Paris, Monday: The FIA has pledged to halve bias in Formula One stewarding decisions by the 2011 season, it has been revealed today, after controversial decisions involving McLaren’s drivers in the Chinese Grand Prix marred an excellent day of racing.
Both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were accused of breaking the rules – Hamilton of driving dangerously in the pit lane and Button of erratic driving behind the safety car – but neither received a penalty. Some critics pointed to Alexander Wurz, advisor to the stewards for the weekend and coincidentally a McLaren driver for six years, as the source of the apparent injustice.
“Alex did an excellent job advising the stewards this weekend, but as ever we in the FIA are concerned about the image this gives the sport, with an ex-McLaren driver declining to punish drivers from that team,” an FIA spokesman said. “Thus we are unveiling a simple plan to halve bias in F1 stewarding decisions by next season.”
Instead of appointing ex-drivers to act as stewards, the FIA has decided to give the job to current drivers instead. “Consider Alex Wurz, who was a McLaren driver for six years,” the spokesman continued. “In his place, next season we intend to appoint Lewis Hamilton. He has only been a McLaren driver for just over three years, so we expect he will only be half as biased.”
The mathematics, logic and feasibility of these plans have already been called into question by some in the F1 world; the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association is said to favour a solution that involves them shouting at Hamilton for various real and imagined rule transgressions for a few hours before each race, rather than appointing drivers as race stewards.
FIA President Jean Todt was available for comment, irritably croaking at reporters.