Top 5: Team orders rows in F1

2 Comments

The explosive row over team orders yesterday is just the latest in a series of similar controversies. Here are some of the most famous.

1981 Brazilian Grand Prix

Williams’ drivers ran one-two throughout the soaked Brazilian Grand Prix in 1981. But reigning champion Alan Jones was behind team mate Carlos Reutemann on the track, and team principal Frank Williams wanted the order reversed.

Reutemann repeatedly ignored signals from his team to move over, an act of defiance which irrevocably soured relations between the pair.

1982 San Marino Grand Prix

Gilles Villeneuve believed Ferrari team orders ensured Didier Pironi would not challenge him for victory at Imola in 1982. So when Pironi came past him in the closing stages Villeneuve thought his team mate was just putting on a show.

He wasn’t, and an incensed Villeneuve lost the win. Two weeks later Villeneuve suffered an horrific crash during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix and was killed. The time he’d been trying to beat was Pironi’s.

1998 Australian Grand Prix

McLaren dominated the opening round of the 1998 world championship but Mika Hakkinen lost the lead by entering the pits when he wasn’t supposed to.

David Coulthard generously handed the race win back to his team mate and followed him home.

2002 Austrian Grand Prix

At the A1-Ring in 2001 Rubens Barrichello was ordered to let Michael Schumacher past into second place on the final lap. Afterwards he reassured reporters he would not be called upon to do the same had he been leading.

But twelve months later he was proved wrong, and Ferrari were pilloried for rigging the race. In response FIA president Max Mosley introduced rules banning team orders.

2010 German Grand Prix

Eight years later Mosley had been replaced at the FIA by Jean Todt – the man who’d given Barrichello his orders in Austria.

So when Ferrari orchestrated another change of positions – ordering Felipe Massa to let Fernando Alonso win at Hockenheim – the governing body stayed its hand. Ferrari were handed a token fine, and Todt scrapped the team orders ban at the end of the year.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
0 Comments

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.