Stewards’ decisions ‘are not made inconsistently’

2016 F1 season

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Race director Charlie Whiting has rejected claims the FIA’s practice of rotating the stewards between race weekends leads to inconsistent decision-making.

Quizzed by journalists on whether the practice of bringing different stewards to each race led to similar incidents being treated differently, Whiting said “needless to say I disagree”.

“As Lewis [Hamilton] pointed out, every incident is different. Some can look at first sight to be very similar to another incident from a previous race.”

“But when you examine them more carefully, you must remember also that the stewards have an enormous amount of images available to them, data, all manner of things available to them which you don’t see.”

“So it’s easy to say that decisions are made inconsistently but more often than not in my opinion when you look into it in detail you find that incident A wasn’t the same as incident B, they have small differences, and that’s where I think further explanation is sometimes needed.”

Sergio Perez accused the stewards of “inconsistency” when he was penalised for failing to slow sufficiently due to yellow flags in Singapore. Daniil Kvyat also charged the stewards with inconsistency after he was penalised for an incident with Romain Grosjean during the Mexican Grand Prix.

Formula One previously had a position of permanent steward which was abolished at the end of 2009. The practice of using former racing drivers as stewards began the following year.

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

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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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    18 comments on “Stewards’ decisions ‘are not made inconsistently’”

    1. What a load of bullcrap.

      1. Whiting is clearly delusional. Sack the old fool and replace him with someone with a shred of sporting fairness, please.

    2. LOL – if its so obvious then give us all of the info that made it clear why its so consistent.

      Its obvious that Whiting is out of his element and needs to be replaced.

    3. What do you expect Charlie Whiting to say? Do you really think he would agree with a roomful of journalists and a pair of drivers? The FIA is never wrong publicly.

      1. thats because there is no one to compete with them. The FIA wouldn’t have it any other way either. Honestly speaking, can you expect anything else.

      2. Well, reality is we the fans and the drivers are a lot more bias than them. Just because a driver gets in-frond of the cameras talking about inconsistency doesn’t mean he is right and that his incident was really like the other his referring to.
        And fans just jump supporting their team or driver or just accusing the one they hate.

        There are times that the stewards get it wrong, no one is perfect but from what i have seen for most incidents they know a lot better and judge a lot better than the commender around the Internet or the drivers.

        1. the mistake they make really is that they do not release an analysis of incidents and the basis of their decisions after every race to the public so everyone can know.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      10th November 2016, 16:19

      The thing is, this article could have stopped after the 2nd sentence. It is “needless to say” that he disagrees – who is going to admit that they are truly woeful at their own job!?

      The only thing Charlie Whiting is consistent about is his misunderstanding of the word “advantage.”

    5. Of course the man who heads the silly stewarding will surely defend it, no bias there.

    6. You only have to look at the comments right after a race to see that lots of people are wrong when they don’t have all the info. I still have to see this huge list of inconsistencies people are talking about. Usually they mention thing which could have gone both ways.

      1. And guess what? If they could have gone both ways that either says neither event should have been penalized, or the rules should have been written more clearly in the first place.

    7. I’m glad he mentioned that there are no inconsistencies because i haven’t noticed yet.

      The problem is the drivers have to make their decisions on track within a fraction of a second. They don’t have any data to analyze.
      Them when the stewards make their investigation, look into huge amount of data, disect it to the tiniest bit of detail and judge the situation based on that.

      In other Sports, the referree is on the field and has to make his or her decision in real time, as do the players.
      Maybe that gives a way more realistic impression than analyzing and analyzing.

    8. This was not the strongest parts of the Thursday press conference, but when you read the full text on it’s clear that this was one of the more interesting press conferences and discussions between riders this year. There were real issues discussed and different opinions between riders and Whiting. It helped that all the prominent drivers involved in the most significant action in Mexico were present.
      Only the contribution of Hamilton was really below what you may expect of a three times world champion. Most of the times his answers were a polite form of saying “What ever, when are we done here?”. The man is good in racing and playing around, but this is not a driver who is leader of the pack in this kind of discussions.

      1. Yeah, I just wish HAM would turn his frustrations to his team which has put him in the position he is instead of offending people who demand to be lied to.

        1. There are various articles stating that Hamilton is very different in public and in private. The last I remember was from Martin Brundle, but there are several others.
          In short, he is bored to death to go to the press conferences. But if you happen to talk to him personally about racing, he would gladly talk for hours with you.
          In the end, he looks very much like Raikkonen (delightful in private, totally tasteless in public) @dutch-1 @xsavior.

    9. Stewards’ decisions are not made inconsistently.
      Stewards’ decisions are made consistently inconsistent.

      Ugh, now I have semantic satiation for the word “inconsistent”.

    10. Never watched any kind of racing before Charlie? Going off the track means everybody else gets to pass you. That’s ANY racing Charlie. Bernie’s puppet.

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