Team orders would shorten my F1 career, says Button

London: World champion Jenson Button has warned that legalising `team orders` in Formula One would hasten his departure from the sport.

"It will definitely shorten my career in Formula One," the McLaren driver told Reuters at the Italian Grand Prix when asked how he would feel if such manipulation of drivers, currently banned, became accepted.

Team orders have been the talk of the paddock after Ferrari, preparing for their home race on Sunday, escaped any sporting sanction for orchestrating their one-two finish at the German Grand Prix in July so Fernando Alonso could win.

Ferrari were fined USD 100,000 by stewards after Brazilian Felipe Massa moved aside for his team mate while leading the race and after receiving radio messages telling him the Spaniard was faster.

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said this week that the rule banning "team orders which interfere with a race result" since 2002 would be reviewed by the F1 Sporting Working Group.

"I don`t understand it really. Since I`ve raced in Formula One, team orders haven`t helped me or hindered me," said Button.

"It`s not in this team`s interests to have team orders because they want both drivers to be positive, and competitive, and to have a good relationship and for there to be a good atmosphere within the team.”

"I don`t know if it would ever happen, but if the regulation changes so you can have team orders then it will be very strange. It does change Formula One."

Asked directly whether he would quit, Button replied:

"I will be racing for the next year or so in F1, and I will enjoy it, but it does change your views of the sport a little bit if it ever happened.”

"It`s a very different way of going racing. If you look at German touring cars for example, they have two manufacturers and after the first three or four races it seems they all get behind one car.”

"It would be a strange sport to be involved with if that`s the case. I still hope it won`t happen. If we want to see good racing then the way it is the best way. We shouldn`t have team orders."

Bureau Report