginning of Lap 3.

      We can toss in GRO on RAI in Korea last year, asking the team to let him through, but the team telling him, do it yourself and he couldn’t.

      Early in the race, BOT had the quip about Massa trying to pass MAG and said “well, tell him to get on with it”. Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander :).

  • Bottas tried to undercut him with a pit stop but got caught behind Kvyat. It took several laps to get around the Russian but once he did, he closed a 9 second gap to Massa/Button. Two arguments here as to if he used his tires up getting there or if he had more left to go after Button.

  • F1derbar

    Who else noticed the fuel graphic that showed Massa to be using way less fuel than the entire top ten which begs the question of whether their fuel setups were the same? I doubt Felipe was using less fuel than the entire pack because he wasn’t pushing hard enough on the pedal. Can teams change/control engine performance remotely? Or is it strictly up to the pilot? Was Bottas ‘quicker’ because his car was set up to use the maximum fuel flow allowed?

    • It’s my understanding that there is no pit-to-car control. That is up to driver to make the changes. Also, I believe Valtteri was on new rubber so his pace was faster.

  • “The team respects me 100 per cent and they showed they respect me after the race, so I have no problem at all.”

    “YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY LIKE ME” (Sally Fields, Oscar acceptance speech).

  • NeilM

    I’m with Massa. Bottas, with fresh tires, may have closed up to him, be he didn’t seem in any position to take the pass unless it were given to him. Massa’s radio reply should have been: “If he can pass me I won’t impede him.”

  • OnThePodium

    I want Massa to have a great last season…well, maybe not his last but he’s gotta show his worth. So good for him to say no to being a number two – but he’s gotta provide results. I like the guy, I know he can race, but can be a constantly strong performer is the big question.