Donnelly bringing the sport into disrepute?

gribbli

Points Scorer
Valued Member
Just found this if it is of any interest:

http://forums.autosport.com/printthread ... did=103854

probably already seen by some, but just as a summary, Hamilton supposedly inferred to the press that Donnelly was the only one of the stewards insterested in querying him about the pass on kimi, which, according to FIA is outside his juristiction. And also would suggest that his influence is such that he doesnt need to have a vote to be able to enact penalties.

My own point of view is that the placement of Donnelly by Max was a calculated decision in order to enable a quite incredible conflict of interest that has been quite blatent during Donnelly's tenure, however, my view, like the attached article is merely conjecture based on experience, so make of it what you will.

So whats your view, is his placement questionable? Or, given how the season has reflected on the part time stewards, is it impractical want someone with no past dealings in F1, arguement on either side of the issue would be interesting and welcome. :)
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I have a certain amount of experience of political structures and a certain amount of experience of appointed, unelected advisors too.

Donnelly isn't a public face at all, of course - very few even hardcore F1 fans will have heard of him, so it's probably pushing it a bit to say he's bringing the sport into disrepute. But for those who have taken an interest in the governance of F1 and implementation of the regulations would be justified in having serious concerns about the way in which he was given his post and the degree of influence that he exerts.

Lest we forget, prior to this season F1 had operated with a permanent steward, Tony Scott-Andrews, who had been appointed from the FIA list, whose name and signature was on the bottom of all the stewards' press releases and who the teams (and press) could approach for an explanation of decisions made. Mr. Donnelly is not, as far as I am aware, on the FIA stewards' list and his name doesn't appear on any of the stewards' documentation.

Furthermore his role is extremely ill-defined. He is, apparently, the representative of the FIA President. What exactly does that mean? Max was at Monza, so shouldn't he have relieved his representative of stewarding responsibility and sat in the control room himself? Does the Prime Minister send a personal representative to Dorchester Magistrates' Court every time someone challenges a speeding fine?

The stewards, as we all know too well, rotate from race to race and very seldom attend more than one GP a year. The danger, therefore, is that Donnelly, who is at all of them, ends up taking the lead on all the decisions because the stewards don't know about the rules in sufficient detail, and/or haven't kept up to date with precedents from earlier in the season and specific advice given at drivers' and team principals' briefings (which isn't recorded formally anywhere). In the end, the person with the least democratic credentials ends up taking executive power. Alastair Campbell vs. Ministers of State, if you like.

I don't think the FIA are engaged in an anti-McLaren or pro-Ferrari game. But they have succeeded in creating the perfect conditions for such a game to be played. And it should be no surprise, therefore, when sections of the media and fans ask the question.

It certainly doesn't, as Max would say, reflect on their own stupidity. Someone's got too big for their boots.
 

wittyc

Rookie
As far as I'm concerned Alan Donnelly should have NO say whatsoever in how the Stewards handle the penalties. I've asked myself the following questions:

If Donnelly had not been there, would there have been the bizarre penalties?

If Donnelly didn't have a PR company who is employed by Ferrari, would the points have been given? (Not a conspiracy theory)

Donnelly has no racing experience, so shouldn't have any input, he is an Advisor, not a Steward, therefore, anything he says should be taken with a pinch of salt. I personally believe if they want an unbiased opinion of a decision, Charlie Whiting should have input, instead of saying "Charlie, you opinion doesn't account for anything". Charlie is a gentleman, has been in the sport for years and imho should be given more credit.
 

Porceliamone

This cost me a tenner, but so L'Oreal.
Contributor
wittyc said:
...Charlie is a gentleman, has been in the sport for years and imho should be given more credit.
That may be true, but he's either embroiled in some underhandedness we're not aware of or he dropped an almighty bo11ock at Spa after twice advising Mclaren that LH's move on Kimi was ultimately 'ok' and then advising the stewards to investigate it, (correct me if I'm wrong)! Bizarre in the least and downright bent at the most.
 

wittyc

Rookie
That may be true, but he's either embroiled in some underhandedness we're not aware of or he dropped an almighty bo11ock at Spa after twice advising Mclaren that LH's move on Kimi was ultimately 'ok' and then advising the stewards to investigate it, (correct me if I'm wrong)! Bizarre in the least and downright bent at the most.
I believe the former and not the latter is the case, there was never a problem with Charlie and Tony working together. This season the penalties have been a farce, need we say more!
 

Brogan

šŸ¦¶ Leg end
Staff Member
GM has summarised the situation very nicely and the analogy is a good one.

If MM does stand down next year (which is looking increasingly unlikely) then we can only hope his "representative" leaves with him.
Perhaps then the new FIA President can re-appoint an impartial permanent steward.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Brogan said:
GM has summarised the situation very nicely and the analogy is a good one.

If MM does stand down next year (which is looking increasingly unlikely) then we can only hope his "representative" leaves with him.
Perhaps then the new FIA President can re-appoint an impartial permanent steward.
Not if it's going to be Jean Todt ;)
 
Mad Max does have a bit of a dictator attitudeā€¦
You only have to look at his recent involvement with the press, where anyone else would have got a bit embarrassed and apologized he went and threw a load of petrol on the fire, he is absolutely convinced that every thought he has ever had has been the right one and everyone else is wrong.

If he does go I donā€™t think it matters who replaces him JT or his assistant, as long as they are a human being (which might be a refreshing change) they will soon find they have to start negotiating rather than dictating and once that happens we might se F1 change a little more towards the racing and less towards politics and publicity.
 
andrewj100 said:
Mad Max does have a bit of a dictator attitudeā€¦
You only have to look at his recent involvement with the press, where anyone else would have got a bit embarrassed and apologized he went and threw a load of petrol on the fire, he is absolutely convinced that every thought he has ever had has been the right one and everyone else is wrong.

If he does go I donā€™t think it matters who replaces him JT or his assistant, as long as they are a human being (which might be a refreshing change) they will soon find they have to start negotiating rather than dictating and once that happens we might se F1 change a little more towards the racing and less towards politics and publicity.
Indeed, I personally don't think that the FIA will have any credibility until he (MM) goes.
 

gribbli

Points Scorer
Valued Member
The whole fiasco with Charlie i found astonishing. The idea that 20 years of experience could be wiped away by the opinion of a no-nothing steward is beggars belief. And the idea that you can lock out a steward decision merely by the act of making it a drivethrough is in itself a joke. Take a wild guess at what penalty is going to be used 99.9% of the time no matter what the infringement from here on in.......

I can only presume the Charlie's position as race director in terms of guiding the teams with respect to the rules of the sport is now not fit for purpose. This certainly raises many more questions than it does answers. A sensible governing body would have had the common sense to see that an act of the stewards ignoring the rule book in order to effect an incorrect penalty, while at the same time undermining a respected race director's vastly superior understanding of the rules is unexceptable and should have the facility to override anything that contravines said rules. Unless of course, this is what the FIA want, and when you look at it with that possibility, everything seems to fall disturbingly into place

To use an analogy, when i was at university, if i had some work to hand in, id never go to the lecturer that knew the subject best to check that the direction im going in is the correct one, i'd go to the (potential idiot by comparison) that i knew was going to be marking it. Its just common sense that you go direct to the person making the judgement so why on earth a independant 3rd party cannot query it with the stewards on the teams behalf is also complete nonsense.

Surely the extraordinarily obvious way forward is to give Donnelly his marching orders and put charlie in as a guide for both the teams and the stewards alike?????
 

wittyc

Rookie
I read somewhere this week that Alan Donnelly is not an advisor as first stated, but Head of Stewards?!! When the dickens did this happen?
 
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