Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who had been leading the Hockenheim race, moved aside to allow team mate Fernando Alonso past on Lap 49. A few moments before, Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley had told the Brazilian "Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?"
Although Ferrari insisted this did not constitute a team order, the stewards decided they contravened Article 39.1 of the sporting regulations, which regulates against team orders, and Article 151 (c) of the International Sporting Code, which relates to bringing the sport into disrepute. The decision will also be forwarded to the WMSC for its consideration, meaning Ferrari could in theory face further sanction.
Maintaining Ferrari’s innocence, team principal Stefano Domenicali stated: “As for the stewards’ decision, given after the race, in the interests of the sport, we have decided not to go through a procedure of appealing against it, confident that the World Council will know how to evaluate the overall facts correctly.”
For his part, Massa suggested he and not the team had made the decision to surrender the lead to Alonso: “In my opinion this was not a case of team orders: my engineer kept me constantly informed on what was going on behind me, especially when I was struggling a bit on the hard tyres: so I decided to do the best thing for the team, and a one-two finish is the best possible result, isn’t it?”