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Formula 1 is said to be a team sport and team orders are nothing new. Whether they were banned or not, most teams discretely used them to make sure the team benefited and scored the maximum possible points.

Team orders were banned in 2003 after the incident between Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher in the previous season. The FIA rule stated that,”Team Orders that could influence the outcome of a race” were banned. But teams did turn to team orders by using coded messages over the radio to let their drivers know.

This rule however, was removed after 2010 with the FIA saying there’s no way to properly define team orders and the rule wasn’t quite working. From then on there have not been any rules against team orders in the regulations.

1998 Belgian Grand Prix: Ralf Schumacher and Damon Hill of Jordan

After the first start led to a major crash involving many cars, a 2nd race was started later. McLaren had the front row but fell behind after the major crash. Damon Hill took his Jordan to 1st position behind the two Ferrari.

Eddie Irvine spun out of the race from 3rd place giving it to the Jordan of Ralf Schumacher. Michael Schumacher quickly overtook Damon Hill to take the lead of the race. Halfway through the race, Michael was about to lap the McLaren of David Coulthard. DC stayed on the racing line when he slowed down to let Michael pass. Visibility was low with all the spray and Michael crashed into the back of DC.

Jordan were now in an unexpected position with their cars in 1st and 2nd position. Damon had the lead but Ralf was way quicker in the wet. Ralf was lapping 3 to 5 seconds a lap quicker than Hill.

Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher on the podium with Team Principal Eddie Jordan

This led to Damon getting on the radio to Eddie Jordan telling him if they raced, they might not finish, but if they don’t Jordan had a very likely chance of finishing 1-2. Eddie quickly got on the radio to Ralf and issued orders not to overtake Damon. They ended up finishing 1-2. Damon with his 22nd and last F1 win and Jordan with their first.

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