Atlas F1 News Service

Di Montezemolo Backs Team Orders

Thursday May 17th, 2001

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo backed the Italian team's decision to invoke team orders at the Autrian Grand Prix, where Brazilian Rubens Barrichello allowed teammate Michael Schumacher to take second place.

However, di Montezemolo said Barrichello, who was running behind McLaren's David Coulthard, would have been allowed to win if he had been leading the race.

"It would have been different if he had been in the lead and then no one would have touched him," di Montezemolo said. "The difference between second and third places doesn't change anything."

Di Montezemolo also believes world champion Michael Schumacher would have won the Austrian Grand Prix comfortably if not for a clash between him and Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

Montoya, leading in the Williams, overshot a corner on the 16th lap as the Schumacher tried to pass him on the outside, bringing both cars to a near standstill as others slipped past.

"Schumacher could have won but for the incident with Montoya," di Montezemolo said. "I think it could have been quite an easy win."

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