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?

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  1. ron (2) said on 24th October 2008, 14:02

    SOmeone took my name,

    anyhow, i say, olivier Panis would be a great choice, but he is heading the french A1 GP team right now.

    ALesi is too reckless, unintentionally most of the time… nice guy overall though. i’m a fan of his, and i met him once, and for some reason i didnt say what i really wanted to say. made a complete ass of myself…. haha

    i’m behind the motion for Alexander Wurz However, but how ready is he to be sidelined to the referee club?

    Barrichello would be an ok choice, since he’ll do anyhting to stay in the F1 world… or coulthard,

  2. Mansell or prost for me.

  3. michael counsell said on 25th October 2008, 0:37

    Andrea de Cesaris should be considered. Think about it…

  4. Sorry, former drivers should NOT be stewards. Regardless of when they raced they all have preformed opinions of what is hard nosed competitive driving and what is a penalty.

    Full time permanent paid and trained stewards, who are answerable to the race director, Charlie Whiting, is the logical solution. Get rid of Alan Donnelly, he has no credibility whatsoever. A small pool of Stewards, say three full time and three alternates, should fill the bill.

    Select them based on racing involvement over their careers as opposed to the whims of Max or other national political considerations.

  5. Gotta agree with Steve – Get Jacques Villeneuve in to do it. He bears a grudge against just about everyone and nobody likes him. Perfect!

  6. Definitely not Schumacher. Too close to Ferrari. The latins like Montoya are too likely to be partisan also.

    Alesi, Stewart, Moss, Brundle, Prost, Coulthard, Mansell even?, all qualify well in my book.

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