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Are There Changes On The Way For Race Stewards?

Are There Changes On The Way For Race Stewards?

It has been suggested that Max Mosley would like to have more stewards present at each race, and the FIA president has apparently been considering overhauling the stewarding process for some time. This news comes in light of some inconsistent rulings in recent events, which in turn have sparked a fair amount of anger among some of the sport’s fans. However, Mosley is adamant this is not a retaliation to these recent controversies, and instead is something he has been thinking about for some time.

Currently, there are three stewards at each grand prix, and they vary from event to event. In the past, the sport was overseen by a permanent steward – Tony Scott Andrews – but 2008 has seen the new rotational system, designed to eradicate any chance of bias towards a particular team or driver. However, it is the people who advise the stewards that have perhaps inadvertently caused a lot of the controversies recently, notably Alan Donnelly – a close associate of the FIA president – and race director Charlie Whiting.

Mosley would like to see four stewards at each race, but many Formula One employees and former-employees would rather see a permanent steward; the idea being that one person at each event will see more consistent rulings. A lot of the fans don’t really mind what punishment their driver gets, as long as it is the same as another driver, who infringes the same rule, gets the same punishment. This hasn’t really happened recently and the very people who keep the sport ticking over have been littering the blogs and forums for about a month now, airing their disgust at the FIA.

So to answer my question; are there changes on the way for stewards? Unlikely. It’s just seems that there will be another voice in the mix, adding to the time it takes to reach an agreement, delaying the penalty and potentially the race result even further. Nice one Max!

Oliver White

3 comments

  • Only Max could think that increasing the number of stewards would give clearer faster decisions. There needs to be one permanent, professional steward giving consistent decisions. Someone like Tony Scott-Andrews who was universally respected or an ex-driver like Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda or the like who is beyond being bullied by Max.

    I was shocked to find today at http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns20830.html that there have been stewards in recent years who have never seen an F1 race until they first officiated at one. You have to wonder why anyone would appoint someone like that. Appointing more similar people is only going to make things worse. You only had to look at how long they took to issue penalties for pitting when pit lane was closed in Singapore to see that there is a major problem. That kind of decision should be instanly made as soon as someone enters the pits and the penalty handed out on the first flying lap after the safety car comes in.

  • Surely appointing an ex-driver will introduce more bias… Theres potential for grudges against current drivers, team bosses etc…

    Maybe they should just get Charlie to do it, – at least then anything he says to the teams during the race will likely hold true afterwards.

  • What is needed is not so much more stewards, permanent ones or es-driver ones, but stewards who can be bothered to learn the relevant regulations for the series they are officiating at and act according to those regulations. This has been lacking for several years – at least according to appearances. Until that happens, it’s pretty much irrelevant whether we have three, four or no stewards at all, because the regulations still won’t be applied properly.

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