Opposition to Whiting as permanent steward

After recent confusion over penalties given out to drivers in racing incidents there has been a call for the FIA to appoint race stewards with racing experience to judge punishments. Respected race director Charlie Whiting was the man FIA...

After recent confusion over penalties given out to drivers in racing incidents there has been a call for the FIA to appoint race stewards with racing experience to judge punishments. Respected race director Charlie Whiting was the man FIA President Max Mosley wanted for the job but some feel the additional responsibility is not a good idea.

"It's very difficult," Mosley said. "One opinion says have permanent stewards. But if you do that, they become part of the circus, they get to know everyone and they have friends and enemies. We feel that it is important to have independent people. A compromise solution we put, that was not accepted by the teams, is that penalties should be imposed by Charlie Whiting, with a right of appeal to the stewards. I'm sure that nobody in the paddock would question Charlie's impartiality and if you did that you would get more consistency, together with a safeguard, but the F1 Commission argued against it."

Williams team principal Sir Frank Williams remarked: "Charlie's job is to make instant decisions, nearly all of them correct, and if he has an additional judiciary responsibility, he will get less correct."

In the early nineties a permanent steward was used for a brief period. Lotus team boss Peter Warr held the position but it was considered his friendship with former Lotus driver Ayrton Senna was detrimental to the job. Mosley commented: "We tried a permanent steward early in my time as FIA president and the feeling was that there was just too much intimacy between him and the teams."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ayrton Senna , Frank Williams
Teams Williams