Following the retirement of the FIA’s permanent race steward, Tony Scott Andrews, the governing body has taken the opportunity to shake up the way stewards deal with situations at races in 2008. Up until the end of 2007, Andrews worked alongside two other stewards; one from the national sporting authority and another from outside the participating country. Under Andrews’s guidance issues surrounding the investigating and dealing with breaches of the rules at each Grand Prix were handled. However, more often than not the handling of punishments didn’t come across as just to the teams and fans and the FIA have been heavily criticised for this. Particularly when a breach of the rules is made public only for nothing to be done about it after days of deliberation.
Now the FIA have put in place three nominated officials for each race and will be assisted by president Max Mosley’s representative, Alan Donnelly. The three officials will be neutral, therefore not hailing from the nation holding the Grand Prix. The FIA say that it is hoped this change will bring about swifter resolutions to incidents, apparently prompted by the five days it took to solve the saga of Lewis Hamilton’s driving behaviour following the Japanese Grand Prix last year. The cool-fuel saga also took a fair amount time to resolve, delaying the final result of the final race and leaving fans frustrated.
Please forgive me, but I have to ask: Am I the only person who, based on this information given, is failing to see how this will speed up decisions? Because I simply don’t understand how taking two stewards and a chief steward and turning them into three stewards and an advisor is really going to make that much of a difference. I am also failing to see how this will improve the consistency of the decisions made; the FIA have gone from three stewards to four. If anything this will add complication if it came down to split in opinion and it was 50:50. At least with three stewards it would fall in someones favour. I’m sure it doesn’t work like that, but you get what I’m saying.
Maybe it is that I’m not fully understanding this, or have missed some salient piece of information, but I just don’t get it. Feel free to try and explain this to me in the comments, because I really do want to understand, but currently I’m sitting here wondering what planet the FIA are on. Really, I am!