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GP Week : Issue 33
> F1NEWS> LEADING Formula 1 drivers have called for the re- introduction of a permanent race steward to officiate over Formula 1, in the wake of a number of controversial and inconsistent stewarding decisions in 2008. Reigning World Champion Kimi Raikkonen explained his viewpoint, when questioned on the topic by GPWeek. “First of all, it is a dangerous sport, so when you race against somebody, you try to make sure that you get round him and not crash into him because it’s not going to help you or him,”he said. “But sometimes you get it wrong, when you push on the limit and both guys try to go as fast as possible in a corner and not try to let the other guy past. Sometimes you end up hitting each other and that’s racing. The rules are quite tight. “Sometimes you get penalised, sometimes not but as I Drivers call for permanent stewards said, there are always many different views of the same incidents or the same situations. There is always going to be talk about penalties and stuff but that’s unfortunately going to be a big part of Formula 1. It’s not always best for the sport but we’re here to race and try to get past people and sometimes you get penalties out of it, even when you don’t think it’s right. But that’s how it goes.” The argument has been raised that not only does there need to be a permanent steward to create consistency, but that the man chosen should be a former racer, with experience of the high pressure environment of which Raikkonen speaks. Double world champion Fernando Alonso agreed that such a move would be beneficial. “I think it’s a good idea to have an ex-driver with the stewards just to help them, just because the decisions they take are difficult to know from the outside if you never drove a Formula 1 car. As Kimi said before, I think it’s difficult to get the same feeling and the same comment from all the drivers on the same accident.” Raikkonen agreed with the Spaniard. “Yeah, for sure that would help. It would keep people happier also, that every time you get the same decision. Maybe if there would be an older driver there would be more respect and people wouldn’t complain as much. It’s only that people want to have the same thing happening every time, the same penalties and same rules.” The FIA did have a permanent race steward in the form of Tony Scott-Andrews up until December 2007, when a restructuring of the organisational structure left Scott Andrews out of the picture and placed Max Mosley’s right- hand man Alan Donnelly as a stewards’advisor. Being so closely aligned to Mosley has done Donnelly no favours in the press as a number of decisions in 2008 have seemingly gone either in favour of Ferrari, or towards the seemingly engineered creation of a championship showdown. With Donnelly shunning the idea of a former driver being appointed as a permanent steward to the press, the argument looks set to continue as, in a common theme with so much of this week’s news, the FIA seemingly positions itself at odds to the overriding groundswell of opinion within the sport over which it presides. Our opinion? You need a hard racer, a fair racer, a thoroughly decent chap and one with no team allegiances. We’d pick Sir Stirling Moss.