Fittipaldi joins Canadian stewards

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Two-times world champion Emerson Fittipaldi will serve as the drivers’ representative to the stewards at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Fittipaldi won the world championship for Lotus in 1972 and McLaren in 1974. He made his last F1 start at Watkins Glen 30 years ago.

After that he enjoyed a successful career in Indycars, winning the championship in 1989 and the Indianapolis 500 in 1989 and 1993. He retired from Indycar racing in 1996 after a serious crash in Michigan.

Read more: Emerson Fittipaldi biography

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “Fittipaldi joins Canadian stewards”

  1. What has he to do with current Formula 1?
    I’d prefer Damon Hill, or Heidfeld.
    Or nobody.

    1. you couldn’t get Heidfeld as a steward as he’s a member of a current team (mercedes) that’d be like asking a football fan to referee his own team’s match.

    2. Heidfeld is currently the third driver for Mercedes so I don’t think the FIA or the teams will agree to have him.

      Another thing who decides who will be the the drivers’ representative to the stewards?

      1. charlie whiting i guess. on a side note, one bad thing about the canadian gp is how late in the day f1 news comes for users in europe!

    3. What he has to do with F1 is that he is one of the best drivers in 40 years of the sport. He still has a racing head better than most. Just because you don’t know him don’t knock him.

      1. I know who he is. Don’t want to knock Emmo anyway.
        But current Formula 1 is very different from his. His Formula 1 was without stewards…just to say!

        1. Jean Doublet
          10th June 2010, 12:04

          “His Formula 1 was without stewards…” Are you sure about that ? I kind of remember that young Jody Schekter was asked to stay out of a few GPs after his memorable Silverstone shunt in 1973, a week or so after taking Fittipaldi out of the race at Paul Ricard.

          1. Jean Doublet
            10th June 2010, 12:06

            ScheCkter, my bad

          2. What I mean is that there were not an official steward office that decided penalties real time…
            Did any of you remember some stop and go penalties or “car n.8 is under investigation” messages? Tell me if there were some, I would change my opinion,
            After all, anyway, I prefer the stewards had not this important rule.

          3. What a stupid justifcation. Its called evolving with the times. Just as cricket has third umpire, rugby has TMO.

            I think Emmo will do well. Regardless of what he has achieved (and it is a lot) the main thing is he has been on the track and knows all about driver etiquette from a first person perspective. He has been around long enough to know what is acceptable and not on the track.

        2. I think they want a driver’s perspective of situations. This was lacking in the past. He retains this experience and perspective, not to mention the respect he demands, regardless of changes to the sport.

  2. I do agree with David B to an extent. The idea of the racing advisor on the panel is to give their view of an incident. Given how different the cars of the 70s are from today’s generation, I reckon it would be better to have a more recent driver on the panel. How is a driver of 40 years ago supposed to understand how todays car behave and interact? I was a little sceptical when Damon Hill was on the panel in Monaco.

    That said, the idea of the advisor is to give a racing drivers perspect of an incident. Whether he raced 40 years ago or 40 minutes ago, a racing driver’s instincts and understanding never leaves him/her.

    A further issue is that more recent F1 drivers who are not racing in F1 today are either busy involved in other racing series, test drivers in current F1 teams, have other interests (i.e. Anthony Davidson working for BBC) or are just disgraced in F1 (who else but Nelson Piquet…)

    1. Well it is not really 40 years ago, his last F1 is 30 years ago, but he did race pretty impressively in the golden days of CART up until 15 years ago (prost quit F1 2 years earlier than that).
      Still some while back, but the basics of racing and passing ethics don’t change that fast.

      1. I think he’s a good choice. The cars have changed and maybe thee racing standards but his racing head won’t have. He can tell you what’s going on with the driver, provide some context.

        1. Racing head seems to be the pint. Only a racing driver really has an opinion on what you’d do approaching the breaking point at 150.

        2. Bigbadderboom
          10th June 2010, 17:36

          Agree, good choice, age, wisdom and all that. And just to think he raced his last F1 race 30 years ago somehow makes him out of touch is ridiculous. I’m sure he has forgottem more aboutr F1 racing than most of us will ever know. Good choice, great experience.

    2. He was still racing in the Brazilian GT3 Championship in 2008 which isn’t long ago in my book.

  3. But surely they are not going to look for a new and different ex-racing driver for each and every race, are they? It’ll be like having a ‘Special Guest Star’ on a TV show.
    I thought the FIA were going to use a panel of ‘recently retired’ drivers who who would take it in turns to advise Stewards at each race. That way, the ex-drivers become more experienced in the requirements of Stewarding and able to advise better.

    1. Well, we had Herbert now two times – I think Hill might decline the honor for a while though :-p

      I think that it probably also a way to have a ‘Special Guest Star’ ex-racer, who can do more than just the lame finish-flag moment. I do not really mind that, the guys are there for a good reason, why not also create a bit of a hype for them too – it does not harm the racing, and might make the event more interesting to some.

  4. If a decision goes McLaren’s way, expect yet more conspiracy theories…and none if any go Lotus’ way!

    I somewhat disagree with those having reservations about the choice of Fittipaldi. Yes, F1 is different to how it used to be, but he’s a wise old head. And in some ways, being objective can only be a good thing after the ridiculous lynching of Hill after Monaco.

    1. I agree, it seems to me like Emerson Fittipaldi is a level headed guy. As much as I love Mansell, I have no idea why they would put a guy like him on a steward’s panel. Or Eddie Irvine!

  5. Emerson Fittipaldi
    Formula 1 World Championships: 1972, 1974

    Grand Prix Starts: 143
    Grand Prix Wins: 14
    Pole Positions: 7
    Championships: 2

    He’ll do fine.

    1. Agreed! Why do people always complain? I’m sure he’s got a lot more insight to the sport nowadays than what most people think.

    2. Charles Carroll
      10th June 2010, 17:59

      I always loved watching him race Indy cars.

  6. The ex drivers as stewards has been an inspired move by the FIA. Only true idiots will complain like they did against Hill in Monaco. It is much safer to use older drivers than guys who were driving in the last few years.

    1. People complain that Hill was to recent, and now Fittipaldi was too long ago :)

      1. Yeah, just no pleasing fans.

        What’s that old saying… ? …. “Can’t live with them, can’t shoot them”.

        Something like that.

  7. The only complaint i would have is that i thought he was dead :-o

    Clearly im mistaken, so i cant really complain.

    1. LOL! fantastic.

      (sorry, but that made me laugh so much)

  8. Would love to see Villeneuve as one of the stewards at the Canadian GP, and it would be great to see him exercise his power over some decision regarding Schumi’s driving. :)

    1. there would be a lot of ex and current F1 drivers who would like to get even with Schumi… perhaps, the role of a steward would be the best way to pay back… :D
      Just kidding!

  9. Emerson is a great choice, mature, done it all racer with a wise head and the ability to use it fairly. Age is immaterial, it’s wisdom and experience that count. There are plenty of retired (unemployed) ex F1 drivers would would jump at the chance of the job Emerson’s doing for this race, for sure. Although he has connections with McLaren and Lotus he won’t be favouring one over the other – as some people have pointed out, it was over 35 years ago when he won his two World Championships for those two teams. His innate fairness will prevail.

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