Sir Jackie Stewart has slammed the FIA's decision to appoint a specialist to ensure fair play in the Formula One title battle between McLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, claiming that it is overstepping its remit.

In a view he repeated in a series of interviews given while promoting his new book, the three-time world champion insisted that McLaren ought to be allowed to run its operation any way it wanted, despite claims from Spain that Alonso is being unfairly treated in the desire to make Hamilton world champion.

"This is not a police state," Stewart told Reuters, "Are we to be told by Big Brother how those people have to function? I don't think it is the governing body's job to interfere with private enterprise and how somebody runs their company. That is not correct. I think the governing body has to be very careful how it goes about its business. The manner in which many elements have been dealt with this year I don't think is appropriate."

Having already told BBC Sport that the latest decision sets 'a dangerous precedent' because 'the FIA is paid to govern the sport, not manage the teams', Stewart questioned whether the current FIA panel was fit for purpose.

"These teams are private enterprises," he said, "They pay an entry licence fee of considerable amounts of money for the FIA to govern the sport. It is not a governing body's prerogative to start saying 'you will do this in your team under our direction'. In my view, it as an error.

"Whether it's people or organisations, big trees blow over. It only depends on the strength of the wind. You can't bulldoze everybody in a continuing and inappropriate fashion. I think the governing body do have to have a look at themselves. I think Max Mosley has probably done a very good job for some 16 years, but maybe it's time for a change."

 

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