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F1 stewards chasing greater consistency, open to extra meetings

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The FIA-appointed Formula 1 race stewards met in Vienna earlier this week to review their performance through the 2016 season and discuss possible areas for improvement moving forward.

Each F1 grand prix is overseen by a team of stewards including at least one former driver that makes decisions on penalties and investigates incidents on-track.

The calls made by the stewards have come into question on a number of occasions through 2016, with Sebastian Vettel’s penalty for dangerous driving in Mexico being a big talking point.

Following the final round of FIA meetings in Vienna this week, the stewards from the 2016 season came together to discuss possible improvements to their officiating.

“We went through a lot of rules and looked at how we can work with the FIA to tidy up the wording, enabling us to take quicker decisions,” stewards’ chairman Garry Connelly said.

“We talked a lot about how we can achieve better consistency. We think that more meetings and more reviews of past decisions are necessary, so that we all understand how each panel of stewards is treating a particular situation, especially where it’s necessary for the stewards to make a subjective ruling, on a dangerous driving charge for example. That is quite a subjective issue.

“These are obviously decisions that are made collectively but understanding how those decisions can be made more consistent is valuable.

“We looked at a system that the DMSB [Germany’s motorsport governing body] uses to review races. The stewards get together by video link to look back at incidents and discuss the decisions made. We thought that might be good thing to do every three or four races.”

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.