Former F1 drivers to assist stewards


Staff Member
It would seem Jean Todt is really trying to make his mark as FIA president.

His first major initiative is to introduce former F1 drivers as assistants to the permanent race stewards.
There are no details as yet so it remains to be seen who the drivers are and whether all 4 will be at each race.
I suspect not and it will be any one of them, as and when they are available.

Still, a good move as it should hopefully introduce some consistency and a perspective from the drivers into the stewards' decisions.

Former Formula 1 drivers are to become part of the group of stewards who will adjudicate at each grand prix as part of plans published on Friday.

The move is among the first major changes made by Jean Todt since he succeeded Max Mosley as president of motorsport's governing body the FIA.

Ex-drivers will form part of a four-man group of FIA stewards to deal with F1 issues at each grand prix.
Brogan said:
Still, a good move as it should hopefully introduce some consistency and a perspective from the driver into the stewards' decisions.

Hopefully it will, providing there is no bias (i.e. the chosen drivers are not employed as consultants to any other team).
Hey, even if they pick a team of Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine, Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi - It would at least be a step towards getting the right professionals in the right job....

Let's hope this is a taste of things to come. The temptation is to think that Max groomed Jean Todt for the role, let's hope that Jean Todt simply decided, after his time in fota, that Max needed to be sold to in order to get his vote for the role and that now he's gone...
It's definately a step in the right direction. As the decision making process has been in the hands of a team of the the totally inexperienced advised by an accountant and a lawyer!
In principle, great.

But I can't shake off the thought that say, if David Coulthard was asked to do this, any Red Bull decision would be, how shall I say it, favourable. His Red Bull love-in is already bad enough on the BBC when he's displaying their cans on BBC1.
I would guess that it will be drivers who have been out of F1 for some time and are not in any way affiliated with any current team.

Well, that's my guess but who knows...
While in priniciple it's a great idea It didn't matter which team the former driver came from there would still be some one not happy with any decision made. If it wasn't a driver from the same team it would be someone from the same country.

I've heard about the controversy of Jackie Ickx stopping the 1984 GP on lap 31 with Prost in the lead but I didn't realise Ickx was fined.

Prost led from Ayrton Senna's Toleman and Stefan Bellof's Tyrrell. Senna was catching Prost and Bellof was catching both of them. However on lap 31, the race was controversially stopped. Later, FISA fined the clerk of the course, Jacky Ickx, $6,000 and suspended his licence for not consulting the stewards before stopping the race.[16]

The theory being that Ickx was a Porsche sports car employee and Prost was racing with a Porsche engine.

As always nothing is ever straight forward in F1
The same argument can be applied to Stewards when it comes to nationality though.

Not to mention perceived bias towards or against drivers or teams the current head of the FIA does or does not like...
Good news here, a move that, to be honest, should have happened a long time ago. As has been mentioned, the only downside could be that former drivers will be discriminatory but I don't see why this will be the case.

Promising stuff from Todt, let's hope he can continue like this...
A couple of other changes that Todt has implemented have been announced.

Teams wil be able to propose judges which will rule on hearings (not sure about this one...).
From the start of the 2010 Formula One season, in agreement with the FIA and the teams, it has been decided to ‘co-opt’ judges proposed by F1 teams to rule upon hearings relating to F1.

These appeals will be heard by a panel comprised of the ICA’s existing elected membership plus these ‘co-opted’ judges. Elected ICA Judges will form a majority of any panel.

Substitute drivers will be allowed a day of testing.
Drivers drafted in as replacements by Formula One teams during the 2010 season will be allowed a day of testing before they race, the governing FIA has decided.

A rule change posted on the FIA website said drivers who had not taken part in a race during the previous two calendar years would be allowed one day of testing at a circuit not on the current calendar.
The judges thing is good in respect to trying to move the FIA away from being both prosecution and judge which is a good step. Unfortunatly with the teams normally requiring a 5 day meeting just to decide on the type of biscuit on the table at the next meeting trying to find consensus on who will be appointed will be interesting.

The replacement driver tests make perfect sense and was something we all wanted to see last season. It will be interesting to see if teams use this as a testing loop hole? Imagine for example that your Aero tweeks aren't making the progress you hoped so all of a sudden you second driver get's a slight sniffle and brings a note from mum into work saying he isn't fit enough for PE today. Next thing you know the little spotty faced kid who'se been warming the bench all season is plucked from obscurity and gets the added bonus of giving the team a whole day of testing to sort out the aero bugs. I bet it happens at least once next season.
And just in case teams do that and then decide that their main driver is fit after all, this rule comes into play:

"If a team, having declared the driver's substitution and performed the test, does not then enter an Event with the new driver, the team will be penalised by a reduction of one day from the pre-season track testing days available in the following year."
Note though how it states "an Event" and not the Event immediately following testing?
No doubt teams will be able to get the day's testing and then stick the test driver in the car for the last race, which most likely will have minimum impact on their points and standing.
So in effect providing the substitue actually races then the team are in the clear.

For the middle order teams it really would be worth them pulling the "sickie" trick and letting another driver have a go for one race.

A whole day testing plus the bonus of try before you buy !!
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