Team orders

What an astonishing F1 ruling that an entrant is not supposed to control the order in which cars finish a race, or even when they may pass in the course of a race, as between Irvine and Schumacher in the Austrian GP. There never used to be any such messing about in the old days. Team managers decided how their drivers were to finish, if all went to plan. This was not always popular — one recalls that 1921 Le Mans voiturette race in which Coatalen ordered the finish order to be Guinness, Rene Thomas and Segrave. Thomas ignored the pit signals and won. He was dismissed from the Talbot-Darracq team, so went to Delage's racing department. Then in that year's 200 mile race at Brooklands the disgruntled Guinness was meant to win, ahead of Segrave. Segrave got ahead at the mass-start, but Guinness thought he was ahead of his rival. Mrs Segrave signalled to her husband when he was nearly a lap ahead of Guinness, who still thought he had a slight lead. His pit speeded him up, while Segrave eased off; they crossed the line 5.8sec apart but Segrave was, in fact, almost a lap ahead! That was in the days before the nanny element raised its head with so many new rules...