This past week has seen the fans and teams miffed at some of the decisions meted out by Max Mosley’s new and improved Steward system initiated last January which consists of three random Stewards and Alan Donnelly (Max’s FIA man on the scene).Donnelly won a libel action against Business F1 magazine’s Tom Rubython, it was alleged that “Mr Donnelly had obtained exorbitant and undeserved sums from the FIA in the form of â‚¬11.05million in fees over the previous three years and that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that, despite what had been publicly stated before, he had diverted all or some of these monies for his personal use and benefit.” The case was heard and ruled by Justice Eady, who, coincidentally, presided over Max Mosley’s recent successful libel action against The News of the World. Tom Rubython doesn’t have a lot of fans in F1 circles but perhaps the judgment of Tom’s work is a little premature as it applies to this seemingly conspiratorial situation between Max and Donnelly.
Now the drivers are asking for a new Steward system as they too feel it suffers from insight and fairness. Jenson Button said:
“We need someone with experience,” he said. “I think the stewards do a good job, but having an experienced driver on board would help, but not one from 15 to 20 years ago because so much has changed.
“We need someone who has been involved in the sport and knows about this problem of going off the circuit and coming back on.”
Fernando Alonso added: “I think it’s a good idea to have an ex-driver to help them because sometimes the decisions they make, it’s difficult to know from the outside if you have never driven a Formula One car.
“What would help for the drivers would be a consistency in the penalties – if one time you do something and you get penalised, it is not possible that the next time you do the same thing you get no penalty.
“We ask for a little bit more consistency with the penalties even if they are very harsh or not.”
Now color me reactionary but if the teams are upset, the fans are outraged and now the drivers are miffed; who is left to be upset by this situation and what is it going to take for Max and the FIA to see their system is not satisfactory for just about everyone involved in F1? Yet again, the FIA have failed to provide a system of regulation that is beyond reproach and effective enough to render governance that is perceived as world-class as this sport is. This isn’t rocket surgery folks, why is this and other situations like the Safety Car rule beyond the immediate attention of the FIA and treated with the same gravity the situations warrant. They are drastically affecting the race outcomes and most everyone involved has taken issue with both situations. Max must be busy with his ‘future of F1’ cost cutting outline but I suggest that fixing these issues can be done at the same time…unless you’re busy litigating some personal issues concerning a breach of privacy.