MPH: Mark Hughes on...

MPH: Mark Hughes on...

So, team orders failed to secure the world championship for Fernando Alonso. But neither he, nor the Ferrari team, can function happily – or truly effectively – any other way

Team orders – a sigh as Fernando Alonso was asked yet again on Thursday in Abu Dhabi: "Don't you think, Fernando, if you win the championship by less than seven points, it will be a tainted title?" In these situations he's quite amusing. As he sees the question coming – it's invariably from the British enclave – he will rest his chin on his hand, looking directly at his interrogator with a neutral expression and politely wait for the protracted, familiar sentence to finish, before saying: "No," and looking around for the next question.

Of course Fernando did not win the title, so the question never got to be asked yet again after the race. Sebastian Vettel triumphed partly because Ferrari couldn't cover the very different strategies of two title-contending Red Bulls. In other words, it was the fact that Red Bull had allowed its drivers to compete that tripped Ferrari at the final hurdle. There's a certain irony in that, you must agree.

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