F1 »

Donnelly dismisses criticism of stewards.


FIA advisor Alan Donnelly has disagreed with recent calls for the panel of stewards at each grand prix to include a former driver, who would better be able to call on experience to make judgement calls.

The swell of support for such a move grew after the recent Japanese Grand Prix, when both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa were awarded penalties for driving indiscretions, attracting support and criticism in equal measure. While many felt that Massa's move on Hamilton - which left the Briton broadside and dropping to the tail of the field - justified some sort of sanction, there was less support for the same drive-thru' punishment for Hamilton's dive into turn one that left the four frontrunners scrabbling to rejoin the track.

The current judicial system sees three FIA-appointed representatives adjudicating on each grand prix, but the panel is not permanent, a situation which many believe leads to the sort of inconsistency panned every season. Donnelly, however, claims that simply employing a former driver to offer his view on calls such as those would not work because, in his opinion, the sport moves on so quickly as to make their experience obsolete.

"I don't think it's the right answer," he told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, "Their experience is tied to the past, from when they used to drive and, since then, racing has changed.

"We have stewards who have done this job for 20 or 25 years, when some of these drivers weren't even born. At the beginning of every season, Max Mosley writes a list of people with the requisites to do the job, on the advice the sporting vice-president [Marco Piccinini], and they have to earn a superlicence just like the drivers. They are people who, every weekend, are working at some important event."

Among the criticisms levelled at the stewards this season is the belief that the FIA favours Ferrari above all others in Formula One. Borne from the misconception that it needs the Scuderia involved to give F1 the credence it desires, the acronym FIA has cruelly been reallocated to stand for 'Ferrari International Assistance', but Donnelly insists that there is no bias when decisions are being made.

"I've read a load of rubbish about the decisions taken by the stewards this year," he commented, "It has been written that the FIA and the stewards are always acting in favour of Ferrari, and that the don't want Lewis Hamilton and McLaren to win the world championship, but one example should be enough to dispel that notion.

"At Monaco, the stewards noticed that the wheels had not been fitted to [Kimi] Raikkonen's Ferrari before the three-minute mark as required by the regulations, so they gave Kimi a drive-thru' - on a track where you can't overtake...."

Donnelly also insisted that, despite having been asked to make their decisions more quickly, and employed greater technology to help out, each and every one is given due consideration.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Max Mosley, MP Peter Hain and Alan Donnelly at the Monaco Grand Prix
27.11.2016 - Race, Roger Federer (SUI) tennis player and Bernd Maylander (GER) FIA Safety Car Driver
27.11.2016 - Race, Gerard Berger (AUT), Michael
27.11.2016 - Fia group photo, Michael
27.11.2016 - Fia group photo, Michael
27.11.2016 - Fia group photo
25.11.2016 - Michael
25.11.2016 - Michael
10.11.2016 - Mika Salo (FIN), FIA Steward
30.10.2016 - Race, José Abed (MEX) Vice-President FIA
30.10.2016 - José Abed (MEX) Vice-President FIA
29.10.2016 - Bernd Maylander (GER) FIA Safety Car Driver
29.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, (L-R) Chase Carey (USA) Formula One Group Chairman and Danny Sullivan (USA) Fia steward
27.10.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Danny Sullivan (USA) , FIA Steward
23.10.2016 - Race, Bernd Maylander (GER) FIA Safety Car Driver and Gordon Ramsay (GBR), Celebrity Chef.
23.10.2016 - Race, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate and Michael
23.10.2016 - Race, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate and Michael
23.10.2016 - Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


john - Unregistered

October 21, 2008 11:18 AM

What a load of bull, "Their experience is tied to the past, from when they used to drive and, since then, racing has changed” And then "We have stewards who have done this job for 20 or 25 years, when some of these drivers weren't even born” So their experience is also tied to the past. Another gem here “At the beginning of every season, Max Mosley writes a list of people with the requisites to do the job, on the advice the sporting vice-president [Marco Piccinini], and they have to earn a superlicence just like the drivers. They are people who, every weekend, are working at some important event." Marco Piccinini has strong links with Ferrari from what I have read, my guess is the list of people with the “requisites” are the ones on Ferrari’s payroll for that year.

Powerline 2008 - Unregistered

October 21, 2008 11:06 AM

A number of people who called for the deployment of ex-F1 drivers as stewards were no fools but were F1 title holders & drivers themselves. So what''s AD''s problem? Is AD afraid that stewards of this caliber will not only raise the bar but also expose the rot & abuses within the FIA? It''s all about greed & power isn''t it?



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.