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.”