Sections of the international media were angry after the FIA controversially decided not to further penalise Ferrari for imposing team orders at Hockenheim. The full reasons for the decision have not yet been released, but the Daily Express in Britain said upholding the $100,000 stewards fine and ordering the paying of costs amounted to a “slap on the wrist”.
“It was like giving a 40 (pound) parking ticket to a supercar owner who finds it easier to break the law by parking outside Harrods than find a legal spot,” said the newspaper. Moreover, the team orders ban has been referred back to the Sporting Working Group for review, moving the Daily Mail to muse that F1 has decided to “rip up its own rule book”.
One photograph, published at Brazil’s Globo website, depicted a Ferrari with a large FIA sponsor decal on its otherwise blank engine cover. The Maranello based team, whose drivers were available for testimony by video link but ultimately not called upon, reacted officially to Wednesday’s verdict by expressing its “appreciation” to the FIA.
“People used to think the FIA stood for Ferrari International Assistance,” remarked an angry Eddie Jordan. “Ferrari are important, but they must treat everybody with respect.” Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport said the events in Paris, ahead of the grand prix at Monza, was Ferrari’s “first victory of the week”.
Indeed, ‘Ferrari International Assistance’ became a major trending topic on Twitter as the news broke, and BBC anchor Jake Humphrey said his feedback from fans was “not positive”.