Bernie Ecclestone has defended Felipe Massa after the Ferrari driver let his teammate Fernando Alonso win the recent German grand prix.
Amid the team orders controversy, fans and media in Massa's native Brazil attacked the 29-year-old, depicting him as a puppet who lacks courage.
"I heard about that," the F1 chief executive told the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper at the Hungaroring.
"But if it was team orders, he couldn't do anything -- he obeyed his team. People should support him," added Ecclestone.
The 79-year-old Briton also said Ferrari should not now change its stance on team orders, even though it faces the wrath of an upcoming World Motor Sport Council hearing.
Ecclestone said that if Ferrari lets Massa win a race ahead of Alonso, "that's a mistake. If they did it at Hockenheim then they should be consistent."