FIA Revise Steward System for 2009

Following several complaints about the steward system in Formula 1 this year, the World Motor Sport Council has decided to implement a few modifications in next year’s rulebook that would satisfy every team in the paddock. Also, the new set of rules will help race officials become more credible when making a decision during a race.

First of all, all stewards should attend at least one grand prix before officiating a race of his own. In order for that to happen, the FIA imposed that a number of trainee stewards would be attending no less that 5 races throughout the 2009 season, for gaining experience and get in touch with the racing know-how of Formula 1.

Secondly, the stewards will be benefiting from a brand new replay system, in order to help them in the decision-making process. No matter if the race officials will announce their decision during the race or after, they would have had all the necessary details to make it a correct one.

Thirdly – and probably one of the most important aspects of the new system from the fans’ perspective – all decisions made by race stewards will be explained the very next day on FIA’s official website. More, if the situation requires it, video footage that was unavailable to the large public during the race will be available for a better understanding of the race officials’ decision.

The new set of rules is due to be implemented as soon as the Australian Grand next year. It is expected that it will stop the controversy of some decisions made by F1 stewards throughout the 2008 season, including the famous Lewis Hamilton – Kimi Raikkonen incident at Spa or the Felipe Massa passing Sebastien Bourdais maneuver during the Japanese Grand Prix.

The idea of welcoming a former F1 driver to attend the decision-making process and help the stewards – proposed by most teams in the F1 paddock – is still on FIA’s table these days. Nevertheless, it is believed that, if such a rule will be introduced, the ex-driver would have had to already gained experience in national or regional motorsport competitions (before stepping in Formula 1).
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