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We should all be like Massa

We should all be like Massa

Those ranting about Filipe Massa’s capitulation to team mate Fernando Alonso in the German Grand Prix are forgetting that Formula One is a team event. Like in business, the team comes first.


July 27, 2010 6:02 by

I can think of more than one occasion in my professional career when I have had to take a hit for the sake of the team. It’s part of business, and part of almost every career.

So while the furor surrounding Ferrari’s actions at the German Grand Prix on Sunday don’t surprise me, I can’t find room to agree with them. For those who missed it, Ferrari provoked the wrath of many of the sport’s fans and the ire of the event stewards when they appeared to order one of their drivers, Filipe Massa, to let team mate Fernando Alonso past to grab first place. Alonso, with more world championship points, stands the better chance of grabbing the world championship crown for the team. The move earned the team an immediate $100,000 fine from the race stewards, and has been referred to the sport’s governing body, the World Motorsports Council.

But as Ferrari point out, all they did was make Massa aware of the situation over the radio, and the driver chose to make a decision that was better for the team than himself. It’s something so many of us have to do in our professional lives – make a sacrifice which is better for our team than for ourselves.

For me, the most prominent memory of such an incident came early in my career. In my first “proper” job I worked at a major PR agency. I was a small part of the pitch process for a major account – a company turning over millions. We worked tirelessly on a knock out presentation – there were brainstorms galore, clever creative twists and some really solid strategy. But a day before the pitch, my Account Director, who was running the pitch, announced she’d had a brain wave.

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