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

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?

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

  1. Pingguest said on 23rd October 2008, 16:03

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

  2. Sam B said on 23rd October 2008, 16:08

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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’!!

  5. beneboy said on 23rd October 2008, 18:41

    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.

  6. Herbert said on 23rd October 2008, 18:50

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

  7. 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.

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

  9. Is that you, Mr. Dennis?

  10. David Watkins said on 23rd October 2008, 19:53

    1) Jackie Stewart

    2) Alain Prost

    3) Alessandro Nannini

  11. Justinas M. said on 23rd October 2008, 20:08

    My vote goes for Hill!

    He’s been driving several teams: from the strongest to one of the weakest so he knows races from all drivers positions. He is world champion, he’s been involved in one of the most famous incidents ever and was a victim! He knows how it feels like someone crashes into you and runs easily away with that. Moreover, he was excellent driver and as somebody mentioned – he’s diplomatic as well. The only bias I can think of – he’s Brit and when there’s Brit on British/German car competing with Brazilian on Italian car…

    MS has too dirty reputation, DC is a born loser… Hakkinen? I really think Hill is more experienced. However, there might be good ex-racers from older times but indeed I wasn’t watching F1 at those times. So from these times – Hill no.1

  12. Steven Roy said on 23rd October 2008, 20:17

    I don’t think it has to be someone recent. All the older drivers have watched modern racing evolve and are perfectly capable of making good decisions. Any driver would be better than a bunch of FIA petty politicians.

    Of the recent drivers only Wurz would be acceptable. Of the older drivers I would have Stewart, Lauda, Prost and Rosberg. All are fiercely independent and would not be able to be pushed around by Max. Some of them may have associations with existing teams but none of them sould let that sway their judgement.

  13. the limit said on 23rd October 2008, 20:42

    Derek Warwick, Ricardo Patrese, Rene Arnoux, Alex Wurz, Damon Hill, Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell, John Watson, Alan Jones. Thats my picks, take it or leave it!

  14. the limit said on 23rd October 2008, 20:45

    Derek Warwick.

  15. Top Gear said on 23rd October 2008, 20:52

    Mario Andretti

    World champion, diplomatic, raced at several times but has been out of F1 for a while, and has retired as a driver, has vast experience.

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