Team Orders Backfire as Sato Crashes

Team orders backfired on Jordan on Sunday when Japanese Formula One rookie Takuma Sato crashed in Monaco after being asked to let Italian Giancarlo Fisichella overtake.

Team Orders Backfire as Sato Crashes

Team orders backfired on Jordan on Sunday when Japanese Formula One rookie Takuma Sato crashed in Monaco after being asked to let Italian Giancarlo Fisichella overtake.

Two weeks after suffering a huge impact at the Austrian Grand Prix, when he was an innocent party as his Jordan was wrecked by Nick Heidfeld's out-of-control Sauber, Sato careered out again.

It was also his second accident in a week in the Mediterranean principality - last weekend he damaged a 1969 Lotus in qualifying for a historic race when he hit the barriers on a wet track.

This time the Japanese was obeying team orders - perfectly normal in Formula One when one driver is quicker than another, but a topical subject after Austria where Ferrari ordered Brazilian Rubens Barrichello to let Michael Schumacher win.

Sato moved aside to let Fisichella through on the exit to the tunnel on lap 22 and skidded. The Jordan hit the barriers and careered sideways down the road towards the chicane as Fisichella slowed and weaved to avoid smashing into him.

The damaged car came to a halt against a tyre wall surrounding a tree but the driver was unhurt.

"Giancarlo was slightly quicker than me and because I was ahead of him, the team asked me to let him through," he said afterwards. "While I was trying to make space for him, I picked up dust, slid and lost control of the car."

The two Jordans at least avoided a repeat of Malaysia where Sato left his braking late and collided with Fisichella. Fisichella went on to score points on Sunday for the second race in a row.

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