Which former Formula 1 driver would make a good permanent steward?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Need an experienced ex-F1 driver to be a steward?  I\'ve got just the guy...
Need an experienced ex-F1 driver to be a steward? I've got just the guy...

Following the recent spate of dubious penalty decisions involving Sebastien Bourdais, Lewis Hamilton (at Fuji and Spa) and Felipe Massa, many F1 drivers have voiced a desire to see a permanent stewards appointed.

Ideally they would like one with relevant, recent Grand Prix experience. So who could fit the bill? Here’s a few potential names.

Jean Alesi

F1 starts: 201
Last Grand Prix: Suzuka, 2001
Pros: Vast experience, drove for several teams.
Cons: Never really shook off his wild side. In his final DTM season in 2006 he was fined for brake-testing team mate Mika Hakkinen.

Read more about Jean Alesi: Jean Alesi biography

Michael Schumacher

F1 starts: 248
Last Grand Prix: Interlagos, 2006
Pros: Can you think of a more experienced driver? Knows every trick in the book…
Cons: …because he got away with most of them. Several drivers voiced complaints about the standards of his driving while he was in F1. There’s a slim chance he might possibly be seen as being a little bit pro-Ferrari.

Read more about Michael Schumacher: Michael Schumacher biography

Mika Hakkinen

F1 starts: 161
Last Grand Prix: Suzuka, 2001
Pros: Went toe-to-toe with F1’s most successful champion – and won.
Cons: There’s a slim chance he might possibly be seen as being a little bit pro-McLaren.

Read more about Mika Hakkinen: Mika Hakkinen biography

Olivier Panis

F1 starts: 157
Last Grand Prix: Magny-Cours, 2005 (practice only)
Pros: Confines his current racing activity for to the F1 off-season, ice racing with Toyota.
Cons: Like Alesi, has just one win to his name – did he see enough of the sharp end of an F1 race to be considered sufficiently experienced?

Mika Salo

F1 starts: 109
Last Grand Prix: Suzuka, 2002
Pros: Experienced and without any obvious grudges against former rivals or teams…
Cons: …except maybe Toyota. No wins.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen

F1 starts: 156
Last Grand Prix: Suzuka, 2003
Pros: Experienced and without any obvious grudges against former rivals or teams…
Cons: …except maybe Williams.

David Coulthard

F1 starts: 245*
Last Grand Prix: Shanghai, 2008*
Pros: Stacks of experience and fresh from the cockpit (if one can be ‘fresh’ after getting out of a cockpit).
Cons: Expected to be working for the BBC next year, possibly too recent a retiree who could be seen as biased.
*Career ongoing but ending at conclusion of 2008 season.

Read more about David Coulthard: David Coulthard biography

Which ex-driver do you think would be a good choice as a permanent steward?

66 comments on “Which former Formula 1 driver would make a good permanent steward?”

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  1. ALEX WURZ would be a perfect fit ……A pretty good guy and has all the qualities to be a steward I suppose

  2. 02CH36 – that’s my favourite suggestion so far. Wurz is a smart guy, he’d be a great choice.

  3. But, if it was a pair of drivers, who would be a good partner with Wurz?

  4. I believe whoever is put there will do a much better job than the biased FIA. Mclaren have been dropped 5places down the grid 3 times this year already, but Heidfeld only gets dropped 3 places, not once but twice. How can that be explained. It should even be noted that in the second instance a Mclaren got demoted, there was no complaint from any team.

  5. Alex Wurz is probably in my top 3 favourite F1 drivers. He always seems like such a solid, rooted person. Screw giving him a steward’s job, make him FIA president.

    Plus, he always used to throw up the devil horns whenever he was on the podium. Great stuff! \m/

    I would say drivers like Villeneuve or Montoya, but I should think they’ve more than washed their hands of anything to do with F1 by now.

    I should think Coulthard would be quite fair about things. Barrichello, and I think Trulli as well, when they retire.

  6. I think would be fantastic a mix of old guys with the (almost) new one´s.

    Sir Jackye/Alesi
    Stirling Moss/Hakkinen

    So, we would be have a team of Stewards that should covered almost all Formula 1 years. And we could put down the Mr Donnelly´s argument about the experience of this guys has been tied to the past.

  7. Out of all the names listed, Damon Hill is, I belive, by far the most suited.
    He’s got F1 in his blood, and has shown he can be diplomatic with his chairmanship of the BRDC.

  8. I’d agree with Alexander Wurz, but it’s really a pick of a not so great bunch candidates.

    And bear in mind, Alexander Wurz would’ve favoured the penalty Hamilton got in Spa, as his commentary on Austrian TV proved.

  9. Whoever they pick, I think the most important part is that they pick SOMEBODY. Having a single person at any race will inherently provide a more consistent reading of the rules that what we’re getting not… weather you agree with that reading or not, it should always be the same.

  10. Scootin159 – I agree with you. But, at the same time, a person should not be consistently in favour of one team or another.

  11. How about Damon Hill. He’s a gentleman, an intellectual and knows everything about racing.

  12. I’d trust Alesi or Panis, but agree with others that the combination of Hakkinen/Schumacher would be perfect.

  13. Sorry, I like Damon Hill and I think he is an upstanding guy, but I would never suggest him for this role. He would get ****** with Ecclestone or Mosley and then just make a mess of it.

  14. I Vote Damon Hill (and make it quick the current stewards are bringing the sport into disrepute) DO NOT let Schumacher anywhere near the place ‘there will be a riot’!!

  15. Alesi and/or Hill would be my choice.

    Both have plenty of experience and are able to demonstrate a good level of impartiality.

    Much as I love Schumacher he wouldn’t be able to give the impression of being impartial, even if he was trying to be.
    He’d always be questioned over his decisions regarding Ferrari & has some history with a few current drivers.

    Coulthard would also suffer from his existing history with the current drivers.

  16. Alain Prost would be a good choice.Experience, knowledge and still a very well respect world formula 1 champion.

  17. I think you don’t know Micheal Schumacher at all if you think he’d accept such a boring job. The guys you’re talking about, expecially the less old ones, they love racing, they love speed, and being the referee has got to be the most repulsive thing they would ever want to do. Except those who like PR stuff and were never that fast, i.e. Coulthard.

  18. Trulli so he finally will retire and we won’t have Trulli-trains anymore.

  19. David Watkins
    23rd October 2008, 19:53

    1) Jackie Stewart

    2) Alain Prost

    3) Alessandro Nannini

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